China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has taken a huge leap in its public demonstration capability by adding the modern J-10C fighter to its fleet.
Following PLAAF development plans, China becomes the third country, after Russia and the United States, to use 4.5 generation fighters for impressive aerobatic domestic and international flights.
An exceptional design: J-10C
The Chengdu J-10, also known as the Vigorous Dragon, is a multi-role fighter aircraft developed and manufactured by China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG). It is a fourth-generation, single-engine, lightweight fighter designed for air superiority and ground attack missions. The J-10 is considered a significant achievement in China’s indigenous fighter aircraft development program.
The development of the J-10 began in the late 1980s to address China’s need for modern fighter aircraft and to replace aging jets like the J-7 and J-8. The design incorporates advanced aerodynamics, composite materials, and a delta-wing configuration with canards to enhance maneuverability and reduce radar cross-section.
The J-10 is equipped with advanced avionics and systems, including a fly-by-wire flight control system, digital cockpit displays, and a modern radar system. Its primary engine is a single Russian-made AL-31F after-burning turbofan engine, providing high-speed and high-altitude performance.
In terms of weaponry, the J-10 can carry various air-to-air missiles, such as the PL-8 and PL-12, for aerial combat, as well as air-to-ground munitions like precision-guided bombs and anti-ship missiles for ground attack missions. It has several variants, including the J-10A, J-10B, and J-10C, with advancements in avionics, radar systems, and weapons integration.
The J-10 entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in the early 2000s and has since become a mainstay of China’s fighter aircraft fleet. It has demonstrated its capabilities in exercises and operational missions, contributing to China’s air defense capabilities. The J-10 has also attracted interest from international buyers, with Pakistan being one of its notable customers.
The design of the J-10 incorporates a delta-wing configuration, canards, and composite materials for enhanced maneuverability and reduced radar cross-section. It features a fly-by-wire flight control system, digital cockpit displays, and advanced radar systems. The J-10’s engine provides significant thrust, enabling high-speed and high-altitude performance. It can carry various air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and has seen continuous upgrades and variants over time.
The J-10 exhibits impressive speed, altitude capabilities, and maneuverability. It can engage in air-to-air combat using radar-guided and short-range missiles and has versatile air-to-ground capabilities for precision strikes and reconnaissance missions. Some variants are equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems, enhancing their ability to detect and counter enemy radar and electronic signals.
The PLAAF’s Bayi Aerobatic Team, which previously flew the J-10A and J-10S models, now has the J-10C. This new variant has been reconfigured to improve its aerodynamic design and features a special supersonic air intake that increases its stealth capabilities.
In addition, improvements have been made to the avionics systems, including radar and an infrared search and track system.
The 16th Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), which will be held in Malaysia from May 23 to 27, will be the venue where the team will make its first demonstrations.
As reported by China Central Television (CCTV), seven J-10C fighters and two Y-20 transport planes have already departed from an airfield of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force, located in the southwest of the country, bound for Malaysia.
With the J-10C, China has strengthened its ability to impress the world with its aerobatic prowess in the air. This new Chinese Air Force aerobatic aircraft marks an important milestone and underscores the nation’s growing dominance in the military aerospace arena.