'China's "Shock and Awe" Fighter Jets'
'China has given the world a glimpse of its air force at a special performance by a display team.
Four Chinese-made J-10 fighters put on a show of aerial stunts at a military base just outside the city of Tianjin.
China hopes the manoeuvrability and price of the J-10 will make it attractive to buyers in other countries.
The BBC's Michael Bristow was at the show in Tianjin.'
Time was when journalists actually investigated claims and dug up information which might throw a more realistic light on propaganda. But not the BBC! No no.
If you watch the video, you might be disappointed with the 'arial stunts' touted by the BBC so breathlessly. They involve the planes flying slowly past and then- steady yourself- turning.
Left unmentioned by the BBC are any of these facts:
"Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad J-10?
January 30, 2007: The Taiwanese air force does not seem terribly concerned about China's new J10 fighters. In service for two years now, China only publicly announced the J10s status in January, 2007. What was not mentioned in the press releases was that only one J10 squadron was stationed where it might encounter Taiwanese F-16s or Mirage jet fighters. That squadron is sitting at a base just out of range (560 kilometers) of the F-16s and Mirages...
...the word out of China is that the J10 is a maintenance nightmare, and that the Chinese are having a hard time keeping the aircraft operational in reasonable numbers...
...Originally, the J10 used a Russian AL-31FN engine, but China has been working for a decade to manufacture their own version of this, the WS10A. China has been striving for decades to develop the ability to manufacture high-performance jet engines. The WS10A is something of an acid test for them, as it is a powerful military engine, and a complex piece of work. Russia refused to license China to produce the AL-31FN, so the Chinese stole as much of the technology as they could and designed the WS10A. This engine has been tested, but apparently still has quality control and performance problems..."
So, to sum up, the Chinese have little confidence in the J-10, it is a maintenance nightmare which means few are actually available for flying at any one time, and the engine design is based on a really successful Russian engine which the Chinese reverse-engineered totally illegally, and not very well. Oh, and it is WAAAAAAAAAY behind schedule.
But don't go looking for that information from the BBC. They are desperate for somebody to come along and knock the yanks off their perch. Somebody, anybody, preferably at least superficially commie...