China impresses the world with state-of-the-art aerobatics.

China has taken a big step in the airshow arena by becoming the third country to use 4+ generation fighters to perform impressive aerobatics in the air.

In clear defiance to the United States and Russia, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s Bayi aerobatic team has adopted the J-10C, soon to unveil it at a maritime and aerospace exhibition in Malaysia. This change demonstrates the trust and openness of the PLA Air Force to the rest of the world.

China and its risky bet

The use of advanced combat aircraft in aerobatic displays represents a considerable risk, given the history of accidents in similar events worldwide. Unlike most countries using older generation or trainer aircraft, China has opted for J-10C fighters, significantly improving over the previously used J-7GB.

In the past, J-7GBs have been replaced by J-10s, fourth-generation aircraft that wowed the audience at the Zhuhai Airshow in 2022 with exciting maneuvers.

Improvements on the J-10C

The J-10C, an upgraded version of the J-10A/S, has significantly changed its aerodynamic design, including supersonic diverters and a revised nose cone.

In addition, upgrades have been added to the avionics system, radar, and an infrared search and track system, putting it half a step ahead of its predecessor, the J-10A, in terms of combat capability.

China dazzles at international events.

China’s participation in the upcoming Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia is a clear sign of its growing influence in the field of aviation. The display of the J-10C at this exhibition demonstrates the prowess and skill of Chinese pilots, as well as the technological superiority of its fighter jets.

China is in a constant process of modernization and is determined to compete on an equal footing with the world’s superpowers.

A global acrobatic competition

The United States, for its part, has its famous ‘Blue Angels’ aerobatic squadron, made up of 4.5th generation F/A-18E/F fighter jets. These teams from China and the United States captivate audiences with impressive and challenging maneuvers. The world of air shows is

Future of J-10 

The J-10, China’s answer to the MiG-29 and F-16, was developed in the 1990s to replace outdated People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft. The program aimed to create an advanced fighter and improve key technologies. 

The J-10 features a large delta wing with canards for increased maneuverability, reminiscent of the French Mirage fighters. Its solitary intake underneath the cockpit resembles the F-16, and it initially utilized the Russian-built AL-31 engine.

In terms of weaponry, the J-10 is a conventional multirole fighter with various hardpoints for carrying Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground munitions. The J-10A employed a mechanically scanned radar, while the J-10B upgraded to a PESA version, and the J-10C features an AESA radar. The J-10B improved avionics and incorporated an IRST system.

Although the J-10C has seen advancements, China’s focus appears to be shifting toward the more capable J-11 fighter. The J-10C, equipped with NATO standard pylons, is currently more proficient in air-to-ground missions. China’s development of stealth fighters, such as the FC-31, could potentially replace the J-10 in the future.

Despite its evolution and potential replacements, the J-10 should not be underestimated. As China continues to enhance its indigenous radars and integrate new AESA systems, the J-10 can remain a credible threat, particularly when launching missiles from a distance.

 However, the aircraft’s constant redesigns suggest a less mature aerodynamic design. The information summarized here is derived from an interview given by Wang Lao on CCTV, providing insights into the development and capabilities of the J-10.