Red Dragon 'Flankers'
China's Prolific 'Flanker' Family
Imprint: Harpia Publishing
256 Pages, 8.27 x 11 in
- December 2022
- In Stock
Noted for its exceptional performance, the Sukhoi Su-27 is not only one of the most capable fourth-generation fighters but its development history is also remarkably rich. The ‘Flanker’ story took on a new industrial and political dimension when the Su-27 was chosen by China to meet the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s requirement for a new fourth-generation type.
This was a win-win-situation: Russia received a much-needed multi-billion-dollar contract and the PLAAF, for the first time, obtained a true high-end fourth-generation fighter. However, what followed was a complex drama, with both sides telling different stories. Following the direct sale from Russia, China obtained a contract for license manufacturing. This yielded mixed success in the beginning and by the time the manufacturing procedures had evolved and improved, the licensed J-11 fighters no longer met the PLAAF’s requirements.
Subsequently, China developed indigenous variants of the ‘Flanker’ equipped with improved avionics, weapons, and engines, which Russia regards as a breach of the formal agreement. Regardless of whether these ‘Sino-Flankers’ are illegal copies, evolved clones or indigenous versions, the Chinese ‘Flanker’ series ultimately evolved into a wide range of variants, sometimes with no true counterparts in Russia.
This book provides a full overview of the Chinese ‘Flanker’ family, describing the genesis of this family and providing a review of the variants, their systems, and capabilities and how they are used by the People’s Liberation Army.
"The physical presentation is good, with illustrations including 225 color photographs and 24 color profiles of different ‘Flanker’ versions, all on high quality paper, tightly bound. Graphics include tables of aircraft performance, orders of battle, a map and a useful ‘Flanker’ family tree setting out the intertwined Russian and Chinese versions." ~The NYMAS Review
"With its comprehensive coverage of Chinese military airpower and aviation development, this book is an indispensable addition to the collection of anyone with an interest in these subjects." ~Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs
"For the many Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fans out there, this book just broadens the scope of what was previously known about this theater and operator." ~Large Scale Planes
"One of the most interesting discussions that pops up is one regarding production numbers. Rupprecht does a good job breaking down the methods by which researchers can analyze serial numbers and construction numbers to determine an individual airframe's place in the production run, as well as how many airframes are produced per production block. For anyone interested in Chinese ORBAT, this alone is worth finding a copy." ~The Caffeinated Analyst
"Overall this is an excellent book that I would place in the essential category for anyone with an interest in contemporary Chinese aircraft in general and especially for those with an interest in the Chinese naval air arm." ~Australian Naval Institute
“Despite only comprising five chapters and a single appendix, the wealth of information contained in the book’s 250+ pages is prodigious. I should warn you that it is not a book to be simply picked up and read from cover to cover. It is, however, one of that rare breed of non-fiction books that is to be savoured, to be dipped into and enjoyed and to return to time and time again to discover bits and pieces you had missed previously or had forgotten about. Highly recommended.” ~Asian Air Arms