J-10B fighter upgraded version of the J-10A model will be the most advanced military aircraft China has developed on its own. Produced by the Chengdu Aviation Corporation the J-10B has an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, integrated jamming rods, IRST sensor, diverterless supersonic intake (DSI), and an uprated AL-31FN Series III turbofan engine. These upgrades increase the J-10B’s power, infrared detection against any stealthy aircraft and increased jamming capabilities against enemy missiles.
This aircraft is soon to be handed over to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. This information was released by military observers show. “Considering that the paint scheme is being used by the PLA air force and recent leaks that the aircraft has concluded its tests,” Wang Ya’nan, deputy editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said on Wednesday. “I think these J-10Bs will join the air force within a short period and will pair with the heavy-duty twin-engine J-11, and with our fifth-generation stealth fighter, the J-20, which is expected to enter service within a few years. It is also possible and feasible that the J-10B’s upgraded version will be chosen by the navy to serve on an aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship,” he added.
Sources say the jet’s first flight was in December the year 2008 and its mass production started in the year 2013.
The DSI has two advantages over traditional engine intakes. It saves weight and is stealthier against radar. The most important upgrade in the J-10B is its AESA radar, which features a longer range, frequency hopping to foil enemy jamming and higher power to track stealth aircraft at long range. J-10B can carry both 100km ranged PL-12 air to air missiles and LS-500J laser guided bombs on the same mission. Due to these advanced “4.5+ generation” features the J-10B is in the same class as the F-16 Block 60, French Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon.
The highest produced serial number in the J-10B is “124”. There are three prototypes of the J-10B numbered 1031, 1034 and 1035. Compared to all the other J-10s, which have Russian AL-31FN engines, Number 1035 was fitted with a domestic WS-10B turbofan engine. This is potentially significant to the international arms trade. A J-10B powered by the WS-10B would be a completely domestic Chinese fighter, thus bypassing any Russian objections J-10B exports, which could compete with the MiG-35 in foreign markets.