Skip to comments.Chinese J-31 stealth fighter for global market
Posted on 11/15/2012 5:31:37 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Chinese J-31 stealth fighter for global market
While the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAC) have ostensibly developed the JF-17 jointly, analysts say most of the development was done by CAC
Two weeks after Chinas new J-31 stealth fighter made its debut flight on October 31, it will be officially acknowledged with a mock-up of the aircraft in Airshow China, the Beijing-endorsed air show that opens in Zhuhai, China, on Tuesday. With Chinas official media reporting the J-31 will be sold to abroad customers, Indian analysts say the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) might be one of the earliest customers of the fighter aircraft.
The English-language newspaper Global Times, owned by the Communist Party of China (CPC), cites Bai Wei, former editor of the Aviation World Monthly, as saying, Currently, the only fifth generation fighter available for sale is the F-35 by the US. The J-31 will offer an alternative for non-traditional allies of the US.
The leakage of photos of the J-31 debut flight, which analysts regard as deliberate, had triggered speculation that the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) had built that aircraft for the international market, creating a rival for Lockheed Martins long-delayed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Aviation experts assess the J-31 would also need 7-10 years to enter operational service.
Indian analysts, including Pushpindar Singh of the Society for Aerospace Studies, point out the PAFs preference for Chinese fighter aircraft make it likely that it would acquire the J-31 as soon as the fighter is ready for operational service. Already, the backbone of the PAF is made up of Chinese fighters like the JF-17 Thunder, the J-10 and the F-7. It is close to certain that Pakistan would also opt for at least two squadrons of the J-31, given that the US is unlikely to allow it into the F-35 partnership, says Pushpindar Singh.
Indian analysts believe the PAF will emerge as a 23-squadron air force by 2020, with its backbone consisting of 12-13 squadrons of the JF-17 light fighter.
While the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAC) have ostensibly developed the JF-17 jointly, analysts believe that most of the development was done by CAC. The PAF already operates four squadrons of the JF-17, which is part-built in Pakistan and China.
In 2020, the PAF would also have four squadrons of Lockheed Martin F-16s, two squadrons of the J-10 from CAC, and three squadrons of older Chinese F-7TGs.
The close relationship between the PLAAF and the PAF is evident from the presence at the Zhuhai Air Show of three PAF JF-17 fighters, which will be flying displays during the show.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is currently down to 34 squadrons, with which it must defend both the Pakistan and China borders. By 2017, the 14 IAF squadrons that fly MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighters would also have been disbanded, and replaced by just four new squadrons of Sukhoi-30MKI fighters.
With the procurement of the Dassault Rafale fighter also running late, the IAF will be facing what can only be described as a crisis in 2017, says Pushpindar Singh.
Airshow China will also feature, for the first time ever, Chinas new WZ-10 attack helicopter, which will be capable of flying anti-tank and anti-aircraft missions, fielding a payload of rockets, missiles and a rapid-fire cannon.
Like in every China-built fighter aircraft, the five-tonne helicopter will be powered by a foreign engine.
The air show at Zhuhai will also feature a new Chinese long-range ground-to-air missile called the FD-2000.
They have long had problems developing a good jet engine. Happily, the Obama Regime has approved U.S. companies to build jet engines in China.
Thankfully, a vehicle is only as good as it’s driver.
Their drivers do Calculus as freshmen in High School. Our freshmen have problems counting their toes without needing to be patted on the head for added emotional reassurance.
They can’t build a good jet engine, but they’ve sure sat on their supplies of the rare earth metals needed to make those good jet engines.
That would include Wang Wei. He effed up that angle of incidence equation big time over the South China Sea.
Well, he did manage to take out an American P-3 and the Chinese did get hold of lots of un-destroyed equipment and documents. For being a dummy, and he was, the Chinese made out in their favor.
“They cant build a good jet engine”
Maybe, but they have loads of Chinese citziens working at places like Boeing, Lockheed, Northrup, GE, Cessna, Cirrus, Honeywell, Gulfstream, Pratt, etc. They are learning fast. Real fast. Every last one of those companies I listed have Chinese offices. Some have been prosecuted for giving the Chinese classified information. All allow Chinese citizen access to classified or sensitive information. Stealth, high performance radar and engines, avionics, and structural components are all fairly easy to duplicate once the know-how is there.
Laugh at the Chinese all you want but that feeling that someone is watching you isn’t your imagination.
I’m not laughing. I knew about the problem of the chinese 20 years ago.
