China's Red Falcon Air Demonstration Team performs during the Changchun Air Show in Changchun, Jilin province on Saturday. [Photo by Kuang Linhua/chinadaily.com.cn]
By ZHAO LEI
The August 1st Air Demonstration Team, China's best-known aerobatic team, has been equipped with J-10C fighter jets and will fly their new planes at a coming exhibition in Malaysia, according to the spokesman for the People's Liberation Army Air Force.
Senior Colonel Xie Peng said on Tuesday that the J-10C is the seventh generation of aircraft used by August 1st pilots. The stunt team is scheduled to use the new jets during a performance at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition from May 23 to 27, he added.
Before the J-10C, the August 1st team used the J-10A and J-10S, the twin-seat trainer version of the J-10A. The team has been flying the J-10A and J-10S since 2009.
Like its predecessors in the J-10 family, the J-10C is a supersonic, multipurpose fighter jet developed and built by State-owned aircraft giant Aviation Industry Corp of China. The jet is capable of maintaining short- and medium-range air supremacy and striking ground or sea targets, according to the Air Force.
The J-10C was first shown to the public at a massive parade in July 2017 and started being used for combat patrol duty in April 2018.
It has a smaller radar signature and stronger operational capability than the J-10A or J-10B. compared with its predecessors, the model is more streamlined, lighter and harder to detect, and uses a more powerful engine.
In addition, the jet has an upgraded version of China's active phased array radar, so it has better detection and multitargeting capability.
The J-10C also has been armed with the country's newest air-to-air missiles, which have longer ranges.
August 1st was founded in 1962 as the Chinese military's first air display team and was named after the PLA's founding date. The elite unit has performed at nearly 660 air shows at home and abroad.