PLA 4th-Generation Fighters — Chengdu


Chengdu J-10B
Chengdu J-10A
Chengdu FC-1 / JF-17

CHENGDU J-10B

Type: Multirole fighter. Designer: AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (611 Institute). Manufacturer: AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC). First flight: 23 December 2008. Introduction: 2013. Number in service: 50. Crew: 1. Length (m): 15.49. Wingspan (m): 9.75. Height (m): 5.43. Empty weight (kg): 9,750. Loaded weight (kg): 12,400. Maximum take-off weight (kg): 19,277. Internal fuel capacity (kg): N/A. Max level speed (Mach): 1.2 (sea-level), 2.2 (at altitude). Max climb rate (m/s): N/A. Service ceiling (m): 18,000. Ferry range (km): 1,850. Combat radius (km): 550. Maximum g-load: -3 to +9.

The improved J-10B began flight test in December 2008 and entered the PLAAF service in 2013, with over 50 examples delivered. The most distinctive feature of this variant is its chin-mounted diffuser supersonic inlet (DSI), which employs a one-piece bump at the top of the inlet replacing the movable ramp. This eliminates all moving parts on the inlet, lightening the overall weight and reducing the aircraft’s radar signature. The aircraft also features improved avionics, including an electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) placed forward of the cockpit canopy to the right 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 aircraft is equipped with an indigenous PESA fire-control radar capable of engaging 4 targets simultaneously. A large fairing is added to the tip of the tailfin to house EW/ECM equipment. There are also four black ECM antenna arrays attached externally to the fuselage, a larger one on either side of the cockpit and a smaller one on either side of the rear fuselage near the engine nozzle. The aircraft can carry the latest air-launched weapons including the PL-10 SRAAM and PL-15 LRAAM.

  • Configuration: Single-seat, single-engine
  • Aerodynamic layout: Tailless delta-canard with the horizontal control surfaces serving as a canard in front of the wing. A chin-mounted diffuser supersonic inlet (DSI) employs a one-piece bump at the top of the inlet replacing the movable ramp on the original J-10. The upper edge of the single vertical tailfin is curved, with a large fairing on the top to accommodate EW/ECM equipment
  • Fixed weapon: 1x Type 23-3 twin-barrel 23-mm cannon
  • Hardpoints: 11 (5 under the fuselage centreline; 6 under the wings). The centreline under-fuselage station and the two inbound wing stations are pumped to carry drop tanks, with a 800-litre tank for the centreline station and a 1,700-litre tanks for each of the wing stations
  • AAM:
    • PL-8 SRAAM, IR-homing, 20 km range
    • PL-10 SRAAM, IIR-homing, 20 km range
    • PL-12 MRAAM, active radar-homing, 70—100 km range
    • PL-15 LRAAM, active radar-homing, >200 km range
  • Ground strike:
    • YJ-91 anti-radiation missile, 120 km range
    • LS-500G 500 kg LGB
    • GB1/TG500 500 kg LGB
    • 90-mm unguided rocket pod
    • 250/500-kg free-fall low-drag general-purpose bomb
  • Sensors:
    • Indigenous X-band PESA fire-control radar
    • Electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) comprising an infrared search and track (IRST) sensor and a laser rangefinder
  • Avionics:
    • Digital quadruplex (four-channel) FBW system
    • K/JDC01A FILAT (Forward-looking Infra-red Laser Attack Targeting) pod
    • KG600 self-protection jamming pod
  • Propulsion:
    • 1x Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engines, 76.2 kN (7,770 kg, 17,130 lb) dry and 122.55 kN (12,500 kg, 27,557 lb) with afterburning
    • Fixed nozzle
    • Fixed in-flight refuelling probe

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CHENGDU J-10A

Type: Multirole fighter. Designer: AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (611 Institute). Manufacturer: AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC). First flight: 22 March 1998. Introduction: 2004. Number in service: 200. Crew: 1 (J-10A) or 2 (J-10S). Length (m): 15.49. Wingspan (m): 9.75. Height (m): 5.43. Empty weight (kg): 9,750. Loaded weight (kg): 12,400. Maximum take-off weight (kg): 19,277. Internal fuel capacity (kg): N/A. Max level speed (Mach): 1.2 (sea-level), 2.2 (at altitude). Max climb rate (m/s): N/A. Service ceiling (m): 18,000. Ferry range (km): 1,850. Combat radius (km): 550. Maximum g-load: -3 to +9.

The programme to develop the J-10 fighter, known as Project 8610, began in the mid-1980s. The aircraft was originally intended as a high-performance air-superiority fighter to counter the then emerging 4th-generation fighters such as F-16 and MiG-29, but the end of the Cold War and changing requirements shifted the development towards a multirole fighter with both air-to-air and ground attack mission capabilities. The development programme has benefited from the cancelled Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) Lavi lightweight fighter project, including the aerodynamic design and the “fly-by-wire” flight control software. Russia supplied a version of its Saturn AL-31F engine to power the aircraft. Around 200 examples in the single-seat J-10A variant and two-seat J-10S variant have been delivered to the PLAAF and PLANAF since 2003, before the production ceased and replaced by the improved J-10B in late 2006. The aircraft has also been offered to the export market under the designation FC-20 but received no order.

