A photo posted on the internet indicates that the J-10B, the upgraded version of China's's J-10 fighter is almost ready for service,
12th Jan 2015
J-10B fighter may be close to entering service: Kanwa
A photo posted on the internet indicates that the J-10B, the upgraded version of China's's J-10 fighter is almost ready for service, reports Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine based in Canada.
The photo shows more than 10 J-10B fighters parked on an unidentified airfield in China. After the J-10A went out of production last year, the first J-10B is likely to be commissioned in 2015, the magazine said.
The plane was originally designed for use with the domestically developed WS-10 Taihang turbofan engine but will use the Russian AL31FN engine as the Taihang engine is not yet ready. Due to its reliance on the engines provided by Russia, China is still unable to produce the J-10B in large numbers, the report said.
The first J-10B to enter service will be with the PLA Air Force units that currently deploy the J-10A. After that, it is likely to serve the PLA Navy's East Sea Fleet as an ground attack aircraft. The Russian-built Su-30MKK was originally earmarked for this role, but PLA Navy believes the fighter is better suited to taking on Taiwan's F-16 fighters in aerial combat.