Reviewing The Chinese J 10-B Fleet
The J 10 started off as a Chinese attempt at reverse engineering a Pakistan bought US F-16. However it ended up being a modification of Israel’s Lavi multi role fighter, Lavi program was cancelled in 1987 in Israel due to threatening from US. China purchased the blue print from Israel and developed J 10.
The J 10 is one of the Chinese backbone Fighter jet to perform defensive mission inside Chinese Air-space. The Chinese Air force operates more than 250 J 10 variants which comprises more than twelve squadron of Fighter’s with 70% of service availability at any given time. The J 10 is one of the Chinese designed Fighter jets based on the cancelled Israeli Lavi program. J 10 is a single engine multi role, which can be modified in future with newer Radar and power plants.
The J 10 is almost identical to the American F 16, Who is also a light multi role all weather Fighter jets and J10-B it possesses advantages as compared with the third-generation fighters of China’s neighboring countries and the 3.5-generation fighters deployed in the Asia Pacific Region by the U.S., namely the J-10B fighter possesses advantages and does not lag behind.
J10-B is medium-scale 3.5-generation fighter with a maximum take-off weight of 19 tons, a bomb load between 6 and 8 tons, a combat radius of about 1,000 kilometers and a flight speed between 1 and 1.5 mach, which is a modified model of the J-10A fighter, is equipped with an active phased-array radar and capable of carrying air-to-air missiles.
The J-10B has been added with an electronic-optic targeting system (EOTS). Placed forward of the cockpit canopy to the right, the system comprises an infrared search and track (IRST) sensor and a laser rangefinder, which can detect enemy targets passively without requiring to turn on the fire-control radar, thus reducing the chance of the aircraft being detected.
The important feature in the J 10 B is the Divert less supersonic air intake and the larger radome to house bigger AESA or phased array radar. The Aerospace engineers claim the DSI is used to control the fighter jet in Supersonic speed and superior boundary layer air flow. The DSI have one more advantage which is the reduced number of moving parts, who lightens the aircraft’s weight. Normal air inlets has many moving parts, however the DSI has very few moving parts.
Diverterless supersonic inlet is known for reducing the radar cross section in the air inlets. allows the Radar reflections to be absorbed between the diverter and aircraft body. It’s only in the air intake sections of the Fighter jet. A complete stealth aircraft with DSI have almost invisible to Radars. However West, Russia and Americans evaluated the DSI long ago, But never used due to some unknown reasons. Currently the Chinese J 10 and Pakistani JF 17 has DSI air intakes.
China says the J10-B houses home made multi mode radar, or an pulse Doppler radar. Chinese claimed the Radar can track ten targets at one time and allows simultaneously engage two targets using semi active radar missiles for short range no escape engagements. The Radar also capable of firing four long range active radar missile for long range interception. Mostly the PL 12 is used for long range interception. However no information’s available about the Radar’s tracking range and detection method.
China actively working to produce a electronically scanned array radar. which can be fitted in the J 10 B, However the western analyzers said Chinese may develop a phased array radar rather than the claimed active radars. The Chinese military officials rejected the western claim and said the J 10 B currently retrofitted with AESA Radars. The larger radome cone is a good example to accept their Claim. However The AESA requires huge power to operate this will further reduce the Range of J 10 B.
Many claims the J 10 B also equipped with Infrared tracking system same what westerners called as ISRT. Which allows to guide the Infrared guided missiles and laser guided Bombs. However the westerner think it just be a hoax, where China tries to fool the foreigners. The IRST allows the Fighter jets to engage targets with using the Radar for guidance.
J 10 B uses the AL 31 F engine. The same what being used in the Russian made Flankers operated by many countries include India. J 10 B uses the single AL 31 F engine with slight modification for better thrust. However the Chinese AL 31 don’t have thrust vectoring like Indian and Russian Flankers who have the TVC for better maneuverability in high speeds. The Turbofan engine allows the J 10 B to reach Mach 2 speed in high altitude and supersonic speed in low altitude too. The J 10 B can fly at the height of some 60,000 feet.
China almost modifying the J 10 B with home made WS 10 engines. which produces 12 tons of thrust. Sources claims China already mass producing the engines. which is slightly reverse engineered from the Russian AL 31 engines. Recently some of the photos emerged in online that J 10 B flying with improved WS 10 A Engines.
The J 10 B is a good aircraft, However lacks of Combat radius, this can be further enhanced by in flight refueling and by carrying more drop tanks. The Officially claimed combat radius of the J 10 is some 500 kilometers. This makes a clear sight of Chinese Su 33 Flanker clones combat radius operated from Chinese Liaoning Aircraft carrier.
J 10 B can carry some 7 tons of payload in it’s external hard points, Which include missiles Bombs and drop tanks. The J 10 believed to carry YJ 9 Cruise missile for stand off range attack. J 10 B has eleven hard points. armed with short and medium range air to air missiles, which makes the J 10 B is a best combat air patrol and air interceptor same like the F 16.
The J 10 B is what the IAF will faces in first run, If IAF tries to breach the Chinese air space. China may throw the twin engine long range fighters for offensive missions and uses the single engine high agile light fighter for defensive mission. with Radar superiority IAF MiG 29 or Mirage 2000 can shoot down the J 10 B very easily. However no one can underestimate the Chinese capability.