labels: aerospace
China develops advanced avionicsnews
20 August 2007

China's new J10A fighter uses a hi-tech active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The country revealed its range of military AESA radars recently, after years of intense research and development.

AESA systems consist of thousands of tiny radars that make it possible to track many different targets simultaneously. China claims its new J10A radar can track 10 targets at a time and attack four of them simultaneously with long-range missiles.

The J10 is also completely Chinese made, though it looks very similar to the American F-16 and even weighs about the same (19 tonnes). Like the F-16 (and unlike the Russian Su-27), the J10 has only one engine, the new Chinese WS10A, developed after a decade of development. Originally, the J10 used a Russian AL-31FN engine.

The J10 resembles the F-16 because Israel is supposed to have secretly sold China the technology for the Israeli Lavi jet fighter after Israel itself abandoned the Lavi project because it was cheaper to buy F-16s and F-15s from the United States.

The Lavi was meant to be a super F-16, and the Israelis had developed new components for the plane. China has about a dozen J10As in service. The numbers will increase once the WS10A engine is put into production, in a year or two. China has long sought jet engine and AESA technology from the US, and has often been accused of espionage for the purpose.

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China develops advanced avionics