Saturday, January 06, 2007
This Has Got to Hurt
The People's Republic of China distrbuted a five minute video of their new fighter, the Jian-10, yesterday. A copy of a video showing the Jian-10 can be found at GlobalSecurity, note all the fake photos including pictures of IAI's Lavi and Eurofighter Gmdh's Typhoon. It is a single engine fighter with a modified delta wing and canard foreplanes. The People's Liberation Army Air Force[PLAAF] first took delivery of the aircract in 1998. There are plans to produce 300 of these fighters for the PRC.
China is now boasting it is the fourth country to build advanced fighter aircraft. I do like the Reuter's reporter filling in the gaps and naming the other three countries: United States, Russia, and France. Who is missing? Why Eurofighter Gmbh, which is made up of the United Kingdon, Germany, Itay, and Spain. And obviously the progenitor of the Jian-10 is Eurofighter's Typhoon. See picture above. Only real external difference? Typhoon uses two engines and Jian-10 only one.
This must really sting Eurofighter Gmbh which has been developing and deploying the Typhoon for the past two decades. Now the PRC is fielding a fighter, apparently in squadron strength, they call superior to the F-16 [Lets ignore the fact the F-16 first flew in 1976 why don't we PRC? How about comparing it against the F-22?] in numbers while the Typhoon countries are still awaiting Typhoons that are fully mission capable. Though in production numbers only 300 airframes is less than half of the planned Typhoon production run.
Though Eurofighter Gmbh should perhaps be flattered that the PRC decided to copy their fighter and not the Rafael. Tupelov copied the Concord to get the Tu-144 Koncordski. The MiG-25 Foxbat was designed to kill the B-70 and shares a passing resemblence to another high performance American jet, the RA-5 Vigilante. Or when Tupelov copied the B-29 for Stalin which became the Tu-4 Bison. Rare company indeed.