As the fourth generation fighter aircraft developed independently in China, the J-10 family derived J-10A, J-10S, J-10B, J-10C and so on after several upgrades. Among them, J-10B and J-10C are the two models with the biggest changes, both in shape and in airborne equipment.
The head of the J-10B is the biggest change to the J-10A, the first radar changed, from the pulse Doppler fire control radar to the domestic phased array radar, this point can be seen from the radar hood and the fuselage of the tilt line. Because the antenna array of phased array radar is usually installed with certain elevation angle, it can reflect the radar wave through the radome into the radar cabin and reflect the radar wave in other directions through the inclined radar array surface, thus greatly reducing the contribution of the head radar cabin to the aircraft RCS, which is beneficial to reduce the radar reflection area. Therefore, for easy maintenance, the rear end of the radome is also designed to tilt.
According to public information, the domestic passive phased array radar can track more than 10 targets at the same time, attack four targets, and use broadband design to improve the anti-jamming ability of the radar, which is equipped on top of the J-10B, making the J-10B the first fighter with phased array radar in the Chinese air force. However, the biggest disadvantage of passive phased array radar is that the detection distance is limited, which is because the passive phased array radar has more electromagnetic wave transmission links and larger corresponding loss, which has a little effect on the combat performance of J-10B, but in general, the detection performance and the ability to use weapons of J-10B are greatly improved than that of J-10A.
The spherical raised device at the top of the radome is an infrared search and tracking system with J-10B addition, which is mainly used for passive infrared search and tracking. Compared with airborne fire control radar, the system can realize passive detection, identify targets by imaging, and can work under high intensity electromagnetic interference. Because any object emits infrared radiation when the temperature is above absolute zero, especially when the aircraft rubs with the air at high speed. Infrared search and tracking system is a passive long-wave infrared detection sensor, which can monitor and track the remote infrared heat source under the environment of electronic interference. Although the infrared search and tracking system is limited by the detection distance, it is difficult to achieve a wide range of search, but it can be based on the coarse coordinates obtained in the radar passive detection mode to accurately identify and track the enemy target. In addition, by combining information with the helmet aiming\/display system and combining with the large-axle infrared air-to-air missile, the response speed of the pilot during the close-range combat can be greatly improved.
Another significant change from J-10B to J-10A is the change of the original adjustable multi-wave system rectangular supersonic inlet to the unattached layer septum supersonic inlet, the DSI inlet. It uses a fixed drum to simulate the baffle in the conventional inlet, and can achieve the purpose of compressing the air flow, simplifying the structure, reducing the weight and reducing the radar reflection area, and is insensitive to the change of the angle of attack and the sideslip angle of the aircraft, and has good stability. Before the J-10B, our country has applied the DSI inlet to the \"Xiaolong\" fighter plane, and the subsequent J-10C and J-20 aircraft also used the DSI inlet, which shows our country's proficiency in the theoretical research and engineering application of the city. In order to adapt to the DS inlet, the nose also changed from the original cone to a flat circle to play a pre-compression effect on the air before entering the inlet. although studies have shown that the total pressure recovery coefficient of the dsi inlet at the right end of the flight package line is not as good as the adjustable supersonic inlet, the use of the dsi inlet can save hundreds of kg of weight and greatly simplify the inlet structure and improve reliability. In other words, the supersonic performance of J-10B may be slightly reduced after switching to the DSI inlet, in exchange for improved performance across subsonic and transonic packet lines. This shows a change in the operational positioning of the J-10 fighters, from an earlier air-conditioned fighter with an intercept function to a multi-purpose approach.
On the power system side, although photos show that at least a number of J-10B fighter jets have been replaced with domestic "Taihang" engines, of which 1034 have even adopted "Taihang" engines and vector vents, most of the J-10B's mass-produced models still use the Russian AL-31FN engine because the output of the J-15, J16 and J-11BS engines has not yet met the production needs of multiple fighter jets. "Taihang" and the AL-31FN engine after the installation of the distinction can be identified from the shape of the tail tube, or better to distinguish. It is worth mentioning that the fact that J-10B can use both AL-31FN and “Taihang ” shows that the power system compatibility design of the machine is very excellent, which is very beneficial to the logistic support of wartime and the subsequent development of the model.
The J-10B fighter has 11 hanging points, including 6 under the wing,1 in the center line of the fuselage and 4 on the side of the inlet. The ability to mount short-range missiles, medium-range missiles and a large number of ground-to-ground attack weapons is extremely strong for air and ground operations, and the aircraft can further optimize its mount capability using composite hangers. When conducting air defense patrols, J-10B can hang two medium-range air-to-air missiles and two short-range air-to-air missiles on each of the two outer hangers, with a total of 8 missiles. Of course, the advantages of composite hangers are even more obvious if they are used to carry out an attack on the ground.
The J-10B can mount a small precision-guided bomb on a pair of outer hangers similar to the US Army's Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) to perform a low collateral damage to ground targets. Another pair of hangers can also be used to carry out short-range air-to-air missiles, while carrying out attacks on the ground, still maintain a certain self-defense air combat capability. J-10B can use domestic second-generation laser guided bombs to improve the delivery distance and hit accuracy, and can hit the ground and sea surface low-speed moving targets in the environment of poor visibility and high wind speed. With the exception of 1000 kg and 500 kg precision guided bombs mounted only on the inner heavy-duty hangers, J-10B can mount multiple 250 kg 100 kg laser guided bombs through the composite hangers, with a significant increase in the load.
The J-10B preserves the full-action duck wing layout of J-10A with subsonic and transonic maneuverability, high agility and good supersonic interception capability, adopts advanced phased array radar to cooperate with infrared photoelectric system, comprehensively upgrades the electronic countermeasure system, and optimizes the inlet design. Through these improvement measures, J-10B makes up for the short performance of J-10A, further exerts the performance characteristic of the overall design scheme of J-10 fighter, completes the transformation from the air-control type to the multi-purpose fighter, and improves the comprehensive combat capability, which meets the new requirements of the Chinese Air Force for air operations under the condition of information in the new period.
In the improvement of J-10B, we not only see the birth of an improved fighter with obvious performance improvement, but also the full range of our advances in pneumatic design, airborne radar, avionics and material systems, which will be applied to the development and improvement of other new fighter jets, which will be beneficial to the overall improvement of the combat effectiveness of the Chinese Air Force.
It is precisely because of the rapid advances in Chinese aviation technology that the J-10B fighter jet has been shut down after only 50 aircraft were produced, fulfilling its transitional mission. Instead, it was developed on the basis of J-10B, and all aspects of technology were further improved by J-10C. Judging from the continuous production of J-10C fighter aircraft equipment, the Chinese Air Force is satisfied with its performance and is a \"ideal state\" of the three-and-a-half aircraft.