Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Watch China Show Off Its Newest Air Combat Capabilities In This Stunning Demo Flight
While the six-minute demonstration by China's J-20 stealth fighters was impressive, it was another aircraft that stole the show on the opening day of the country's largest military and commercial aviation exhibition.
China unveiled a prototype for a previously-unseen J-10 variant equipped with a new engine and thrust vectoring control nozzle during a surprise show that featured advanced air combat maneuvers, including the J-turn, the Cobra, and the Falling Like A Leaf moves.
The J-10B TVC variant flew onto the stage with indigenously-produced WS-10 Taihang engines.
"In the past, the engine was a well-known weakness of Chinese fighter jets, since we relied heavily on imports, but the J-10B proves that China can build first-class, thrust-vectoring engines to power our advanced fighters," a People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) lieutenant colonel told the Chinese government-controlled Global Times, adding that this new engine technology could give China a leg up in close-combat dogfights.
Dogfighting is increasingly a dying art, though, given developments in stand-off weapons systems and other technological advancements.
"The J-10 is finally able to show its real fighting capability after being equipped with the new engines," Zhou Chenming, a military expert in Beijing, explained to the South China Morning Post.
Another Chinese military expert, Song Zhongping, told the Global Times that the new engine technology could contribute to the development of the next iteration of the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter, the so-called J-20A. The current J-20 stealth fighters presently rely on foreign exports.
A design for a TVC nozzle appeared at the Zhuhai Airshow 16 years ago, and now China has managed to equip a fighter aircraft with this technology. The demonstration flight Tuesday marked the first public display of TVC capabilities in China.
Like their Chinese counterparts, Western experts also suspect that this milestone achievement could play a role in future stealth fighter development.
"Thrust vector control is ... useful for heavy fifth-generation fighters like the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation J-20, as it enables better maneuvering at high supercruise speeds, about Mach 1.5, without reliance on speed-bleeding large control surfaces," Rick Fisher, an expert in Asian military affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington told the Financial Times. "It is more likely that China will put TVC on a future version of the J-20."
Read more from Business Insider:
- SpaceX is launching more than 70 satellites at once — and a few will hunt down smugglers, pirates, and other 'dark ships'
- The military's mission at the U.S.-Mexico border will no longer be called Operation Faithful Patriot
- The U.S. hopes Russia will continue to let Israel strike Iranian targets in Syria
- The U.S. Navy is pushing north, closer to Russia in freezing conditions — and it's planning on hanging around up there
- The Army could have a new mobile artillery dynamic duo: 'Hawkeye' and 'Brutus'
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."