China’s workhorse fighter, the
J-10 was conceived in the late 1980s to compete with the likes of Russia’s Mikoyan MiG-29 and the US F-16. In fact, the J-10 is, in many ways, China’s F-16: a cheap, reliable, and versatile multi-role fighter. In its latest J-10C incarnation, the fighter features a digital glass cockpit, expansive armaments suite, beyond-visual-range targeting capabilities, and a fly-by-wire control system for superb agility. With over 430 models currently in service, the J-10 remains the PLAAF’s most prolific fighter.
The PLAAF’s Su-27 derivative, the J-11 is by far China’s most numerous air superiority fighter. Though the original J-11 was more or less a
carbon copy of the Su-27, the later J-11B and its sub-variants integrated numerous domestically-produced Chinese internal components. In keeping with its Soviet pedigree, the J-11 is a heavy, but relatively maneuverable fighter capable of carrying and efficiently delivering a sizable payload. There is reportedly a modernized J-11D variant in the works, boasting a new fly-by-wire system and a host of practical avionics improvements.
J-16 fighter aircraft
China’s J-16 multi-role fighter jet is flawless and is much superior to other similar aircraft including, the Su-30, which revealed a pilot who has experience flying it as well as other types of aircraft. In terms of performance, the J-16 is superior to all series of flanker aircraft. Speaking of the control capacity of the aircraft, the J-16 is a 4.5 generation plane with huge breakthroughs in radar and fire control systems in comparison with the previous aircraft.
According to Chinese experts The J-16 has no flaws, because it is equipped with many types of weapons and can operate under all weather conditions. The J-16’s land attack capability is even stronger compared to other flanker series aircraft.
Su-35 fighter aircraft
One of China’s most capable fighters is a Russian import. Purchased by Beijing in 2015, the Su-35S has its distant roots in a Soviet project to create an advanced Su-27 variant. The
Su-35S is widely regarded as Russia’s best and most versatile air superiority fighter, blending a top-performing aerodynamic design with modernized avionics, robust targeting systems, and expansive weapons suite. The PLAAF currently operates twenty-four Su-35 models and, as of May 2020, is reportedly considering ordering another batch of the advanced Russian fighter.
The PLAAF’s first fifth-generation fighter, the
J-20 entered service (albeit with weaker pre-production engines) in 2017. The J-20 is generally understood as an advanced air superiority fighter with secondary precision deep strike capabilities, featuring PL-15 long and PL-10 short-range air-to-air missiles, as well as thrust-vectoring and a slew of design features to substantially reduce radar cross-section. The J-20 entered serial production earlier this year under the J-20B designation, although models with the planned, powerful WS-15 engine are reportedly still several years away.