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PAF J-10C News, Updates and Discussion

MastanKhan

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Not sure if it has been posted before but quite a nice article in "Second to None" magazine on induction of J.10.​

Enter the Dragon Beginning of a New Era​

November 8, 2022 Editor by Air Cdre Muhammad Ali
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Earlier in March, a new shape took to the skies over Pakistan. Six J-10Cs, bearing the tail numbers 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, and 106, entered Pakistan via PURPA (waypoint) on the northeastern border with China. Precise and lethal equipped with canards, delta wing design, a soaring 4.5 generation Omni-role, all-weather-capable jet – PAF’s ‘Vigorous Dragon’ had arrived to safeguard the country’s future for years to come. The scenes were reminiscent of 1968, when six French Mirage fighters, tail numbers ranging from 101 to 106 entered Pakistani airspace. Leading the formation was Wg Cdr MM Alam. Sqn Ldr Hakimullah, Sqn Ldr Farooq F Khan, Sqn Ldr Farooq Umar, Flt Lt Arif Manzoor, and Flt Lt Akhtar Rao, flew at his wings. Fast forward to 2022. Leading the formation of Dragons was OC No 15 Sqn, Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim Shehzada. Wg Cdr Bilal Raza, Sqn Ldr Jibran Rashid, Sqn Ldr Hasan Anees, Sqn Ldr Zeeshan Muhammad, Sqn Ldr Ali Qasim, flew on the wings of their leader. The formation is on its way to Kamra from Chengdu. Back at PAF Base Minhas, the air is rife with energy. A sense of excitement and pride runs through all, gathered at the occasion to welcome the Dragons. All eyes are glued towards the beginning of the runway to catch the first glance of Dragons about to appear for landing. Assembled on the tarmac of the base is the senior leadership of PAF under its honorable leader, ACM Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, the CAS PAF. Finally, the historic moment had arrived. First Dragon bearing Serial No 101, flown by Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim appeared on the scene. The six J-10Cs touched down at PAF Base Minhas at Kamra. Senior air officials observing from the tarmac breathed a sigh of relief and applauded the perfect landings. As the aircraft appeared on the tarmac, a water canon salute was presented to the incoming Dragons, a tradition followed to welcome the arrival of new aircraft at a facility. Before Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim could disembark and line up his crew for presentation, he found Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, climbing the ladder, to greet him. “Does the plane live up to our expectations?” asked the smiling Air Chief. “I’ll have to admit, it is one of the best fighter jets in the world. With all the work we had been doing in China over the months, improving our tactics in the way we operate the platform, I can safely say that the capability that we have brought back with us is truly phenomenal, far better than what we expected, sir,” Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim responded. It’s a significant investment, but in defense, nothing comes cheap. The J-10C is a cutting-edge platform, moving the PAF into a new ball game in terms of operational readiness, in terms of the nature of the platform the PAF was acquiring. When the “Second to None” team spoke with ground crews and the pilots, it was fair to say that the J-10C was a step in the right direction, something that the PAF had been working towards for a long time. It was just fantastic to see them arrive, having traveled all the way from China. It was a thing of beauty. Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, Chief of Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force maintained that the induction of the Dragons highlighted the fact that the investments the air force made in capabilities and in capacity was significant. “The fact that we will be flying the J-10C makes a statement that PAF, has significant defense capability and is willing to do its part in the world, and is willing to meet its obligations,” the Air Chief said during the arrival ceremony of the jets at PAF Base Minhas, where the enthusiasm was contagious.
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Taming the Dragon
To get trained on J-10Cs and later ferry the Dragons from China, a team of professionals including both pilots and ground crew was shortlisted. Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim Shahzada, who has flown F-16s and Mirages was given the honor of leading the contingent to China in October 2021. His team boasted skilled F-16, JF-17, and Mirage pilots, familiar with Beyond Visual Range (BVR), and had AI exposure. Following strict covid protocols, the team traveled in three groups over a span of three weeks. Gp Capt Azkaar from Project Dragon handled logistics, overseeing departure formalities, flight cancellations due to covid, and preparing backups for dropouts. Upon landing in China, on 20 October, the crews were quarantined in the city of arrival for 14 days. On the second last day of the quarantine, Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim tested positive. The rest were cleared to depart to Chengdu, where they were quarantined for another two weeks. Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim spent, in all, 72 days in quarantine before he could join his teammates who had already started their training. The training was focused specifically on operating the J-10C. “In Chengdu, we were basically starting to learn how to fly this technologically advanced jet, and then we went through all the different mission sets and basic skills,” Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim said. Most of the pilot’s instructions came on the ground, in the classrooms followed by pilots practicing the aircraft’s most unique capabilities in an advanced simulator. The language was a major barrier, which the PAF crew overcame with the help of an interpreter. After classes, PAF pilots used to sit down to reconcile information on their own. No time to enjoy and see China. They were trained directly by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM), and by Chinese counterparts with perhaps a few more flying hours under their belts. A few days of theoretical sessions were followed by quizzes. During training, it was crucial that pilots got comfortable executing J-10C maneuvers. Hence, simulator training started in detail, learning avionics, switchology, feel of controls was extremely realistic, engine handling, and the response of controls – allowing to recreate emergencies and procedures in the aircraft that really simulate what it would be like to fly in a real J-10C. Each PAF pilot had to complete the prescribed number of sorties in the simulator as a minimum syllabus requirement, only then they could be allowed in the new jet. Anything they could do in an aircraft they could in the simulator – max rate turns, vertical climbs weapon employment techniques, etc. “A lot of people underestimate the amount of work it takes to become a pilot, and a fighter pilot specifically. A one-hour flight, even in a simulator might mean up to several additional hours of the briefing, gearing up, flight inspections, and debriefings, not to mention the hours spent studying/preparing for each mission,” said Wg Cdr Bilal Raza emphasizes the importance of training. Finally, the day arrived when the crew had the opportunity to have the first look at the aircraft. The PAF crew were in awe of the jet when they first set their eyes on the Dragon. The first thing they noticed was its huge size, slightly different shape, and looks as compared to weapon systems they had already flown. “It was a fantastic feeling and we were in love with the bird at first sight,” Wg Cdr Bilal Raza said. “It’s one of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft and we’re lucky to be a part of that program in the PAF, and to be at the leading edge of that is a real privilege and real delight,” Wg Cdr Bilal Raza added, enthusiastic to feel how it would handle in the air, and wanting to experience its agility and maneuverability. At Chengdu, it was the job of Chinese instructors to teach PAF pilots how to fly the J-10C from scratch. The Chinese were nervous, at first, fearing the guest crew would not be able to hack it. “This wasn’t like college where we could get through with minimum passing grades. We had to attain almost 100% to qualify in each and every phase, there were no let-ups. We were expected to catch on to material we were taught really quickly, the learning curve had definitely been pretty steep,” Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim recalled. The instructors worked overtime, and gave up a week of Chinese New Year holidays to train PAF pilots – no compromises to achieve minimum standards.
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The First Mission

