The poor performance of the Su-27/30 series were displayed when the Royal Thai Air Force thrashed their PLAAF counterparts in the BVR segment of the air combat exercises held at the RTAF’s Korat airbase in late 2015.
Subsequently the PLAAF brought its J-10A and J-10C (later in 2019) to the exercises, which dramatically changed the outcome of the air exercises.
In light of this evidence the J-10C single engine multi-mission capable fighter aircraft sold to the Bangladesh Air Force by the Chinese government owned companies are being viewing as highly competitive aircraft when compared with different renditions of comparable Western fighter aircraft such as the F-16C/D or JAS-36C/D.
The multi-role capable combat platform from Chengdu will enable the Bangladesh Air Force to carry out standard air policing duties over Chittagong enabling it to intercept any threat emanating from Myanmar, which in turn started operated JF-17M’s and MiG-29’s out of Sittwe in recent times.
According to senior PLAAF officers the J-10C was a match against the JAS-39C/D. It boasts an active array radar that allows it to significantly improve target detection range and undertake multi-targeting. The J-10C also features DSI air intakes that help reduce radar cross signature while its PL-15 BVRAAAMs, which have a range of over 300 km can serve to target as anti-access or area denial weapons by targeting key enabler platforms such as aerial refueling tankers and AEW&C aircraft.
The Bangladesh Air Force would be well poised to counter any threat from Myanmar Air Force which uses R-27 and PL-12 AAMs, which both have mean ranges of 150 km or less.
In theory the Bangladesh Air Force with its superior pilots can potentially exploit the full potential of the J-10C once it acquires AEW&C and aerial refueling tankers of its own in accordance with Forces Goal 2030. The edge will be further solidified by Eurofighter Typhoon twin-engine multi-role combat aircraft when delivered.
With a requirement for six to ten squadrons of combat aircraft, the Bangladesh Air Force is likely to hold at least three to four squadrons of J-10 fighters in its inventory. At least two to three other squadrons will comprise of heavier Eurofighter Typhoon fighters. A maritime strike fighter squadron based centrally in the Barisal region would allow the Bangladesh armed forces to control its territory with an iron hand.
Given the Myanmar Navy has very little in the way of air defences the addition of maritime strike fighters will be a boon for the Bangladesh Air Force. As such, a specialist maritime strike fighter squadron has already been authorised by the Bangladeshi authorities desiring to protect Bangladesh’s territorial integrity and maritime communications in the Bay of Bengal and the greater Indian Ocean region.