China’s home-grown J-16 multi-role fighter is flawless and far superior to the Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30, a PLA flight instructor claims. The J-16 is seen as a Chinese copy of the Russian combat aircraft.
Wang Songxi is a flying instructor with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Northern Theatre Command Air Force. He claims to have flown many Chinese fighter jets as well as the Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30 during his career.
Designed and developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation during the Soviet-era, the Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter jet.
The all-weather, multi-role fighter can carry out air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions. Currently, China and its neighbor India, possess the Russian fighter jet. The two countries have modified their Su-30 fighters, according to their needs.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) operates the Su-30MKI variant and China’s PLA flies two variants of the Su-30 fighters — Su-30MKK, and the Su-30MK2 fighters. Since 2002, the Sukhoi has been IAF’s staple warhorse.
According to Chinese experts, the Su-30MKK is considered the most powerful variant of the Su-30 family, with the fighter offering enhanced combat capabilities against the aerial, ground, and sea-based targets.
Beijing has also upgraded the fighter jet’s fire control system, enabling it to use its indigenous weapons including the deadly YJ-12 and YJ-18 anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles.
Wang, however, claims that the Shenyang J-16 fighter, which is based on the Su-30 fighter, is a generation more advanced than the latter.
“The J-16 has no flaws because it is equipped with many types of weapons and can operate under all weather conditions,” Wang told the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV).
“People usually can’t tell the difference between a J-16 and a Su-30 from their appearance, but many things are different from the inside. There is a gap that makes the J-16 a generation more advanced than the Su-30,” he added.
Built by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, the Shenyang J-16 tandem-seat, twinjet, a multirole strike fighter is a domestically-produced copy of the Russian Su-30, operated by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).