China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 13 Nov 2018 08:23

Viv S wrote:Avic’s J-31 Fighter Is a Winner After All

Not long after the J-31 fighter prototype from Avic’s Shenyang Aircraft Corp. appeared in 2012, analysts realized that it was not, after all, a new combat aircraft for the Chinese military. It was just a technology demonstrator from a well-resourced but frustrated state company that had lost two air force fighter competitions in a row.

Now the J-31 has indeed become a government-funded project, apparently rescued by the shortcomings of the J-15, a naval Flanker derivative also built by Shenyang Aircraft. The navy needs the J-31, and the air force wants it, too.



The competitive nature of their MIC will push their industry to evolve with ever greater speed. They’ve taken a page from the American free enterprise corporations playbook while retaining PSUs.

Free enterprises must evolve, prototype and DELIVER. Their survival depends on it.

I feel we must create a champion or two from the private sector who can compete with HAL. Modi was completely right to give the Rafale jv to Ambani. Look at the flurry of actions at HAL on the Tejas now after the Rafale decision (of course, the decisions on FGFA and the MKI played a part too.)

We’re a free country and economy but our defense industry follows a Soviet style organization. It would be pure irony that we are lapped by commies employing free enterprise principles.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Prasad » 13 Nov 2018 10:33

So I suppose that is pretty much confirmation that their carrier aviation still sucks donkeys b@lls. We have been seeing reports of crashes and difficulty in flying those naval flankers. Cannot be easy to build it up after losing pilots and aircraft from an already small starting pool.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Aditya_V » 13 Nov 2018 10:43

If you the 2nd carrier sea trials, the decks are super smooth without even a helicopter landing mark on it. Well the Chinese can claim anything they want, yet to see J-20 launching weapons and Su-33 J-15 has not been mastered, it will take 10-15 years to have a sea worthy J-31.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby brar_w » 13 Nov 2018 10:54

Yeah putting a carrier out there is not an easy thing to do, and the same applies for a carrier based fighter. They'll need a good part of 15 years to get a Naval J-31 to operate effectively from an aircraft carrier although for PR they may do this earlier as part of this would entail getting a CAT equipped carrier.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 13 Nov 2018 11:00

Prasad wrote:So I suppose that is pretty much confirmation that their carrier aviation still sucks donkeys b@lls. We have been seeing reports of crashes and difficulty in flying those naval flankers. Cannot be easy to build it up after losing pilots and aircraft from an already small starting pool.


Sucking donkey balls is relative. I think it is safe to say they suck elephant balls compared to the US and possibly donkey ones in relation to France.

To Russia? Probably not. The russkies’ sole carrier just had a crane fall onto its deck after its floating dry dock sank.

To the UK? Possibly a toss. The Britshits will be getting F-35s soon but they have nothing operational right now. It is now up in the air whether they can staff the Prince of Wales their 2nd carrier. And no CATOBAR in its forseeable future.

To us? Another toss until their Type 002 finish sea trials in the coming year. Then they go ahead until we get Vikrant (with its lifts restricted to MiG-29Ks.) As the article suggests, they will be getting the FC-31 in the future alongside the J-15. We are likely stuck with the 29K and NLCA (further in the future) until the Vishal.

They will be flying with the J-15 for awhile, at least the first two carriers and more than likely a third (the first CATOBAR) because they have already prototyped cat-launched J-15s with the tow-bar.

They have also prototyped the J-15D EW variant. That along with the J-15T CATOBAR variant signifies a pretty well planned out progression for their crash prone J-15.

As it should because their next gen carrier fighter even with the FC-31 ain’t gonna be flying off no carrier without at least a decade of development.

The J-15 for all its faults had allowed their carrier program to keep up a pretty good tempo and advance. I think they will be flying the thing until their fifth and sixth carriers. The fact they are developing a follow-on to the J-15 now is more than prudent and is indicative of a carrier aviation program thinking in long term knowing full well the long lead times.

After their first CATOBAR and when the J-15 variants are in place and rung out (like the J-10) then of all the remaining carrier-fielding nations they will suck Unkil’s balls onlee. Definitely after the J-31 hits the cats.

Conversely, if we don’t agree on a third carrier (and next gen carrier fighter) soon that lead time will extend so far into the future that many of us might not see it in our life time.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Kengsley » 13 Nov 2018 12:24

Singha wrote:Why is the side bay of j20 closed a wvr missile bolted outside


It's not really "bolted outside". The side bays are designed in a way that the missile launch rail can be extended outside the bay with the bay doors closed during WVR engagements. Illustration below.

Image

Image

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Kengsley » 13 Nov 2018 12:48

Aditya_V wrote:If you the 2nd carrier sea trials, the decks are super smooth without even a helicopter landing mark on it. Well the Chinese can claim anything they want, yet to see J-20 launching weapons and Su-33 J-15 has not been mastered, it will take 10-15 years to have a sea worthy J-31.


I don't think they've claimed that J15's have landed on the 2nd carrier. The ship is still undergoing shipbuilder's trials. Fixed wing flight trials will only start after the ship is under PLAN sea trials.

