F-8M / J-8M Fighter
F-8M multi-role Fighter is the upgraded version of F-8 fighter family. Equipped with state-of-art integrate avionic and various advanced guided weapon. The F-8IIM is equipped with an advanced combined electronic countermeasures system to detect and track enemy radar from tail-behind, including centimetre-band conventional radar, frequency-agile radar, and PD radar to conduct active jamming of enemy radar, warn the pilot and control the electronic-chaff dispenser automatically.
The F-8IIM advanced integrated fire control system includes a HUD fire control system, MFD, ZHUK-8II radar system, ADC system, combined inertial navigation and global positioning system, and an IFF system. The system has all-weather, all-altitude self-contained navigation capability, with greatly improved positioning accuracy.
The advanced integrated fire control system allows the F-8IIM aircraft to detect, intercept and track both single and multiple targets, assess the target threat, carry out the best interception-control calculations, attack the high-threat target selected manually or automatically. The fire control system also supplies the fire-control computation and display for infrared missiles, semi-active medium-range interceptor missiles and fire-and-forget missiles.
The ZHUK-8II radar installed on the F-8IIM is an X-band system operating in 14 modes. This radar system can detect the air target on ground (ocean) background and flying in free space. It can track 10 targets under the remaining search mode, and attack two targets simultaneously.
The aircraft features high air-to-air operational capability, a type 23-3 high-speed twin-barrel cannon, the PL-5C infrared missile, the PL-p infrared dogfight missile, and the P-27P1 medium-range interceptor missile. It also features the P-27 infrared dogfight missile, the PBB-AE fire-and-forget missile, and the X-31A medium-range air-to-ship missile, giving it a total of six different missile systems on board at the same time — all capable of being launched according to a position-selection sequence.
In head-on long-range combat, the F-8IIM enjoys a distinct advantage over various other fighters in its price range and class. With the installation of the PBB-AE missile, the F-8IIM can compete effectively in combat operations with advanced third-generation fighter aircraft.
As a result of the fast improving Sino-Russia relation in the early 1990s, the SAC was able to improve its F-8II fighter with Russian technologies. In 1996, the SAC introduced the F-8IIM fighter intended for the export market. The aircraft featured a Russian Phazotron Zhuk-8II pulse-Doppler fire-control radar specially tailored for the F-8II fighter, coupled with the Vympel R-27R1 (NATO codename: AA-10 Alamo-A) semi-active radar-homing MRAAM. This package provided the F-8II with ‘real’ BVR combat capability for the first time.
The first F-8IIM built from the F-8II prototype '57' flew successfully on 31 March 1996. The aircraft made its debut during the first Zhuhai Air Show in November 1996. According to the introduction of Shenyang, the F-8IIM featured the following improvements:
* Russian Phazotron Zhuk-8II coherent pulse-Doppler fire-control radar (X-band)
The X-band Phazotron Zhuk-8II coherent pulse-Doppler fire-control radar has a maximum detecting range of 75km against airborne targets and 100km against sea surface targets. When in the air-to-air mode, the radar can track up to ten airborne targets and attack two of them simultaneously. With its 14 operating modes, the radar can guide a range of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons including R-27R1 (AA-10 Alamo-A) MRAAM and Kh-31A (AS-17 Krypton-A) supersonic anti-ship missile.
The SAC sponsored the F-8IIM project using its own funding with no PLA support. The aircraft mainly targeted foreign customers but the SAC hoped that the PLA would also be attracted to this design. However, so far the aircraft failed to receive any order from either international or domestic customers, partially due to the complexity of aircraft maintenance involving both Chinese and Russian manufacturers.
In 2004, Shenyang introduced a revised F-8IIM design featuring purely Chinese developed avionics, possibly based on the design of the F-8F fighter deployed by the PLAAF. The new 2004 version F-8IIM is fitted with a Chinese indigenous JL-10A (or Type 1492) pulse-Doppler fire-control radar with both air-to-air and enhanced air-to-surface capabilities. As well as the R-27R1 (AA-10A) semi-active radar-homing MRAAM and Kh-31A anti-ship missile, the new F-8IIM is also capable of firing the Chinese indigenous PL-12 (SD-10) active radar-homing ‘fire-and-forget’ MRAAM and laser guided bombs.
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