After all the tedious groundwork – learning about aerodynamics, aircraft systems, navigation, and instrument flying, it was time to get a feel of the jet. PAF crews spent two days climbing into the cockpit, strapping up, and developing equipment familiarization. Each pilot performed ground starts, after start procedures, followed by shut down, slow/medium taxi came later. some of the pilots progressed while the remaining continued on the simulator. “Finally, we had all the gear on, and after months of preparation, it was time to go flying. Of course, a thorough briefing before flight, and supervisor checks were performed so that everything was in order in order before getting airborne.” Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim said. Since the PAF airmen had not flown for a long period and they needed to regain their flying currency. They jumped into K-8s to get used to the Gs, get currency, and understand wind patterns and operating areas. Before stepping foot in the J-10C cockpit, student pilots needed to familiarize themselves with the gear needed to operate the J-10C, in their custom-made G suits to fit perfectly. Last but not the least, the pilots learned to utilize the most technologically advanced piece of equipment, their helmets. The pilot’s Heads-Up Display was directly projected on the visor rather than just at the front of the cockpit. This allowed pilots to easily view key data such as altitude, air speed, and direction and even select multiple targets and shoot. “Since the jet helps us so much, flying becomes second nature. That way we can focus on all the information that the plane is giving us,” Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim elaborated. “It’s amazing to be in a 4.5 generation semi-stealth fighter, kind of tip of the spear. It’s a heavily weighted aircraft, in terms of combat power, that the PAF brings to the fight,” Sqn Ldr Jibran Rashid said. One part of history was achieved when Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim flew the first solo sortie of the Dragon. “A lot of the challenge was trying to absorb all the information the jet is giving you, operate all the sensors and the systems at the same time, and fly, the feeling was enormous,” the team leader said. All the PAF pilots enjoyed basic handling, and confidence-building maneuvers in advanced handling missions, and in clean and tanked configurations both. This was followed by training in air combat tactics and instructor training for some of the PAF aircrew. The crews were taken aback after engaging afterburner (AB). The kick was bigger than the F-16. “There was an unbelievable amount of thrust when I opened up the afterburner for the first time. The J-10C can produce 29,000 lb thrust, which is 10,000 lbs excess thrust than the JF-17 produces, and as much power as two and a half Mirages put together. A single Mirage produces 14,000 lb thrust,” Sqn Ldr Jibran Rashid said. The speed increment was so fast that post-take-off procedures had to be executed in rapid succession to remain with the aircraft. Once in the air, handling the jet was not the most difficult aspect, Wg Cdr Bilal Raza said adding, “It is actually a really easy plane to fly, the aircraft comes with Voice Recognition Capability which makes your life much easy.” Nonetheless, the pilots flew at 26,000 ft, did general steep turns, building up Gs gradually, performed straight in approach, accessed information through voice commands such as requesting fuel state, hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) on most actions, instrument approach, close pattern, low go, and deploying drag shoot and making a full stop landing comfortably within 3, 500 to 4, 000 ft on a 7,500 ft runway. “It was historic and emotional for Pakistanis and Chinese both when we landed safely for the first time. We were presented with bouquets,” Wg Cdr Bilal Raza said.
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Dragons Ferry

