New version of Chinese J-10 single-engine fighter declared operational

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The Chinese Air Force General Staff announced that the new version of the J-10 light fighter, the J-10C, had been declared fully operational. The J-10C, now equipping at least 3 PLA regiments, is a reinforced avionics version of the J-10, integrating in particular an EASA radar, new data links, and a cargo capacity of more extensive armament.

Today, J-10 production is around forty units per year, most of which are intended to be brought up to standard C. This production should increase to 45/50 units per year. A new standard, the J-10D, is currently under development, and tests have been carried out with the locally designed WZ10 flow-steer motor.

The Chinese armies receive an average of 80 new fighter planes each year, compared to 120 fixed-wing aircraft. If, until 2005, Chinese production was limited to older generation aircraft, mainly derived from Soviet models, it now produces fighters whose performance is recognized, such as the J10 inspired by the F16, the J15, Chinese version of the on-board Su-33, the J-16, a modernized and versatile version of the Su-27 family, and, obviously, the J-20 stealth fighter, China being the only country, with the United States, to have developed and implemented a so-called “5th generation” device in service to date. However, China did not hesitate to order 24 Russian Su-35s in 2015, with the last aircraft to be delivered in 2018.

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On this industrial basis, we can deduce that the Chinese air forces are aiming for a format of 2500 to 3000 fighters, i.e. the second largest air force in the world, approximately equivalent in number to the American air forces, and consequently, far superior to all forces. flights in the Pacific zone, Russia and India included.

It is interesting to note that the convergence towards a format equivalent to those of the US forces is not limited to the air forces, because the same goes for the naval forces (350 major naval units, 4 million tonnes in the long term), and land forces. The convergence is also qualitative, with the development of highly technical weapons, with increasingly careful finishes, without, for the moment, matching Western production.

By developing its military strength and its technological offering, China is also becoming more and more attractive as an ally, and we see that several countries have already joined a de facto alliance with China, such as Pakistan. , or Bangladesh.

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In fact, the notion of “bloc” actually seems to be becoming relevant again, not based on marked ideological conceptions, but on the logic of a strict zone of influence, against a backdrop of more or less affirmed rejection of “democratic and liberal values” advocated by the West.

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