Shenyang J-8C

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Shenyang J-8C




Around 1986, 601 Institute and 112 Factory put forward a significant modification plan for the J-8II aircraft. The proposal included the replacement of the J-8II with a turbojet 14 engine, the adoption of a new avionics system, fly-by-wire control, radar fire control system (which included pulse Doppler radar), and a range of advanced technologies.

Following the cancellation of the “Peace Pearl Project,” Factory 112 made substantial adjustments to the plans, which were then incorporated into the J-8C. On October 31st, 1990, Chairman Jiang Zemin, accompanied by Lin Zongye, conducted an inspection of Factory 112, Institute 601, and Factory 112. During the visit, the factory presented the concept of developing the J-8C. Chairman Jiang provided immediate instructions, stating, “In 1989, the United States imposed sanctions on us and treated us unfairly. We must proceed with the development of the J-8C and strive for the benefit of our nation and its people.”

Subsequently, during the leadership meeting of the Central Military Commission, he provided guidance, stating, “The completion of the J-8C is imperative. As for the financial aspect, I will explore viable options to secure the necessary funds. Considering the vast size of our nation, we should contemplate acquiring approximately 200 aircraft to effectively address the situation with Taiwan’s ‘Ching-Kuo’.”

The General Staff Headquarters and the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense gave their approval to the tactical and technical indicators on January 8, 1991. The project was officially approved in May, leading to the decision to launch the J-8C. The 601st Institute and the 112nd Factory collaborated to determine the aircraft’s technical and performance preferences in accordance with the combat use requirements set forth by the Air Force. Development goals and tasks were proposed, resulting in the implementation of “two major changes”. These modifications involved replacing the WP-14 engine to enhance thrust, climb rate, and acceleration performance, as well as integrating a digital fire control system inspired by the “Peace Pearl Project” to enable look-down shoot-down capability. Additionally, the J-8D’s aerial refueling capabilities and comprehensive electronic countermeasures capabilities were incorporated into the design.

On April 8th, 1991, the tactical and technical performance was approved by the General Staff and the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. In May of that year, the J-8C project was approved and included in the national plan by the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, the State Planning Commission, and the Ministry of Finance. Following this, trial production work commenced with stringent quality control measures, aiming to produce 3-6 prototypes.

The J-8C static test prototypes were fully assembled on July 28th, 1993, with the successful completion of the first test ensuring that the 01 prototypes took their inaugural flight as scheduled. The 01 prototype of the J-8C successfully completed its first flight on December 12th, 1993. Subsequently, the 03 prototype took its first flight on December 30th, 1994, followed by the 04 prototype on December 17th, 1995.

On October 31st, 1995, the first prototype was transferred to 630 institute, and on March 23rd, 1996, the third prototype was transferred to 630 institutes. On January 24, 1997, prototype number 04 was transferred to 630 institute, and an accident occurred during its landing. The cause of the accident was later determined to be poor weather conditions that day. At the end of the Yanliang Airport runway, a temporary ditch had been dug for laying cables, which the tower commander was unaware of. Pilot Li Tingguang’s visibility was compromised, making it difficult to distinguish airport landmarks clearly. As a result, the left landing gear struck the ditch and broke off, causing the aircraft to overrun the runway and collide with a tree, resulting in irreparable damage.

On the 20th of May in the year 1999, during the testing of the 05 prototype aircraft (designated as machine number 513) in Yanliang as an emergency replacement for the lost 04 prototype, a significant leak was unnoticed in the engine fuel system. This leak resulted in a fire, prompting the pilot to eject from the aircraft before it ultimately crashed.

The test flights were halted due to two accidents. By the year 2000, the development of J-8F was showing promising results. Due to the J-8F the significance of J-8C diminished and it was subsequently discontinued in 2001.

Technical Data


Crew - 1

Length - 21.389 m

Height - 5.41 m

Wingspan - 9.344 m

Empty Weight - 9,820 kg

Gross Weight - 14,536 kg

Max Takeoff Weight - 17,800 kg

Powerplant - 2 x WP-14 Turbojet Engines (49 kN Dry, 75 kN wet) [Each]

Max Speed - Mach 2.2 (2,200 km/h ?)

Climb Rate - 225 m/s

Service Ceiling - 19,600 m

Range - 1,250 km

Range with Drop Tanks - 2,150 km


1 x 23-3A Double Barreled 23mm Cannon (200 rpg)

4 x PL-5B/C/E AAMs

2 x PL-11 AAMs

4 x PL-8 AAMs

4 (6?) x HF-7A Rocket Pods

4 x (6?) HF-18 Rocket Pods

1 x 1,400 Litre Drop Tanks

2 x 800 Litre Drop Tanks


EL/M-2035 Radar

1st Gen RWR

2nd Gen CM








(Book)China’s Navy Ships and Aircraft of the People’s Republic of China, 1955 - 2021 (Page B-9)

(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft, vol.3 (Page 108 - 109)

(Book) Chinese Aircraft China’s Aviation Industry Since 1951. - Page 83


+1, would have been so much better than the J-8F


+1. More independently developed equipment, and now China TT is still a tree composed of copy and paste

But I think the radar on J-8C is Type 1471
(It is mentioned in page 84 of the third source you listed)

It is a Israeli EL/M-2035 as listed in two of the sources, and Type 1471 itself is a copy of the EL/M-2035, although i believe Type 1471 was only mounted on the J-8H

+1 add is before the J8F, or fold with it

The J-8C is real!
It should be before the J-8F, and would allow the J-8F to get its PL-12s (when they get added). The J-8C can take the place where the J-8F currently is, I think it would be a really easy and simple “swap”

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