After six months of trials and tribulations, it was time to ferry the first batch of six J-10C Dragons, back home. From here on, life would never be the same. The crew set down to plan the ferry mission in the minutest details. They needed answers to all the questions, what selecting diversionary airfields, protocols in case of emergency, what is the enroute weather like, etc. Crossing over the Karakorum range was no easy job, it needed perfect and flawless planning which the crew did. Finally, came the ferry day. The aircraft was topped up with required fuel and three external tanks each was fitted to the ferry aircraft. Six Dragons under Wg Cdr Imtiaz Rahim started up and headed for the take-off point. After Burners on, six aircraft started to roll on the Chengdu runway, off to motherland. Getting airborne, the leader looked around to see if the rest of his section were with him. Climbed up to cruise height and followed the planned route. “It was a proud day, a proud moment for all of us. We knew that we were making history, the feeling was nostalgic. The ferry was eventless, and the weather was good. As we entered the Karakorums we were amazed to see the beauty of the landscape. We flew abreast of the K-2, towering 28000 feet plus the second highest peak in the world. As soon as the six J-10C jets entered Pakistani air space, an escort F-16 from No 9 Sqn ‘Griffins’, joined the formation of the Dragons. “Welcome back boys,” the pilot of the Fighting Falcon, call sign Griffin-1 said over the radio. Bit of a homecoming for the PAF. As soon as we established radio contact with Pakistani ATC radar we were greeted enthusiastically. “Dragon-1, welcome home,” replied the ground controller on the radio. The six new jets, tail numbered 101 to 106, landed at PAF Base Minhas at Kamra, the material and logistical base of the new No 15 Sqn. The PAF crews had achieved a milestone that very few others could. Tremendous investment had been made at Kamra, which has been a key base for many years. A fantastic new chapter in the country’s military capabilities and history. What it said in many ways is that after the induction of this state-of-the-art, modern, and potent weapons system, the PAF is now operating in a much stronger and more efficient manner, thanks to these Dragons.
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By
Air Cdre Muhammad Ali SI(M) &
S.Khalil
Hi,

Thank you for an excellent find---. Indeed the J-10 C is not an ordinary aircraft and it was the right step forward for the Paf---.


The true surprise in the package for the readers of this article is the earnest manner in that the writer has written about the machine and the narrated experience of the one who trained on it and flew on it---.

I would say that in the next 6 months of further intensive training and flight---this same group would have a lot more to say about this aircraft and its capabilities---.
 

serenity

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Good read. Thank you for sharing the article. As much politics and bias would be present in it, it is good to see PAF committing to J-10C platform showing us that it is a fighter that is of satisfactory performance to PAF, an airforce with the highest demand for fighter capability given its restrictions (no access yet to 5th generation fighters).

