J10 Fighter Jet - PLAAF
The Chengdu J-10 (simplified Chinese: 歼十; traditional Chinese: 殲十; pinyin: Jiān Shí, meaning "Annihilator (Interceptor) Ten") is a multirole fighter aircraft designed and produced by the People's Republic of China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). Known in the West as the "Vigorous Dragon",the J-10 is a multi-role combat aircraft capable of all-weather day/night operation, that the PRC's People's Daily has compared to the F-16, Mirage 2000 and Su-27. A two-seat variant, the J-10S fighter-trainer, is available. It is identical to the single-seat variant, but has a stretched fuselage to accommodate second pilot seat. A upgraded single seat version J-10B fighter is also available for test flights.
The status of the J-10 fighter program remained somewhat ambiguous until December 29, 2006, when the Xinhua News Agency officially disclosed its active duty status with the PLAAF.
The program was originally backed by the Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, who authorized spending of half a billion Renminbi to develop an indigenous aircraft, but the program did not start until several years later, in January 19889, when the Chinese government began initial development of the Project #101 to develop a fighter to counter new fourth generation fighters then being introduced by the USSR10 The 611th Institute, also known as the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute, was tasked as the main developer, with Song Wencong (宋文骢), the chief designer of the J-7III, assigned as the chief designer and Xue Chishou (薛炽寿) as the chief engineer.
The deputy general designer was Mr. Su Longqing (苏隆清). Initially designed as a specialized fighter, it was later recast as a multirole aircraft capable of both air to air combat and ground attack missions.
However, a Chinese youth science magazine (zh:少年科学画报, ISSN1000-7776) published in June 1979 showed a boy holding a model of an aircraft similar to the J-10.
It was explained that the boy saw an aircraft design his parents were working on, and built an award winning model based on it,12 indicating that the project began before 1979.
Although the existence of the J-10 was long reported both inside and outside of China, the Chinese government did not officially admit the existence of the aircraft until January 2007, when the first photographs of the J-10 were allowed to be published to the public by the Xinhua News Agency.
Having been designed under such secrecy, before its official disclosure many details of the J-10 were subject to much speculation. Rumors of a crash during flight testing, however, have been openly denied by the government. During the official announcement of the J-10, on 1 January 2007, both the Xinhua News Agency and the PLA Daily listed no crashes since the start of the project as one of the accomplishments of the test pilots. However, later reports reveal that one of the prototype J-10s did crash and the Chinese government tried to cover up the details regarding the crash.
Chinese PLAAF female pilots started to fly J-10 fighters in mid 2012, here is news footage.
According to Chinese media reports, the first plane, "J-10 01", was rolled out in November 1997, and the aircraft made its successful maiden flight on 23 March 1998114, flown by test pilot Lei Qiang (雷強) and lasting for twenty minutes. Another test pilot, Li Zhonghua (李中华), test flew the prototype on aerodynamic performance trials that lasted till early December, 2003, during which time aerial refueling tests were also successfully completed. In these aerodynamic tests, the aircraft was pushed beyond its parameters of the original design and it was discovered that the aircraft could easily withstand the greater requirements. The last part of the test flight programme was the live firing of air-to-air missiles by test pilot Xu Yongling (徐勇凌), which lasted from 21 December 2003 to 25 December 2003.
The aircraft were first delivered to the 13th Test Regiment on 23 February 2003. The aircraft was given the status 'operational' in December of the same year, after 18 years in development.115 The first operational regiment was the 131st Regiment of the 44th Division. It is rumored that a regiment of the 3rd Division has also J-10s.
Plans are in place for AVIC to aggressively market an upgraded J-10 variant, most likely the J-10B, once its development is complete. Several countries have shown interest and Pakistan is likely to be the first export customer, with deliveries taking place in 2014-2015.16
In late February 2006 the then President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, was shown the J-10 and JF-17 production facilities, also taking the opportunity to sit in the cockpits of both aircraft. He later said the Chinese had offered to sell the J-10 to Pakistan and the offer would be considered by the government and air force.17 On 12 April 2006 the Pakistani cabinet approved the purchase of at least 36 J-10. On 7 March 2009 ACM Tanvir Mehmood Ahmed, then Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force, stated that the high-tech fighters would be designated FC-20 and two squadrons (36 aircraft) would be delivered to the PAF in 2014-2015, after some improvements in accordance with PAF requirements.181920
According to official Chinese sources, the J-10 is said to have been developed from the now canceled Chengdu J-9. However, there have been conflicting reports about a possible relationship between the J-10 and the Israeli IAI Lavi fighter program,15 the latter having a similar canard-configuration. The J-9 program predated both of the other aircraft.21 In an interview, the general designer of J-10, Mr. Song Wencong (宋文骢) said, "Our nation's new fighter's external design and aerodynamics configuration are completely made by us and did not receive foreign assistance, this made me very proud. Our nation developed J-9 in the 1960s, this adopted the canard configuration. So, those statements that said J-10 is a copy of Israeli Lavi are just laughable."
