Aircraft And Military Development & Applications
Also known as the “Vigorous Dragons”. The squad of about 400 J-10s were built by Chengdu Aircraft Industries. This jet can be either a one pilot (J-10A) or two pilot seater (J-10). The Chengdu J-10 is a lightweight multirole fighter aircraft capable of all-weather operation, configured with a delta wing and canard design, with fly-by-wire flight controls. The development program for the J-10 started back in 2002 and roughly cost $75 million (USD). The jet is still being used by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. Cost: Approximately $27.8 Million per Jet.
Maximum speed: 2,327 km/h (1,446 mph), Range: 1,150 mi, Maiden flight: 23 Mar 1998, Length: 50.82 ft, Wingspan: 31.99 ft, Passengers: 2
The J-10 multi-role fighter is the first Chinese-developed combat aircraft that approaches Western fighters in terms of performance and capabilities. It is known as Meng Long or Vigorous Dragon in China and as Firebird in the West.
Development of the J-10 began in 1988. It was intended to counter threat posed by the Soviet forth-generation fighters - the MiG-29 and Su-27. The J-10 was initially planned as an air-superiority fighter, however collapse of the Soviet Union and changing requirements shifted the development towards a multi-role fighter. Aircraft made its maiden flight in 1998. The whole project was kept under high secrecy. It is worth mentioning, that the first photos of the J-10 came out only 3-4 years after the first flight. Some sources claim that it was influenced by the IAI Lavi. The J-10 multi-role fighter entered service with Chinese air force in 2004, however it was first publicly revealed only in 2006. Currently around 240 of these aircraft are in service. It is estimated that 300 fighter of this type will be required for Chinese air force and possibly naval aviation too. A number of countries, including Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Thailand shown interest in purchasing this aircraft.
The J-10 has a single engine. The first batch of about 50 aircraft is powered by Russian AL-31FN turbofan engines. This batch was delivered to Chinese air force between 2004 and 2006. An indigenous turbofan was under development.
The J-10 has beyond visual range air combat and surface attack capabilities. Aircraft has 11 external hardpoints for a range of weapons. Alternatively it can carry target acquisition, navigation pods or auxiliary fuel tanks. It is worth mentioning that the J-10 has an in-flight refueling capability.
The main armament on the air-superiority missions are the PL-12 medium-range active radar-homing air-to-air missiles. For close ranges it carries the PL-8 infrared-homing missiles. For surface attack role the J-10 carries up to six 500-kg laser-guided bombs, free-fall bombs or 90-mm unoperated rocket pods. Aircraft is also completed with a single-barrel 23-mm cannon.
The J-10 is fitted with an indigenously designed pulse-doppler fire control radar. It is capable of tracking 10 targets simultaneously and attacking 4 of them. Estimated maximum detection range is 100 km. Aircraft is fitted with a fly-by-wire system.
A two-seat variant, the J-10S fighter-trainer, is available. It is identical to the single-seat variant, but has a stretched fuselage to accommodate second pilot seat. The J-10S can be used for pilot training or as a standard fighter. This aircraft maid its maiden flight in 2003.
J-10B multi-role fighter, with improved airframe and avionics. It is powered by Chinese WS-10 turbofan engine. It is worth noting that the first J-10 aircraft had Russian engines. It entered service with China's air force in 2014. At least 14 aircraft were delivered during the same year. The J-10B is likely to become a standard production model.
Length: 15.49 m (50.82 ft)
Wingspan: 9.75 m (31.99 ft)
Height: 5.43 m (17.81 ft)
Wing area: 39 m² (356.3 ft²)
Empty weight: 8,850 kg (21,495 lb)
Useful load: 6,000 kg (13,200lb)
Loaded weight: 12,400 kg (28,600 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 19,277 kg (42,500 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Saturn-Lyulka AL-31FN or WS-10A turbofan
Dry thrust: 79.43 kN / 89.17 kN (17,860 lbf / 19,000 lbf)
Thrust with afterburner: 125 kN / 130 kN (27,999 lbf / 29,000 lbf)
Role: Multirole combat aircraft
National origin: China
Manufacturer: Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group
Design group: Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute
First flight: 23 March 1998
Status: In service
Primary user: People's Liberation Army Air Force
Produced: 2002 - present
Number built: ~550
Program cost: 500 million RMB allocated in 1982 (Project #10)
Unit cost: 190 million RMB (27.84 million USD; 2010)
Developed from: Chengdu J-9
Maximum speed: Mach 2.2 at altitude, Mach 1.2 at sea level
Combat radius: 550 km (342 mi)
Ferry range: 1,850 km (1,150 mi)
Service ceiling: 18,000 m (59,055 ft)
Wing loading: 381 kg/m² (78 lb/ft²)
Thrust/weight: 1.15 (with AL-31FN3); 1.16 (with WS-10B)
Maximum g-load: +9/-3 g
Guns: 1× Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23
Hardpoints: 11 in total (6× under-wing, 5× under-fuselage) with a capacity of 7,000 kg (15,400 lb) external fuel and ordnance
Rockets: 90 mm unguided rocket pods
Laser-guided bombs: (LT-2)
Glide bombs: (LS-6, GB3, GB2A, GB3A)
Satellite-guided bombs: (FT-1)
Unguided bombs: 250 kg, 500 kg
Up to 3 external fuel drop-tanks (1× under-fuselage, 2× under-wing) for extended range and loitering time
Type 1473H pulse-doppler fire control radar
Externally mounted avionics pods:
Type Hongguang-I infra-red search and track pod
BM/KG300G self-protection jamming pod
KZ900 electronic reconnaissance pod
Blue Sky navigation/attack pod
FILAT (Forward-looking Infra-red Laser Attack Targeting) pod
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Nigel G Wilcox
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