Every country intends to showcase its might in the international domain and establish its invincibility over others. And for this purpose, relying solely on its indigenous defense system is indispensable. The high strength of any country is the best indicator of this. Here is a detailed list of the war aircraft developed by china, though not rank-wise, but developed and owned by the eccentric Chinese Dragon.
The Chengdu J-20 is also known as Mighty Dragon. It is a single-seat, twin-jet, all-weather, stealth fighter aircraft developed by China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation and used primarily by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). J-20 is designed keeping air superiority fighter with precision strike capability in mind. It has a considerable per unit cost of US$ 100-110 million.
It is capable of carrying drop tanks, dropping precision-guided bombs and firing short, medium as well as long-range air-to-air missiles (AAM) in the shortest time possible. The J-20 lacks an internal auto-cannon or rotary cannon, suggesting the aircraft is intent not be used in short-range dogfight engagements with other aircraft. It has an internal fuel capacity of 25,000 lbs with a maximum speed of Mach 2 and a range of 3,700 miles. Its combat range is 1,200 miles.
The Chengdu J-20, China’s first stealth fighter, made its first flight in 2011 and has been compared to the US F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters, which are called ‘fifth-generation’ combat aircraft. However, the J-20’s limited stealth features and its use of an older Russian engine have attracted criticism. A media report, based on an article in China’s Global Times, claimed that China had downgraded the J-20’s classification from a fifth-generation to a fourth-generation fighter. The Chinese military has also referred to the J-20 as a fourth-generation fighter repeatedly.
2. Chengdu J-10
The Chengdu J-10 is also known as Vigorous Dragon. It is produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation to be used by the PLAAF. It is a fourth-generation single-engine, lightweight multirole fighter aircraft capable of all-weather operation and its configuration includes a delta wing and a canard design with fly-by-wire flight controls. Its per-unit cost is US$ 27.84 million.
It was developed as a response to the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 then introduced by the USSR, and F-15, F-16 which are already in service in the United States. You can check our 9 Deadliest Aircraft Of World article to know more about f-16 and f-15. The cockpit of J-10 have a two-piece bubble canopy cover providing 360 degrees of visual coverage for the pilot. The canopy of J-10 lifts upwards to permit cockpit entry and exit. Also, a zero-zero ejection seat is provided for the pilot, allowing safe ejection in an emergency even at zero altitudes and zero speed.
The radar has a mechanically scanned planar array antenna and is capable of tracking ten targets. Of the ten targets tracked, two can be engaged simultaneously with semi-active radar homing missiles, or four can be involved with active radar homing missiles. It may deploy short-range air-to-air missiles, medium-range radar-guided air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, unguided and precision-guided munitions such as laser-guided bombs, anti-ship missiles and anti-radiation missiles.
3. Chengdu J-7
The Chengdu J-7, having its third generation export version F-7 with “Fish can” as its NATO reporting name, is a China’s license-built version of the Soviet MiG-21. The J-7 has redesigned fuel tanks and significantly larger drop tanks to maintain a more stable centre of gravity.
It can carry and drop unguided bombs ranging from 50 kg to 500 kg. Production of third-generation aircraft is ceased in May 2013 after decades of manufacturing while Bangadesh Air Force receives the last 12 F-7BGIs. The other significant importers are Egypt, Iran, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Sudan.
4. Shenyang J-15
The Shenyang J-15, also known as Flying Shark, is a fourth-generation, is in development by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. It is a twin-jet, all-weather carrier-based aircraft. It is developed from J-11B as well as from the studying of a prototype of Su-33.
In February 2018, several Chinese media outlets discussed that it belongs to the 4th or 4.5 generation fighters. Until a 5th generation successor enters service, J-15 will be seen as an interim carrier-based fighter. It is capable of ejecting various bombs and rockets, air-to-air missiles, anti-ship and supersonic anti-ship missiles and munitions on twelve external hardpoints.
5. Shenyang J-16
The Shenyang J-16 is also having a nickname as Red Eagle. It is a Chinese tandem-seat, twin-jet, all-weather multirole strike fighter. Design and manufactured by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation to be operated by the PLAAF. The Shenyang J-16 fighter is based on the Shenyang J-11B airframe with increased operational range and improved avionics suite. And also it is said to be modifications from the Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKK that is sold to China in 2000.
J-16 is in the same general class as the American Boeing F/A-18 “Super Hornet”, European Eurofighter Typhoon, and French Dassault Rafale multirole aircraft. It adds a new multi-faceted participant to growing Chinese military authority in the tumultuous Asia-Pacific region.
The J-16, as a strike-fighter series supports both air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions. Also, it said that there are twelve external hardpoints which support PL-9 and PL-12 series air-to-air missiles, standard anti-radiation (anti-radar) missiles, anti-ship weaponry, rocket pods, conventional drop bombs and precision-guided ordnance. Though it is not invisible to existing radar systems. J-16 also takes proud in the fact that it makes use of a special radar-absorbent coating along its skin to promote a particular stealth aspect.
6. Shenyang J-11
The original J-11 was purely a Chinese variant of Russia’s Su-27, while the J-11B introduced Chinese hardware. Around 120 J-11Bs of all types were estimated to be in service in 2015. The electronic countermeasures equipment aboard the J-11 includes radar warning receiver, chaff and flare dispensing system and radio jamming transmitter. Shenyang J-11 is a highly-manoeuvrable twin-engine jet fighter aircraft capable of conducting air-superiority and ground attack missions. It has now getting modified into J-15 and J-16.
Sukhoi and SAC signed a $2.5bn contract for the co-production of 200 Su-27SK fighters as the J-11 in February 1996. As part of this contract, Sukhoi was also responsible for supplying components to assemble the aircraft at SAC.
7. Shenyang J-8
The Shenyang J-8, with “Finback” as its NATO reporting name, is a high-speed, all-weather, multirole high-altitude Chinese-built single-seat interceptor fighter aircraft. Introduced in the 1980s, it still can ‘sprint’ at Mach 2-plus speeds and later versions can carry medium-range missiles for interception purposes. The PLAAF and PLANAF currently operate approximately 300 J-8s of various configurations, though in limited service.
It can carry unguided bombs and rockets. Also, with the development of lightweight nuclear weaponry, the J-8II can carry missiles with nuclear warheads. The standard armament was a single 23mm cannon, this naturally based on an original Soviet design. J-10 and similar fighter jets produced in China expects to phase out in the coming years.
8. Shenyang FC-31 (J-31)
The Shenyang FC-31 is also known as the J-31 or J-35. It is consider as China’s first fifth-generation fighter jet. FC-31 is a single-seat, twin-engine, mid-size and currently under development by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation and has been referred to as the “Falcon Hawk” by some military enthusiasts. Also, its per-unit cost is said to be approximately US$ 70 million.
Due to mixed reports from China, it is unknown as to whether the J-31 will be inducted as a carrier-based naval fighter since air force declined to commission it, or only intended for foreign customers. The J-31 is speculate to use stealth coatings instead of “baked in” fibre-mat stealth. The engine nozzles are redesigned to reduce radar and infrared signatures.
The FC-31 is the second domestically produced stealth fighter. It was designed to match the American Lockheed Martin F-35 and has broadly similar specifications. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 61,729 lb with a combat range of 780 miles. Also, it can reach up to a maximum speed of Mach 1.8. It is capable of launching medium-range air-to-air missiles and supersonic air-to-ground missiles and dropping deep penetration bombs. It has six external hardpoints.