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J-20 Stealth Fighter: China Reveals Its Big Plans for the ‘Mighty Dragon’

Image: Creative Commons.

China Ramps Up Deliveries of J-20 Fighters Featuring Domestic Engines: It appears that the Chinese military’s heavy investments in the J-20 “Mighty Dragon” in an effort to close the gap with the United States’ much-vaunted F-22 and F-35 fighter jets are now paying off.

According to Liu Xuanzun at the Global Times, the manufacturer of the J-20 jets, Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, has revealed that it “recently broke records in terms of aircraft delivery due to high demand.”

The reporter added that experts have confirmed that the J-20 “has entered a mass production phase after it solved the last missing piece of the puzzle, the domestically developed WS-10 engine.”

These particular engines, which were developed to eventually replace Russian engines that were in earlier versions of the J-20 fighter, were first showcased by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force to the general public at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, in late September. The Global Times noted that the switch to the domestically made engines made the ambitious transition to mass production possible.

During the same airshow, Wang Haitao, deputy designer of the aircraft, confirmed that China’s aviation industry has the ability to satisfy any level of demand from the PLA Air Force.

“In a short time, we will be able to see J-20s operated by all eastern, southern, western, northern and central theater commands, and become the main force to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial airspace security,” Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times.

‘Technically Mature’

According to a 2017 report by the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it stated that the WS-10 engines would offer the J-20 low super-cruise ability, which means that it would have the capability to fly at supersonic speeds for extended periods.

CNN also noted that a Global Times report last June contended that China now being able to tap into its own engines proved that the “J-20 is becoming more and more technically mature.”

“More PLA units based in different locations across the country are expected to get more J-20s, significantly enhancing the PLA Air Force’s capability of safeguarding the motherland’s sovereignty, airspace and development interests,” it continued, citing anonymous expert in the military.

In addition, National Defense magazine pointed to a separate report that claimed that “the aircraft has high maneuverability, stealth characteristics, an internal weapons bay, advanced avionics and sensors providing enhanced situational awareness, advanced radar tracking and targeting capabilities, and integrated electronic warfare systems.”

Other high-end capabilities include passive sensors, active electronically scanned array radar, low-observability features, range on internal fuel, and long-range missiles.

Paired With Drones

Late last month, the South China Morning Post reported that China has once again “hinted at a potential pairing of its most advanced aircraft, the J-20, with drones in a tandem strategy that would expand Beijing’s combat capabilities.”

“The future is a big era for drone development,” Chinese air force pilot Liu Qihong was quoted as saying during an interview with state broadcaster CCTV.

F-35 vs. J-20

Image: Creative Commons.

China Taiwan Air Force

Image: Chinese Internet.

J-20 Engines

Image: Chinese Internet.

“If teamed with four drones during a mission, the manned vehicle can have a wider surveillance area and clearer sense of danger. What’s more, drones can overcome long endurance periods, high temperature and a lot of noise, which might become unbearable for human pilots,” he continued.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. patrico

    December 18, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Waouhhh ! Si les images signées Creative Commons sont réelles ce Jet Figther, Aérodynamiquement parlant est une “bête” du sky une révolution Aérodyn ! Il est taillé pour la précision tenue Cap mais a mon avis pour les figures Impossibles. Seul l avionique et les powers motors inconnus pour un Quidam devraient confirmer sa puissance flight extrême ! Les pros ont dû analyser mieux que moi ! Merci Thank you merci a Tous !

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