Liaoning's shipbuilder trials outlined:

first sea trial (10 august 2011 – 13 august 2011) (3 days)
second sea trial (28 november 2011 – 10 december 2011) (12 days)
third sea trial (20 december 2011 – 29 december 2011) (9 days)
fourth sea trial (7 january 2012 – 16 january 2012) (9 days)
fifth sea trial (19 april 2012 – 30 april 2012) (11 days)
sixth sea trial (7 may 2012 – 16 may 2012) (9 days)
seventh sea trial (23 may 2012 – 1 june 2012) (9 days)
eighth sea trial (7 june 2012 – 21 june 2012 ) (14 days)
ninth sea trial (6 july 2012 – 30 july 2012) (24 days)
tenth sea trial (27 august 2012 – 30 august 2012) (3 days)

J15 serial 552 only trapped on the Liaoning during the ship's 12th sea trial (2nd Navy trial) in November 2012, more than a year after the first sea trial. The second ship has only just completed its third trial, so it might be a while before J15s start flyin off it

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Kengsley » 14 Nov 2018 03:26

Singha wrote:to properly safeguard the J20 from its sluggish inability to move like a F-solah, it will need to track and fire a ERAM type missile and then turn away either providing updates via a side array or letting the missile do its own work.
the current SD-10 is cutting it close, lots of other missiles similar range fired by more agile fighters packing big EW sets. perhaps new ERAM is being worked on and a more powerful Sinic engine or Russi AL41C will mitigate

and if it comes to using that blue WVR IIR aam, I dont think its agile enough to mix it up with a flanker/Solah/Shornet type.


The blue signifies its a training round and not a live missile.

As to the J20s WVR performance, its distributed optical sensors( which don't exist on F16s, F18s or Flankers) and helmet mounted cueing system should be taken into account...

Note the position trackers around the helmet:

Manufacturer's display
Image

Image

Image

Integrated system on LRP J20's
Image

Image

The optical sensor apertures distributed around the airframe in a manner that would provide 360 degree threat identification or target aquisition

Image

Designed and produced by the China Air-to-Air Guided Missile Research Institute (an AVIC subsidiary), the PL10 is a high off boresight, imaging infrared wvr aam that no doubt benefits greatly the data collected by the 6 optical sensors mounted around the aircraft, processed & stitched by the mission computer then pushed to the HMCS.

As far as I know, the PL10 does not have LOAL cabapility though, but hanging outside the bay on those rails and the HOBS capability should allow for PL10 extreme wide angle target acquisition with minimal maneuvering necessary by the aircraft.

All said though, it remains to be seen (if it ever will) how advanced this Chinese "DAS" really is. It would require high processing speed to efficiently stitch together video footage from all 6 cameras in a way that the footage on the HMD doesn't lag when the pilot turns his head...

The similarity of the system to the F35s AN/AAQ-37 and even the similar positioning of the cameras lends credence to the accusations of Chinese IP theft from F35 sub-contractors. Is the Chinese system anywhere as good as Northrop Gruman's, let alone the Raytheon system replacing the AN/AAQ-37 on Lot 15 F35s? Probably not.

I however still wouldn't pooh-pooh the J20's WVR capabilities, let alone if it eventually gets the all aspect TVC it was originally designed to have by Dr. Song

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Singha » 14 Nov 2018 06:47

How so these cameras work at night or in cloudy conditions? Are they IR sensor?

In ww1/2 pilots looking to ambush or make a quick exit would dive into clouds

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby brar_w » 14 Nov 2018 07:07

There is a big ? on the abilities of the first gen system on the J-20 to do this since there is nothing in the past to go by. Same when it comes to the ability to target with LOAL modes since one of the benefits that you can derive if you truly have "target level" quality tracks with your staring DAS sensors is the ability to use them to cue your CCM with LOAL.

On the F-35 the new sensors provide a 2x increase in performance but at the expense of computing. There is a reason why that program upgrades its computers 1-2 times a decades. But there they have been working on these sub-systems since the late 1980s because all of these were concepts and technologies with initial investments dating back to the ATF. Much like propulsion capability, there is nothing really to baseline with when it comes to Chinese Mil hardware as far as mission systems are concerned. There is no transparency and we don't have export customers that we can go by.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby hnair » 14 Nov 2018 07:46

brar_w wrote:There is a big ? on the abilities of the first gen system on the J-20 to do this since there is nothing in the past to go by


No one should underestimate the chinese! They are NOT at first gen! Have you seen that J117 Nightie-Hawk in the previous pages? :shock:

Sid wrote:
Singha wrote:Why is the side bay of j20 closed a wvr missile bolted outside


F-22 uses quick open-extend-fire-retract-close sequence. Bays remain open during WVR for lock-on. Probably too complicated, and unnecessary.

Instead J-20 just hang it outside in ready to fire mode when necessary, else its retracted for the duration of flight.


Yes, indeed. Leaving a door open is way more complicated than leaving a door open + popping out three arms with separation mechanisms + three tiny counter-sink flaps + closing the door + firing + retracting the arms etc. Also it is not because the webcams strung around J20 can't do a highly accurate LOAL cueing of the SD10 like the less advanced F35 (build in early 2000 to late 2010 of J20) or the obsolete F22.

I suspect it is because during RC tests of J20, they found out that the Made-in-china J20 is invisible to made-in-china radars, despite the made-in-china Luneberg lenses. They were celebrating their sheer awesomeness. But the IAF chief spoiled everything by saying J20s are too visible and is going to blot the SAR view of August-First Building for his lads...... So they hung those SD10s outside, so atleast they can claim IAF is not the only one who can see them afar

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Singha » 14 Nov 2018 09:18

i suspect the side bay telescoping arm mechanism or something else is not yet ready for action , or this was a newly built lot hurriedly rushed to Zhuhai to make up the platoon. makes no sense to have a fixed pylon outside the bay.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 14 Nov 2018 09:44

Singha wrote:i suspect the side bay telescoping arm mechanism or something else is not yet ready for action , or this was a newly built lot hurriedly rushed to Zhuhai to make up the platoon. makes no sense to have a fixed pylon outside the bay.


GD, there is no fixed pylon. The swinging arm and closing door that Kengsley detailed actually works as described in this video I posted earlier.



You can see the mijjiles outside the side bays at 1:20, watch them retract and bay doors close up at around 1:25 and then could be confirmed they are retracted and gone for the rest of the show.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby brar_w » 14 Nov 2018 10:09

The problem with that complicated solution is that by the time the J-20 is refined and eventually fielded in a definitive configuration, and in any credible numbers the CCM side of the equation would have moved from Short to medium range and greater LOAL shots thereby making the need to hold the missile out on the rails for prolonged periods of times a less of an issue.

