Savunma ve Stratejik Analizler

12 Ağustos 2015 Çarşamba

Combat Aircraft Swapped for Oil: Iran reportedly interested by China's J-10 fighter aircraft

11 August 2015

Iran could become the second overseas user of Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group's J-10, according to wantchinatimes.

According to the report, Iran will received the fighters without paying a dollar to China, by signing a contract to allow Beijing to exploit its largest oilfield over the next 20 years.

According to local medias, China would provide the Iranian Air Force with a total number of 24 F-10A Vigorous Dragon jets, the export version of the J-10, to equip its two fighter groups. The cost of a single J-10 is estimated at US$40 million, making the value of the deal around US$1 billion. This could be bartered through permitting Beijing 20 years of exploitation rights to the Azadegan oilfield. With a range of 2,940 kilometers, the fighters are capable of defending Iran's entire airspace and that of the Persian Gulf. It has been alleged that the J-10 is actually a version of the Israeli "Lavi" aircraft developed in the 80's in Israel – a project that was halted due to American pressure. China and Israel officially denied the connection between the two aircraft. However, if in the end it will turn out that the J-10 has Israeli roots, it would be somewhat ironic if technology developed by Israeli engineers ends up in the hands of Iranian pilots.

Pakistan is the first overseas customer for the J-10. Back in 2009, China agreed to sell 36 export version of the advanced J-10B fighters known as FC-20 to Pakistan in a contract worth US$1.4 billion.

The J-10 is powered by a single Russian Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engine giving a maximum static power output of 11,700 kgf. The fixed armament of the J-10 includes an internally-mounted Type 23-3 twin-barrel 23mm cannon, located on the port side of the front landing gear. The gas-operated cannon has a combat weight of 50.5kg, a length of 1,530mm, and a maximum rate of fire of 3,000~3,4000 rounds/minute. The cannon fires 320g, 23X200mm high-explosive/incendiary with tracer round and armour-piercing round, with a muzzle velocity of 715m/s. The cannon is electric-driven using 27V 8A DC. The J-10 has 11 external stores stations for weapon carriage, three under each wing and five under the fuselage. For air-superiority and interception missions, the J-10 could carry a mix of medium-range air-to-air missiles (MRAAM), short-range air-to-air missiles (SRAAM).

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