Dogfight! Chinese Vigorous Dragon J-10 vs. USAF stealth F-35 fighter jet

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – There are already so many fighter models in the world that many military experts are talking about an oversaturated market. There are many models of 4th and 4 ++ generation fighters, and in addition to traditional players in this market such as the United States and Russia, the last decade has given birth to new manufacturers, new models and new trends in the field of aircraft construction.

Read more: F-35 vs. Su-35 – who is better and who will win in a modern air battle?

Today we will compare two different fighters to see when the maneuverability is equal, who has the advantage in direct combat. But in addition to two models, today we will compare two different generations – the American stealth F-35 of the fifth generation and the Chinese multifunction fighter of the fourth generation J-10.


As we shared earlier, these two fighters have similar maneuverability ratings, and both fighters are rated with 8.5 points out of 10 possible [8.5 / 10]. Therefore, this will be the only constant on which we will build our assessment and which will serve as a basis for the whole comparison of the two fighters.


It is of great importance that the capabilities of these war machines can correctly read and process information related to the approaching enemy in a timely manner. Any military expert will tell you that radar is often more important than the speed, maneuverability or armament of a fighter jet. Realistically, if you don’t have the opportunity to “see”, then the chance to win and a street battle tends to zero.

The Chinese Vigorous Dragon, as it is called in China, has a built-in multi-mode lattice radar. Characteristic of it is that it allows the pilot to locate and track up to 10 targets and a total of 6 of them can be directly involved in the launch of radar guided missiles.

Unlike the simplified Chinese J-10 radar, the American F-35 is a complex computer system with not just one but two radars, and a separate integrated Barracuda electronic warfare system that has the ability to mutes enemy radars. The F-35’s main radar not only tracks and can activate more than 10 targets, but also repeatedly tracks distances over 150 km. In reality, the American F-35 fighter will notice the Chinese dragon not only first, but also successfully because of stealth technology will be “hidden” by Chinese radar.

The undisputed winner in this category is the F-35 without a drop of doubt.

Speed ​​

Very often, when two fighters have the same maneuverability, speed is of paramount importance. The ability to do things faster than your opponent also gives you the advantage of making faster and more efficient decisions.

It is already interesting here, because both the Chinese and the American fighter have the same data on speed indicators, ie. the flight speed of both fighters is 4248 km / h. Both fighters receive the same advantage, or do not receive an advantage over each other.


Both fighters have similar fire equipment, which is logical based on the fact that the purpose of both machines is the same. They are armed with air-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles, bombs and cannons. However, the difference here is in favor of the American fighter for two main reasons:

– F-35 has a larger caliber cannon than the Chinese fighter, as well as faster and more bullets fired from it than the Chinese dragon;

– 2/3 of the F-35 missiles are autonomous and have artificial intelligence, which allows a much greater choice of the right missile to hit the enemy fighter, or a specific other target.

However we compare the two fighters, the F-35 is technologically at least twice as good in terms of armament as the J-10.


Again, the advantage in this category should be the American F-35. This aircraft uses a more powerful engine than the Chinese, which gives it a small but significant advantage. For comparison, the Chinese fighter uses a 1 x 130 kN engine – 29.0k lbf, while the American stealth 1 x 190 kN – 43k lbf.

Let’s not forget another important fact – American technology for performance and functionality of an engine, whether military or civilian, has a strong tradition in the field of aircraft construction. Washington’s technology is recognized around the world and is currently considered perhaps the best.

While the Chinese are still wandering between a Russian or their own engine, and very recently announced that they are giving up the use of Russian engines, and will develop their own. This also works, as we confront a novice mind against a “professor” in the field.


It is difficult to find fulcrums when you know in advance that one of the two fighters will have a tangible advantage, as is the case. The F-35 is incorrect to compare to the J-10, but it had to be done to see where the Chinese were technologically.

Little is known about the capabilities of their fighters, as they have recently begun a serious production process in this area. Although the J-10 is definitely a loser, we need to know that this aircraft has its advantages. For example, in terms of speed and maneuverability, it is on par with the American F-35. If Beijing decides to improve its avionics and armaments at a later stage with their new technology developed, it will become a real jewel and a real competitor to the F-35.

Read more: Dogfight! Russian Su-35 fighter jet vs.British Eurofighter Typhoon

Read more: Su-35 vs F-22: who is stronger in aerial combat


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