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China bids adieu to J-6 fighters

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The MiG-19 Farmer was the first supersonic fighter built in the former USSR.

BEIJING (BNS): The People's Liberation Army has given a formal adieu to J-6 fighters, the Chinese-built version of the Soviet MiG-19 Farmer fighter aircraft, a RIA Novosti report said.

China has been using the J-6 as remote control target drones and pilot trainers after the fighter aircraft retired from combat duties in 2005.

The PLA Air Force held on Saturday an official farewell ceremony for the J-6.

Although the Soviet Union had stopped production of the fighter aircraft in 1957, the Chinese continued to produce about 4,000 J-6 fighters from 1958 to mid-1980s.

The J-6, according to the report, was exported to many developing countries and took part in a number of armed conflicts, including the Vietnam War.

The export version of the aircraft, the F-6, is reportedly still in active service in Iran, Myanmar, North Korea and Sudan, it said.

The aircraft - the core of the Chinese fighter fleet until mid-1990s - has a maximum speed of Mach 1.45 and a service ceiling of 17,900 m (58,700 ft). Combat radius with two drop tanks is about 640 km (400 mi). In addition to the powerful cannon armament, most versions of the aircraft have a maximum payload of 500 kg (1,100 lb), it added.

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