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.



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 3PLA 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)

Saturn-Lyulka AL-31FN

Saturn-Lyulka AL-31FN

WS-10A turbofan

WS-10A turbofan




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

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

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


Specifications (WS-10A)

General characteristics

  • Type: Afterburning turbofan
  • Length:
  • Diameter:
  • Dry weight:






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

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.

Future J-10 concept

0942fc6375Artist impression of future  J-10

Updated Dec 25, 2017


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