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Originally posted by exportedkiwi at 2010-7-17 17:45
The aircraft are retiring because they'reno longer viable in current projected threat environments and would merely be targets and deathtraps for the pilots. Maybe, the newer ones can be based up i ...
Look, you Guys might not know it, but to many a Chinese military enthusiast as myself, it's a well known fact that the J-6 has practically been written off as the backbone of China's air defense since the late 80's and 90's.
Newer J-7 series and J-8's, coupled with the nuke-dedicated Q-5 served as the hub of China's air defenses ever since late 90's and better half of the decade following the new millennium.
The reason the J-7 & 8 have taken over rein from the J-6 is because both the J-7 and the J-8 maxes out @ better than twice the speed of sound (Mach 2.2 and Mach 2.4 respective) which are essential in dealing with the speed of America's F-4 and the hot out of the oven teen series of fighters and, Russia MiG-23/27 class of fighters.
Older aircafts such as J-5 (MiG-15/17) and J-6's are essentially stationed in the Qinghai/Xinjiang region only because these regions are inaccessable to MiG-23 and Su-27's because the Himalayas, the Taklamaktans, and the Gobi served as a natural range barrier against intruders.
From there (90's) onwards, like some of the older J-7's of the present, the J-6's are either utilized as target drones for combat practices or, modified into intelligence gathering UAV's, or crude cruise missiles, or... as training platforms for rookies to accumalate flight hours and experiences,
I guess why they officially announced the retirement of the -6 now is because it (J-6) is not a winning proposition anymore [income generating wise] because soon after the inauguration of Pakistan's JF-17, Pakistan, which is China's principle exporter for J-6's, announced that the J-6 will be retired from the PAF and that means no more orders for J-6. Africa, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka, Egypt, China's other arms exporters, all fancies K-8's and J-7's.
It's like the VW Beatle. You don't have a big enough of a market to support the plant, the plant and its product ceases operation.