Recently, a lot of news have been coming out revealing the performance of J-10. We know that an upgraded J-10 is being worked out and might even have a prototype out next month and fly before the end of the year. One of the more revealing interviews came out recently through an interview with someone involved pretty deeply in J-10's avionics development. You can see the part one of the interview here and the part two of the interview here. It's in Chinese and really slow, so you might have problem viewing it, here is a recap of what I heard regarding to J-10:
- he said that avionics are very import, but are also very expensive
- J-10 cost 200 million Yuan each, export to Pakistan would probably be 300 million each
- out of that, 100 million is spent on the avionics, takes 10 years to develop
- one is DCFS (Digital Flight Control Systems), which allows pilot to control the plane with displayed information
- talks about the FBW computer, which does 500 K calculation per second (that's not even 1 MHz!, what?)
- other is mission computer, you just plug in the mission and the fighter will tell you what to do
- then talks about INS (inertial navigational system), you can go from Beijing to Shenzhen with this and only be off by 500 m
- and the other is CADC (central air data computer), it is used to detect the temperature, dew point, wind direction/speed and stuff like that.
- other is SMS (store management system), this is the system controlling the launching of missiles and bombs (it has to calculate how high you are launching certain weapons and your speed to achieve optimize results)
- radar - can detect up to 150 km (here is interesting part, he mentions that F-22 can only do 170 km, but that is vs 1 m^2 target, I doubt J-10 is facing that size to get to 150 km, maybe 3 m^2 or 5 M^2?)
- CNI - communication/navigation/identification, plane has wide band, narrow band (different types of waves that it's sending and receiving), didn't really talk about datalink or IFF, but I'm guessing that's part of this
- EMS - (electronic counter measure system?) - not much said
talks about a fighter jet is like a networked computer system with many sub parts, each has a computer that can do half to 1 million calculations per second. Also, they take up very little space.
The other major project for plaaf is KJ-2000. That appears to be going well in spite of the problem with IL-76, because we've seen a new regiment of 4 KJ-2000 number 30071 to 30074 in the 26th division. We've also seen a picture of some factory workers building a 6 blade propeller for Y-8. Since only Y-8F600 uses 6-blade propeller, it appears that they are preparing for a new Y-8F600 for KJ-200 (the other Y-8 surveillance aircrafts are still using Y-8F200/400). Other than that, we've seen a new Y-8 Elint plane numbered 9527.
For the navy, we've seen 071 finally starting to conduct sea tests, here are a couple of pictures of it taken recently: