Chengdu J-10A/B & C

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.


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.

pic_84J-7III (Above)

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”.

iai_lavi_l5IAI Lavi

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.

20131222-111114Tangentially 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.20131222-111138A 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.20131222-111143The segmented afterburner nozzle of the AL-31FN turbofan. The AL-31FN produces 17,857lbs of thrust dry and 27,557lbs of thrust in afterburner.20131222-111212The 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.

20131222-111218A closeup of the forward inlet ramp’s perforation. Note the red engine air intake cover.

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 array antenna 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.

J-10B Prototype-1031

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. (See below for more details)



The J-10A is powered by a single Russian Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engine giving a maximum static power output of 12,500kgf. The AL-31FN is based on the AL-31F which was designed for a twin engine aircraft such as the Su-27, to fit the smaller J-10 the engine parts have been moved and re-designed to fit the smaller engine bay in the J-10.

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.


AL-31FN1AL-31FN Series 3

In the early 90s, the Chinese Air Force turned to Russia with a plea for a supply of power units for the new F-10 (J-10) fighter. The airplane was devised on the basis of the former Israeli project called Lavi, terminated by the U.S. intervention in 1986. First, it was assumed that the chinese airplane will be powered by an american engine PW1120, which was created specially for the airplane Lavi, and as an alternative to power airplane F-4. After the apply of an embargo on the construction of Western equipment in China, it was decided to integrate the Russian engine AL-31F to a new airplane

On the basis of a resolution made by the Government of the Russian Federation from 30.1.1992, nine test AL-31FN should have been built in Saturn. Signing the pact of military-technical cooperation of Russia with other country at the time, just after the breakup of the Soviet Union, was rather unique event. Work on the engine were fully financed by a foreign submitter, it was the first time ever that Russian design office worked on a foreign contract. In addition, it was also the first case where all the documentation submitted went directly to the office Saturn, but not through the state. As a part of the contract, Saturn committed to the creation of engines, installing them into airplanest and ensuring all tests.

Work on the AL-31FN was in progress in the years 1992-1994. To place it in a new aiplane, it was neccessary to move the gearbox from the top of the bottom, then N (Nižná) in the labelling of the engine. Although the contract was to build nine engines, during the development, a total of 14 engines were built that have undergone the control of all Air Force RF ground tests. Then the engines transmitted to the Chinese side to implement the flight tests, during which a total of 1,500 flights were made, the engine has met the requirements imposed on it.

After the issue of approval for the manufacture of the engine arose a question of which plant will produce the engines. During the 90s, there has been an informal agreement to split the work on the main engines of foreign manufacturer Saturn so that the engine for China was to be produced by plant Salut, units for India were produced by Ufa-based UMPO. It was just like that in the case of AL-31FN, the production was ensured by the Moscow firm Saljut.

Even in the year 1998, a licence agreement existed between Saturn and Salut, which stated that the manufacturer of the serial engine had to pay the developers a profit of 8%, approximately 300 000 USD for each engine sold. The technical documentation has been forwarded to Salut by Saturn for 1 million USD. However, it was incomplete and Salut had to complete it up to the level where it was possible to base serial production upon it. After carrying out its own technology tests and confirmation of technical possibilities of producing AL-31FN, a plant with serial production started in Salut, which, however, due to the conflict of both companies has not been implemented with the support of the engine‘s developers, the company Saturn.

In 1999, the Ministry of justice established an agency to protect outcomes of intellectual activities FARPID. This has led to further problems between Saturn and Salut, with Saljut to broadly say it refusing to recognize a significant share of Saturn in the development, to which of course Saturn responded. Salut finally in the new licensing arrangements confirmed the commitment to pay 8% of each engine to Saturn, in the train to however, this decision was annulled.

A total of two contracts have been signed about the construction of AL-31FN for China. Withing the first one, Salut had sent 54 engines and within the second contract, 100 engines had been provided.Saturn’s claim over Salut made about 15 million USD on the first contract and over 25 million USD on the second.

More work was being done on the AL-31FN engine and at the beginning of December 2005, an engine variant was presented to journalists with increased thrust to 13,500 kp and with a controlled thrust vector. The work was financed from the resources of Salut company. Legal relationship of such activity due to the office of Saturn is unclear.