Latest WVR missiles already feature a data-link and at least with the J-20s main western rivals there will be a convergence in combat ranges and capability between WVR and BVR guided missiles to a point where the Aim-9X is likely to be phased out without a dedicated like for like replacement. MICA-NG-IR is already committed too so others are also moving past that.

This likely points to their lack of confidence in their CCMs specifically to LOAL capability leading to a solution that adds weight which could have been avoided on a 2020s (maturity) fighter. You don't gain any RCS advantage by having that configuration because you are already within visual range. Any advantage on the drag side of the equation is easily mitigated by LOAL which is essential for future cooperative targeting and DAS like enabled shots.

Two things to keep into account with these sort of design trades: 1) Confidence in your ability to keep your RF seekers up to speed to changing EW/EA environments, and 2 ) High confidence in missile communication/data links and cooperative targeting. The Chinese in the end have to develop something that is capable of performing in a pretty dense Electronic Attack environment with the F-35's, F-22's, MALD-Js, Next Generation Jammer and EC-Xs.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 14 Nov 2018 13:50

^^^ Like with the J-10 (horrendous crash record during development and training) and J-15 (horrendous), they’ll keep plugging away at the J-20. Chances are they’ll never catch up to Unkil but that effort will leave them in a pretty good position against everyone else.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 14 Nov 2018 14:01

Yeah, it’s the Blunder and the pilot is a Paki. But this cockpit view of the JF-17 demo over Zhuhai is pretty good and an interesting look at a pilot in a modern fighter.

The ease with which the Paki handles the joystick between his legs and the way the plane respond is captivating to say the least.

He used less effort pulling his stick than I do mine (when the wife has a headache.)

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby hnair » 14 Nov 2018 14:51

1:52 and 3:02 .... Still shy of doing the full loop. Jacking off into a barrel roll at the top, instead of going down to complete the loop. Wonder what is the reason?

(Was first pointed out years ago by shiv-saar to webakis )

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Aditya_V » 14 Nov 2018 15:07

Those are known weakness of JF 17 never to be discussed by Chinese or Pakistanis on why aircraft with more than 100 numbers inducted can't complete it's loops. I guess they expect tea breaks in a dog fight. I think this is a 6G or 7G limited fighter. And note nobody from Plaaf or Chengdu wanted to fly it- it was up to the PAF .

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby nam » 14 Nov 2018 15:26

chola wrote:Yeah, it’s the Blunder and the pilot is a Paki. But this cockpit view of the JF-17 demo over Zhuhai is pretty good and an interesting look at a pilot in a modern fighter.

The ease with which the Paki handles the joystick between his legs and the way the plane respond is captivating to say the least.


It actually shows the difference between a non-FBW & FBW jets. The first thing i did after coming across this video on a pk fora is compare it with our LCA from Bahrain. I felt there was something not right.

Truly enough, the pilot on LCA does not do as much work with the stick as this pilot is doing.

Came across a nugget as well. When the F16 were introduced, the joy stick did not move to engage directional changes! Using the pressure put by the pilot on the stick, the flight control understood which direction to turn the plane!

The designers then had to introduce little movement on the sticks, because the pilot were not "feeling" the direction change and not able to gauge if they actually applied the pressure on the stick. :D

Fundamentally a FBW aircraft does not need a stick swinging all over the place for controls!

I think this is what our pilot mean, when they say LCA is better than Mirage to fly.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby JayS » 14 Nov 2018 16:08

chola wrote:The ease with which the Paki handles the joystick between his legs .....


:rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Prasad » 14 Nov 2018 16:10

nam wrote:Came across a nugget as well. When the F16 were introduced, the joy stick did not move to engage directional changes! Using the pressure put by the pilot on the stick, the flight control understood which direction to turn the plane!

The designers then had to introduce little movement on the sticks, because the pilot were not "feeling" the direction change and not able to gauge if they actually applied the pressure on the stick. :D

Fundamentally a FBW aircraft does not need a stick swinging all over the place for controls!

I think this is what our pilot mean, when they say LCA is better than Mirage to fly.


Can confirm. I was in the F-16 sim at defexpo this year and given a lesson by their own pilot. The stick probably moves a mm or two. Even this was after feedback from usaf pilots who wanted physical travel as feedback and the engineers grudgingly relented. Doesn't take a lot of time to get used to the lack of travel.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Kengsley » 14 Nov 2018 16:37

brar_w wrote:The problem with that complicated solution is that by the time the J-20 is refined and eventually fielded in a definitive configuration, and in any credible numbers the CCM side of the equation would have moved from Short to medium range and greater LOAL shots thereby making the need to hold the missile out on the rails for prolonged periods of times a less of an issue.

Latest WVR missiles already feature a data-link and at least with the J-20s main western rivals there will be a convergence in combat ranges and capability between WVR and BVR guided missiles to a point where the Aim-9X is likely to be phased out without a dedicated like for like replacement. MICA-NG-IR is already committed too so others are also moving past that.

This likely points to their lack of confidence in their CCMs specifically to LOAL capability leading to a solution that adds weight which could have been avoided on a 2020s (maturity) fighter. You don't gain any RCS advantage by having that configuration because you are already within visual range. Any advantage on the drag side of the equation is easily mitigated by LOAL which is essential for future cooperative targeting and DAS like enabled shots.

Two things to keep into account with these sort of design trades: 1) Confidence in your ability to keep your RF seekers up to speed to changing EW/EA environments, and 2 ) High confidence in missile communication/data links and cooperative targeting. The Chinese in the end have to develop something that is capable of performing in a pretty dense Electronic Attack environment with the F-35's, F-22's, MALD-Js, Next Generation Jammer and EC-Xs.


