J-10 AESA Radar on J-10B

The J-10B, a modernized evolution of the capable J-10 fighter, undergoes maintenance on its AESA radar during flight testing.

On a March 2013 Chinese BTV channel broadcast, the J-10’s chief test pilot confirms commonly held wisdom that the J-10B uses an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. The J-10B itself is the upgrade to the Chengdu J-10, China’s first indigenous modern fighter. Because AESA radars can perform well in multiple wavelength bands, they allow greater dwell time on a target, an expanded envelope to track a wider area, more resistance to jamming, and greater resolution at range, so a track of even stealthy planes like the new F-35 would show up sooner. Once the J-10B enters service, its AESA radar and other electronic enhancements would give it a leg up over Taiwanese F-16s and Vietnamese Su-30s as well as concern US operators. As a US Navy fighter pilot put it, “This is bad news for us.”