Chinese Military Aviation Industry

J-20 Fifth-generation Fighter Jet

Since making its first flight on January 11, 2011, which only lasted 15 minutes, the J-20 has become a formidable force in the Chinese military and throughout the world. It reportedly entered military service in March 2017, and experts believe it could have greater stealth capabilities than the American F-22 Raptor.

It was reported in 2009; the 300 billion dollar Joint Strike Fighter Project was hacked by the Chinese, which ultimately leads to the creation of the J-20. Cost: $110 Million per Jet.


J-31 Falcon Hawk Fifth-generation Fighter Jet

First unveiled to the public as a 1/4-scale model at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition 2012, the Shenyang J-31 (or Falcon Hawk) is China’s shot at a fifth-generation stealth jet fighter. It is expected to enter service in 2018 or 2019. China offers J-31 to export customer at the cost of $70 million.


J-11 Fourth-generation Fighter Jet

Carrying both Russian and Chinese weapons, the J-11 is not the bird you want to see flying over your nation’s skies. It is comparable to the US Air Force’s F-15 and F-16. It is estimated there are about 250 J-11s built for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. The first production of this jet was back in 1998.

It has a 30mm cannon for pinpoint accuracy, plus it can release free-fall cluster bombs if it feels like it. Cost: $30 Million per Jet.


J-15 Fourth-generation Fighter Jet

The Chinese navy also conducted carrier-based operations with its new Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark unlicensed derivative of the Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker in 2013. By September of last year, the report notes that PLAN pilots flying the J-15 were conducting full-stops and takeoffs with weapon loads at full maximum gross weights onboard the carrier Liaoning. Although the J-15 has a land-based combat radius of 1,200 km, the aircraft will be limited in range and armament when operating from the carrier, because the ski-jump design does not provide as much airspeed and, therefore, lift at takeoff as a catapult design.


J-16 Plus Fourth-generation Fighter Jet

The J-16 is an indigenously built fighter modelled after Russia’s multi-role Su-30 Flanker fighter jet, which aviation experts consider to fare favourably against the US F-15 Strike Eagle. China’s air force and navy also operate the Su-30. The J-16 is more advanced that the J-11 (which is itself modelled on the closely related Su-27) in the sense that it is well-suited for ground strike missions as well as air-to-air combat.

The aircraft in question is a variant of the two-seat J-16 Red Eagle strike plane—itself a Chinese copy of the Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKK Flanker. The two-seat Red Eagle is roughly comparable to the American F-15E and improves upon the Russian original with new avionics including an Active Electronically Scanned Array radar (AESA), the current state of the art in fighter-based radar technology. The J-16D variant—the “D” in the designation comes from the Chinese word for “electronic,” diànzǐmade its first flight on December 18, 2015.


J-10 Plus Fourth-generation Fighter Jet

Also known as the “Vigorous Dragons”. Chengdu Aircraft Industries built the squad of about 400 J-10s. This jet can be either one pilot (J-10A) or two pilot seater (J-10). The development program for the J-10 started back in 2002 and roughly cost $45 million (USD). The jet is still being used by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.


Xian H-6 Bomber

The H-6 has been around for a few decades, but China is still using it. The aircraft is powerful, capable of producing long-range attacks and engaging in prolonged stand-offs against opponents.


Wing Loong UAV

Wing Loong (Yilong / Pterodactyl) is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Chengdu Aircraft Design & Research Institute (CADI), a division of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). Wing Loong II, an upgraded version of the Wing Loong, was unveiled at the Beijing Aviation Expo held in September 2015.

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Wing Long UAV

CH-500 UAV

The CH-500 packs two HJ-10 anti-tank missiles that just might obliterate its opponents with ease, as the vessel can be called upon for a last-second airstrike anytime.


CH-805 UAV

Developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, this new CH-805 unmanned aerial vehicle closely resembles the American B-2 bomber.



China has announced that it is ready to mass produce the Cai Hong 5 (Rainbow 5, or CH-5) strike-capable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that was unveiled at Airshow China in November 2016.

Shi Wen, chief designer of the CH series, told the paper that the CH-5 outperforms all of its Chinese-made counterparts when it comes to operational endurance and payload capacity. “The UAV is as good as the US-made General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper: a hunter-killer drone often deemed by Western analysts as the best of its kind,” he claimed.


EA-03 Soar Eagle

The Guizhou EA-03 “Soar Eagle”  is a step in this direction, utilizing a full-scale body and advanced planform with turbojet engine propulsion. The Soar Eagle bears a distinct resemblance to the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk long-range High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAV.


Harbin Z-19

Reaching top speeds of 174 miles per hour, this Harbin Z-19 can quickly surround and target its enemies. It contains two Pylon stores for rockets, in addition to its gun pods and 8x HJ-8 missiles. Oh, and it also contains 8x TY-90 air-to-air missiles.


CAIG Z-18 Transport Helicopter

The Changhe Aircraft Industries Group (CAIG) Z-18A transport helicopter has entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF), a news report by the state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has suggested.

The Z-18A is based on the commercial three-engine Avicopter AC313 multirole medium-lift transport helicopter developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). First seen in December 2014 in Chinese state media, the platform is reported to have undergone high-altitude tests on the Tibetan Plateau in January 2015.


Y-20 Heavy-lift Aircraft

The Y-20 is a new Chinese transport aircraft. It is also referred as Kunpeng, a legendary bird from Chinese mythology. It is a milestone in China’s defense industry. Series production of the Y-20 began in 2015. This aircraft became operational with the Chinese air force in 2016. The AVIC-developed plane looks similar to the Boeing C-17 which many US observers claim that it a copy of Boeing’s highly successful C-17 heavy lift cargo plane.


KJ-3000 AEWC

The China Radio International reported that improved version of KJ-2000 specialised in directing air-to-surface combat dubbed as KJ-3000 is in under development- citing Chinese military expert. The new type of airborne early warning & control aircraft (AEW&C) disclosed this time is called the KJ-3000. Experts said that, along with the successful trial flights of China’s Y-20, in the future China can develop its AEW&C on the basis of the Y-20 transport aircraft.

It has to be improved, if we are to give further play of its potential and develop a weapon we lack in conducting long-distance reconnaissance and accurate positioning of land targets, and giving guidance in attacking them. Its major function is to give guidance not just in air combat, but in air-to-surface combat also.


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