Warplanes: April 23, 2002


China is expected to show off its new J-10 fighter in November, but more details are slowly becoming available even now. It will be a tailless delta, with canards, similar to the cancelled Israeli Lavi. Virtually everyone believes that the J-10 is in fact the Lavi, as Israel has a contract to provide the Lavi design to China. The cockpit is "western" in layout (being an evolution of the Israeli Lavi), and there are 11 hard points for fuel, bombs, or missiles. The J-10 is a single-engine, single-seat, multi-mission fighter in the same class as the F-16 or Eurofighter. The engine is a Russian-built AL-31FN turbofan imported as a complete unit and generating 28,218 pounds of thrust. This will make the aircraft, with its maximum take off weight of 18,400 kilograms, a bit more lively than a fully-loaded F-16C50.--Stephen V Cole


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