The “Golden Helmet” award of the Chinese Air Force’s annual flying skills competition was announced. The J-10C of the “Big Red Eagle” unit from the southern theater won the award by defeating the J-16, learned GDC citing CGTN. The J-16 is a reverse engineered Su-30 aircraft of Russian origin.
For the Chinese Air Force fighter pilots, the “golden helmet” is the highest honor. The “Golden Helmet” contest was derived from the training concept of “Free Air Combat”.
In the pictures, the J-16 jet is equipped with new Chinese-made Taihang engines – improved WS-10 engines. The shape and material of the engine’s tail nozzle have changed from before, and the flame color has changed from reddish-orange to bluish-purple.
In 2011, the Chinese Air Force organized a competition assessment against air combat. More than 100 pilots from more than 10 aviation brigades of the entire Chinese Air Force competed fiercely. In the end, 5 pilots were awarded “Golden Helmets.”
In 2018, the J-16 and J-10C participated in the gold helmet competition for the first time. This competition is divided into two major groups: three and a half generations and three generations.
The J-16 and J-10C fighters are designated as three and a half-generation fighters. This is also the first time that the confrontation between three and a half-generation fighters appears in the “Golden Helmet” contest. In the end, the J-16 won the first half of the third-generation group, and the J-11B won the third-generation group championship.
Today, three years later, the J-10C won the J-16. The winner came from the Great Red Eagle in the Southern Theater of China. The aviation brigade was nicknamed “Big Red Eagle” because of the “Big Red Eagle” mark composed of the Chinese characters “One Three One” painted on the fuselage.
The “Big Red Eagle” brigade is the well-deserved “No. 1 J-10 Brigade”, and its history of equipment changes is the history of the development of the J-10 series of fighters.
In 2004, the Chinese Air Force handed over the task of restructuring and refitting the J-10 to the “Big Red Eagle.” In 2009, the “upgraded version” of this type of fighter was installed again. In 2016, it reached a new starting point and began to equip the three-and-a-half generation J-10C fighters in batches.
The Great Red Eagle Brigade pioneered exploratory and actual combat training such as the first naval penetration, the first ultra-low-altitude assault, the first aerial refueling, the first plateau night training, and the first long-distance sailing hours of the J-10 series fighters. It thus researched and innovated a large number of new training methods and new tactics, and filled more than a hundred blanks in the field of combat training for this type of fighter.
J-10C vs J-16 mock air combat
According to Chinese Global Times, the J-16 fighter takes advantage of the aircraft’s climb advantage to ascend the altitude ahead of time. It takes advantage of the larger nose diameter, larger radar caliber, longer detection range, and stronger acceleration capability. It launches missiles in advance, which is also the largest advantage of the aircraft.
However, the J-10C received a missile warning and made evasions in time to let the opponent’s PL-15 missile miss.
In the second attack, the two sides fought from mid-range air combat to close range, and even reached the inevitable zone of the PL-15 missile. However, after a fight, the J-10C successfully suppressed the opponent by taking advantage of its mobility and simulated shooting down the opponent.
Both are the advanced main fighters of the Chinese Air Force. The performance and data of the J-16 and J-10C have been repeatedly compared.
Compared with the J-10C, the biggest advantage of the J-16 is its dual engines, making it power naturally much sufficient than the J-10C. This also makes the J-16 have a longer range than the J-10C, and also means the J-16 can carry more ammunition.
However, as a heavy fighter, the size of the J-16 makes it inferior to the J-10C in terms of flexibility. If the J-16 and the J-10C engage in close air combat, the J-10C will probably outperform the J-16 by virtue of its size flexibility.
Once it enters over-the-horizon flight, the J-16 will have a clear upper hand, and this is also related to the size of the J-16. In the beyond visual range flight, the two sides are engaged in air combat, and who can find each other first is the key to victory or defeat. As the J-16 has a larger size, its radar cross section is 25 square meters. In contrast, the J-10C radar has a radar cross section of only 5 square meters. The diameter of the radar is related to the power of the radar. The larger the diameter, the greater the power. This led to the J-16 being able to spot the opponent first, seize the opportunity, and launch an attack first.
In addition, the avionics system of the J-16 is slightly stronger than that of the J-10C, because when the J-16 was being developed, its avionics system had integrated the essence of a twin engines fighter, while the J-10C did not seem to have sufficient intentions in this regard.
Therefore, in addition to close combat, the performance of the J-10C is still slightly better than the J-16 in other aspects. However, in this Golden Helmet competition, the J-10C finally won in close combat.
According to Global Times, China offered J-16 to Pakistan for $80 million apiece, while the quotation of the J-10C export version at the Dubai Air Show is $50 million, including supporting equipment.
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