Zhuhai Airshow Includes Debut of China's J-10 Fighter

 - November 20, 2008, 7:19 AM

China’s new J-10 combat aircraft made its public debut at the Zhuhai airshow last month. Two examples of the fourth-generation fighter named “Vigorous Dragon” were part of an expanded Chinese defense presence at the event. The JH-7 fighter-bomber, L-15 jet trainer, J-8 interceptor and H-6Y bomber-tanker were also on flying and static display. Inside the exhibition hall, dozens of missile models were displayed, including the SY-400 surface-to-air system, the FL-3000N shipborne self-defense system and the C-705 anti-ship missile. Among numerous UAV project models was a full-scale model of an armed UAV designated CH-3, with canards, pusher propeller and twin tails reminiscent of the Rutan Vari-Eze. Also displayed for the first time was the WS10 Taihung turbofan engine that could replace the J-10’s Russian-built AL31F–and therefore allow China to sell export versions of this fighter in the medium to long term. Its development status remains unclear. At the last Singapore Air Show, we provided a detailed review of the J-10 and WS10 programs.