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The J-16 fighter jet, is a Chinese tandem-seat, twinjet, all-weather, multirole strike fighter, designed and manufactured by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, and operated by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
In 2019 it was covered by a coating that can provide near stealth capability and the jet was confirmed to be able to carry all types of air-to-surface weapons in precision strikes.
This means the J-16 can use a wide collection of air-to-ground missiles, bombs and anti-ship missiles.
The multi-role fighter jet can carry several tons of munitions and launch multiple waves of attack before it runs out of ammunition.
Although the J-20 is China’s more advanced fighter jet, the PLA Air Force still needs the J-16 as the two types of fighter jets can complement each other, analysts noted.
The J-20 can use its stealth capability to destroy hostile anti-air installations and win aerial superiority first but it cannot carry as many weapons as the J-16, because the J-20 hides its weapons in smaller weapon bays to ensure stealth capability, Fu said.
The J-16 can follow up a J-20 attack and clean away surface targets with its missiles and bombs, Fu said.
The J-16 is a twin-engine, twin-seat multi-role fighter jet that is also capable of air-to-air combat. It made its debut during the Army Day parade on July 30, 2017 at the Zhurihe military training base in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
The J-16 was first unveiled in mid-2012 and is primarily intended for the strike-fighter role which allows its crew to engage ground targets as well as air threats.
The J-16 is considered to be in the same general class as the American Boeing F/A-18 “Super Hornet”, European Eurofighter Typhoon and French Dassault Rafale multi-role aircraft and adds a new multi-faceted participant to growing Chinese military authority in the tumultuous Asia-Pacific region.
When it comes to what’s on-board, as mentioned earlier it has limited stealth capability.
Internally, the aircraft is given an indigenously-designed and developed, all-modern AESA (Active, Electronically-Scanned Array) radar system.
The engines (WS-10) are also of a local design (though based on the General Electric GE F101 turbofan) and the same that powers the Chengdu J-10, Shenyang J-11 and Shenyang J-15 fighters.
The twin powerplants are aspirated through two under-fuselage rectangular intakes under the wingroots, an identifying feature of all Sukhoi Flanker aircraft.
Composites are used throughout the overall construction of the aircraft to promote strength with weight-saving measures.
Its armament consists of:
- 1 × 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon with 150 rounds
- Munitions on twelve external hardpoints, including:
- 8 × PL-12, and 4 × PL-9 air-to-air missiles
- Various bombs and rockets including BeiDou satellite-guided bombs and laser-guided bombs
- Anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles
- Electronic countermeasure (ECM) pods.
As mentioned, it can carry all sorts of air-to-ground missiles, bombs and anti-ship missiles, different from these, but the listed above are the typical armament.
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