First batch of Chinese J-10 cadet pilots to be assigned to the PLA Air Force

According to information published by China Mil on July 23, 2022, the first batch of J-10 cadet pilots, 23 years old on average and directly trained by the air force flight academy, got ready to be assigned to the combat units of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) upon graduation.

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First batch of Chinese J 10 cadet pilots to be assigned to the PLA Air Force  Multiple combat aircraft Chengdu J-10  (Picture source: Topwar)

In 2020, the PLAAF launched the trial of the new mode of pilot cadets training at the Shijiazhuang Flight Academy, in which the J-10 fighter jet was introduced as the trainer aircraft for the first time.

According to the previous training mode, a pilot cadet needed to undergo four to six years of flight training before being qualified for flying the third-generation fighter jet.

Now the pilot cadets trained in accordance with this new mode are able to obtain combatant qualification for third-generation fighters after receiving only three years of flight training.

These cadets were randomly chosen from the pilot cadets of the PLA Air Force Aviation University. With the J-10 fighter jets introduced to be their trainer aircrafts, they underwent all the training subjects for obtaining the combatant qualification according to the training program of combat troops, and the level of training was also comparable to that of the combat troops with the same type of aircraft.

The new training mode highlights raising these pilot cadets’ air combat capability. During the training process, the pilot cadets held confrontational drills with the PLA Army air-defense troops, and the proportion of tactical training items, such as multi-aircraft air combat and live firing operations, has also increased.

All these efforts have helped accelerate the transformation from pilot cadets to qualified combatants, who are able to perform combat missions on third-generation aircraft upon graduation.

About the Chengdu J-10 

The Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon is a medium-weight, single-engine, multirole combat aircraft capable of all-weather operations, configured with a delta wing and canard design, with fly-by-wire flight controls.

It is produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), Pakistan Air Force (PAF), and People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF). The J-10 is mainly designed for air-to-air combat, but can also perform strike missions.

The J-10 uses a multi-mode fire-control radar designed in China. The radar has a mechanically scanned planar array antenna and is capable of tracking 10 targets. Of the 10 targets tracked, 2 can be engaged simultaneously with semi-active radar homing missiles or 4 can be engaged with active radar homing missiles

The aircraft's internal armament consists of a Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23 twin-barrel cannon, located underneath the port side of the intake. Other weaponry and equipment is mounted externally on 11 hardpoints, to which 5,600 kg (12,300 lb) of either missiles and bombs, drop-tanks containing fuel, or other equipment such as avionics pods can be attached.