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J-8 (Jian-8 Fighter aircraft 8) / F-8

The J-8 was the first PLAAF aircraft of domestic design, with design work beginning in 1964. The overall configuration is a rather straightforward enlargement of the MiG-21/J-7 layout to accomodate two engines. Although it resembled Mikoyan's experimental Ye-152A, contrary to some early reports, it was not based on that aircraft. Production began in December 1979, with about 100-150 units of the first configuration entering service. Design work on the improved J-8-2 began in 1980, with production beginning in the late 1980. As with the cancelled "Super 7" upgrade to the single-engine J-7, the J-8-2 completely reworks the front end of the aircraft, adding a much larger radar and ventral air inlets, along with various other less pronounced improvements. The best that can be said of the J-8 is that once upgraded it will be no more than an advanced obsolete aircraft, comparable in configuration and aerodynamic performance to the Su-15 FLAGON.

 

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