I think its unrealistic to expect the J20 to immediately transition to a trapeze launched LOAL missile during the Low rate production phase of the programme. Until just recently when the Aim 9X was integrated, the F22 had to keep its bay open and extend its Aim 9 via the trapeze launcher into the air stream and wait for a lock before launching the missile and closing its weapons bay.

Not only did that launch method increase the Raptor's RCS substantially whilst waiting for the missile to acquire a lock, but the open side bay disturbed the airflow around the jet during crucial WVR combat manoeuvring. That's a significantly more complicated and costly(performance wise) system than the simple, low weight solution employed by the J20.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby brar_w » 14 Nov 2018 21:00

Kengsley wrote:I think its unrealistic to expect the J20 to immediately transition to a trapeze launched LOAL missile during the Low rate production phase of the programme.


Honestly, it is not at all unrealistic. We are in 2018 and the J-20 is very much a 2020s fighter and not hamstrung with ATF legacy design trades that were sealed into the design for those aircraft back in the late 1980s. Much of the heavy S&T to support the F-22 was done more than 3 decades ago. The J-20 in contrast is a more modern product and it isn't like the rest of the world hasn't been fielding LOAL solutions or missiles with capable data-links and processors.

Kengsley wrote:[ Until just recently when the Aim 9X was integrated, the F22 had to keep its bay open and extend its Aim 9 via the trapeze launcher into the air stream and wait for a lock before launching the missile and closing its weapons bay.


That has absolutely nothing to do with the J-20. When the F-22 got the Aim-9X, was a function of when the USAF felt that it was best to slot that capability in to the upgrade path for that aircraft. If they wanted to, they could have had it as the threshold platform and had the combo in operational testing half a decade earlier.

The BlkII Sidewinder itself was moving along much slower than it could have simply because there wasn't an urgency to develop it given the capability of the block-1 and the large acquisition of missiles already happening. The time-frames are reflective of schedule and budgets more than anything because there was not a very significant existential threat undermining US Air Superiority to counter which they had to move really fast.

Getting back to the J-20, this should have been the design solution employed had the Chinese been reasonably confident on those fronts. It was very similar for the F-35, where the USAF was confident enough in its future in terms of missile performance convergence and requirements (ejection vs rail launch) to not demand rails on the F-35, and the same was the case for the only one program partner that briefly explored adding rails. They were and still are confident of where their missile capability is headed and did not burden the designers by asking for features that were less relevant for the future. In this case, and very much the case with the J-20, the aircraft are being fielded in an era where Data links on CCMs are becoming the norm, and sensor aids like DAS are purposefully designed to help aid in a BFM set up. Where things are, and where they are headed impact design trades considerably unlike the 1980s era where those who framed ATF requirements had less certainty in terms of where the missile capability would be 2-3 decades out into the future.

Not only did that launch method increase the Raptor's RCS substantially whilst waiting for the missile to acquire a lock, but the open side bay disturbed the airflow around the jet during crucial WVR combat manoeuvring


RCS in a BFM? Are you serious?

Open bay doors only come into the equation if you are having to hold the missile on the rails for a long time to acquire a lock. If you can reduce that time you are actually on par with or at an advantage compared to an aircraft that must first execute the bay open procedures, swing out the missile with its mechanism, close the bay doors, acquire the target, launch the missile, open the bay doors again, retract the swing arms and then close the bay door again.

^ There you execute the open and close mechanism twice for every one shot. With a rail launched LOAL weapon on the F-22A you are doing it just once and the bay door is open for a very small amount of time as you don't need to acquire the target before launch. The swing arms while reducing airflow distortions still will not completely eliminate them. Of course the RCS point can be completely ignored..Once you are in a furball no one cares what your RCS is because your enemy can literally see you with his eyes/HMS/Missile seeker.

Kengsley wrote:[That's a significantly more complicated and costly(performance wise) system than the simple, low weight solution employed by the J20.


As I said, designers solved that by simply developing the Aim-9X II and with sensor-enhancements very much back on the F-22 i wouldn't be surprised if the AN/AAR-56 is up for some serious upgrade in the next couple of years allowing it to come in BFM targeting. I'm sure the next step for the USAF would be to just simply have eject launch requirements from one of the three A2A missile programs the service is working on. That will completely get rid of the rails business on the F-22.

Keep in mind that the YF-22 first fired a weapon from its bays more than 27 years ago. The J-20 on the other hand is still in the iterative phase of its development and as per Chinese claims, PR, cartoons, behind the shrubbery pictures, enhancements are still happening and being planned. One doesn't really need to be very good at reading between the lines to see what possible reasons could there be for a 2020's targeted maturity fighter to still incorporate this approach.

Point is that all the fancy annotations showing IR cameras that are supposed to be somehow analogous to the F-35 DAS even though they are first gen systems can't do much if your missile has to physically lock on before launch. You are then restricted to the frontal arc on each side of the missile bay where the seeker can actually see the target to establish a lock. Nose pointing still has to happen to get the seeker to see the target. You are still limited in terms of options you have in a defensive situation vs another fighter that has the ability to use its CCM with freedom and via cooperative targeting or LOAL using onboard sensors, launch the missile without the restriction of the target being in the seeker window fov of the missile.

Without LOAL, and even with an HMS system you are still restricted because the 2 CCMs on board individually do not have an unrestricted fov to match that of the pilot.

Image

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Kengsley » 15 Nov 2018 18:35

brar_w wrote:
Kengsley wrote:I think its unrealistic to expect the J20 to immediately transition to a trapeze launched LOAL missile during the Low rate production phase of the programme.


