Design for advanced stealth fighter jet has been completed, says defence journal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 January, 2003, 12:00am

The initial design work for an advanced stealth fighter is finished, according to the London-based Jane's Defence Weekly.

Conceptual design work on two advanced variants of the PLA air force's J-10A fighter had been completed by the Chengdu No 611 Institute, a mainland aviation source was quoted as saying in the latest edition of the journal.

The report said the latest design featured a twin vertical tail-fin structure in both its single and twin-engine designs, a feature which is aimed at boosting the aircraft's stealth performance.

The new designs also feature a redesigned nose with a more angular structure, but other fundamental parts of the original J-10A remained unchanged, it was reported.

These latest stealth designs are intended to help the institute compete with another military organisation in northeastern Shenyang, which is also developing stealth fighter concepts, said the report.

The Jane's report was translated and reported by Cankaoxiaoxi, a Xinhua publication which selects foreign news reports for the attention of senior officials.

According to the report, the Chengdu institute was exploring a fourth-generation light-duty fighter project, but no further details were given.

Robert Karniol, Asia-Pacific editor of Jane's Defence Weekly in Bangkok, said the latest J-10A design could lead to the production of a more advanced fighter jet by the mainland.

However, Mr Karniol cautioned that the completion of a conceptual design was only a preliminary development and there was no guarantee that the mainland could move the project forward.

Nevertheless, the article quoted unidentified industry analysts as saying the Chengdu firm could in time win a contract to further develop its single-engine stealth fighter design, while the Shenyang Aircraft Company has already been selected to head research into a twin-engine heavyweight stealth fighter.