Shenyang J-6

The Shenyang J-6 (Chinese: ?-6; designated F-6 for export versions; NATO Code: Farmer) was the Chinese-built version of the Soviet MiG-19 'Farmer' fighter aircraft.

Shenyang J-6
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Shenyang Aircraft Corporation
Production Period 1958 - 1986
Origin China
Country Name Origin Year
China 1958
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Albania View
Bangladesh View
Burma View
Cambodia (Kampuchea) View
China 1962 1990 View
Egypt View
Iran (Persia) View
Iraq View
North Korea View
Pakistan 1962 2002 View
Somalia View
Sudan View
Tanzania View
Vietnam View
Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Shenyang Aircraft Corporation 1958 1986 4500 View

Although the MiG-19 had a comparatively short life in Soviet service, the Chinese came to value its agility, turning performance, and powerful cannon armament, and produced it for their own use between 1958 and 1981. While the basic Soviet-designed MiG-19 has been retired from all nations, the Shenyang J-6 still flies for nine of its original 15 operators, however, in a very limited capacity. The J-6 airframe contributed to the Chinese ground attack version, the Q-5, which still flies for numerous nations.

The J-6 was considered "disposable" and was intended to be operated for only 100 flight hours (or approximately 100 sorties) before being overhauled. The Pakistan Air Force was often able to extend this to 130 hours with diligent maintenance.


Albanian Air Force J-6s replaced the J-5s on the border to intercept Yugoslav incursions into Albanian airspace. However, the J-6 was ineffective against the faster Yugoslav MiG-21 'Fishbed'. Once the F-7A became available, the J-6 was redeployed to guard Tirana. As of 2005 all Albanian fighters were grounded due to lack of spare parts.

Indo-Pakistan Wars

The F-6 was flown by the Pakistan Air Force from 1965 to 2002, the aircraft design undergoing around 140 modifications to improve its capabilities in the interceptor and close air support roles. The PAF F-6 fighters participated in the Indo-Pak War 1971 against India, scoring approximately 6 confirmed aerial victories including one Indian Mig-21. The three Pakistani J-6 squadrons flew nearly a thousand sorties, during which the PAF lost 3 F-6 to ground fire and one in aerial combat. An F-6 was also lost to friendly fire. One of the F-6 pilots shot down was Wajid Ali Khan, who was taken as a POW and later became a Member of Parliament in Canada. The single seat F-6 was retired from the Pakistani Air Force in 2002, but the two-seat trainer, the FT-6, remains in service in very small numbers.

Vietnam War

The supersonic speed advantage provided by the MiG-21's more modern turbojet engine was found to be not as useful in combat as originally thought, because aerial dogfights at the time were conducted almost entirely in the sub-sonic speed regime. The J-6 (and hence the MiG-19 also) was found to be more manoeuvrable than the MiG-21 and, although slower, its acceleration during dogfights was considered adequate. The North Vietnamese Air Force fielded at least one unit of J-6 during the war, the 925th Fighter Regiment, beginning in 1969.

Ogaden War

Somalian J-6's participated in the Ogaden War and suffered greatly because of the superior opposition faced (Cuban pilots fought for Ethiopia). Over 75% of the Somali Air Force was destroyed in the war but some J-6s and survived until the country turned into turmoil in the early 1990s.

Uganda-Tanzania War

During the Uganda-Tanzania War, Tanzanian J-6's and Shenyang F-5s were tasked to handle any possible Ugandan fighters which consisted of MiG-15's and MiG-17's, while F-7A's were tasked to handle more advanced aircraft of Ugandan allies, such as the Libyan Tupolev Tu-22 'Blinder'.

Kampuchea-Vietnam War

In the era of Khmer Rouge control of Cambodia, Chinese-supplied Khmer J-6s participated in Kampuchea-Vietnamese border clashes for ground attacks. During the Vietnamese invasion in 1978, the Cambodian aircraft were reluctant to take-off to intercept the Vietnamese ones, thus the Vietnamese captured a number of J-6s and put them on public display.

Iran-Iraq War

During Iran-Iraq War, both sides deployed J-6 fighter jets. Iran's J-6 fighters were reported sourced from North Korea. Iraq's J-6 fighters were transferred from Egyptian Air Force. Most missions J-6s performed during Iran-Iraq War were air-to-ground attack.

Role Fighter aircraft
Manufacturer Shenyang Aircraft Corporation
First flight 17 December 1958
Introduction 29 April 1962(1964,practical type)
Retired Late 1990s (China)
Mid-2002 (Pakistan)
Status retired from 2006 to 12 June 2010 (PLAAF)
Primary users People's Liberation Army Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
North Korea Air Force
Bangladesh Air Force
Produced 1958–1986
Number built 4,500+(including JJ-6 trainer)
Developed from Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19
Variants Nanchang Q-5

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 12.54 m (41 ft)
  • Wingspan: 9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 25.0 m² (270 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 5,447 kg (11,983 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 7,560 kg (16,632 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Liming Wopen-6A (Tumansky RD-9B) afterburning turbojets, 36.78 kN (8,267 lbf) each
  • Fuel capacity: 1,800 kg (3,960 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 1,540 km/h (960 mph)
  • Range: 640 km (400 mi); combat 2,200 km (1,375 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 17,900 m (58,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 180 m/s (35,425 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 302.4 kg/m² (61.6 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.86


  • 3x 30 mm NR-30 cannons (70 rounds per gun for wing guns, 55 rounds for fuselage gun)
  • Up to 250 kg (550 lb) of unguided bombs or rockets pods, or PL-2/PL-5 (Chinese versions of Soviet K-13 (NATO AA-2 'Atoll') air-to-air missiles on 4 underwing pylons

End notes