China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force retired the last of its Shenyang J-6 fighters at a ceremony on June 12.
A licenced copy of the MiG-19 ‘Farmer’ fighter, the Soviet Union’s first supersonic fighter, more than 4000 J-6s were built for the PLAAF between 1958 and the early 1980s, and hundreds more were exported as the F-6. The aircraft was retired from front line service in 2005 but had remained in service as trainers (as the JJ-6) and drones. The Nanchang Q-5 was developed from the J-6 as a strike aircraft with a weapons bay, reduced sweep wings, side intakes and a nose radome, and remains in Chinese, North Korean and Pakistani service in numbers.
The F-6 is reported to still be in service in Iran, Myanmar, North Korea and Sudan.