Saab Gripen ‘Rips Apart’ Chinese J-11 Fighters In War Games

HariPrasad-1

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Saab Gripen ‘Rips Apart’ Chinese J-11 Fighters In War Games; Experts Call Them ‘Sitting Ducks’ For Rafales

dogfight” between Saab Gripen and the Chinese J-11 fighter jets game provides lessons to militaries around the world on how to get the better of Chinese warplanes.


Details of the Exercise Falcon Strike 2015, held at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base for two weeks in mid-November 2015, the first-ever joint exercise between the Chinese and Thai air forces, were revealed in 2019.

While the Chinese PLA Air Force (PLAAF) brought J-11 to the wargame, the Thai Air Force deployed Swedish Saab JAS-39C/D Gripens, though it also operates the American F-16s.

What astounded the military experts is that a 25-year-old fighter overpowered the relatively younger Chinese J-11 aircraft especially during the beyond-visual-range (BVR) engagements.

Falcon Strike 2015 Details Unveiled

This humiliating defeat by the Gripens exposed the reality of China’s air-warfare capabilities, with experts commenting on J-11s not having a chance against the muc advanced Rafales that the Indian Air Force is operating.

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a Swedish fourth-generation single-engine multirole fighter jet that took its first flight in 1988 and entered service in 1996. With a speed of Mach 2, the Gripens have been sold to six nations across Central Europe, South Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The C/D model that the Thailand Air Force operates, is a NATO-compatible version with extended capabilities in terms of armament, electronics, etc. which can be also refueled in flight.
On the other hand, China’s J-11 fighter is based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27. The J-11 is a twin-engine jet that took its first flight in 1998.
Thai-Gripen

A Thai Royal Air Force Saab Gripen. (via Gripen News​

With its multiple variants and upgrades like the missile approach warning system (MAWS), the improved cockpit displays, and fire control systems for R-77 or PL-10 missiles, the J-11s have become a significant part of the Chinese Air Force with more than 400 in service while the Navy operates around 70 of the fighters.

The EurAsian Times earlier reported how China is continuing research and development of the J-11 fighter, which might affect the future of its J-10 aircraft.

SAAB Gripens Destroy Chinese J-11s
Across seven days of the exercise, the Chinese jets gave a subpar performance, leading many analysts to cast doubts over China’s aerial capabilities.

During the first two days of the war game, the powerful J-11s shot down 16 Gripens in a visual-range battle with no loss.

Reports suggest that the Thai Gripen was armed with AIM-9 infrared-guided missiles and an internal cannon for close-range combat while the J-11s were armed with infrared-guided short-range missiles — the PL-8s.


 

HariPrasad-1

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However, on the following days, as the game shifted to beyond-visual-range engagements, the Gripen armed with AIM-120 medium-range missiles proved to be a far better fighter than the J-11 with its own medium-range missiles, possibly PL-12s.
The Gripens shot down a total of 41 Chinese J-11s at a loss of six fighters. The final tally after the completion of seven days stood in favor of the Swedish fighters as it shot down 42 J-11s at a loss of 34 only.

Interestingly, military analysts observed that Gripens outperformed the J-11s in terms of the range given how 88% of the Thai kills occurred at a range of at least 19 miles, while the Chinese scored just 14% of their kills at the same range.

The Gripens also scored 10 kills at a distance of more than 31 miles where the J-11s scored no kills. The Aviation website Alert 5 noted how the Chinese pilots had poor situational awareness.

“Too much focus was on the front of the aircraft rather than all around. In phases of the war game where J-11s escorted other planes, there was a lack of coordination,” the website said.
 

SexyChineseLady

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Remember, the J-11A/Gripen scores were revealed by veteran PLAAF pilot Li Zhonghua in December 2019 at the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Shaanxi. This was done to rectify shortcoming in training and equipment.

J-11A was equipment that needs rectifying. It was a Su-27SK with Russian missiles that Indian use :) The results were predictable. 16-0 kill record in WVR fight then 5-35 in BVR.

The Su-27SK – also produced in kit form as the J-11A – was the PLAAF’s first 4th generation fighter aircraft in service, imported from Russia in the early 1990s ... in the decades of service since that time, Su-27SKs have only been minimally upgraded, such as with the ability to fire RVV-AE/R-77 BVR missiles (which the original airframe lacked), or with missile approach warning systems and minor cockpit changes.
...
As a mature/contemporary 4th generation fighter, one could predict the Gripen-C to enjoy a large margin of victory against the Su-27SK in BVR engagements as well as in formation engagements requiring more complex situational awareness and coordination. Such results would have been predicted based on the Gripen-C’s overwhelmingly superior sensors, BVR weapons, radar cross section, electronic warfare, datalinking, and avionics architecture. Pilot training would have a minimal effect in mitigating such a massive imbalance of inherent technology.

The Su-27SK could have been expected to have an advantage in WVR engagements where it could try to exploit its more capable R-73 missile and superior sustained kinematic performance/turn rate, where there is much less technological imbalance.



The J-10A in 2017 and especially the J-10C in 2018 and 2019 handled the Gripen rather easily in later Falcon Strike exercises.

 

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These are the major points of Senior PLAAF Pilot Li Zhonghua at Northwestern Polytechnical University in 2019!

