Future PLA combat aircraft composition


plawolf

Brigadier
Not really sure where to put this, but I noticed something a bit odd.

Weihai airport is a mixed military-civilian one that I sometimes fly to when travelling in China.

The airlines are very hot on making passengers close the blinds when approaching the military part, so photos/videos are not worth the hassle, but I did get a peek when I was in China recently.

37°10'39"N 122°13'41"E · 35.8 m

The unit there seems to be a mix of J7s, J10s and JL9s.

The J7 numbers have been gradually reducing over the years, and now, there only seem to be 3 J7s there, but they are the only ones armed for CAP.

When I am I the area, I frequently see J10s and JL9s taking off and landing (they fly to somewhere else to do most of their actual training), but never J7s.

Just seems odd to me to have a tiny token J7 unit present who don’t seem to train and just sit there on quick alert CAP standby duty. Maybe the J7s are homebased elsewhere, and they just maintain their presence there for CAP cover to ensure the J10s are available for training?
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
Not really sure where to put this, but I noticed something a bit odd.

Weihai airport is a mixed military-civilian one that I sometimes fly to when travelling in China.

The airlines are very hot on making passengers close the blinds when approaching the military part, so photos/videos are not worth the hassle, but I did get a peek when I was in China recently.

37°10'39"N 122°13'41"E · 35.8 m

The unit there seems to be a mix of J7s, J10s and JL9s.

The J7 numbers have been gradually reducing over the years, and now, there only seem to be 3 J7s there, but they are the only ones armed for CAP.

When I am I the area, I frequently see J10s and JL9s taking off and landing (they fly to somewhere else to do most of their actual training), but never J7s.

Just seems odd to me to have a tiny token J7 unit present who don’t seem to train and just sit there on quick alert CAP standby duty. Maybe the J7s are homebased elsewhere, and they just maintain their presence there for CAP cover to ensure the J10s are available for training?
J-7s have short air-frame lifespan and maybe they are trying to reduce wear and tear?
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Not really sure where to put this, but I noticed something a bit odd.

Weihai airport is a mixed military-civilian one that I sometimes fly to when travelling in China.

The airlines are very hot on making passengers close the blinds when approaching the military part, so photos/videos are not worth the hassle, but I did get a peek when I was in China recently.

37°10'39"N 122°13'41"E · 35.8 m

The unit there seems to be a mix of J7s, J10s and JL9s.

The J7 numbers have been gradually reducing over the years, and now, there only seem to be 3 J7s there, but they are the only ones armed for CAP.

When I am I the area, I frequently see J10s and JL9s taking off and landing (they fly to somewhere else to do most of their actual training), but never J7s.

Just seems odd to me to have a tiny token J7 unit present who don’t seem to train and just sit there on quick alert CAP standby duty. Maybe the J7s are homebased elsewhere, and they just maintain their presence there for CAP cover to ensure the J10s are available for training?

That's indeed interesting since Wendeng (at least i know this base by that name) is home of the 36th Air Brigade flying J-7G ... any info on JL-9 and J-10 are therefore new to me?

Any idea, if these are J-10A or B/C models?
 

plawolf

Brigadier
That's indeed interesting since Wendeng (at least i know this base by that name) is home of the 36th Air Brigade flying J-7G ... any info on JL-9 and J-10 are therefore new to me?

Any idea, if these are J-10A or B/C models?
You can see the J10As out on the tarmac on Google Earth at the co-ordinates in my last post.

Those are J10As, and they have been there for at least 3 years from my personal observations. I cannot really tell if they are still J10As or if they might have upgraded to Bs of Cs since, because the J10s all had covers on when I was there this year.

The JL9s are not a full unit, just the odd aircraft parked at one of the shelters. I do see them go up every now and then (first time I saw a pair I thought they were JF17s at first glance), so not sure if they are homebased there or just come over for exercises every now and then.

The J10As are definitely homed based there.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
You can see the J10As out on the tarmac on Google Earth at the co-ordinates in my last post.

Those are J10As, and they have been there for at least 3 years from my personal observations. I cannot really tell if they are still J10As or if they might have upgraded to Bs of Cs since, because the J10s all had covers on when I was there this year.

The JL9s are not a full unit, just the odd aircraft parked at one of the shelters. I do see them go up every now and then (first time I saw a pair I thought they were JF17s at first glance), so not sure if they are homebased there or just come over for exercises every now and then.

The J10As are definitely homed based there.
Sorry, me again ... So does this mean, the 36th Brigade is now also converted to J-10A, but from which unit then did they come from?
Or are they from another unit and we did not notice that they are now based at Wendeng? :what:
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
really makes me wonder, given this exchange rate, what is the point of continuing production of J16? It is almost like throwing money away?
It isn’t throwing money away to produce more J-16s. China still needs to replace hundreds of legacy J-7/8s and J-16 is better suited for multi role operations due to larger payload. Fifth gen are also expensive to operate. Considering that among China’s neighbors, only South Korea and Japan are operating fifth gens, it isn’t economical for China to go for full fifth gen fleet. Even the U.S. is purchasing new F-15s.
 

Temstar

Junior Member
Registered Member
Also for peace time patrols J-10C is quite sufficient and cost effective, what with one engine and one pilot and so on.
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
really makes me wonder, given this exchange rate, what is the point of continuing production of J16? It is almost like throwing money away?
Well I think it would be like how special forces soldiers, equipment, and training are far superior to typical infantry. You see where this is going.

The J-10s and J-16s can be built faster, cheaper, and they both carry greater payloads. They're also good enough for many threats.
 

Breadbox

Junior Member
Registered Member
really makes me wonder, given this exchange rate, what is the point of continuing production of J16? It is almost like throwing money away?
The most likely reason is that J16 is a versatile multirole fighter capable of attacking ground and naval targets, while J20 couldn't and is still waiting for an engine upgrade.
 

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