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Future Chinese carrier aircraft: “Super J-10”?

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posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:23 AM
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With work on China’s first aircraft carrier getting closer to completion, and the well publicized hopes of the PLAN (Chinese Navy) to gain an aircraft carrier capability, we can consider whether the notional J-10C twin engine J-10 development is likely to produce a credible fighter.

The main competitors to the much rumored (but never substantiated) J-10C (twin engine) are the Su-33 Flanker (Naval) and Mig-29k Fulcrum (Naval).

Artist’s impression of the Super-J10:

Note the wider air intakes and fatter fuselage.

Enlarging the fuselage/wings to accommodate two engines is likely to increase the airframe weight by around 75% (depending largely on the engines used). Also, navalization (the adding of arrester gear, wing folding mechanisms, beefed up undercarriage etc) is likely to add 3000lb to the overall weight. The increase in internal fuel carriage is not proportionate to the increase in the number of engines, meaning that the aircraft’s range is likely to decrease.

Thrust to weight ratios are likely to improve, and be reflected in a heavier maximum weapons load.

The basic J-10 uses a single Lyulka-Saturn AL-31F engine which is essentially the same engine as powers the Flanker. This engine produces 27,557 lb static thrust with afterburner, which is extremely powerful. The much rumored Chinese W-10A is (reportedly) actually a copy of this engine with thrust vectoring, closely equivalent to the latest models of AL-31 which produce in the region of 32,000lb static thrust and feature thrust vectoring. The thrust vectoring (steerable) nozzles do add weight however. The first option for the Super-J-10 is thus twin AL-31FUs (or W-10A equiv) which we will call Option1. I estimate that this would increase the airframe weight by about 75% and allow a 20% increase in internal fuel.

Another option is to use a smaller engine such as the RD-33/34 which powers the Fulcrum and FC-1 fighters, and is also available with thrust vectoring nozzles. This engine produces 18,300lb static thrust with afterburner (19,180lb emergency thrust). I estimate that this option (Option2) would increase the airframe weight by around 50% and increase internal fuel by around 20%. The airframe would also be slimmer than Option1 and likely to incur less drag.

Option1 would have a truly fantastic thrust to weight ratio, even better than either the Mig or Sukhoi. Option 2 would have a terrible thrust to weight ratio for a fighter, eliminating it from further analysis (even worse than the single engine J-10A which itself is very poor for a fighter). The issue here is that unlike the Sukhoi, Option1 would have to routinely operate with external fuel tanks (see below), significantly reducing the effective thrust to weight ratio when compared to the Sukhoi –this is the Achilles heal of the design.

Other performance issues
Option1’s massive increase in power over the J-10A is likely to increase its maximum speeds, probably to the region of Mach 1.25; similar to the Mig and Sukhoi. Its rate of climb would be increased and the thrust vectoring control would further enhance agility. And it would be capable of carrying a heavier weapons load. Range is the obvious area of concern. The airframe holds significantly less fuel than the Su-33 (which could have the exact same powerplant). The increase in fuel consumption is not matched by the increase in internal fuel capacity, thus making a limited ranged aircraft even more reliant on external fuel tanks.

too big and yet too small?
Where it looses out to the Mig, though not the Sukhoi, is overall size. Space is at a premium onboard an aircraft carrier; the bigger and heavier the aircraft, the fewer you can carry. The Mig is around 40% lighter and much smaller than Option1. Whilst Option1 is marginally lighter, and a fair bit smaller than the Su-33, it also has a smaller nose, prohibiting the employment of the massive but extremely capable NO-11M Phased Array radar. Redesign of the forward fuselage to accommodate larger radar would drastically increase weight and bring the aircraft’s thrust to weight ratio to around about the same as the Su-33, or lower.

Conclusion
On paper a twin AL-31 powered “Super J-10” appears an impressive naval fighter. It would have excellent performance and benefit from an awesome thrust to weight ratio, once it’d ditched its drop tanks. But it would have to carry drop tanks for nearly all missions, significantly detracting from its strike and swing-role potential. And being rather large and heavy, a carrier could carry fewer of them than say the Mig. It would also not be able to match the Sukhoi in terms of radar performance.




posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:46 AM
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Whats the latest on the PLAN carrier? Last time I had tuned into that topic, nothing substantial was concluded w.r.t. the carrier actually existing/being built or it just being a casino ship.
Whats the latest?



