K.B. Sherman, (c) 2003
Newscientist.com recently reported that the PRC is developing a stealth fighter aircraft. Development of the fighter's engines and weapons systems has begun at the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation in northeast China. Photos show a model of a twin-engine aircraft, dubbed the J-X, similar in appearance to the F-22, though with angular features similar to those of the 20-year-old F-117 Nighthawk, and with a non-reflective coating, according to Janes Defence Week.
China has also recently developed another fighter, the J-10 (Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Corp.), which is comparable to the US F-16, although this has not been officially unveiled, according to The Asia Times. Chinese engineers are said to have developed the J-10 in as a hybrid of the F-16 one of which was supplied by Pakistan and the Israeli Lavi fighter, cancelled in 1987. It is reportedly equipped with Israeli and Russian avionics and the AI31F turbofan engine from Russia. The J-10's radar and fire control system is reportedly the Israeli-made ELM-2021 system, which can simultaneously track six air targets and maintain a weapons lock on four. The plane is said to have capabilities similar to the Su-27, the Russian MiG-29 as well as the F-16, but with an estimated cost of less than $10 million, it could rival other jet makers on the international market.
Red Chinese J-10 Aircraft