From the F16 Viper to the JF-17 Thunder, do light fighters still have a role to play?

If the Defense news today gives pride of place to heavy or medium combat aircraft, such as the F35, the Rafale or the Su35, lighter fighters continue to represent an important part of the fighter fleets in the world. Economical to purchase as well as to use, these devices allow countries with little means to acquire air capacity and the largest nations to expand their fleets to be able to respond to all demands and scenarios. operational.

In this article, we will present some of the light fighters in staffing present or to come in the air forces, to know their main characteristics, strengths and differentiating points, but also to determine what roles these devices play in the military operational panoply. today and in the years to come.

China: Chengdu J-10C

Entered into service in 2003, the Chengdu J-10 was, in many ways, the first modern Chinese-made fighter, and started the rise of the country's aviation industry. 16,9 m long for a wingspan of 9,8 meters, the J-10 has an estimated empty weight of around 9 tonnes, and a maximum take-off weight nearly 6 tonnes higher. The Chinese “Vigorous Dragons” were until now powered by a Klimov AL-31FN engine, a licensed version of the Russian turbojet AL-31F. But several pictures released this year show that the new devices will soon win. the locally produced WS-10B engine, more powerful and more modern according to the Chinese authorities.

J-10 C of the People's Liberation Army carrying air-to-air missiles PL-10 (exterior pylons) and PL-15 (interior pylons)

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