IS China's J-20 Fifth Generation Stealth fighter Design 25 Years Old?



 Photographs released on the internet have provoked speculation that China is making rapid progress towards producing a state-of-the-art fighter jet, to compete with the United States, Europe and Russia. 

The photographs appear to show the aircraft, variously known as the J20  taxiing along a runway. 
Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, recently said China would be able to produce a combat jet by 2020, but if the photographs are genuine, it would suggest that it may be able to do so a decade or more sooner. 
The photographs come amid growing fears over China's rapidly-expanding military capabilities. Naval experts have expressed concern over the Dong Feng-21D ballistic missile, which is designed to target aircraft carriers in mid-sea – thus denying the United States its traditional military dominance of the Pacific.  

 Fifth generation fighter jets are so designated because of their ability to evade radar even when carrying armaments, and computer systems which can network with other elements in a battle theatre.

The US-manufactured F-22 is the only combat-ready fifth generation fighter. 
Experts, however, are warning against drawing conclusions on the basis of the photographs.

Douglas Barrie, an aerospace expert at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, noted that the J20's airframe resembled that of an abandoned Russian prototype, the MiG 1.42.

"I'm not sure that its even much of an impressive airframe," said Richard Aboulafia, another analyst. "It looks like something that might have been designed in 1985."

For the most part, China's combat aircraft programme has lagged behind its competitors in the west and Russia.

China's fourth-generation combat jet, the J-10, appeared in 2006 – but experts say it compares with western aircraft that went into production two decades ago. Beijing has also struggled to develop the Shenyang J-15 carrier-borne jet, reverse-engineered from the Russian-made Sukhoi 33.

China's fifth-generation fighter programme, experts say, faces several critical challenges as it moves forward from prototype stage to actual production.

For example, Chinese avionics – the software-controlled electronic systems which gave modern combat jets their cutting-edge mission capabilities – are believed to be a generation behind their US, European, Israeli and Russian counterparts.

It is also unclear what kind of engine the new Chinese jet will use. Some commentators have suggested that a new prototype engine, the WS 15, will power the J20. The engine, however, is some years away from going into production – and potential foreign suppliers will be cautious about supplying equipment, because of fears over cloning.

Last summer, Russia threatened to cut off supplies of jet engines for China's JF-17, saying it had been cloned from its Sukhoi 27/30 and MiG 29 aircraft – and was being sold for $10 million less than the original.

Illya Kramnik, a Russian expert, said that "despite the strides made by China's aircraft designers in the last 20 years, China has only slightly narrowed the technological gap dividing it from the global leaders."
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Anonymous said...

This is good news ... There was always doubt about chinese technology and the truth is coming out now ...

Anonymous said...

either china is way ahead of americans or laging decates behind

Anonymous said...

Same old craps from chauvanistic Russians and Yanks "so-called know all". We have heard all these craps before.....Korean war, Vietnam war, Iraqi war.....we are so superior over others that we can just defeat them by just breaking some farts! What that later transpired is plain to see. So what happened?

Anonymous said...

"For example, Chinese avionics – .......Russian counterparts"??????????..israel and russia on same league???..sounds like a losers moan...

Anonymous said...

The test of the pudding is in the tasting. Right! So stop all these superiority crap. Time will tell....and it's been done many times. Remember Korea and Vietnam!! So all these brags of superiority at the end means nothing. The only test is fly the J-20 against the F-22. This might happen in future via proxies.

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