Numerous photos emerged online earlier this year showing the J-20 — China’s first generation fighter — carrying two types of missiles outside of its weapons bay during a test flight, Now it is reported that one of the missiles may be the PL-13, the nation’s fifth generation air-to-air missile.
With similar capabilities to the AIM-9X missile of the United States, the J-20 carrying a PL-13 missile would be able to counter the F-22 stealth fighter in a potential air war against the United States, the paper said. The aerodynamic rudder of the PL-13 looks very similar to the Russian-built R-27, but the design of its strake wing is more like a R-77, another Russian-designed missile.
As the PL-13 can reach hypersonic speeds of Mach 5, it is nearly impossible for aircraft to evade the missile after it is launched. With a combination of the Active Phased Array Radar and the PL-13 air-to-air missile, none of the US-built fighters currently used by the Japan Air Self Defense Force is able to match the J-20 in a potential air war over the disputed Diaoyu (Diaoyutai or Senkaku) islands.
Li Li, a Chinese military analyst told the paper that this combination will be more powerful with the support of early warning aircraft. With the data provided by early warning aircraft such as the KJ-200 and KJ-2000, the J-20 will be able to detect the location of targets more than hundreds of kilometers away.