Hope that PAF will be training hard and continuously on J-10C and in years time the pilots, crews, and tactics are built to top notch level.
 

SQ8

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track, whatever you want to call it. I don't quite recall his exact phrasing here, but basically you don't want to use E-3C to find J-10C.

wrt F-16V, remember that J-10A to J-10B went through a huge redesign of interior in order to accommodate a new avionics architecture, data bus, heat management and MMI that serves as a testbed for J-20. So in terms of amount of data it can provide to pilot, I'm not surprised it impressed upon PAF pilots. F-16V on the other hand didn't go through an interior redesign from C/D.
That also has to do with the upgradeability need - the J-10B cannot be upgraded to the C.
The F-16C can become the V.
But in terms of avionics it does carry a comparable kit and has RCS reduction as well.

Either way, the only way to get a true gauge is if the PAF gets the V upgrades or new builds. Otherwise it is all speculation
 

PakFactor

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Indeed, it is compared directly with the F-16 and the comparison is favorable.

One of my concerns about the J-10C with WS-10 is that additional weight of upgraded radar/avionics and other bells and whistles may cause degradation in flight performance. Looks like that is unfounded.

I have to see; if I remember correctly, the Chinese were working on an AESA radar with a GNH transmitter, etc., that gives the same capabilities but eats less power. Plus, the miniaturization of chips and other things will balance out in the long run.

On the other hand, we might see an upgraded version of WS-10 down the road to accommodate the extra power needed.
 

tphuang

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That also has to do with the upgradeability need - the J-10B cannot be upgraded to the C.
The F-16C can become the V.
But in terms of avionics it does carry a comparable kit and has RCS reduction as well.

Either way, the only way to get a true gauge is if the PAF gets the V upgrades or new builds. Otherwise it is all speculation

why can't J-10B not be upgraded to C? What's your proof for that?

I can't control PAF if they want to make dumb decisions, but F-16V wouldn't do well against J-10C.

If I was PAF, I'd ask China if I can get some used J-10A with avionics upgrade for low cost. A lot of them are headed to early retirement.
 

SQ8

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why can't J-10B not be upgraded to C? What's your proof for that?

I can't control PAF if they want to make dumb decisions, but F-16V wouldn't do well against J-10C.

If I was PAF, I'd ask China if I can get some used J-10A with avionics upgrade for low cost. A lot of them are headed to early retirement.
You just outlined why it is an entirely different jet with completely redesigned interior. So either you are wrong or really the J-10 was not made for easy upgrades with total redesign on every block.
 

Horse_Rider

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tbh, if there's a JF-17 Block-4, it'd be a smaller upgrade to the Block-3. I don't think the PAF will invest any further in the JF-17 airframe (besides maybe changing the engine to the WS-13). If it needs more range or payload, it'll procure more J-10CEs.

Otherwise, for what it is (i.e., a lightweight multirole fighter), the JF-17 does the job and some more.

The only "big" change I can see the PAF pushing for in the JF-17 is adding an integrated IRST. This assumes the PAF moves ahead with the 'Near BVR' concept, i.e., using the IRST as the primary awareness system at up to 40 km and, in turn, using the PL-10E at around 20-30 km out (@SQ8).

Basically, the idea behind 'Near BVR' is that you have the longest stick within the distance most of your real-life engagements will take place. It's basically the area where you'll want to neutralize every enemy air asset while exposing as little from your end as possible.

I think a really good IRST system that can cue a HOBS AAM with a range of 20-30 km is the key here.

My theory was calling for JFT block III to stop further production after the current block III order finishes. Block 4 would really be a J-10CP called JFT block 4 with local assembly / ToT in Pakistan so we can license build like Turkey did to the F-16's, AND, use our industrial capability in the future around this new "JFT block 4" (J-10C with local assembly) for AZM also.

I expect 5th gen platform to have a mix of Chinese and Turkish tech. So in house production of this JFT block 4 would help a lot as we can integrate both Chinese and Turkish tech as well and use these airframes as test bed for stealth.

PL-10 has near BVR and HOBS. So the current JFT only needs IR module and processor. The space may be an issue? otherwise the J-10CP sensors would work also due to common tech baseline.
2. We may lack depth, but it doesn’t mean we have to operate that way…


The Y-30 is suppose to be the size of the A-400M.

