The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force J-10C fighter jets have been put into combat service, Global Times reported citing a statement from the Air Force on Monday.
The J-10C is an upgraded version of J-10B, a third generation indigenously-developed multirole fighter. It is equipped with an indigenous active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar and is armed with PL-10 and new long range PL-15 infrared-homing air-to-air missiles (AAM).
The lightweight fighter aircraft is capable of all-weather operation and is configured with a delta wing and canard design, with fly-by-wire (FBW) flight controls. It is being produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC).
The fighter jet was first revealed to the public at the military parade marking the 90th founding anniversary of the PLA in July 2017 and has attracted wide attention.
Taiwan’s CNA reported in November 2016 that the J-10C is more streamlined than the J-10B to reduce drag. Moreover, Hong Kong military analyst Leung Kwok-leung says that the J-10C has stealth capabilities entirely different from existing stealth warplanes. The report says that because the J-10C absorbs radar waves into its fuselage, thus weakening its signals, so that the radar waves will not bounce back to the radar.
The Air Force said on Monday that J-10C fighters have been involved in actual combat training and played great role in two combat maneuvers – “Red Sword 2016” and “Red Sword 2017”, which lays the foundation for the combat capability of the PLA Air Force.
The PLA Air Force has quickly developed and has become a main influence in controlling disputes and crises, stopping a war and winning any battle, according to the PLA Air Force.
Shen Jinke, PLA Air Force spokesperson, was quoted in the statement as saying that China’s opening-up and reform cannot succeed without a peaceful environment. The Air Force has made all efforts to train soldiers and prepare for actual battle, and to enhance their defense capabilities and strategic projection capability to protect China’s airspace and national interests, Shen said.