It was first rumored in August 2010 that SAC is developing a 3.5 generation heavy multi-role fighter bomber (J-16?) based on J-11BS. The aircraft can be viewed as an upgraded version of Su-30MKK based on its mission and capability, which is comparable to American F-15E.
First flight was rumored to be between 2011-2012. J-16 has tandem seats with a WSO sitting in the backseat. It features an enhanced fire-control system (AESA?) with additional AG modes. Besides PL-8 and PL-12 AAMs, it could also carry the same precision guided weapons being carried by JH-7A, such as KD-88 ASM and LS-500J LGB.Compared to JH-7A, J-16 is expected to have a more powerful radar (AESA?), a greater weapon load (8t) and a longer range (4,000km).