There is no "may" here. We lack strategic depth, period. ALL strategic and operational plans in Pak military (or any military) are made knowing real facts about their geography. The comment above saying "it doesn't mean we have to operate that way" is beyond my comprehension. If we don't build our military strategy per our geographical situation, what are we defending?

Results of NOT assessing your geographical reality to create a proper strategy results in "Russia vs. Ukraine", loss of over 100,000 soldier's lives, half the conventional combat power of Russia gone and $ 8-10 billion worth of equipment totally destroyed so far!

Y-30 is too big for refueling needs, but can play a dual role (cargo / transport / refuel like IL-76 does). I think Y-8 / Y-9 may be better. Y-8 is already operated by the PAF so the PAF knows how to maintain it.
 

Tank131

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My theory was calling for JFT block III to stop further production after the current block III order finishes. Block 4 would really be a J-10CP called JFT block 4 with local assembly / ToT in Pakistan so we can license build like Turkey did to the F-16's, AND, use our industrial capability in the future around this new "JFT block 4" (J-10C with local assembly) for AZM also.

I expect 5th gen platform to have a mix of Chinese and Turkish tech. So in house production of this JFT block 4 would help a lot as we can integrate both Chinese and Turkish tech as well and use these airframes as test bed for stealth.

PL-10 has near BVR and HOBS. So the current JFT only needs IR module and processor. The space may be an issue? otherwise the J-10CP sensors would work also due to common tech baseline.


There is no "may" here. We lack strategic depth, period. ALL strategic and operational plans in Pak military (or any military) are made knowing real facts about their geography. The comment above saying "it doesn't mean we have to operate that way" is beyond my comprehension. If we don't build our military strategy per our geographical situation, what are we defending?

Results of NOT assessing your geographical reality to create a proper strategy results in "Russia vs. Ukraine", loss of over 100,000 soldier's lives, half the conventional combat power of Russia gone and $ 8-10 billion worth of equipment totally destroyed so far!

Y-30 is too big for refueling needs, but can play a dual role (cargo / transport / refuel like IL-76 does). I think Y-8 / Y-9 may be better. Y-8 is already operated by the PAF so the PAF knows how to maintain it.
Stop trying to refer to J-10CE as block 4. Its a weak attempt to stroke the ego. Not fooling anyone and achieves no logistical benefits. They are completely different aircraft. No need to conflate the 2.

As for Pakistani FGFA, i dont see any unique or independent project coming to fruition. ALL signs point to PAF jumping into J-35 or a TFX
 

tphuang

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You just outlined why it is an entirely different jet with completely redesigned interior. So either you are wrong or really the J-10 was not made for easy upgrades with total redesign on every block.
no, I said there was a major upgrade from J-10A to J-10B. J-10B to J-10C changes were minor.

J-10A itself can still be upgraded to have AESA radar, but the effect will be similar to the upgrade that USAF is planning for block 40/50 F-16s.
 

MastanKhan

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Hi,

Long long time ago I stated on this forum that if the Paf went for the J-10---the things would change---. I did not realize then what I was claiming---.

Within months---the prime minister is de-seated----the Paf has made an about turn from the F-16-s and is focused on the J-10's---and uncle sam is not happy about it.

What we learnt from this article written a few days ago---uncle sam knew about it before we did----.


Paf will not let go of the F-16 just because it is inferior to the J-10---. It will stick to it because it because it gives its pilots exposure to world air forces in combat excercizes---.

Secondly---it has 100's of pilots---thousands of support staff---100's of million dollars in equipment and billions in weapons---.

Next---to reach the overall same tier of expertise on the j-10 as it is on the F16's---the Paf pilots & techs are going to take another 2-5 years
 

Readerdefence

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That also has to do with the upgradeability need - the J-10B cannot be upgraded to the C.
The F-16C can become the V.
But in terms of avionics it does carry a comparable kit and has RCS reduction as well.

Either way, the only way to get a true gauge is if the PAF gets the V upgrades or new builds. Otherwise it is all speculation
Hi another way to gauge it easily is chinese way as china can field J10cs against Taiwan f16v & I’m sure Chinese might have already access it or will get there soon if not now as most of the time they keep on pushing their awacs and multiple fighters across the line towards Taiwan
thank you
 

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