Although China continues to lag approximately two decades behind the world’s most sophisticated air forces in terms of its ability to develop and produce fighter aircraft and other complex aerospace systems, it has moved over time from absolute reliance on other countries for military aviation technology to a position where a more diverse array of strategies can be pursued.
In its ever-expanding push for military superiority, China has set its sights on a next-generation stealth fighter on par or greater than America’s F-35, that it hopes to field by 2035, says the chief designer of the Chengdu J-20 reported asiatimes.com.
China has finally accepted that its stealth fighter jet J-20 is a copy of America’s F-35. Yang Wei, chief designer at the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute, China’s state-run aircraft manufacturer, said his J-10 fighter jet was a copy of the US F-35, not Russia’s stealth fighter. It is believed that after this confession by China, tensions between America and China may increase to unprecedented levels.
According to the South China Morning Post a news website headquartered in Hong Kong, Chinese military aircraft manufacturers are vying to build fighter jets operating from aircraft carriers amid increased tension with the US. The first of these is the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (CADI), a government company that is working on a revised version of its J-20. The other government company is the Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute, which is manufacturing the FC-31 jet.
In a recent article published in the Chinese magazine Acta Aeronautica et Astronautica Sinica, Yang Wei, chief designer of the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute, stated that his aircraft is based on the principle of American air combat and jet design.
After Copying F-35’s Stealth, China’s J-20 Duplicating its Non-Stealth Features
- Our Bureau
- 09:18 AM, June 4, 2020
China’s J-20 stealth jet, believed to be a copycat design of the US-made F-35, is now duplicating its non-stealth feature – to carry weapons on external pylons.
The F-35 and J-20 carry missiles and bombs in an internal weapons bay to avoid radar detection. However, for some missions requiring heavier weapons load, these are mounted on external pylons, at the expense of stealth.
On Monday, local media posted photograph showing a J-20 prototype undergoing a test flight with two external pylon adapters, one under each side of its wings.
The Chinese jet previously had the capacity to carry four PL-15 missiles in its main weapons bay and two PL-10 short-range missiles in its side weapons bay. The external adapters will enable the jet to carry four more missiles.
Based on the mission, different types of loadouts can be chosen. “Beast mode” with more munitions can be activated in low-risk and low-threat missions.
In addition, the Chinese media speculated that the J-20 fighters could also carry external fuel tanks for extended range.
The J-20’s sensor system also looks similar to the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) in terms of shape and placement. In 2007, Chinese hackers allegedly stole technical documents related to the F-35 from Lockheed Martin.
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