China is reportedly selling some of its J-10 multi role fighter planes to Iran in return to sizeable concession on oil from the latter. Over the last week, many sources have reported that China and Iran are about to finalize a deal regarding the sale of Chengdu J-10, the planes exported by China under the name of F-10. The aircraft is called Vigorous Dragon in the Western world.
The Taiwan based news daily Want Daily has said that China will provide the Air Force of Iran a total of 24 F-10 vigorous Dragon jet planes. The report, however, has not specified the source of the story. It did, however, claim that Iran will pay China by making a considerable concession in oil traded to China in return for the deal. The cost of a single J-10 is nearly US$40 million, placing the total cost of the deal at nearly US$1 billion.
These planes are often called 4.5 generation jet aircrafts and are comparable to the F-16 Block 60 of UAE, the Rafale of French Army, and Eurofighter Typhoon. The planes reportedly have their origins in the United States in the 1980 project Lavi. The Lavi was jointly developed by The United States and Israel. Many reports state that over the past years, the blueprints for the Lavi were sold by Israel to China against the wishes of the U.S.
The plane reportedly has a range of nearly 3,000 kilometers, which is far longer than the aircrafts currently possessed by Iran. The most advanced version of the plane, J-10B is also reportedly equipped with a highly advanced variety of radar system, the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. These radar systems feature a longer range, and features of hopping to foil jamming and increased power to track aircrafts at a longer range.