Sunday, April 11, 2021

China’s SU-30MK2, J-10A Fighter Jets Conduct Tactical Combat Drills

A naval aviation brigade of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air (PLA) has recently conducted an exercise involving multi-type fighter jets, including Su-30MK2 and J-10A.

According to reports, tactical formations and maneuvers were practiced by the Eastern Theater Command, along with air-to-surface attacks, especially against sea targets.

Images of the exercise published by a Chinese website navy.81.cn show several combat jets from the PLA’s fighter fleet from the Eastern Military District, including Flankers and indigenously designed J-10 Dragons, taking to the sky

The Su-30MK2

The images released show multiple Su-30MK2 fighter jets. The Su-30MK2 is an improved version of the Chinese modified Flanker, the Su-30 ‘MKK’. The Su-30MKK was developed by Russia’s Sukhoi in 1997, following a direct request for tender from China.

China-Su-30MK2 fighter jets. (Image courtesy: navy.81.cn)

It is a heavy class, all-weather, long-range strike fighter, and like the Sukhoi Su-30, comparable to the American McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle.

The MK2 incorporates the highly-improvised avionics suite and maritime strike capabilities. This variant also features a new C4ISTAR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) suite as well as a new mission computer.

Distinctively, the aircraft also carries wingtip-mounted SAP-518 electronic warfare pods. It has a higher gross weight and strengthened undercarriage, and a new radar.

The J-10A

Another aircraft seen in the images is the J-10A, a single-engine, lightweight multirole fighter capable of all-weather operation, configured with a delta wing and canard design, with fly-by-wire flight controls.

The aircraft is produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The J-10 is mainly designed for air-to-air combat, but may also perform strike missions.

The aircraft was developed on a request from the PLA for a third-generation fighter aircraft in 1989 and was decided to impart newer designs and modifications as developments progressed.

China’s J-10A fighter jets. (Image courtesy: navy.81.cn)

The J-10A has a rectangular splitter plate air intake ramp located underneath the fuselage, providing the air supply to the engine.

Newer variants use a diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI) that does not require a splitter plate and may reduce radar cross signature. Also under the fuselage and wings are 11 hardpoints, used for carrying various types of weaponry and drop-tanks containing extra fuel.

The newer variant, the J-10B also reportedly features an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

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