Recently Chinese military fans took pictures of a J-10C fighter in trial flight. J-10C is an improved version based on J-10 fighter jet (NATO codename: Firefly), and is said to be positioned as a fighter bomber.
It has been reported in May that J-10C had successfully tested China’s homemade FWS-10B engine, with stronger thrust than FWS-10 and additional FADEC system.
J-10C can take over four tons of ammunition, and is equipped with a targeting pod for launching precision-guided munitions. This kind of pod is reported to be similar to Israeli Rafael Arms’ Litening pod, of which a newer version is also used by U.S. fighter jets.
Some analysts also said J-10C is an improved version of J-10B, of which the production has been stopped. Compared to J-10B fighter jet, J-10C has improved electronic system and uses homemade improved engine, while other parts are just the same as J-10B.
This judgment is based on serial numbers of both types of fighter jets. J-10B type began its test flights in December 2008, and a J-10B fighter numbered “101” appeared in the second half of 2013. According to Chinese new-type aircrafts’ traditions, “1XX” number indicates that trial fight has ended, and formal production will begin.
A prototype numbered “201” similar to J-10B appeared earlier this year, but it is different from production J-10B in some aspects. It has antennas both beneath the nose of the aircraft and on the back. Judged from the convention, “2XX” should be a largely improved version of “1XX”, so experts concluded that that was the rumored J-10C.