中国新型喷气发动机突然将空军引领向了一个全新领域 [美国媒体] China’s new jet engine suddenly takes air combat in a whole new direction 2018-11-11 周天寰宇2
China’s new jet engine suddenly takes air combat in a whole new direction
Visitors to Zhuhai see debut of jet technology that flies on cutting edge
J-10’s thrust vectoring engine could shape future of Chinese air power
An upgraded version of China’s J-10 fighter jet stole the limelight at the country’s biggest air show this week.
The J-10 variant has manoeuvrability and combat capability that, until now, were the preserve of the United States and Russia.
Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military affairs commentator, said the performance of the J-10B TVC was a sign that the flight control of China’s fighter jets had improved.
北京军事评论人士宋仲平表示，歼- 10b 的矢量推力系统飞行表演表明中国战斗机的飞控能力已经得到大大提高。
“The system that controls the TVC nozzle and the whole plane is far more complicated [now], and the smooth operation in the show demonstrated that China has solved the problem,” Song said.
Fighter jets need much higher manoeuvrability than civilian aircraft to avoid other combatants or air-to-air missiles, and this requires a complex propulsion system that can rapidly alter a plane’s flight path.
China agreed in November 2015 to pay US$2.5 billion for 24 Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighters from Russia, and the first four were delivered in 2016. They were the first fighter jets powered by thrust-vectoring engines to serve with the Chinese air force.
Late last year, online photos suggested that a version of the J-10 had been equipped with a home-built TVC nozzle and the performance in Zhuhai was the first time the technology was shown to the public.
China is rapidly modernising its military under President Xi Jinping, who plans to turn it into a force capable of long-range power projection.
While the J-10B TVC’s performance at Zhuhai was a milestone, experts said it remained to be seen how the Chinese air force’s offensive capabilities will be strengthened by it.
“It takes time to train pilots in the new plane and lots of exercises are needed to maximise the use of TVC,” said Beijing-based military affairs analyst Zhou Chenming.
Li Jie, a retired colonel, said TVC was most effective in close combat, and China had to develop more advanced aircraft to project power quicker.
“China needs more fighters that have supersonic and stealth features, these are the planes that will dominate the future competition for the air,” he said.