  • The JAS-39 performance was at its worst inside the within visual range (WVR) envelope. Over a two-day period, PLAAF pilots shot down 25 Gripens at a loss of only one Su-27.
  • Once the exercise transitioned to beyond visual range (BVR) combat, the superiority of the JAS-39 became readily apparent. The Swedish aircraft shot down 41 Su-27s over a period of four days with a loss of only nine JAS-39s.
  • The Gripen’s Raytheon AIM-120 AAM also outranged the RVV-AE at 80km versus only 50 km for the Russian missile.
  • Li stated that the JAS-39C/D’s much smaller radar cross-section (RCS) at 1.5-2.0 m2 was a major factor, as the much larger Su-27 is easier to detect at 12 sq miles. The JAS-39 can also ripple-fire up to four AIM-120s simultaneously but the Su-27 can fire only one RVV-AE at a time.
  • Li said subsequent exercises the PLAAF fared better by sending the Chengdu J-10A and especially J-10C were more than match for the JAS-39C/D in that J-10C with “its active array radar significantly improves detection distance and multi-target attack capability, the DSI (divertless) air intake of the J-10C reduces the radar intercept area while the PL-15 missile increases the range, making it an over-the-horizon platform.”
  • Li also commented that the next-generation version of the Gripen, the JAS-39E, is likely to feature even more advanced combat performance. His interest in the aircraft parallels a larger body of analysis within the PLA intelligence community that has had a fixation on the design and development of the Gripen as a template for PRC industry to follow.
These exercises has effected changes in China. China has phased out RVV-AE (R-77) from the remaining J-11As with PL-12 and J-11As are moving into retirement with J-16 becoming the main model of Flanker being built in China since it has AESA and armed with PL-15.

The R-77 is great liability against AMRAAM! Countries using it are at a major disadvantage when faced with AMRAAM armed opponents like Gripen and F-16.

And Gripen is great! China uses it as a benchmark for new J-10 variants.
 

lixun

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But India uses different radars to guide them. Paper dragon's quality is very famous. It remains the same for copied pencil cells to defense equipments.
The N011 radar of the SU30MKI radar is not very good, and it is not much different from 1493.
 

Maharaj samudragupt

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Bharat needs to immediately upgrade a new aesa radar for sukhois, till we don't get amca or tejas mk 2 etc , we need to upgrade those planes we have ASAP.
Or else it won't be very good for us,36 Rafael's can't do much either
 

SexyChineseLady

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Bharat needs to immediately upgrade a new aesa radar for sukhois, till we don't get amca or tejas mk 2 etc , we need to upgrade those planes we have ASAP.
Or else it won't be very good for us,36 Rafael's can't do much either

IAF did not find out about R-77 limitations during exercises with USAF?

The PLAAF exposed these 2015 results (again this report came from a senior PLAAF pilot at a Chinese university) to force changes to its legacy systems like the J-11A.

Also Chinese air force and navy pilots traditionally liked the J-7 and the J-11 because they dogfight very well and they are trained in close combat (see the 25-1 win overall and 16-0 on first phase of exercises with WVR against the Gripen.) But Li wanted them to understand that they will be crushed in BVR so they can change to new tactics.
 

HariPrasad-1

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J-11A was equipment that needs rectifying. It was a Su-27SK with Russian missiles that Indian use :) The results were predictable. 16-0 kill record in WVR fight then 5-35 in BVR.

When did India used Su 27 SK? India has only one version of Su and that is Su30 MKI.
 

Maharaj samudragupt

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Remember, the J-11A/Gripen scores were revealed by veteran PLAAF pilot Li Zhonghua in December 2019 at the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Shaanxi. This was done to rectify shortcoming in training and equipment.

J-11A was equipment that needs rectifying. It was a Su-27SK with Russian missiles that Indian use :) The results were predictable. 16-0 kill record in WVR fight then 5-35 in BVR.

The Su-27SK – also produced in kit form as the J-11A – was the PLAAF’s first 4th generation fighter aircraft in service, imported from Russia in the early 1990s ... in the decades of service since that time, Su-27SKs have only been minimally upgraded, such as with the ability to fire RVV-AE/R-77 BVR missiles (which the original airframe lacked), or with missile approach warning systems and minor cockpit changes.
...
As a mature/contemporary 4th generation fighter, one could predict the Gripen-C to enjoy a large margin of victory against the Su-27SK in BVR engagements as well as in formation engagements requiring more complex situational awareness and coordination. Such results would have been predicted based on the Gripen-C’s overwhelmingly superior sensors, BVR weapons, radar cross section, electronic warfare, datalinking, and avionics architecture. Pilot training would have a minimal effect in mitigating such a massive imbalance of inherent technology.

The Su-27SK could have been expected to have an advantage in WVR engagements where it could try to exploit its more capable R-73 missile and superior sustained kinematic performance/turn rate, where there is much less technological imbalance.



The J-10A in 2017 and especially the J-10C in 2018 and 2019 handled the Gripen rather easily in later Falcon Strike exercises.

India never used su 27 sk
 

SexyChineseLady

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India never used su 27 sk
India use the same missiles that the J-11A/SU-27SK used in the exercise -- R-27 and R-77 :)

As the report from PLAAF Senior Pilot Li pointed out:

The R-77 is great liability against AMRAAM. Countries using it are at a major disadvantage when faced with AMRAAM armed opponents like Gripen and F-16.

This was the biggest lesson from the exercise with the Gripen. This made the PLAAF retire the R-77 as soon as possible. Only the J-11A uses the R-77.

All of the SU-30 MKIs use the R-77 as main BVR weapon no?
 

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