«China’s most advanced jet is one of the few fifth-generation fighters in active service. Here’s how it compares to its closest US counterpart.
China’s new J-20, officially named Weilong or powerful dragon, is one of the world’s most advanced fighter jets and the country’s answer to the American F-22 Raptor.
In mid July the PLA Airforce released a video of a nighttime training exercise involving the stealth fighter as a demonstration of its combat readiness.
The Chinese warplane was developed by the Chengdu Aerospace corporation, which began testing them in 2011 before the first planes entered service in March 2017.
So far a few dozen J-20s have been produced for the PLA although the manufacturer is continuing to build more.
The F-22 Raptor was developed by Lockheed Martin for the exclusive use of the US Air Force. Exports even to America’s closest allies are banned to protect its stealth technology.
Its maiden flight was in September 1997 and it entered service in December 2005. In 2011 production was terminated because of the high costs involved and lack – at the time – of any aircraft that could challenge its dominance.
America is planning to upgrade the fighter in future but for now it remains, along with the Weilong, one of the most advanced fifth generation fighters in the world.»
«Improved power train will give Chinese jet ability to fly undetected at supersonic speeds, on par with United States’ F-35.
A new and improved engine designed to make China’s J-20 stealth fighter a world-class combat jet should be ready for mass production by the end of the year, military sources have said.
The WS-15 engine features cutting-edge single-crystal turbine blades and has been in development for several years, but Chinese technicians have struggled to get it into mass production.
However, many of the problems – which largely related to blades overheating at top speeds – have been ironed out in ground tests and trial flights, putting the goal of a consistently high quality product in sight, sources told the South China Morning Post.
Beijing is keen to have a stealth aircraft capable of competing with the best in the world as tensions rise in the Asia-Pacific and the United States ramps up deployment of its F-22 and F-35 fighters in the region.»
«The J-20’s short-range capabilities naturally lead to the question—what exactly happens when two stealth fighters clash? If their stealth qualities are robust, both aircraft may only be able to detect each other within 50 miles or less—at which point air combat maneuvers could prove important. As U.S. stealth aircraft are one of the chief military threats to China, it seems reasonable to assume the J-20 would be designed to have a fighting chance against them.
In January 2011, the maiden flight of a large, dagger-like grey jet announced that China had developed its first stealth aircraft—the Chengdu J-20 “Mighty Dragon.” Six years later, after several substantial revisions, J-20s entered operational service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force.
As radar-guided missiles from fighters and ground-based launchers threaten aircraft from dozens, or even hundreds of miles away, stealth capabilities are increasingly perceived as necessary for keeping fighter pilots alive on the modern battlefield.
But just how good is the J-20? And what is its intended role? After all, America’s first stealth fighter, the F-117 Nighthawk, was not even really a fighter and lacked any air-to-air capability whatsoever…..
While details on the J-20’s radar remains elusive (presumably a low-probability of intercept AESA radar), it also mounts arrays of electro-optical and infrared sensors with 360-degree coverage, reportedly designed to fuse sensor data to form a common “picture” and even share it with friendly forces via a datalink—technology seemingly modeled on the advanced sensors found on the American F-35. Such sensors could be particularly useful for detecting radar-eluding stealth aircraft.»
I media statali cinesi hanno rilasciato per la prima volta l’immagine (foto di apertura) di un caccia multiruolo di quinta generazione Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) J-20 con il numero di serie di un’unità di combattimento della People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), suggerendo che l’aereo è pronto per il servizio in prima linea.
L’immagine, rilasciata dall’emittente di stato China Central Television (CCTV) alla fine di luglio, mostra l’aereo con il numero 62001, indicando che è stato assegnato alla nona brigata aerea del PLAAF con sede a Wuhu, che opera sotto il Teatro orientale del PLA Comando.
Le immagini satellitari commerciali catturate a marzo 2019 hanno mostrato tre J-20 alla base aerea di Wuhu, suggerendo che l’aereo ha operato lì dall’inizio del 2019 o alla fine del 2018.
È probabile che i caccia stiano sostituendo i Su-30MKK assegnati alla 9a Brigata aerea, che si ritiene sia una delle principali unità da combattimento all’interno del PLAAF.
La base aerea di Wuhu si trova vicino al fiume Yangtze a circa 280 chilometri nell’entroterra da Shanghai. La base ospita la 7a e la 9a Brigata aerea. Quest’ultima ha ricevuto il Su-30MKK nel 2001.
Assegnare il J-20 a tale unità di combattimento è una mossa significativa perché le due precedenti unità PLAAF note per operare il J-20 erano legate alla valutazione operativa e all’addestramento tattico.
Come riportato in precedenza da Jane, la 176a Brigata aerea della base aerea di Dingxin è l’unità operativa di prova utilizzata per valutare il J-20 e svilupparne le tattiche d’impiego e la 172a Brigata aerea della base aerea di Cangzhou è l’unità di addestramento iniziale per preparare gli istruttori e sviluppare le modalità di formazione.