China has put the J-11BH fighter jet into service, which is a fully modernized version of the J-11B with an advanced sensor equivalent to the fifth generation.
Although air units have deployed the J-11 BG fighter jet, a modernized version of the J-11B fighter jet, in recent years, the launch of the J-11BH variant for the navy This is a huge step forward for the Chinese military
More than 200 J-11B fighters are believed to be in service with China’s fleets, which make the J-11 backbone of China’s naval fleet. Nearly 40% of the J-11 belongs to the Chinese navy, this aircraft is capable of carrying ECM pod and large missile payload.
When it entered service around 2008, the J-11B was the most capable fighter, and its high combat performance greatly reduced China’s interest in purchasing heavy fighters from Russia.
At the same time, China is planning a successor to the J-11B, the J-11D, which will use the more composite airframe, AESA radar and advanced avionics that will make the J-11 very capable and could become the most advanced non-stealth heavy fighter in the world.
Although production of the new aircraft began in 2018, plans for a successor to the J-11D are said to have been canceled or delayed despite reaching the advanced prototype stage. Instead, China seems to have decided to focus on modernizing the J-11B fleet with avionics and sensors comparable to the J-11D, without investing in the construction of the new composite airframe.
The Chinese side said that the J-11B squadron equipped with original AL-31 engines from Russia will also gradually be phased out, instead, J-11 will use the domestic WS-10 engine as part of the modernization effort.