Saturday, December 8, 2007

China's 5th generation fighter

In the last few weeks, a Chinese general said in public TV the following

徐少将称:据他所知,四代机十年前就已经上马,而且推力比10以上的发动机研制没有问题,最近通过航空航天的最新经验,我国在电子和隐身方面都取得了重大进展。他最后说,歼十四五年内问世。

凤凰卫视"军情观察室"节目透露,中国拒绝与俄罗斯和印度共同研制新一代作战飞机,原因是缺乏技术保密性。

徐光峪表示,中国方面在第四代战机的研制已经进行了多年,目前就一些关键性技术难题已经突破,其中包括大推力比的发动机,甚至推力比已经超过10,另外在隐形技术、电控技术都获得了较大的突破,在将来5到8年的时间里中国自己研制的第四代战机即可成军。

事实上,中国战斗机的研制上目前已经达到了俄罗斯的水平,接近美国研发水平,只是由于实际国情,军事生产不能如同美国产业化,中国自己研制的歼十单发战斗机性能超过俄的米格29,而俄罗斯的双发重型多功能战斗机也都是在苏27基础上改进,中国现在已经掌握了苏27的生产工艺。

所以在拿着大头钱去让俄罗斯研制新型飞机,遏制自己自主研发能力?那只有傻瓜才会做的,如果俄罗斯人真有成意,除非他把其研发技术共享,研制产品技术共享,产品知识产权共享,才有可能与共同研制。

徐光裕将军 解放军防化学院原院长 解放军总参谋部退役军官、中国军控裁军协会理事 北京三略管理科学研究院高级顾问 著书[核战略纵横]国防大学出版社

This got famous because he mentionned that China has been researching on this plane for many years and have made a lot of progress. This project has been on going for over 10 years. This includes on the engine with T/W ratio of over 10. Other than stealth technology, avionics technology have also advanced a lot. He expects that China's 5th generation plane to be in service in 5 to 8 years. It's kind of interesting, because he also mentionned that J-14 will appear in 5 years.

Clearly, China did not participate in the 5th generation project with the Russians because it felt that it could develop it on its own. We had expected for a long time that China would work with the Russians with the 5th generation engine, but it turns out that WS-15 is progressing well enough that they feel an indigenous solution is good enough. If WS-15 is not ready, an upgraded WS-10 could be used first. I know that turbofan has always been a sore point with China. But now, it seems like WS-13 is progressing faster than a lot of people estimated and might even go in production next year.

As mentionned in the past, it seems that CAC is getting much of the design work for the 5th generation project. Now, it's encouraging, because a lot of technologies on 5th generation could be tested on upgraded J-10 first. So, one can expect the so called upgraded J-10 to be holding down the fort until the 5th generation plane gets developed. It's interesting, 2015 has often been noted as the date that this plane will come out. However, another really important project in the form of anti-air UCAV is probably just as important, but is less publicized. From Anjian's appearance in recent air shows, it's quite clear that China is working on anti-air UCAV a lot earlier than Western air forces. There are some obvious advantage and disadvantages to UCAVs in this role. Whether China can make a cost effective and useful UCAV is a huge question. There is no doubt that such a weapon could be huge in a possible conflict with Taiwan.

Recently, We've seen the Indians sign the 5th generation contract with the Russians. Clearly, China would've participated in the project somehow, if they felt their own product would come out quite a bit after the Russians. Some may say that China is doing because they want to protect their own industry. The reality is that China is so desperate for something to counter F-22/35, that waiting an extra 5 years for a 5th generation jet is a price that I don't think they are willing to pay. So, the Chinese jet will probably come out at around the same time as the Russian one. One thing is for sure. China will not have any kind of money problem.

3 comments:

timurelame said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
timurelame said...

Perhaps PLA's reluctance to participate with Russia to develop 5th generation fighters is due to a lack of trust of Russian
capabilities to complete and produce the jets on-time and with adequate reliability.

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