Honestly, it is not at all unrealistic. We are in 2018 and the J-20 is very much a 2020s fighter and not hamstrung with ATF legacy design trades that were sealed into the design for those aircraft back in the late 1980s. Much of the heavy S&T to support the F-22 was done more than 3 decades ago. The J-20 in contrast is a more modern product and it isn't like the rest of the world hasn't been fielding LOAL solutions or missiles with capable data-links and processors.

Kengsley wrote:[ Until just recently when the Aim 9X was integrated, the F22 had to keep its bay open and extend its Aim 9 via the trapeze launcher into the air stream and wait for a lock before launching the missile and closing its weapons bay.


That has absolutely nothing to do with the J-20. When the F-22 got the Aim-9X, was a function of when the USAF felt that it was best to slot that capability in to the upgrade path for that aircraft. If they wanted to, they could have had it as the threshold platform and had the combo in operational testing half a decade earlier.

The BlkII Sidewinder itself was moving along much slower than it could have simply because there wasn't an urgency to develop it given the capability of the block-1 and the large acquisition of missiles already happening. The time-frames are reflective of schedule and budgets more than anything because there was not a very significant existential threat undermining US Air Superiority to counter which they had to move really fast.

Getting back to the J-20, this should have been the design solution employed had the Chinese been reasonably confident on those fronts. It was very similar for the F-35, where the USAF was confident enough in its future in terms of missile performance convergence and requirements (ejection vs rail launch) to not demand rails on the F-35, and the same was the case for the only one program partner that briefly explored adding rails. They were and still are confident of where their missile capability is headed and did not burden the designers by asking for features that were less relevant for the future. In this case, and very much the case with the J-20, the aircraft are being fielded in an era where Data links on CCMs are becoming the norm, and sensor aids like DAS are purposefully designed to help aid in a BFM set up. Where things are, and where they are headed impact design trades considerably unlike the 1980s era where those who framed ATF requirements had less certainty in terms of where the missile capability would be 2-3 decades out into the future.

Not only did that launch method increase the Raptor's RCS substantially whilst waiting for the missile to acquire a lock, but the open side bay disturbed the airflow around the jet during crucial WVR combat manoeuvring


RCS in a BFM? Are you serious?

Open bay doors only come into the equation if you are having to hold the missile on the rails for a long time to acquire a lock. If you can reduce that time you are actually on par with or at an advantage compared to an aircraft that must first execute the bay open procedures, swing out the missile with its mechanism, close the bay doors, acquire the target, launch the missile, open the bay doors again, retract the swing arms and then close the bay door again.

^ There you execute the open and close mechanism twice for every one shot. With a rail launched LOAL weapon on the F-22A you are doing it just once and the bay door is open for a very small amount of time as you don't need to acquire the target before launch. The swing arms while reducing airflow distortions still will not completely eliminate them. Of course the RCS point can be completely ignored..Once you are in a furball no one cares what your RCS is because your enemy can literally see you with his eyes/HMS/Missile seeker.

Kengsley wrote:[That's a significantly more complicated and costly(performance wise) system than the simple, low weight solution employed by the J20.


As I said, designers solved that by simply developing the Aim-9X II and with sensor-enhancements very much back on the F-22 i wouldn't be surprised if the AN/AAR-56 is up for some serious upgrade in the next couple of years allowing it to come in BFM targeting. I'm sure the next step for the USAF would be to just simply have eject launch requirements from one of the three A2A missile programs the service is working on. That will completely get rid of the rails business on the F-22.

Keep in mind that the YF-22 first fired a weapon from its bays more than 27 years ago. The J-20 on the other hand is still in the iterative phase of its development and as per Chinese claims, PR, cartoons, behind the shrubbery pictures, enhancements are still happening and being planned. One doesn't really need to be very good at reading between the lines to see what possible reasons could there be for a 2020's targeted maturity fighter to still incorporate this approach.

Point is that all the fancy annotations showing IR cameras that are supposed to be somehow analogous to the F-35 DAS even though they are first gen systems can't do much if your missile has to physically lock on before launch. You are then restricted to the frontal arc on each side of the missile bay where the seeker can actually see the target to establish a lock. Nose pointing still has to happen to get the seeker to see the target. You are still limited in terms of options you have in a defensive situation vs another fighter that has the ability to use its CCM with freedom and via cooperative targeting or LOAL using onboard sensors, launch the missile without the restriction of the target being in the seeker window fov of the missile.

Without LOAL, and even with an HMS system you are still restricted because the 2 CCMs on board individually do not have an unrestricted fov to match that of the pilot.

Image


I'm not saying its not the most optimal solution; its just not practical to expect the Chinese to have reached that level operationally at this point. You're expecting the Chinese - with an aircraft that first flew 7 years ago - to achieve what the F22A has yet to demonstrate.

Even with the Block II sidewinder integrated, the Raptor still doesn't have the capability to engage targets "over-the-shoulder" because it does not have an HMD or the F35's DAS as of yet. Even with the block II sidewinder's LOAL capability, the Raptor is limited to engaging targets within the aircraft's frontal arch. Helmetless High Off-Bore Sight capability can only cover a 120 degrees wide frontal field of view.

The same is true for the J20 at this point. Without a datalinked LOAL capable PL10, its limited to te frontal arc around its side bays as you pointed out. The PL10 is basically a Block 1 Aim 9X equivalent: A thrust vectoring, HOBS WVR AAM lacking lock on after launch capability. It's reasonable to assume that LOAL capability will be built into later iterations of the missile as was the case with the Aim 9X, but as of now, there's no indication that the Chinese have reached that point operationally.

As such, extending its CCM's outside closed bays is the optimal solution for the J20 at the moment. The alternative would be doing exactly what the Raptor had to do before block II sidewinder integration: extending its CCMs out of open bays during a WVR engagement long enough for the missiles to acquire lock. You could argue that the aerodynamic impact of open weapons bays during high speed manoeuvring isn't significant but there is definitely an aerodynamic penalty to doing so.

Whenever they do develop a LOAL version of the PL10, the existing launch mechanism is still compatible with LOAL AAMs...

First generation or not, the 360 degree situational awareness afforded to a J20 pilot by those distributed IR cameras and the HMCS still significantly improves the aircraft's chances of surviving a WVR engagement. Pending an AN/AAR-56 upgrade to allow for BFM targeting and maybe HMDS integration, its a capability the F22A does not yet have.

The F35 does have DAS and an HMS so it can take advantage of the block II sidewinders full engagement envelope. The J20 can only achieve the same whenever they integrate a datalink capable PL10. I doubt that will be anytime soon.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Viv S » 15 Nov 2018 19:26

brar_w wrote:The problem with that complicated solution is that by the time the J-20 is refined and eventually fielded in a definitive configuration, and in any credible numbers the CCM side of the equation would have moved from Short to medium range and greater LOAL shots thereby making the need to hold the missile out on the rails for prolonged periods of times a less of an issue.

Latest WVR missiles already feature a data-link and at least with the J-20s main western rivals there will be a convergence in combat ranges and capability between WVR and BVR guided missiles to a point where the Aim-9X is likely to be phased out without a dedicated like for like replacement. MICA-NG-IR is already committed too so others are also moving past that.

Relative to the sophistication of the platform its installed on, its not a particularly complicated solution. And while its advantages in terms of BFM may shrink as the importance of BFM shrinks (or maybe not as VLO fighters proliferate), there's no reason why it should result in any drawbacks in the BVR arena i.e. when the PL-10 is inevitably replaced with a medium ranged type.

This likely points to their lack of confidence in their CCMs specifically to LOAL capability leading to a solution that adds weight which could have been avoided on a 2020s (maturity) fighter. You don't gain any RCS advantage by having that configuration because you are already within visual range. Any advantage on the drag side of the equation is easily mitigated by LOAL which is essential for future cooperative targeting and DAS like enabled shots.

LOAL isn't a particularly difficult thing to achieve at China's current tech base, especially given their inventory of 'active' BVR missiles which are by-definition LOAL. I wouldn't be surprised if the latest variants of the PL-10 do field LOAL capability.

The launch system isn't inferior to the F-22's, just different. The F-22 & F-35 will maneuver clean in BFM while the J-20 will enter the fight with a pair of missiles on rails but it'll be able to engage with its weapon a few seconds quicker than if it were carrying them in the bay. Assuming the maneuvering element in a dogfight continues to shrink, it may in fact be a better solution.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby nam » 15 Nov 2018 19:31

How difficult is it to built a low RCS hardpoint and CCM missile that can be attached as a external hardpoint? Instead of all the complications with internal bay.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Viv S » 15 Nov 2018 20:23

nam wrote:How difficult is it to built a low RCS hardpoint and CCM missile that can be attached as a external hardpoint? Instead of all the complications with internal bay.

The F-35 does have a low RCS hardpoint (which replaced the original bog standard unit). And equipped with the ASRAAM or Aim-9, it'll retain a good degree of LO capability. But it'll still be a reduction from its current VLO spec - the smaller your RCS the bigger the relative impact of even slight increases.

Image

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby brar_w » 16 Nov 2018 00:54

Kengsley wrote:I'm not saying its not the most optimal solution; its just not practical to expect the Chinese to have reached that level operationally at this point. You're expecting the Chinese - with an aircraft that first flew 7 years ago - to achieve what the F22A has yet to demonstrate.


And once again I will say that this does not matter. There is/was absolutely no technical reason for not having LOAL on an F-22A earlier. The same with the HMS. The reason that it only now got the block-II Aim-9X, and why it is only now beginning the process of shortlisting an HMS is because it was lower in the order of priorities compared to other enhancements.

Back to the point, the F-22 was conceived in the 1980s, YF22 first flew in 1991/92, and the basic weapons system concept was frozen nearly 30 years ago. The decisions made then were understandable. Fast forward to the J-20, as you yourself say it has had the benefit of time and I am baffled by the choice of the side bays and how the swing arm mechanism works. It just appears to much for the times when LOAL CCMs are quite common. So in the absence of only PR stuff, and cartoons and no transparent sharing of data, I will begin to think that they have some challenge in certain areas and capabilities. This is natural since most of the high end systems on the J-20 are first generation with very tall brochure claims and we do not have access to data. Many will take that as a sign of things and read between the lines.

Kengsley wrote:Even with the Block II sidewinder integrated, the Raptor still doesn't have the capability to engage targets "over-the-shoulder" because it does not have an HMD or the F35's DAS as of yet. Even with the block II sidewinder's LOAL capability, the Raptor is limited to engaging targets within the aircraft's frontal arch. Helmetless High Off-Bore Sight capability can only cover a 120 degrees wide frontal field of view.


Once again, there is no technical roadblock that limits this capability from being put on the F-22. The pace of HMS enhancements which are now funded on the F-22 is a balance between other things being funded on the program including data-links, and classified sensor enhancements. Once again, I will go back to the point that on the F-22, the designers are limited by design choices made in the late 1980s. The J-20 has had the benefit of hindsight much like the F-35.

Kengsley wrote:As such, extending its CCM's outside closed bays is the optimal solution for the J20 at the moment. The alternative would be doing exactly what the Raptor had to do before block II sidewinder integration: extending its CCMs out of open bays during a WVR engagement long enough for the missiles to acquire lock. You could argue that the aerodynamic impact of open weapons bays during high speed manoeuvring isn't significant but there is definitely an aerodynamic penalty to doing so.