Mechanical engineering not their strong suit. Also that way in the middle east. You know you are in trouble when your last good mechanical engineer lived 2000 years ago.
Which, I’m sorry, doesn’t mean squat. I’m sure the same was said about the typical American and German/Japanese pilots in WWII, but we still kicked their butts. Not to mention, the Germans even had better tech than us.
Who would you put your trust in on deer hunt, the mathematician who can bullseye a buck after some calculations or the redneck who can bullseye a buck without having to think at all? For our pilots, it’s practically 2nd nature when they are up in the skies.
“For our pilots, its practically 2nd nature when they are up in the skies.”
That was a rather ingorant post. You assume the Chinese are not second nature pilots but they are. I frankly don’t know a pilot that isn’t.
Don’t get arrogant and think our pilots are always better than someone else’s pilots, that’s how you lose the war.
BTW, we beat Germany by shear numbers in the air and on the ground, tanks included, not by expertise or better equipment, although we had good pilots and great equipment.
“Im sure the same was said about the typical American and German/Japanese pilots in WWII, but we still kicked their butts. Not to mention, the Germans even had better tech than us.”
BUT... they didn’t have MORE tech than us. If they did, we would have lost the war... big time.
Not to be a scaremonger, but the example you gave is one of the main reasons why the frenetic Chinese arms developments should be a worry. In WW2 the Germans did have better technology, however the Allies had far greater numbers of technology that was good enough. Sure, the German Wehrmacht's Tiger II was far better than the US Sherman or the Russian T-34, but there were far more of the Shermans and T-34s. The Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt Me-262 was FAR better than any fighter the Allies had (in any conceivable metric - speed, altitude, ammunition - and was flown by some of the best aces in the war). Unfortunately (for the Nazis), there were just not enough of them, and just as importantly the Allies war production was simply too powerful.
The Chinese currently have an aircraft carrier (an ex-Soviet carrier that is simply being used for training), with plans for several indigenously produced carriers. They have already started building phased-array radar destroyers similar to the USN Aegis. They have two stealth fighter designs ...the J-20 and the J-31. I believe it is safe to assume that none of these machines will be as good as their American analogues, but it is also safe to assume that the Chinese will build many more of them and that they will be 'good enough.' The Chinese also have massive production capability, and their technical knowhow has been growing prodigiously. While many people still see China as a source of crap I'd recommend taking a second look. The modern-day China is quite different from what it was 20 years ago (I was in Beijing in 2010 and got absolutely floored, and Shanghai looks like a sci-fi city).
Their stuff is not as good as what is used by the US, and that will not change anytime soon. However, their stuff is already good enough. Their gen 4.5 aircraft are a good match for USAF 4/4.5 gen aircraft. Not better, not even equal, but good enough that numbers become a dominant factor. They have been investing heavily in AWACS, and in training. Their Gen 5 aircraft are nowhere as good as the F-22 and F-35, but as mentioned the numbers will most probably be more.
Whenever you have a conflict between an entity that has superlative equipment in lesser numbers and one that has inferior (but good enough) equipment in multitudes, then a mathematical equation called Lanchester's Laws come into effect. In a post I'd made less than a month ago I'd included a link to a Rand report that used Lanchester equations to look at American air dominance against a near-peer adversary (China). It didn't look good. In one other study (also by RAND), F-22s didn't survive even when given missiles that had a pK (accuracy) of 100% against waves of Chinese fighters that had a pK of next to nothing. Why? Enough of the Chinese planes survived (after the Raptors had expended their ammunition) to shoot down the refueling aircraft, and the F-22s basically ran out of fuel and crashed in the ocean.
Anyways, the Lanchester equations are backed up by your comment on WW2. Again, when you have two forces, and one has magical weapons in lesser numbers, and the other has inferior but effective weapons in greater numbers, then the outcome is up in the air. In my opinion, of all (external) enemies the US has ever faced, the Chinese threat is by far the greatest. Greater than that brought by the USSR at its peak, and greater than radical terrorism. China is a near-peer adversary that has a central government with a capitalist economy, has huge industrial development, is rapidly catching up technologically, has a huge population that is weighted towards males, and has been building its military at a frenetic pace. Also, considering an entire database on the F-35 program was hacked into by the Chinese, there is a chance that their products, while still inferior, may be less inferior than they might have otherwise been.
To me it seems the US is like the WW2 Germans with super weapons in small numbers, and the Chinese may be like the WW2 Allies with greater numbers of inferior-but-effective weapons.