Shenyang F-8IIM: Export Finback

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With Sino-Western relationship deteriorating quickly since the end of 1980s, Sino-Russia has improved on the other hand. This allowed Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) to upgrade its J-8II with Russian technologies.

The new aircraft was designated F-8IIM and the idea was to fit a Russian PD radar from Phazotron. The new radar is better than what J-8II had at the time and granted the plane the ability to fire a number of Russian missiles such as R-27 and Kh-31.

Here is a summary of reported improvements on F-8IIM:

  • Russian Phazotron Zhuk-8II coherent pulse-Doppler fire-control radar (X-band)
  • Type 563B integrated INS/GPS navigation system
  • Coloured multifunction display in the cockpit
  • New fire-control system with MIL-STD-1553B data bus and MIL-STD-1760A weapon bus
  • New electronic countermeasures suite (with active jamming and all-aspect RWR)
  • Type 125 IFF
  • Two Russian-made PGD-40-2K 15kW alternators
  • GDJ-4 multiple ejector rack
  • Two improved WP-13B turbojet engine each rated at 4,800 kg dry and 7,000 kg with afterburning

A prototype was built from an existing J-8II airframe and made its maiden flight on 31st March 1996. The aircraft made its debut during the first Zhuhai Air Show in November of the same year. All flight tests were completeed by 19th January 1998 and a second demostrator was completed by late 1998.

In 2004, SAC presented an revised version of F-8IIM that replaced the Russian PD radar with the domestic Type 1492 radar. However, despite SAC’s best efforts, the aircraft could not compete with alternative aircrafts from US and Russia and no customer showed interests in buying it.

Place in War Thunder

Capability wise, it is comparable to J-8F currently in the game, with a good PD radar and the ability to carry up to 6 IR missiles and 2 SARH missiles (R-27R1). Since it is an export variant, it could make a very interesting event / squadron / premium aircraft at around BR 11.3.


General Characteristics
Crew: 1
Length: 21.39 m (70 ft 2 in) (20.53 m (67.4 ft) excluding nose pitot probe)
Wingspan: 9.344 m (30 ft 8 in)
Height: 5.41 m (17 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 42.2 m2 (454 sq ft)
Airfoil: root: TsAGI S-12 (4.2%); tip: TsAGI S-12 (5%)
Empty weight: 10,371 kg (22,864 lb)
Gross weight: 15,288 kg (33,704 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 18,879 kg (41,621 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Guizhou WP-13B afterburning turbojet engines, 47.1 kN (10,580 lbf) thrust each dry, 68.6 kN (15,430 lbf) with afterburner

Maximum speed: 2,300 km/h (1,400 mph, 1,200 kn)
Maximum speed: Mach 1.8
Combat range: 1,000 km (620 mi, 540 nmi) radius with 3x drop tanks
Combat radius with one AAR: 900 km (560 mi; 490 nmi)
Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,000 ft)
g limits: +4.7 sustained at 5,000 m (16,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 224 m/s (44,100 ft/min) at sea level
Thrust/weight: 0.74
Unstick speed: 330 km/h (210 mph; 180 kn)
Take-offrun: 630 m (2,070 ft)
Touchdown speed: 224 km/h (139 mph; 121 kn)
Landing run: 900 m (3,000 ft)

Guns: 1 x 23mm Type 23-III cannon
Hardpoints: 1 centerline and 6 under-wing hardpoints with a capacity of 3 x drop tanks
Rockets: 4 x Type 90-1 FFAR pod (57-mm or 90-mm)
Missiles: 6 x PL-5 IR AAM or PL-8 IR AAM or PL-9 IR AAM
2 x R-27R1 SARH AAM or 2 x PL-11 SARH AAM
2 x Kh-31 ASM
Bombs: 10 x 250 kg (550 lb) (4 under-wing, 6 on centerline)

Zhuk-8 II radar
Maximum detecting range of 75 km against airborne targets and 100 km against sea surface targets. When in the air-to-air mode, the radar can track up to 10 airborne targets and attack 2 of them simultaneously.



  1. Gordon, Yefim; Komissarov, Dmitry (2008). Chinese Aircraft: China’s aviation industry since 1951. Manchester: Hikoki Publications. ISBN 978-1-902109-04-6. pp. 85–86, 90.
  2. Shenyang J-8 fighter: A history of evolution
  3. Jian-8IIM (Jian-8 Fighter aircraft 8)

I am looking for evidence that F-8IIM can fire other Russian air-to-air missiles besides R27. I suspect it should be able to fire R73 too.


+1, cool aircraft!
Would also be the first aircraft in the game to have aspide missiles (pl-11) with a good radar

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Both cool and a great way to end the first indigenous Chinese fighter designs.

Since the F-8IIM can mount r27r, can it obtain r27er like Mig29a9.12?

If the F-8IIM does not have an r27er, I believe this aircraft can replace the J8F in the 11.7 position after joining the game on PL12. If this aircraft obtains an r27er, it may increase to 12.0 or even 12.3


Damn I really want a Chinese squadron aircraft I have already reached 9.0 tanks with china ground but I can’t get myself to play the boring as hell ARB to unlock jets for CAS and anti cas gameplay

Would make for a good premium to replace the J-7D…which sucks harder than the eye of a tornado.

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Hopefully it wont be completely removed from the game.

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I already have it, but sure, for those that want it for “just a cool uptiered Chinese MiG-21” then I’d understand it. It’s why I got it after all. Too bad it performs so bad. I’d actually fly it in sim if it had IFF but it doesn’t even have that.

Moving it to techtree and grouping it with J-7II could be a good idea. But I know that isn’t possible since that would require refunding.

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They’ve never done a refund. Copy paste TT version would be possible. Give it a slightly different skin and done.

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J8IIM can theoretically also be equipped with R73 × 6 or R77 × 2+R73 × 4


This will fit as Chinese 12.0 well, or 12.7 with R-73.

In “China’s Navy Ships and Aircraft of the People’s Republic of China, 1955 - 2021”, it lists the F-8IIM as also mounting the JL-10A Radar (In 2004?)

any pic?

Sadly no, it could aslo be referencing J-8T

An absolute +1 from me. I’d hope to see this as China’s 12.0 premium, with the J-8F being instead replaced by the J-8H, which carries all the same weapons except the R-27, but also has LGBs.
In terms of which model to add, the early one is definitely better as the later one has much more advanced weapons, especially the ARH PL-12/SD-10 and UV/IR PL-9C and PL-5E-II, which would dramatically raise BR.

Is this for the '96 or '04 F-8IIM? I know the latter was designed to carry SD-10s and had a HMD, so that’d be my guess but I could be entirely wrong.

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