Thrust on maximal regime 76.2±2% kN
Thrust with full afterburner 122.4-2% kN
SFC on maximal regime 0.0765±0.002 kg.N-1.h-1
SFC with full afterburner 0.196±0.004 kg.N-1.h-1
Overall length 4950 mm
Inlet diameter 910 mm
Weight 1520 kg
Maximal airflow 112+1-2 kg.s-1
Bypass ratio 0.571
Maximal pressure ratio on low pressure compressor 3.54
Maximal pressure ratio on high pressure compressor 6.46
Overall pressure ratio ~ 23
Maximal pressure behind compressor 3.64 MPa
Expansion ratio on turbine 6.7
Maximal temperature before turbine 1392 °C
Maximal temperature behind turbine, M ≤ 1.9 (*) ≤ 750°C
Maximal temperature behind turbine, M > 1.9 (*) ≤ 765°C
Maximal temperature in afterburner chamber with afterburner on 1809°C
Time till the first overhault 100 hours
– of witch the time on maximal regime 30 hours
Overall allowed time
– on q ≥ 7500 kg/m2 ≤ 15 hours
– on M ≥ 2.0 ≤ 15 hours
– of witch on M ≥ 2.2 ≤ 5 hours
Uninterrupted oparation
– on all regimes in the air unlimited within MTBO
– dry on ground unlimited within MTBO
– wet on ground ≤ 20 seconds
Acceleration time
– idle to maximal
   – H=0, M=0 3 – 5 seconds
   – H<8km ≤ 5 seconds
   – H>8km ≤ 8 seconds
– idle to full afterburner, till afterburner signal glow (H=0, M=0) ≤ 7 seconds
– maximal to 95% afterburner ≤ 3 seconds
– maximal to idle (H=0, M=0) 4 – 6 seconds
Startup time from start button press and attaining maximal regime 60 – 80 seconds
Startup time on ground till idle regime (from GTDE) ≤ 50 seconds
Maximal startup sequences 300
Number of startups from onboard battery 5
* transition regimes allow turbine outlet temperature higher by 15° for no longer than 5 seconds. 


PLA Navy Chengdu J-10 aerial refueling 11PLA Navy Chengdu J-10 aerial refueling 13PLA Navy Chengdu J-10 aerial refueling 14

Specifications (J-10A)

General characteristics

  • 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)




Source: Wiki, Chinese Military Review, The Lexicans, Air Power Australia


Lchengdu-j10-vs-f-16J-10-Cutaway-002g5-CHENGDU J-10 DIAGRAM8fOOSK8

J-10A drops 500kg LGBs on target in an exercise.


J-10B fires YJ-91 anti-radiation missile and hits target: Here

J-10B’s glass cockpit


ib0pasetvvak6kCan’t find any in English comparisonj-10acgjr


j-10b-glass-cockpit-with-a-wide-angle-holographic-hudJ-10B – Image:


General data:
Type: Infrared Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 185.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Infrared, 3rd Generation Imaging (2000s/2010s, Impr LANTIRN, Litening II/III, ATFLIR)
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Classification [Class Info] / Brilliant Weapon [Automatic Target Aquisition], Continous Tracking Capability [Visual]
Sensors / EW:
Generic IRST – (3rd Gen Imaging) Infrared
Role: IRST, Imaging Infrared Seach and Track
Max Range: 185.2 km


AESA Radar

China PLAAF J-10 20 11 B fighter jet AESA PESA hybrid Active Phased Array Radar Active Electronically Scanned Array aesa pesa (swashplate degree field around the nose angle swashplate ro (1)

General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 148.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Late 2010s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability), Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA), Continuous Wave Illumination
Sensors / EW:
China KLJ-X AESA [Zhemchoug] – (J-10C) Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Air-to-Air, Medium-Range
Max Range: 148.2 km

WS 10 Engine

WS-10A turbofan


-new variant of WS-10A engine reaches 14000kg thrust and has certify
-lifespan of WS-10A is 4000hrs and schedule maintenance every 300hrs
-WS-10A has started mass equip of domestic aircraft like J-11B/D, J-10B/C, J-15, J-16 and Y-20 transport aircraft.
-WS-10A still not fully equipped all domestic aircraft is because many AL-31 engine lifespan has not used up.

Taihang engine is already in-production and in-service with the PLAAF. Note the yellow serial numbers on the vertical stabilizer. These are in-service aircraft.
the Taihang’s 14,000 kgf of maximum thrust is enough to surpass the AL-31F M1 (13,500 kgf) and AL-31FN Series 3 (13,700 kgf) and it slightly below the 117S (14,500 kgf), but very close.




j-10c-201aJ-10C – Image:

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

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-10cPrototype pf J-10C numbered 201


It seems that the J-10C has increased stealth features such as more RAM coating

Chinese J-10 C Spotted Carrying PL-10 and PL-15 New Generation Air to Air Missile

J-10C + TVC nozzle unveiled

An old photo of TVC nozzle ground test

Chinese SEAD-equipped J-10B emerges at Aviadarts contest: Here


China has used the recent ‘Aviadarts’ international aerial competition to reveal for the first time that its Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) J-10B can be equipped to perform suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) missions, adding to the number of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) combat aircraft able to perform this mission.

Images of the SEAD-equipped J-10B first appeared on Chinese web pages on 10 August as part of a ground display at Changchun Airbase in Jilin Province, occurring at the end of the Aviadarts competition, part of the larger 2017 International Army Games held from 29 July to 12 August.

J-10D Fan-art

Future J-10 concept

0942fc6375Artist impression of future  J-10

Updated Dec 25, 2017


6 thoughts on “Chengdu J-10A/B & C

  1. Pingback: Chengdu J-10, o caça leve multifunção chinês | VidShaker

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