Skip to comments.J-10s For Pakistan
Posted on 11/12/2009 7:34:42 AM PST by myknowledge
China has agreed to sell Pakistan it's domestically designed J-10 fighter. China and Pakistan have also jointly developed the JF-17, and Pakistan is buying up to 300 of these. The J-10 is, on paper, superior to the JF-17. Pakistan would like to buy up to a hundred J-10s, but that will depend on whether the cash will be available. The first 36 J-10s bought will cost close to $39 million each (with spare parts and maintenance support.)
China only publicly announced the J-10s status in January, 2007. What was not mentioned in the press releases was that only one J-10 squadron was stationed where it might encounter Taiwanese F-16s or Mirage jet fighters. That squadron is sitting at a base just out of range (560 kilometers) of the F-16s and Mirages. The Taiwanese believe that their pilots are much better trained than their Chinese counterparts. Moreover, the word out of China is that the J-10 is a maintenance nightmare, and that the Chinese are having a hard time keeping the aircraft operational in reasonable numbers.
The J-10 is the first modern jet fighter designed and built in China. The aircraft is an attempt to create a modern fighter-bomber that could compete with foreign designs. The experiment was not completely successful. Work on the J-10 began over twenty years ago, in an attempt to develop an aircraft that could compete with the Russian MiG-29s and Su-27s, and the American F-16. But the first prototype did not fly until 1998. There were problems, and it wasn't until 2000 that the basic design flaws were fixed. By 2002, nine prototypes had been built, and flight testing was going forward to find, and fix, hundreds of smaller problems. It was a great learning experience for Chinese engineers, but it was becoming apparent that the J-10 was not going to be competitive with the Su-27s/30s China was buying from Russia.
The J-10 looks something like the American F-16, and weighs about the same (19 tons). Like the F-16, and unlike the Su-27, the J-10 has only one engine. Originally, the J-10 used a Russian AL-31FN engine, but China has been working for a decade to manufacture their own version of this, the WS10A. The WS10A is something of an acid test for them, as it is a powerful military engine, and a complex piece of work. Russia refused to license China to produce the AL-31FN, so the Chinese stole as much of the technology as they could and designed the WS10A. This engine has been tested, and officially approved for production, but apparently still has quality control and performance problems.
It's no accident that the J-10 resembles the F-16, because Israel apparently sold them technology for the Israeli Lavi jet fighter. Israel abandoned the Lavi project, because of the high cost and availability of cheaper alternatives (buying F-16s and F-15s from the United States.) But the Lavi was meant to be a super F-16, and incorporated a lot of design ideas from the F-16 (which the Israelis were very familiar with, as they used them, and had developed new components for them.)
Pakistan already has eight JF-17 fighters, which it has received over the last two years. Earlier this year, it signed a deal to buy the next 42, of 300, of these jets from China. These 42 will cost $14.3 million per aircraft. The final 250 will cost $12 million each. The aircraft is assembled in both Pakistan and China, with the engines coming from Russia, and most of the other components from China (which calls the aircraft the FC-1). Azerbaijan, Sudan and Zimbabwe have ordered the aircraft, or are negotiating to. Pakistan will replace its MiG-21s and Mirage IIIs with the low cost JF-17s.
The 13 ton JF-17 is meant to be a low cost alternative to the American F-16. The JF-17 is considered the equal to earlier versions of the F-16, but only 80 percent as effective as more recent F16 models. The JF-17 uses the same Russian engine, the RD-93, that is used in the MiG-29. The JF-17 design is based on a cancelled Russian project, the MiG-33. Most of the JF-17 electronics are Western, with Italian firms being major suppliers. At one time, there was a serious a snag because the Russians did not want to allow the JF-17s to go to Pakistan with Russian engines. Negotiations resolved this problem, aided by the current peace talks between India (a long time Russian customer) and Pakistan.
The JF-17 can carry 3.6 tons of weapons and use radar guided and heat seeking missiles. It has max speed of nearly 2,000 kilometers an hour, an operating range of 1,300 kilometers and a max altitude of 55,000 feet. China has not yet decided on whether it will use the FC-1/JF-17 itself. This is apparently because China believes its own J-10 and J-11 (a license built Russian Su-27) are adequate for their needs. The J-10, like the JF-17, did not work out as well as was hoped. China is still relatively new to aircraft design and development. To further complicate things, China is trying to keep up with aircraft technology that continues to advance, year by year. Thus both the J-10 and JF-17s are difficult and expensive to maintain, and do not function as effectively as the designers hoped. But both aircraft work, and can probably be more useful for ground support, than air superiority. Pakistan hopes to make the J-10 and JF-17 more lethal by using more experienced pilots. That often works.
Only $39 mil per copy, including spares & maintenance support? D@mn! They’ll be selling them at Walmart before you know it.
Should India be concerned, or not?
Also, how are our plane sales going? Are other countries buying our jets?
Can't wait for their cars to be sold here..............
Targets being paid for by yours and mine tax dollars.
All that “aid” we have given them after 911, here is a bit of the end result of that.
I imagine that the Chinese have a pretty steep learning curve to get over even with an Israeli design to work from.