There is an aero penalty for both solutions especially if you intend on popping out those swing arms upon entering WVR and keeping them out (I'm not sure this is the CONOPS but who knows it could be). Secondly, back to my point..the F-22 was designed in the late 80s, early 90s and inherited legacy design choices. The J-20 was designed to be a 2020 era aircraft so it completely baffles me that they will adopt this particular way of doing things.

Keep in mind that the J-20 is still not yet mature and less than 50 aircraft have been produced. That they adopted this approach for a fighter that wouldn't exist in numbers till well into the 2020s is what surprises me.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby brar_w » 16 Nov 2018 01:08

nam wrote:How difficult is it to built a low RCS hardpoint and CCM missile that can be attached as a external hardpoint? Instead of all the complications with internal bay.


The problem is that with the missiles on your RCS will take a hit. You can mitigate it but it sort of defeats the purpose on missions that require the LO features and reduced RCS. Best solution is obviously to develop CCMs that have LOAL, capable multi-mode seekers and jam resistant data-links and comms. In the west there is going to be convergence between WVR and BVR weapons which already sort of exists with the MICA family but NG systems will likely have higher levels of agility to truly cover both envelopes.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 16 Nov 2018 09:30

^^^ I wonder if the J-20 is not the Corsair or F-4 of LO fighters. That is the big, fat kinetic fighter that should never be engaged in turning fight or a furball. In fact, just like the original F-4 the J-20 might not have a gun.

I guess a more powerful TVC engine can solve a lot of BFM issues I see the thing having now. But the lack of a gun won’t be resolved with more horsepower.

I think the design philosophy is more for a LO interceptor or a zoom and boom fighter at the most. It might be a bad philosophy when LOs proliferate and you end in a knifefight anyways when nobody can see anyone else until visual range.

Their “agile” stealth fighter might come in the form of the FC-31. The Aviation Weekly report earlier in this thread stated that both the PLAAF and PLAN wanted it now. The PLAN’s need for their next gen carrier fighter os well known and the contest for it had been reported for a while. The PLAAF’s interest is new. It might be the result of the J-20’s shortcomings or a change in strategy.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Neshant » 18 Nov 2018 12:10



Deal Gives China Access To War Room Mapping Software Used By NATO

It's considered the "Ferrari of war room software" which gives the United States and European military planners and operational commanders a distinctive edge. And it's just been handed over to China.

The big screen software that allows for "real time" military operational awareness relied upon by NATO and the Pentagon to make instant decisions while troops are in the field conducting live operations has been obtained by Beijing as part of a deal with the defense contractor Luciad, a Belgian-based company.

Planners use data from sources such as drone feeds, satellite imagery, radar, sensor plots, weather forecasts and platoon status. Traditional software can introduce errors as large as 500 meters (1,600 feet) in the positioning of moving targets from different datastreams.

Luciad’s software can analyse data and generate seamless visuals at a speed of 100 calculations a second, 75 times faster than its closest competitor, with accuracy to within 3cm (one inch) and on a global scale, according to American graphics technology company Nvidia.

Under Chinese law, a foreign vendor supplying software to the Chinese government must disclose every line of source code to authorities for a security check. It was unclear whether Luciad has complied with that requirement. The company did not respond to requests for comment.


https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11- ... -used-nato

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby nam » 18 Nov 2018 15:24

chola wrote:
Their “agile” stealth fighter might come in the form of the FC-31. The Aviation Weekly report earlier in this thread stated that both the PLAAF and PLAN wanted it now. The PLAN’s need for their next gen carrier fighter os well known and the contest for it had been reported for a while. The PLAAF’s interest is new. It might be the result of the J-20’s shortcomings or a change in strategy.


If FC-31 is going in to PLAN/AF, then it would be interesting to see if PAF gets it. Chinis haven't exported J10 and have been selling rejects like JF17.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Singha » 18 Nov 2018 15:48

FC-31 may get the nod due to cost reasons . the J20 is a much larger and complex plane not that agile . whatever gets the nod may be mass produced as the 5th gen volume fighter...but I feel they will refine and upengine the FC-31 before they do that. the F-18 also started off on land as the losing contender to F-16 for usaf but found success and a long life in the sea. lots of stuff now proven on J-20 may get backported and made cheaper on the FC-31 like f22 feeding into jsf.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 18 Nov 2018 16:21

nam wrote:
chola wrote:
Their “agile” stealth fighter might come in the form of the FC-31. The Aviation Weekly report earlier in this thread stated that both the PLAAF and PLAN wanted it now. The PLAN’s need for their next gen carrier fighter os well known and the contest for it had been reported for a while. The PLAAF’s interest is new. It might be the result of the J-20’s shortcomings or a change in strategy.


If FC-31 is going in to PLAN/AF, then it would be interesting to see if PAF gets it. Chinis haven't exported J10 and have been selling rejects like JF17.


Don’t you know the pakis have their own TFTA 5th gen project — AZM?!

They don’t need no stinkin’ chinee stealth fighter :lol:

https://nation.com.pk/31-Jan-2018/paf-gears-up-to-develop-5th-generation-fighter-jet

PLAAF/PLANAF getting the FC-31 will mean the pakis not getting it, me thinks. At least not the final version. There are already two versions of the FC-31 including the smoky one at the 2016 Zhuhai air show.

I think this new AZM thing (if it comes to fruition) will end up like the Blunder being the cheap throwaway version that Kamra can screwdriver together.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby nam » 18 Nov 2018 19:22

chola wrote:I think this new AZM thing (if it comes to fruition) will end up like the Blunder being the cheap throwaway version that Kamra can screwdriver together.


They should quite easily find either one of the regular Chinese aviation company or some mining company to build a new "LO" jet. Send the pieces across and assemble it in PAC.

