New single engine stealth fighter by chengdu?

Discussion in 'Air Force' started by Richard Santos, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos Junior Member
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    A friend in the USAF made a passing comment that FC-31's future is very much in doubt because Chengdu has apparently been awarded a contract to develop a single engine stealth fighter in the same weight class by the PLAAF.

    Has anyone heard of this development?
     
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  2. jobjed
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    jobjed Senior Member

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    There was a rumour last year that CAC was developing a delta-wing lightweight 5th-gen powered by a single WS-15. Here's the fyjs thread on it.

    Anyway: "A friend in the USAF"... say what now? Is he in military intelligence or something? Most USAF personnel wouldn't follow PLAAF developments to a degree that would allow them to pick up on rumours like these that usually fly under the MSM radar.
     
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  3. TerraN_EmpirE
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    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

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    If he or She is in Intel that could mean something otherwise it could mean nothing heck it could be Confusion over J10.
     
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  4. Twix101
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    Twix101 New Member

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    I don't think it is a confusion with J-10 as he or she states it is a single-engine stealth aircraft in same weight class as J-31.

    This means PLA has 2 different design has next generation lightweight fighter. One question remaining, does carrier-based role has been included in program specifications ? Have such specification saves manufacturer from a lot of hurdles while adapting the aircraft to carrier-based role.
     
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  5. Zahid
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    Zahid New Member

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    I have been reading references to a single-engine stealth fighter from CAC for quite sometime now, and I treated them as only rumors. This too could just be an extension of those same rumors. This thing may get upgraded to the level of chatter though. Pakistanis have been waiting for this project for quite sometime.

    First question: What engine would this fighter be built around?
    Second question: Would this plane have STOL / VTOL capability?
    Third question: Who would partner with CAC?
    Fourth question: Don't the folks at CAC ever take a break?

    A simple observation: If we allow for a time-line similar to J-20 (& maybe a bit shorter), then this aircraft should be coming into LRIP just as an extended production run of JF-17 would be winding up in PAC (Pakistan).
     
  6. Totoro
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    Totoro Senior Member

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    It is absolutely normal and to be expected that China would be working on a single engined stealth fighter. Something needs to replace all those J10s eventually. And those replacements won't be happening in 5-10 years time, when stealth would still be something a bit expensive, but in 2030s, when stealth planes will be the norm for every half-decent (not cash strapped) air force around the world.

    So, if preliminary work has started, then some digital prototypes may appear in early 2020s. And a flying prototype may appear by mid decade. Entry into service may be achieved by 2033 or so, with steady production and gradual replacement of J10 until 2050s.

    I don't believe it'll be a STOVL plane, though. And going for F-35 kind of unification seems less than prudent. So *IF* there's going to be a manned STOVL plane from China (which in itself seems unnecessary to me) i'd put my money on a separate project, a different design which then may share some subsystems and perhaps even the engine core.

    As for the engine itself, that's a no brainer. Some future WS-15 variant for the single seater seems like a given.
     
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  7. Zahid
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    Zahid New Member

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    I think that WS-15 is an unlikely candidate if a single-engine fighter under consideration is to be in same weight class as J-31.
     
  8. Totoro
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    Totoro Senior Member

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    We don't even know how much thrust ws-15 will have. it could be 150 kn, or it could be 180 kn. the latter would almost/basically match whatever j31 could muster. Also, i don't believe single engined plane would be in VERY SAME weight class as j-31. Similar, yes. But a little lighter. I don't believe PLAAF would want a strike fighter, like F-35, with large bomb bays and what not. I see them wanting a slimmer, more steamlined fighter, one that can carry small bombs inside and if there's need for large weapons, it'd carry them externally. Basically, 11 ton empty weight seems like the very high end for such a fighter.
     
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  9. PiSigma
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    PiSigma "the engineer"

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    611 typically have 5 projects on the go at any given time. There is no such thing as breaks for design teams (just like in any major company, project teams simply move on to new projects).
    Older projects like JF17 and J10 are considered matured and have older semi-retired engineers and some of the new hires working on them. Basically so the semi retired experienced engineers can teach the new guys the basics.
    Newer projects like J20 have generally whole teams of engineers in their prime.
    I can't say what the other two projects are. But one of them started before J20 was even exposed due to project overlap. Just like J20 was started before J10 first prototype came out.
    The fifth major project they working on just started last year.
     
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  10. TerraN_EmpirE
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    TerraN_EmpirE Tyrant King

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    Hence the Word Confusion. Many have been saying that the J10 can would have a reduced RCS version.
     
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