J-10A Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2004 Maiden Flight: 22 March 1998 Total Production: 200 Also Known As:F-10A, J-10B, Jian-10 and Vigorous Dragon Origin:China Corporations: Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation
Parent System:J-10 Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2004 Maiden Flight: 22 March 1998 Total Production: 300 Family Members:J-10B, J-10C and J-10S
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Description: The J-10 is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role fighter developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) and 611 Institute for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The high-performance J-10 aircraft has been designed as an air superiority fighter with air-to-surface capability. The aircraft's development started in the mid-1980s based upon the cancelled Israeli Air Force Lavi lightweight fighter. In the 1990s, the Russians joined the J-10 project providing the AL-31FN as the replacement engine for Chinese incapable WS-10 turbofan. The first J-10 prototype made its maiden flight in March 1998 and the aircraft achieved initial operational capability (IOC) with PLAAF by late 2003/early 2004.
The J-10 aerodynamic configuration is based on a delta-wing with canard foreplanes design with a single ventral air intake. All in, the J-10 is very similar to Eurofighter/Typhoon multi-role aircraft being procured by European countries. The J-10 aircraft is made of composite materials resulting in a high thrust-to-weight ratio with enhanced maneuverability and low drag thanks to its advanced aerodynamics. The flight control system is based on a 4-channel fly-by-wire (FBW) system. An engine digital control system provides for fuel consumption efficiency. The J-10 has been fitted with a glass cockpit and pulse-Doppler radar system capable of tracking 10 targets at ranges of up 100 km while engaging four of them simultaneously.
The J-10 aircraft has 11 external stations for weapons and auxiliary fuel tanks. For air-to-air engagements the aircraft can be equipped with PL-8 (a version of Israel's Python 3) infrared-guided short-range and PL-12 radar active medium-range missiles. Laser guided bombs, free fall bombs and rockets are provided for the air-to-ground attack role. In addition, the J-10 is provided with a single-barrel 23mm internal gun. Future plans call for the installation of the improved Chinese-built WS-10A turbofan in lieu of AL-31FN. The J-10 might be fitted with a detachable air refueling probe to extend its radius of operation or carrying a greater load of weapons. A pilot's helmet-mounted sight system is under study.
The single-seat J-10A, dubbed Vigorous Dragon, is an air superiority fighter with capabilities and performance that resemble closer to those of F-15, F-16, F-18, Mig-29 and Su-27 aircraft. The J-10 has been designed as the replacement for aging J-7 and Q-5 aircraft within the PLAAF with an estimated initial requirement for 300 aircraft. The F-10 designation refers to a export version. The J-10B is an improved version highlighting enhanced maneuverability and equipped with AL-31FN-M1 engine featuring thrust vectoring control. The J-10B maiden flight was carried out in December 2008 and is set to become the future production standard for the Chinese J-10 aircraft. Currently, CAC's assembly line is delivering 2 to 3 J-10 aircraft per month a second assembly may double that figure with approximately 60 J-10s delivered per year at full rate production.
The J-10B features a chin-mounted diffuser supersonic inlet (DSI) air inlet that rampless inlet, first tested on the FC-1/JF-17 fighter, employs a one-piece bump at the top of the inlet replacing the movable ramp parts lightening the fighter aircraft and reducing its radar cross section (RCS). The J-10B also benefits from an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) sensor to improve air-to-air engagements. The IRST is reportedly similar to the analogs utilized by the Russian Mig-29 and Su-27 aircraft. Electronic warfare (EW) capabilities are improved by a new tailfin Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) pod and four black antenna arrays attached externally to the fuselage.
External Stations: 11
Number of Engines: 1 Area Wing Area: 39 square meter (420 square foot) Dimensions Length: 15.5 meter (51 foot)
Main Gun Caliber: 23 millimeter
Wingspan: 9.70 meter (31.8 foot) G-load Max Maneuvering Load Factor: 9 g
Min Maneuvering Load Factor: -3 g Performance Radius of Operation: 1,100 kilometer (594 nautical mile)
Take Off Run Distance: 500 meter (1,640 foot) Speed Top Speed at High Altitude: 2.20 mach (2,630 kph)
Top Speed at Sea Level: 1.20 mach (1,435 kph) Weight Empty Weight: 8,300 kilogram (18,298 pound)
Fuel Load: 4,500 kilogram (9,921 pound)
Max Takeoff Thrust: 27,557 pound (12,500 kilogram)
Max Takeoff Weight: 18,000 kilogram (39,683 pound)
Operational Weight: 13,200 kilogram (29,101 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
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