Austin wrote:What the chinese managed to reverse engineer is the basic Su-27SK and if the reports are to be true they did a bad job at it , the SK are very old Flanker with very basic capability.
Russia will not sign any deal with China till the chinese give a firm commitment that they will respect IP and wont reverse engineer and they will also make sure reverse engineering is more difficult with loads of black boxes with proprietary code.
I don't know what reports you've been reading, but the J-11B is much more advanced than the Su-27SK. They only reverse engineered the airframe, and even that has much more composite material and a redesigned intake. All the other systems are Chinese.
DavidD wrote:The difference between the J-11B and the Su-35 is small enough that it'd probably take China longer to reverse engineer the Su-35 than to indigenously develop the technology. That's why I don't think China will go for it.
If the gap is small, why will it take more time to apply the core skills of reverse engineering?
To reverse engineer something, you'd essentially need to get into the original designer's head and understand his thought process. It's a very long and difficult process. For example, have you ever taken a programming course? I'm sure someone here has. If you look at two people's projects for even a relatively short program(say ~1000 lines), you'd see completely different thought processes and methods of implementation. It's a real pain in the butt to read someone else's code even if you've written a program that does almost the exact same thing. It's much easier to improve your own codes than to try to understand someone else's, especially when the other person's codes don't come with proper annotation.
Besides, the real difficulty isn't in the design of the plane, it's in the construction of the parts. For example, it's useless to know the dimensions and functions of every part of the AL-41 engine if you can't manufacture the single crystal blades. To draw an easier analogy, we all know the structure of a pencil, it's just a piece of lead surrounded by wood. But if I give you a chunk of lead ore and a tree, can you make me a pencil?