  • Configuration: Single- or two-seat, single-engine
  • Aerodynamic layout: Tailless delta-canard with the horizontal control surfaces serving as a canard in front of the wing. An adjustable, chin-mounted air intake and an intake ramp sitting at an acute angle to deflect the intake air stream from the longitudinal direction. Single vertical tailfin and two under-fuselage stabilising fins
  • Fixed weapon: 1x Type 23-3 twin-barrel 23-mm cannon
  • Hardpoints: 11 (5 under the fuselage centreline; 6 under the wings). The centreline under-fuselage station and the two inbound wing stations are pumped to carry drop tanks, with a 800-litre tank for the centreline station and a 1,700-litre tanks for each of the wing stations
  • AAM:
    • PL-8 SRAAM, IR-homing, 20 km range
    • PL-11 MRAAM, semi-active radar-homing
    • PL-12 MRAAM, active radar-homing, 70—100 km range
  • Ground strike:
    • YJ-91 anti-radiation missile, 120 km range
    • LS-500G LGB
    • 90-mm unguided rocket pod
    • 250/500-kg free-fall low-drag general-purpose bomb
  • Sensors:
    • Type 1473H fire-control radar with a mechanically slewed planar array antenna, capable of tracking 10 targets and engaging 2 (using semi-active radar-homing AAM) or 4 (using active radar-homing AAM) simultaneously
  • Avionics:
    • Type 634 digital quadruplex (four-channel) FBW system
    • Infra-red search and track pod
    • BM/KG300G self-protection jamming pod
    • KZ900 electronic reconnaissance pod
    • Blue Sky navigation/targeting pod
    • FILAT (Forward-looking Infra-red Laser Attack Targeting) pod
  • Propulsion:
    • 1x Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engines, 76.2 kN (7,770 kg, 17,130 lb) dry and 122.55 kN (12,500 kg, 27,557 lb) with afterburning
    • Fixed nozzle
    • Fixed in-flight refuelling probe

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CHENGDU FC-1 / JF-17

Type: Multirole fighter. Designer: AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (611 Institute). Manufacturer: AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC). First flight: 25 August 2003. Introduction: 2007 (PAF). Number in service: 100 (PAF). Crew: 1 (FC-1/JF-17), 2 (FC-1B/JF-17B). Length (m): 14. Wingspan (m): 8.5. Height (m): 5.10. Empty weight (kg): 6,411. Loaded weight (kg): 9,100. Maximum take-off weight (kg): 12,700. Internal fuel capacity (kg): 2,300. Max level speed (Mach): 1.6—1.8 (at altitude). Max climb rate (m/s): N/A. Service ceiling (m): 16,700. Ferry range (km): 3,000. Combat radius (km): 1,350. Maximum g-load: -3 to +8.5.

The Chengdu FC-1 Xiaolong (Fierce Dragon) is a single-engine lightweight multirole fighter, which was conceived in a joint Sino-Pakistani development programme that commenced in 1999. The aircraft made its maiden flight in August 2003 and has been serving with the Pakistani Air Force since 2007 using the designation of FC-17 Thunder. The first batch (Block-I) of 50 examples were delivered between 2007—2011, followed by the second batch (Block-II) of 50 examples delivered in 2016. The assembly of the JF-17 was to be shifted to PAC in later examples, and some production including the manufacture of the aircraft’s wings and fin has also been carried out by PAC in Pakistan. The FC-1/JF-17 has received small-number orders from Nigeria and Myanmar. The two-seat fighter-trainer variant, designated JF-17B, made its maiden flight in April 2017.

  • Configuration: Single- or two-seat, single-engine
  • Aerodynamic layout: Conventional aerodynamic layout, with mid-mounted wings, lateral air intakes with diffuser supersonic inlet (DSI), single-frame bubble cockpit canopy, and two under-belly stabilising fins. The drag chute bay is located at the root of the vertical tailfin. An electronic equipment pod is mounted on the tip of the tailfin.
  • Fixed weapon: 1x single-barrel 23-mm or 30-mm cannon
  • Hardpoints: 7 (1 under the fuselage centreline; 4 under the wings; 2 on the wingtips), up to 3,700 kg weapon load. The centreline under-fuselage station and the two inbound wing stations are pumped to carry drop tanks, with a 800-litre tank for the centreline station and a 1,700-litre tanks for each of the wing stations
  • AAM:
    • AIM-9P SRAAM, IR-homing
    • PL-5E SRAAM, IR-homing
    • PL-9C SRAAM, IR-homing
    • SD-10A (PL-12) MRAAM, active radar-homing, 70—100 km range
  • Ground strike:
    • LT-2/3 500 kg LGB
    • GBU-12 LGB
    • LS-6 INS/GPS guided bomb
    • CM-400AKG air-to-surface missile
    • C-802K anti-ship missile
    • MAR-1 anti-radiation missile
    • 90-mm unguided rocket pod
    • 250/500-kg free-fall low-drag general-purpose bomb
  • Sensors:
    • KLJ-7 X-band multifunctional pulse-Doppler (PD) radar, capable of tracking 10 targets and engaging 2 of them simultaneously, 75 km (air target) to 135 km (surface target) detection range (Block-I/II), or
    • Chinese active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar (Block-III)
  • Avionics:
    • 2x mission computer based on the Multi-Bus System (MIL-STD-1553B)
    • Navigation – Hybrid inertial navigation system (INS) and global positioning system (GPS)
    • Communications – Independent data link with two Independent wide-band radios with anti-jamming capabilities;
    • Electronic warfare (EW) – Self-production jammer (KG300G or KG600), missile approach warning system, radar warning receiver (RWR), chaff & flare dispenser;
    • IFF interrogator for target verification at the BVR range
    • ‘Glass’ cockpit – Three large Multifunction Colour Displays (MFD) and smart Heads-Up Display (HUD) with built-in symbol generation capability; HOTAS
    • Targeting – Laser Designator and Targeting Pod (LDTP) for target illumination and detection with day/ night capabilities
  • Propulsion:
    • 1x Klimov RD-93 turbofan jet engine, rated 49.4 kN dry or 84.4 kN with afterburning
    • Fixed nozzle
    • Fixed in-flight refuelling probe

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