The strongest admission of Israeli involvement in the J-10's development by Israeli authorities appeared in a statement made by an official as American authorities investigated alleged Lavi technology transfers to China. The Director General of Israel's Ministry of Defense David Lari "acknowledged in an Associated Press interview that 'some technology on aircraft' had been sold to China and that some Israeli companies may not have 'clean hands'".
In May 2008, Jane's Information Group reported several interviews with Russian sources claiming to be involved with various Chengdu military projects. A number of engineers, designers and technical specialists described their visits to Chengdu and other areas of China in the 1980s. A source alleged that high-level Chengdu officials described the possession of a single Lavi prototype at one of Chengdu's facilities. They also claim that in 2000, two years after the J-10's maiden flight, aerodynamic models were sent to Russian wind tunnel testing facilities to study the J-10's aerodynamics.24
During the 2006 Farnborough Airshow, the Russian Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute (SibNIA) confirmed its participation in the J-10 program. According to the article, this participation was limited to observation and instruction as "scientific guides." The sources also claimed that the J-10 was based on the canceled Israeli IAI Lavi.25
Kommersant's reporter Kostantin Lantratov affirmed that Russian consent was required to export the J-10, given its Russian AL-31 engine.
AL-31FN Turbofan Engine for J-10he NPO Saturn AL-31F model was selected to power the Su-27 and Su-27UB aircraft and is rated at 27,500 pounds of thrust. The same engine was also provided to the Su-33 and Su-30MK aircraft. Some reports suggested that Russia was offering AL-31 to Iran to re-engine its F-14 Tomcat air defense fighters in the late 1990s. It is also known that AL-31FN is an engine option for some Chinese indigenous fighter aircraft programs such as J-10/F-10 and FBC-1. In early February 2009, Rosoboronexport stated that had signed up a new contract for the supply of more than 100 engines to power the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) J-10 jet.
It has been reported that composite materials tested in the Delsen Testing Laboratories in Glendale, California during the year 1990 were related to the J-10 project.
The PiLi-11 (PL-11) semi-active radar-homing medium-range air-to-air missile (MRAAM) has been developed by Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), based on the seeker technology of the Italian Alenia Aspide. The Aspide was derived from the U.S. AIM-7 Sparrow MRAAM, but with a monopulse seeker replacing the conic scan seeker for improved accuracy and better resistance to jamming.
The PLA obtained some examples of the Italian Alenia Aspide MRAAM in the mid-1980s for trial and evaluation. Later an agreement was signed between China and Italy to co-produce the missile locally under license. The first batch of the Chinese-built Aspide missiles using Italian-made kits rolled out in early 1989, but the supply of kits was cut off by the Italian government as a result of EU weapon sanction imposed on China in the aftermath of the June 1989 incident. In the early 1990s the PLA decided to use the Aspide technology obtained through its earlier co-operation with Alenia to develop its own indigenous MRAAM designated PL-11.
The missile uses a mono-pulse semi-active radar-homing seeker copied from the seeker of the Aspide missile. The first test fire of the missile was carried out on a J-8II fighter in 1992. The missile entered PLA service in the mid-1990s for test and evaluations. The final certification test of the missile took place in 2001, with four of five missiles fired hit the targets. The PL-11 has a conventional aerodynamic layout which resembles that of the AIIM-7 Sparrow. The missile has four large clipped control surfaces located at the middle of the missile body, and four fixed smaller delta-shape stabilising fins at the missile tail. The missile also has two externally mounted wiring harness covers lasting from the missile nose to the aft edge of the main control surfaces.
Variants PL-11: The basic variant based on the HQ-61C SAM and Aspide seeker technology. PL-11A: The improved variant with greater range and more powerful warhead. The improved seek head requires the guidance of the fire-control radar of the carrier aircraft only during the final stage of its flight. PL-11B: Also known as PL-11-AMR. This is an active radar-homing derivative of the PL-11A, with an AMR-1 active radar-homing seeker developed by the 607 Institute.