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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Plus, having just one aircraft carrier does not equal the ability for force projection such as the U.S. has. Put another way, sink the Chinese carrier and they're done. Sink a U.S. carrier and you know 4 or 5 more are going to show up and waste you.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 09:22 AM
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Not to mention the fact that this is an old, 'obsolete' carrier. I know they are going to put new systems and updated electronics inside. But that doesnt make up for the 60 years of experience the US has on Carrier based warfare. But I guess if they want it they can have it, I dont have any objections.

As for the latest on their program, here ya go.
www.globalsecurity.org...

[edit on 12/11/2005 by ludaChris]



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 04:55 PM
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Good link but as usual Global Security is slightly behind the times, lol. The Chinese aircraft carrier is taking shape, with a ski-jump ramp and forward flight deck substantially complete. Whilst the extent to which it will become fully operational is debatable, there can be no serious argument against that the Chinese intending to finish it and fly jet aircraft off it. Casinos do not need ski-jumps, lol. The red paint on the superstructure has caused some debate; it is possible that it is some form of signature reduction attempt, either IR or Radar, but this cannot be confirmed.


re the Super J-10. I have extended the thrust-weight ratio data to include several other aircraft. What is significant is that the Super J-10 appears to be better off than either the Eurofighter Typhoon or F-22 Raptor.

This led me to wonder whether it would likely be capable of supercruise. Supercruise is the ability to sustain (not merely reach) supersonic speeds without recourse to afterburner. The ability to do so is a combination of several factors, key of which are the thrust to weight ratio on military power (i.e. without afterburner) and sheer power on military power (i.e. a common flea has far better thrust to weight ratio than any fighter but it cannot propel itself to supersonic speeds as it lacks the power.. lol).

Given the Super J-10’s likely thrust to weight ratio at military power, I very much doubt that it could supercruise, despite having 30% more thrust than the Eurofighter. In fact, the F-18E appears a candidate for supercruise. This reflects the superiority of current American fighter engines in terms of the dry thrust compared to afterburning thrust.

As for writing off the carrier as out dated or too few, that is too mistake its purpose. Given that both us and China are true nuclear powers, both able to DESTROY the other with great certainty, whether the US has more carriers has little relevance.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 07:42 PM
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The carrier been moved to a military shipyard. All the rumours now is that it is getting chinese engines.

This unit would be more likey used for a training ship or even a helicopter carrier. It would be more use to the PLAN if it went for a new design instead of this design

[edit on 11-12-2005 by chinawhite]



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 08:18 PM
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My personal belief is that the carrier will be used primarily for training of PLAN in how to operate fixed wing combat aircraft at sea, something which it has next to zero experience of. It will thus function in much the same way as the USSR’s Yak-38 Forger equipped Kiev class carriers –and in common with the Kiev, its air wing will be combat capable, though not to the extent of US carriers. I agree that China will seek to commission indigenous Carrier designs to supercede this unit.

I do not personally believe that the notional J-10C (“Super J-10” as I’ve called it) will be developed. This is not a minor modification; it’s a whole new aircraft type. Developing the twin engine J-10C for the PLAN would delay the whole carrierization process and be ridiculously expensive for what is a 40-100 aircraft requirement. Instead I think that Mig-29k Fulcrum or Su-33 Flanker aircraft will be used. Even though deployed primarily for gaining carrier experience, these aircraft will impart a very real combat capability, sufficient for power projection and disruption of US operations.

Calling it a “training ship”, though essentially accurate (IMO), is rather dismissive in tone. It could lead to a gross underestimation of capability and mission impact. It should not be dismissed.

Other types I envisage being deployed on it include the AEW variant of the Helix. I do not place any confidence in China’s copy of the Hawkeye which has been shown in model form; at best it is a long term project and of questionable merit.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 08:30 PM
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A training ship as in a platform which the PLAN pilots can use to practise carrier launchs not a fully functional carrier. It would be good to test what taking off at sea would be like seeing as how the PLAN as not tried a VSTOL type aircraft yet.

If the Varyag were going to be used as a military carrier it would be a good choie to have Mig-29K like what the indians are doing to their smaller carrier. Being a larger carrier it would have more room for fuel and other supplies. The shippwreak launchers could be removed or replaced by a S-300 air defence system and this ship could carry its own defence like what the soviets intended it to be. With that amount of room i do believe that is would have a good airdefence system or even anti ship missiles installed.