They have done quite well with claiming Chini design like Babur, UAV etc and claim it indigenous.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Kengsley » 18 Nov 2018 22:29

nam wrote:
chola wrote:
Their “agile” stealth fighter might come in the form of the FC-31. The Aviation Weekly report earlier in this thread stated that both the PLAAF and PLAN wanted it now. The PLAN’s need for their next gen carrier fighter os well known and the contest for it had been reported for a while. The PLAAF’s interest is new. It might be the result of the J-20’s shortcomings or a change in strategy.


If FC-31 is going in to PLAN/AF, then it would be interesting to see if PAF gets it. Chinis haven't exported J10 and have been selling rejects like JF17.


The J10 IS available for export as the FC20, there just haven't been any takers:

Image

They were even offering the latest J10C variant for export at this year's Zhuhai Airshow:

https://twitter.com/dafengcao/status/1062157449187221504

It really wouldnt make any sense for the Pakistani's to buy the J10, despite what Paki fanboys may claim. The PAF already has a medium weight, single engine fighter in their F16C/D's. Why open up a procurement and support head achein the form of the J10 when it provides an insignificant capability improvement over the F16C?

The FC31 has been an export offering from the beginning. It should be their next Chinese procurement if they have any sense. Kamra can get actual experience maintaining a 5th gen fighter, they'd get a significant capability increase over the F16 and JF17, and it just so happens thst FC31 and their JF17s use the same engine(for now)

Plus operating a common fighter with the PLAAF and PLAN wouldn't hurt either in terms of development, training and developing tactics...

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby Rakesh » 18 Nov 2018 22:36

chola wrote:Don’t you know the pakis have their own TFTA 5th gen project — AZM?!

They don’t need no stinkin’ chinee stealth fighter :lol:


This is their fifth generation fighter.....

Image

OH WAIT!!!! It is a photo shopped picture of below!

Image

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby nam » 19 Nov 2018 00:46

Kengsley wrote:
It really wouldnt make any sense for the Pakistani's to buy the J10, despite what Paki fanboys may claim. The PAF already has a medium weight, single engine fighter in their F16C/D's. Why open up a procurement and support head achein the form of the J10 when it provides an insignificant capability improvement over the F16C?

The FC31 has been an export offering from the beginning. It should be their next Chinese procurement if they have any sense. Kamra can get actual experience maintaining a 5th gen fighter, they'd get a significant capability increase over the F16 and JF17, and it just so happens thst FC31 and their JF17s use the same engine(for now)

Plus operating a common fighter with the PLAAF and PLAN wouldn't hurt either in terms of development, training and developing tactics...


Never understood why PAF did not just go with J10, if it was available for export. Why go through the whole exercise of designing a complete new fighter, which even the host country was not going to induct! J10 would have been cost effective as well, given China will producing in hundreds and upgrades will be easily available.

The only reason I can think of is PAF was confident of getting more F16 from US, probably free. So F16 was to form their top tier, with FC-1 replacing all the J7 and other legacy jets. Things went downhill with US, however FC1 decision was already made.

FC1 was not planned to be the frontline jet..so BVR capability was good to have. Explains why there are no public videos of SD10 firing. They are now pushing for all Chinese solution with AESA, Block 3 etc, with no new F16 in the horizon and Aim-120 coming close to end of shelf life.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby chola » 19 Nov 2018 00:50

Kengsley wrote:
The J10 IS available for export as the FC20, there just haven't been any takers:

Image

They were even offering the latest J10C variant for export at this year's Zhuhai Airshow:

https://twitter.com/dafengcao/status/1062157449187221504

It really wouldnt make any sense for the Pakistani's to buy the J10, despite what Paki fanboys may claim. The PAF already has a medium weight, single engine fighter in their F16C/D's. Why open up a procurement and support head achein the form of the J10 when it provides an insignificant capability improvement over the F16C?


Yes, the FC-20 has been floated as an export for many years now. In fact, it was a term I first saw at least 7 or 8 years ago from the Pakis.

This was my response to the question of the J-10 for the PAF:

chola wrote:
Khalsa wrote:The J-10/ Lavi_Clone to be represents an Israeli_fied F-16. Better avionics with quicker launch times and fitting with a surge requirements to defend on all fronts quickly. I think the Israeli themselves don't feel much of a loss at losing Lavis and gaining an almost contiously upgradeable F-16.


Israel might have access to continuously upgraded F-16s. Pakiland does not. It needs to scrounge and beg for them. The last F-16s in PAF inventory were old second-hand airframes from Jordan. Three out of 16 crashed since transfering to Paki hand in 2013 onlee.

The J-10 would represent a brand-new upgraded F-16 so they wanted it. All the way up to their defense minister. It came down to negotiating beggar terms and Cheeen was niggardly with aid.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704083904576333192239624926
China and Pakistan are also discussing plans for Pakistan to buy China's more advanced FC-20 fighter, also known as the J-10, Ahmad Mukhtar, Pakistan's defense minister told reporters Wednesday.


Countries who had access to the F-16 or SU-30 would not buy the J-10.

But the Pakis had access to neither during that point — it was under embargo.

So even the Paki defense minister (see article above) was talking about negotiations for the FC-20. The reason why the TSP never actually bought the J-10 has more to do with Cheen being cheap on aid than Pakiland not wanting it.

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Re: China Military Watch - Sept' 2016

Postby nam » 19 Nov 2018 01:22

chola wrote:Countries who had access to the F-16 or SU-30 would not buy the J-10.

But the Pakis had access to neither during that point — it was under embargo.



In 91, after the F16 embargo, Pak went around to buy new jet. M2K was tried out. Some Marshall in PAF made a mess, by not been able to keep a lid on their cut in the deal. M2k did not arrive. May be our boys had some hand in there..

The other jet on offer was... surprise surprise SU-27! This when Soviet had to leave Afghanistan with thousands of servicemen killed by Pak involvement, 3 years back.

International relational does not value blood of it's people. Also tell you what was our situation, when our suppose allies was ready to sell to our adversary.


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