The program was authorized by Deng Xiaoping who allocated ¥ 0.5 billion to develop an indigenous aircraft. Work on Project #10 started several years later in January 1988, as a response to the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 then being introduced by the USSR, and F-15, F-16 being introduced by the USA. Development was delegated to the 611 Institute, also known as the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute and Song Wencong was nominated as the chief designer, as he had previously been the chief designer of the J-7III. The aircraft was initially designed as a specialized fighter, but later became a multirole aircraft capable of both air-to-air combat and ground attack missions.
The J-10 resembles the IAI Lavi and is reported to be developed from the US F-16 with assistance from Israeli engineers. The general designer Song Wencong said that J-10 was a development of the indigenous J-9 which preceded the Lavi. This was echoed by a PLAAF’s major Zhang Weigang in a 2012 interview.
In 2006, the Russian Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute (SibNIA) confirmed its participation in the J-10 program; SibNIA claimed to have only observed and instructed as “scientific guides”, while its engineers also believed the J-10 was “more or less a version” of the Lavi design, incorporating “a melting pot of foreign technology and acquired design methods”.
The J-10 was officially unveiled by the Chinese government in January 2007, when photographs were published by Xinhua News Agency. The aircraft’s existence was known long before the announcement, although concrete details remained scarce due to secrecy.
AVIC plans to market an upgraded J-10 for export, most likely the J-10B, once development is complete. Several countries have shown interest.
The airframe is constructed from metal alloys and composite materials for high strength and low weight, the airframe‘s aerodynamic layout adopts a “tail-less canard delta” wing configuration. A large delta wing is mid-mounted towards the rear of the fuselage, while a pair of canards (or foreplanes) are mounted higher up and towards the front of the fuselage, behind and below the cockpit. This configuration provides very high agility, especially at low speeds, and also reduces stall speed, allowing for a lower airspeed during instrument approaches. A large vertical tail is present on top of the fuselage and small ventral fins underneath the fuselage provide further stability.
Tangentially located four-petal airbrakes on the rear fuselage (2 are located next to the tail and the other 2 are located between the ventral stabilators.A closeup the interior of one of the J-10’s ventral airbrakes. Interiors of airbrakes and bays are painted red as they are on US Navy aircraft to alert groundcrew of deployment.The segmented afterburner nozzle of the AL-31FN turbofan. The AL-31FN produces 17,857lbs of thrust dry and 27,557lbs of thrust in afterburner.The ventral engine intake of the J-10. The 2 segmented inlet ramp is perforated to prevent ingestion of the stagnant boundary layer. The ramp is designed to slow down incoming air to subsonic speeds before the airflow reaches the turbofan engine face. The forward segment of the ramp appears to have a range of motion, at the forward hinge, 30 degrees.
A rectangular air intake ramp and a Splitter plate (aeronautics) (only on J-10A) are located underneath the fuselage, providing the air supply to the engine. Also under the fuselage and wings are 11 hardpoints, used for carrying various types of weaponry and drop-tanks containing extra fuel.
The cockpit is covered by a two-piece bubble canopy providing 360 degrees of visual coverage for the pilot. The canopy lifts upwards to permit cockpit entry and exit. The Controls take the form of a conventional centre stick and a throttle stick located to the left of the pilot. These also incorporate “hands on throttle and stick” (HOTAS) controls. A zero-zero ejection seat is provided for the pilot, permitting safe ejection in an emergency even at zero altitude and zero speed.
The cockpit had three liquid crystal (LCD) Multi-function displays (MFD) along with a Chinese developed holographic head-up display (HUD), all of which are fully compatible with a domestic Chinese advanced helmet mounted sight (HMS), claimed by Chinese to be superior than the HMS on Sukhoi Su-27 sold to China.
Chinese J-10A Fighter Jet Locks on Su-30MKK2 Flanker: Here
According to Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation officials the J-10 uses a multi-mode fire-control radar designed in China. The radar has a mechanically scanned planar arrayantenna and is capable of tracking 10 targets. Of the 10 targets tracked, 2 can be engaged simultaneously with semi-active radar homing missiles or 4 can be engaged with active radar homing missiles.
For J-10B, the nose cone is modified to accommodate an active phased array airborne radar (AESA) radar. According to Chinese governmental media, the AESA for J-10B took 8 years to develop, finally completed in 2008, and Chinese fighter radars hence achieved a quantum leap in that it went from mechanically scanned planar slotted array directly into AESA, skipping the passive phased array PESA radar. Many suspected the radar is a PESA, but during its brief debuts in the 7th China International Defense Electronics Exhibition (CIDEX) in May 2010 and the 6th International Conference on Radar held in Beijing in Sept 2011, Chinese official sources have claimed it is an AESA.
China have entered into contract to purchase the upgraded AL-31FN Series 3 that provides 13,700 kgf thrust and a 2,250-hour service life for future deliveries.
- Crew: 1
- 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: 9,750 kg (21,495 lb)
- Loaded weight: 12,400 kg (28,600 lb)
- Useful load: 6,000 kg (13,200lb)
- 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)
Saturn-Lyulka AL-31FNWS-10A turbofan
- 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
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:
Source: Wiki, Chinese Military Review, The Lexicans, Air Power Australia
Estimated Unit Cost: USD 28 million (2010 Version A)
Updated Oct 29, 2016
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It seems many countries are interested as Cambodia sent their Air Force Officers to China recently to study the J-10 (Credit Mr. Khemerak T. Meas)
J-10B fires YJ-91 anti-radiation missile and hits target: Here
J-10B’s glass cockpit
J-10B – Image: errymath.blogspot.com
J-10B with folding wings
WS 10 Engine
Artist impression of J-10B
J-10C – Image: errymath.blogspot.com
Meanwhile the J-10C 2-01 prototype took to the sky for the first time on Dec 31, 2013.
The aircraft appears to have high similarity with J-10B. Source errymath.blogspot.com
J-10C with homemade engine conducts trial flight
Recently Chinese military fans took pictures of a J-10C fighter in trial flight. J-10C is an improved version based on J-10 fighter jet (NATO codename: Firefly), and is said to be positioned as a fighter bomber.
It has been reported in May that J-10C had successfully tested China’s homemade FWS-10B engine, with stronger thrust than FWS-10 and additional FADEC system.
J-10C can take over four tons of ammunition, and is equipped with a targeting pod for launching precision-guided munitions. This kind of pod is reported to be similar to Israeli Rafael Arms’ Litening pod, of which a newer version is also used by U.S. fighter jets.
Some analysts also said J-10C is an improved version of J-10B, of which the production has been stopped. Compared to J-10B fighter jet, J-10C has improved electronic system and uses homemade improved engine, while other parts are just the same as J-10B.
This judgment is based on serial numbers of both types of fighter jets. J-10B type began its test flights in December 2008, and a J-10B fighter numbered “101” appeared in the second half of 2013. According to Chinese new-type aircrafts’ traditions, “1XX” number indicates that trial fight has ended, and formal production will begin.
J-10B No. 101
A prototype numbered “201” similar to J-10B appeared earlier this year, but it is different from production J-10B in some aspects. It has antennas both beneath the nose of the aircraft and on the back. Judged from the convention, “2XX” should be a largely improved version of “1XX”, so experts concluded that that was the rumored J-10C.
Prototype pf J-10C numbered 201
It seems that the J-10C has increased stealth features such as more RAM coating
Future J-10 concept
Artist impression of future J-10
Updated Nov 21, 2016