Beijing May Have Upgraded J-10 Fighter to Become Stealthier
The People's Liberation Army-Air Force has modified the J-10 aircraft to have thrust vector control (TVC) capability, part of the service's drive to make the aircraft more lethal.
A recent image on a Chinese defense magazine showed the J-10 with a number of upgrades that haven't been seen before, including a new engine with "sawtooth" edges that make the engine less noticeable on enemy air radars. Engine specialists say that radar signals reflect well off straight lines, but that sawtooth patterns can smother the radar return.
The American-made F-35 and Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30/35 Flanker series aircraft feature similar engine edges to improve their low observability characteristics, Business Insider notes.
The TVC aspect of the engine increases the plane's angular velocity during flight by slightly repositioning the engine itself so as to manipulate the thrust created by the engine.
The new developments will allow the J-10 to make more precise maneuvers in the air while giving pilots more control over altitude changes. The US' F-22 Raptor and the Su-30/35 family of aircraft make use of TVC as well, Defense News noted.
Beijing has reportedly been interested in TVC research and development for quite some time, but has not mastered TVC as of yet, Andreas Rupprecht, a Chinese military aviation expert, said this week.
The above picture of the J-10 with TVC ability has not been independently verified for authenticity by Sputnik News. Speaking to Defense News, Rupprecht said the TVC project is likely being used to further examine engine improvements for the more advanced J-20 fighter aircraft.
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