Pakistan has purchased a full squadron of 25 Chinese multirole J-10C fighter jets.
A whole squadron of 25 all-weather aircraft, including J-10Cs, will join the Pakistan Day ceremony on March 23, 2022.
What is special about J-10C
The J-10 multi-role fighter is the first Chinese-developed combat aircraft to match the performance and capabilities of Western fighters. In China, it is known as Meng Long or Vigorous Dragon, and in the West, it is known as Firebird. The J-10 was first developed in 1988. It was designed to address the danger posed by the Soviet MiG-29 and Su-27 fourth-generation fighters. J-10C was part of the exercises that Pakistan conducted together with China few months back.
The J-10 was originally intended to be an air superiority fighter, but due to the fall of the Soviet Union and changing requirements, it was repurposed as a multi-role fighter. The aircraft took to the air for the first time in 1998. The entire effort was maintained under wraps. It’s worth noting that the J-10’s initial images were published just 3-4 years after its first flight. It was allegedly influenced by the IAI Lavi, according to certain accounts.
Although the J-10 multi-role fighter was first publicly disclosed in 2006, it entered service with the Chinese air force in 2004. Approximately 240 of these planes are currently in service. The Chinese air force, as well as possibly naval aviation, will require 300 fighters of this type.
Specifications and Features
The J-10 is powered by a single engine. Russian AL-31FN turbofan engines power the first batch of around 50 planes. Between 2004 and 2006, this batch was supplied to the Chinese Air Force. An indigenous turbofan was in the works.
The J-10 is capable of air combat and surface strike beyond visual range. There are 11 external hardpoints aboard the aircraft for a variety of weaponry. It can also be used to transport target acquisition, navigation pods, and supplementary fuel tanks. It’s worth noting that the J-10 has the ability to refuel in flight.
The J-10 can carry up to six 500-kg laser-guided bombs, free-fall bombs, or pods with 90 mm unguided rockets for surface attack. A single-barrel 23 mm gun is also mounted aboard the aircraft.
The J-10 is equipped with a pulse-doppler fire control radar that was developed in-house. It has the ability to track ten targets at once and attack four of them. The greatest detection range is estimated to be 100 kilometers. A fly-by-wire system is installed on the aircraft.