FWIW - I used to maintain the DoD instruction on Learning Curve usage in the 80's.
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The PAF pilots are fairly well trained and would put up a good fight these days. They learned the lessons from their defeat in the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistani conflicts.
But fortunately, their IAF counterparts are just as, let alone more top-notch, especially with their most advanced fighter, the Su-30MKI Flanker.
Materials and processes are the hard part. Precision is everything in a jet engine.................
They would never even “see” the F-22 that shoots them down.............
That kinda splains the whole maintenance nightmare thing.
Saw a video of a chinese car in a crash test. Engineers said it was the worst result they had ever seen. First time that a 30 mph crach killed EVERYONE in te car. Front wheel folded up into the drivers chest...
Apparently it is still suffering from QC and performance problems.
One critical thing is missing: quality control.
Hitler had great tanks but few in number. We had good tanks but many in number. Admittedly, tanks are not the single defining factor but who won?
The pakis will own more new fighters than we will own F-22s by about a 2:1 margin ...that is just the pakis.
One thing’s for sure: Pakistani J-10s won’t have to face U.S. F-22s in combat, but Indian Su-30MKIs.
That will be a savings feature under Obama-care/burial.
IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S RESTING ON A FUNERAL BIER!............
JSF F-35 sale to Israel is under discussion, and who knows what will transpire following Bibi’s “no comment” meeting with bambi. I’d say it might be a no. We did sell F-22s to Japan... a good thing vs. their enemy and ours,the chicoms.
Might add also that the Paki’s are fools to buy from chicoms- metallurgy not being a strong suit. Check out those little “support” posts linking the intake manifold with the underside of the body airframe. Cheesy. Performance is however of note from Paris airshow.
If it is “Made in China”, they are going to have to replace the planes with brand new ones every year. I’ve had problems with kitchen appliances made there, that will not last more than a year. What happened to the good ole’ days when you could spend a bit more on an appliance, but it will work more than five years if used properly.
Still using steel from the Great Leap Forward? Love to x-ray the fan blades.
Well, unless the Taliban topples the current Pakistan government.
Then these planes will be in the hands of our enemies. (those and a few nukes)
At least it’s less expensive than Western or Russian military hardware, that Third World countries can acquire, operate and maintain.
Pakistan in Chinese fighter jet deal
By Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad
Published: November 10 2009 08:16 | Last updated: November 10 2009 18:29
China has agreed to sell Pakistan at least 36 advanced fighter jets in a deal worth as much as $1.4bn, according to Pakistani and western officials.
Beijing will supply two squadrons of the J-10 fighter jet in a preliminary agreement that could lead to more sales, said a Pakistani official. The official said Pakistan might buy “larger numbers” of the multi-role aircraft in the future, but dismissed reports that Islamabad had signed a deal to purchase as many as 150 of the fighter jets.
Defence experts described the agreement with China as a landmark event in Pakistan’s defence relationship with the military power. China’s transition from a manufacturer of low-fighters to more advanced jets comparable to some western models is seen as evidence of Beijing’s increasing strategic clout in Asia.
“China is developing a real capacity to produce and export its arms. At one point, the Chinese were dependent on imported Russian technology, but obviously China has advanced significantly beyond those days,” said Marika Vicziany, Professor of Asian studies at Monash University in Melbourne.
“This agreement should not simply be seen in the narrow context of Pakistan’s relations with China,” said Abdul Qayyum, a retired Pakistani general.
“There is a wider dimension. By sharing its advanced technology with Pakistan, China is ... also saying to the world that its defence capability is growing rapidly.”
China has supplied Pakistan with fighter jets for more than three decades. But Beijing has seldom supplied Pakistan’s air force with advanced fighter aircraft. Islamabad turned to France for Mirage fighter jets in the 1970s and to the US for F-16s in the 1980s.
Pakistan has a fleet of 45 F-16s built by Lockheed Martin. The Pakistani air force is using the fighter jet in its campaign against militants in South Waziristan.
The US has agreed to sell Islamabad another 18 new F-16s and Pakistani officials also expected the US to supply about a dozen older versions of the aircraft.
Over the past decade, China and Pakistan have collaborated on building their first jointly produced advanced fighter jet, known as the JF-17, or “Thunder”. Pakistan is expected to roll out the first domestically built version of the Thunder within weeks.
Pakistan’s air force plans to purchase at least 250 of the Thunder fighters over the next four to five years.
Experts see the new Pakistani focus on China as evidence that Beijing is trying to expand its military power.
“Countries like Iran and possibly some of the Middle Eastern countries would be keen to deal with China if they can find technology which is comparable to the west,” said one western official in Islamabad.
“Pakistan will work as the laboratory to try out Chinese aircraft. If they work well with the Pakistani air force, others will follow.”
There I corrected your statement!
The irony of the situation would be when in future, if India-US-Israel would want take out paki nuke facilities, they would be faced with the very technology they sold! I still can't believe Israel was this stupid with regards to dealing with China! J-10 might very well be one of the reasons that could stop India-US-Israel joint ops against pakis in future! :(
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