Defense News reports (source):
China is continuing to show signs of technological advancement in its fighter jets that could lead to further improvements in its own next-generation stealth fighter, according to an air power expert.
These improvements are on display at the ongoing Zhuhai air show in China, where both the Chengdu J-10 fighter and J-20 stealth fighter are taking part in flight demonstrations.
This includes a J-10B test bed fitted with a domestically developed WS-10B3 turbofan engine that incorporates a thrust vectoring exhaust nozzle, with its demo showcasing improved maneuverability and slow-speed handling. The J-10B with the WS-10B3 is making its first appearance in Zhuhai, having only been seen for the first time earlier this year at the headquarters of manufacturer Chengdu Aircraft Company in its namesake city in Sichuan province.
Justin Bronk, a research fellow specializing in combat air power and technology in the Military Sciences team at the British think tank Royal United Services Institute, told Defense News that the thrust vectoring nozzle “clearly has enhanced the controllability of the J-10B in terms of allowing it to perform controlled manoeuvers outside of aerodynamic flight conditions.”
However, Bronk added, most Western air forces have concluded that the usage of thrust vectoring for an edge in a dogfight is generally not worth the extra cost, weight and complexity, given “most modern dogfighting missiles have lock-on-after-launch capabilities, 50 G turn rates and relatively large no-escape zones.”