A possble air fleet would be 40 Mig-29K and 10 Ka-31 AEW and the anti submainre versions

The biggest probelm i think is the engines. I do not think china has the capability as yet to build a engine for it at this momment. It has built very large ships and their engines eg 300,000ton supertankers. but the only experience it has on military grade engines are on the little destroyers chian has 7~8tons. This is the main problem china needs to overcome


-=-=-=-=-

With the new PLA colors it could be used as another museum like the Mirsk. Because they are painted in military colours with old PLA ships on them. I've got pictures and ill post them later

This is one i found.
img295.imageshack.us...
From the picture you can tell that it has the PLA military greyish blue.

And chinese Nimitz carrier model.
img237.imageshack.us...

China had already experiemneted with helicopter carriers before but it is a small one.


-=-=-=-=-

My opinion is that china build idigeniuos carriers like india and use a smaller Varyag design with ski-jump build two of them then go back to a conventional design

[edit on 11-12-2005 by chinawhite]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:47 AM
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I just want to make aq couple of observations re the J-10C post up above;

In regards to T/W ratio;

the Super J-10 appears to be better off than either the Eurofighter Typhoon or F-22 Raptor.


A minor point, but in the table the J-10C and Typhoon appear to be equal in this respect.

Secondly supercruise;




Supercruise is the ability to sustain (not merely reach) supersonic speeds without recourse to afterburner. The ability to do so is a combination of several factors, key of which are the thrust to weight ratio on military power (i.e. without afterburner) and sheer power on military power (i.e. a common flea has far better thrust to weight ratio than any fighter but it cannot propel itself to supersonic speeds as it lacks the power.. lol).


This notion is slightly misleading as, firstly, actually getting to supersonic speed is much harder than merely maintaining it, not the other way round. Witness here the Concorde which used afterburners to attain its supersonic cruising speed and then switched them off for the rest of the journey, ensuring the necessary fuel economy to reach its destination, whilst almost effortlessly maintaining a cruise of mach 2 or threreabouts.

Also, of equal, if not greater, importance than thrust to weight ratio and sheer power, is transonic drag rise. This is a quite complex matter and is more to do with the Typhoons and Raptors supercruise ability than is readily apparent.

The T/W Ratio of the F-15 is amongst the very highest there has been, but its transonic drag rise is so appalling that supercruise is absolutely out of the question. IF the Chinese have mastered this there there would be nothing much preventing the J-10C from supercruising, if they have not they can give it all the power they want and its not going to happen.

Incidentally, the complexities of this phenomenon are the reason that the mach 2 capable F-111 was slower at low level than the subsonic Buccaneer, the F-111's transonic drag rise (due in part to its inefficient intake design) has been described as 'a disgrace' by senior engineers who worked on the TSR 2.

I include that example only as an illustration that supercruise ability cannot be defined from a thrust/weight ratio comparison.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 08:31 AM
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Well let's face it... China is a superpower... (OK, we kenw that already, but it just sounded way to good...
) Now, We know that every super nation has always, always made their own military stuff... America, Russia, Germany (WW2) So it is very clear, that China will make their own fighters... Now it isn't anymore about "plane points", but wich choise will make the country look better...

[edit on 12-12-2005 by Figher Master FIN]

[edit on 12-12-2005 by Figher Master FIN]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 08:47 AM
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Waynos, I agree with your observations.

BTW, the graph showing the Typhoon’s thrust to weight ratio is a typo. In my calculations the Typhoon came out at 1.18:1 and the F-22 1.17:1. Super J-10 came out at 1.19:1 so yes, higher.


Re the transonic drag efficiency issue. You are right that my post on supercruise is misleading -that’ll teach me to attempt to simplify things. I don’t agree that transonic drag is any bigger factor than thrust to weight or sheer power, but concede that it is right up there with them –I chose to leave it out as I have no way of determining it in my analysis. What I will say is that when the j-10 was first seen in the West, the intake design was of great interest as it was speculated that it was similar to the Eurofighter’s for that very reason. Having said that, I have not heard anything on that topic for several years and very much doubt the aircraft’s supercruise potential (see above analysis).

