J-15D aka J-17: The Sino-Growler

Noticeable in this image are the two huge electronic warfare pods on the J-15D’s wingtips, either electronic support measures or electronic intelligence equipment. Following the latest reports, the J-15S has been abandoned and merged with the J-15D into a multi-role carrier variant J-17.
Chinese internet

For the first time clear images of the new J-15D – aka J-17 electronic warfare aircraft for the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force have been released in the west. Already labelled as the ‘Chinese-Growler’, the aircraft, the J-15D is based on the dualseat J-15S trainer, which first flew on November 3, 2012, and incorporates technologies from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s J-16D, itself an electronic warfare variant of the twin-seat Shenyang J-16 strike fighter.

According to reliable sources, a J-15D testbed was first flown back in October 2016 and this latest aircraft is the first true prototype.

Andreas Rupprecht