Electronic warfare is all the rage these days, and Chinese weapons are packed with electronics. With the unveiling of the newest Chinese weapons platform, here are some similarities and differences between the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (PLAAF’s) Shenyang J-16D.


Shenyang J-16D 

China began development on the Shenyang J-16 multirole strike fighter in the mid-2010s. Based on the Chinese version of the Russian Sukhoi Su-27, China took the jet, license-produced it as the J-11, then developed that into the J-16 strike jet, which was introduced into the PLAAF in 2015. 

Fast forward to 2021, when the Chinese debuted the Shenyang J-16D at the Zhuhai airshow on September 28. Built off the J-16 platform, the J-16D is a twin-seat, twin-engine, multirole fighter, with “advanced” electronic warfare capabilities. Quotation marks are used because, as with many Chinese weapons and systems, there are no real indications yet that the aircraft performs as expected.