Re Eurofighter supercruise: rumors are that the TVC and conformal fuel tanks adversely affect supercruise characteristics. Just rumors though but it would account for the slow implementation of these two features. Do you know whether the Eurofighter is capable of supecruise with drop tanks?



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:05 AM
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" The red paint on the superstructure has caused some debate; it is possible that it is some form of signature reduction attempt, either IR or Radar, but this cannot be confirmed. "

The paint in the picture looks familiar, sort of like the rust paint that I have used in the past to touch up my old 1986 Rustang. I suggest that this is anti corrosion paint applied to the superstructure as the vessel was probably not constructed in the modular fashion that we in the West like to use. Of course, this would not be first time I made an error in judgement.

MICROMACHINE



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Well let's face it... China is a superpower... (OK, we kenw that already, but it just sounded way to good...
)


They have no ability to project meaningfull force beyond their boarders.

Thus, they are not a superpower. Once they have force projection (which involves a lot more then a few carriers) they will be a superpower.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:18 PM
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I have no solid information on this but I suspect that the Typhoon can supercruise only when carrying its conformal BVRAAMs and nothing else, this is a personal opinion though and I stand to be corrected by someone who knows better.

I'm not sure how TVC (???) and conformal tanks would affect it though as I would have thought one of the prime benefits of having conformal fuel tanks is that they wouldn't adversely affect supercruise capability dues to its carefully tailored conformal nature.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man

They have no ability to project meaningfull force beyond their boarders.

Thus, they are not a superpower. Once they have force projection (which involves a lot more then a few carriers) they will be a superpower.


Well, If I understood your post correctly, you tried to convince me that Cina isn't a superpower... COME ON...!!!!! 2 600 000 soldiers... That isn't just any army... it is the biggest army in the world... besides, every country that has been to space is a super-power... And China has been there... And BTW, If Chna wouldn't be a super-power... Why would everybody make threads here about "Who would win USA vs. China" "Wich country has a stronger military..." Waht idea would it be to compare a uperpower with a non-superpower...???

[edit on 12-12-2005 by Figher Master FIN]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
They have no ability to project meaningfull force beyond their boarders.

Thus, they are not a superpower. Once they have force projection (which involves a lot more then a few carriers) they will be a superpower.
I take it ICBMs don’t count as an ability to project meaningfully beyond their boarders….



Waynos, thanks for the intelligent conversation.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Well, If I understood your post correctly, you tried to convince me that Cina isn't a superpower... COME ON...!!!!! 2 600 000 soldiers... That isn't just any army... it is the biggest army in the world...


It's also an army that would need to march to where ever it hoped to fight.

China lacks the logistical capability to fight any where in the world. All those soldiers would do exactly NO DAMAGE in a war on a different continent.



besides, every country that has been to space is a super-power... And China has been there...


Excuse me?

Exactly who made that rule?


And BTW, If Chna wouldn't be a super-power... Why would everybody make threads here about "Who would win USA vs. China" "Wich country has a stronger military..."


Because they are uneducated on the subject. Any one who understands war would quickly conclude that while an invasion of China would be costly, any war between the US and China (now, not in 50 years) would heavilly favor the US.



Waht idea would it be to compare a uperpower with a non-superpower...???


A stupid one



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
I take it ICBMs don’t count as an ability to project meaningfully beyond their boarders….


OK, I don't mean to swing this off topic, so I will stop posting about this in this thread after this reply...

The only modern ICBM China has is the DF-31, and this missle does not even have MIRV capability, and has accuracy of 300-600 meters.

Now, while that may not seem like a problem when discussing nuclear weapons, one must consider that these missles are aimed at US nuclear missle silos, all of which can withstand near misses by nuclear warheads.

Then of course, you can compar the number of ICBMs with the number of targets...

But all of this isn't really important, as I was speaking of conventional forces, since it is the troops on the ground that really make a super power.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
It's also an army that would need to march to where ever it hoped to fight.

China lacks the logistical capability to fight any where in the world. All those soldiers would do exactly NO DAMAGE in a war on a different continent.


Chinese soldiers are already in America. They have been infiltrating our porous borders for at least a decade. Invasions do not have to arrive in massive troop carriers. The best invasion is the one that is not seen.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by groingrinder
Chinese soldiers are already in America. They have been infiltrating our porous borders for at least a decade. Invasions do not have to arrive in massive troop carriers. The best invasion is the one that is not seen.


I have some prime swamp land for sale, you interested?



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