The J-8II series appear quite different from the original J-8, with a new forward fuselage, intakes and nose structure more reminiscent of the F-4 Phantom II or Sukhoi Su-15 to house a new, more powerful radar.
The J-8D has a fixed, non-retractable refuelling probe installed on the starboard side of the cockpit. Apart from its refuelling probe, the J-8D appeared to be identical to the J-8B in avionics and weapon configuration. The aircraft is deployed in limited numbers by the PLAAF and PLA Navy in central and southern China regions. With one refuelling, the aircraft’s combat radius can be extended from 800km to 1,200km, enabling it to reach the remote islands in the South China Sea.