The J-10CE stalled after 20 units entered service, and Pakistan bought such a point?

author:Military sub-plane

【Military Subplane】Author: Lele

After years of rumors, the export of the domestic J-10 finally landed at the end of 2022, and with the delivery of the first batch of J-10CE soon after, there is no suspense in this military purchase that has been discussed for more than 10 years. Later, AVIC showed an extraordinary delivery speed, from the first batch of 6 aircraft to Pakistan, to the 20th J-10CE into the ranks, it took only 18 months. The problem is that another 7 months have passed, and there is no movement in the delivery of the J-10CE, what is going on?

The J-10CE stalled after 20 units entered service, and Pakistan bought such a point?

▲The delivery of the first batch of J-10CE is very fast

The news of Pakistan's procurement of the J-10 was made public by the chief of staff of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in December 2022. More than three months later, the first batch of J-10CEs appeared at the PAF airfield and took part in the March 23 military parade with a high profile. Later, PAF began to prepare a special livery for the J-10CE, and successively confronted many opponents in military exercises, and even went to the front line of India and Pakistan in 2023 to carry out front-line combat missions, and performed very well. In September last year, the 20th J-10CE was unveiled in the Sino-Pakistani joint military exercise, and at that time, the outside world was surprised by the speed at which AVIC delivered 20 aircraft in 18 months. But after that, no J-10CE with a larger number appeared, including this year's parade, which is very unusual given the strong demand for PAF now, as well as the rapid delivery before.

The J-10CE stalled after 20 units entered service, and Pakistan bought such a point?


The most reassuring explanation is that the J-10CE is still being delivered normally, but it has not been discovered by the outside world, but this probability is very low. AVIC's cross-border delivery cannot be silent, and PAF cannot leave no trace after receiving the new aircraft, and PAF has never been very confidential, and it is not realistic to display advanced equipment or even its consistent tradition, and a window period of up to 7 months is unrealistic. Then there is naturally an explanation - the J-10CE has not been delivered in the past 7 months, which is easily associated with the J-10CE having problems again and the military purchase has been suspended, but this probability is also very low. Because Pakistan has paid a lot of money for equipping the J-10CE, huge investments in fixed facilities and personnel training have been thrown in, and the frequent participation of the J-10CE in military exercises and the actions of being stationed in the front line prove that there is no fundamental problem with it. In this case, it is difficult to explain the past in all aspects by suddenly abandoning the purchase of the mature model J-10CE.

The J-10CE stalled after 20 units entered service, and Pakistan bought such a point?

▲The decision to invest in the J-10CE is no longer easy to give up

At this point, the delivery of the J-10CE is abnormal, and there are only two explanations left - PAF originally only purchased 20 J-10CE, or the J-10CE is being developed and modified. The former is also unacceptable, because at this stage, PAF's 20 J-10CEs are 12 air-superior coatings and 8 ground strike coatings. If only 20 aircraft are planned to be introduced, then the number of performing both tasks is not enough, it is better to concentrate on the same task. Therefore, the J-10CE technology is being adjusted and is the only reason for the stagnation of J-10CE deliveries at this stage.

The J-10CE stalled after 20 units entered service, and Pakistan bought such a point?

▲Public opinion has mixed opinions on the J-10C livery arranged by PAF

As early as before and after the delivery of the first batch of J-10CE, there were rumors on the Internet that the procurement mode of J-10CE was "20+30", followed by "procurement of 36 aircraft" and "additional procurement to 60 aircraft". From the perspective of PAF demand and the development of rival India, 60 J-10CE with a comparable number of "Thunder" Block3 is a more suitable model, and the legendary "90" is a bit over the standard in the short term. PAF is under the establishment of the U.S. Air Force, with 60 aircraft just forming 3 squadrons, and the scale has the need for technical iteration. PAF approached AVIC to procure the J-10CE in 2019, when the Indian Air Force received the first batch of Rafale and put enormous pressure on it. This means that although the J-10CE has steadily reached the technical standard of three and a half generations, it also lacks enough time to polish, especially for the strengthening of the desert combat environment, after all, there is no such demand in China.

The J-10CE stalled after 20 units entered service, and Pakistan bought such a point?

▲The deployment environment of the J-10CE in Pakistan is different from that in China after all

The overall performance of the J-10CE after delivery is very good, and it is not groundless for PAF to increase the number of purchases, assuming that it really increases from 36 to 60, which means that from a relatively auxiliary position to an absolute main force, the performance must be perfect. It is reasonable to spend more than a year to adjust the problems exposed by the early J-10CE, and by the way, to keep up with the trend of technological development in recent years and upgrade software and hardware. Interestingly, the 20 J-10CEs delivered at this stage are all single-seaters, while the two-seat J-10 series only has the J-10S, which is a third-generation early technical standard model. For PAF, the introduction of the J-10S with limited performance is only for training, which is obviously too wasteful, and it is not realistic to rely on AVIC to train pilots for a long time. The development of a three-and-a-half-two-seater trainer for it was technically not difficult, but the cost was not low, which was a bit of a struggle. It can also be seen that PAF's purchase of F-16 was rejected at the beginning, and the eagerness to introduce J-10CE instead.

The J-10CE stalled after 20 units entered service, and Pakistan bought such a point?

▲Originally, the outside world thought that PAF would buy J-10S

For AVIC, if PAF really purchases 60 J-10CEs, then the J-10 production line can be maintained until at least 2028, during which as long as it can continue to find buyers, then the production line can continue to operate without dismantling. On the one hand, maintaining production capacity for emergencies and even facilitating the maintenance of the J-10 fleet in service is valuable. From this point of view, if PAF is really very satisfied with the J-10CE, there should be a discount on the price in the future, and the scale of the J-10CE of PAF will really be further expanded.

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