Could China’s ‘ferocious’ J-5 naval fighter jets ‘kill’ US Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets ‘pretty quickly’ in a dogfight?

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Retired Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass, former naval aviator and Topgun graduate and instructor: It’s all theoretical until the shooting starts.

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-chinas-j-15s-stack-up-against-us-fa-18s-2020-10

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The EurAsian Times

Captain DK Sharma (Retd), a decorated Indian Navy veteran who served as the Navy spokesperson, told the EurAsian Times that the two aircraft cannot be compared as, “Both are totally different like chalk and cheese. The F-18/18A is a proven platform with USN. The J-15 has not been seen by the world, and is more of propaganda.”

China’s Ferocious Naval Fighters Should ‘Kill’ US Navy’s F-35s, Super Hornets ‘Pretty Quickly’ In A Dogfight – Indian Experts

By Aritra Banerjee – September 17, 2021

F/A-18 vs J-5: Who Would Dominate The Skies?

While a direct one-on-one dogfight between the two carrier-based aircraft over the Indo-Pacific remains quite possible, there are contradictory assessments of their combat capabilities. The general consensus is that the F/A-18 is a proven aircraft while the J-15s performance remains an enigma. 

China is known to model its military development projects based on US and Russian weapon systems. This has been a recurring theme in Chinese military research and development efforts.

There are uncanny resemblances between the J-15 and the Russian Su-33, fuelling speculation about similar combat capabilities of the two aircraft types.

However, long-time military aviation watcher, Amit Mukherjee offers a different take.

J-15s are aerodynamically far superior to the FA-18 but FA-18 avionics and weapons package is still better. So, in Beyond Visual Range combat, I would expect the F-18 to win. F18- E/F incorporates some stealth features also. 

The J-15 has a fairly large radar signature. In close air combat, the J-15 should kill the F/A-18.

The J-15 take-off from Chinese STOBAR carriers. Hence cannot take off with full weapons payload. The F/A-18 takeoff from the US Navy CATOBAR carriers and can take off with full payload.

This view was considered “logical” by a seasoned Indian Naval aviator, who did not wish to be named. 

A contrary view is that the J-15 has distinct advantages over its F/A-18 in a dogfight scenario. The PLA Navy’s carrier limitations heavily negate them. A prevailing view is that the J-15 stands no chance against the F/A-18 at sea. This was voiced by Timothy Heath, a RAND Corporation senior defense researcher.

He was quoted as saying, “If you’re talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15.”

Regardless of the contrarian views, Beijing has long maintained that its Flying Shark has an edge over Washington’s Super Hornet and China’s strides in aircraft carrier technology may begin to be turning the tide in the Flying Shark’s favor.

China has two aircraft carriers and is expected to operate four by 2025. The Chinese Navy’s Soviet-style aircraft carriers have air-wings, which comprise a fleet of 20-30 J-15s.

However, detractors argue that the J-15 was developed based on an unfinished prototype of the Su-33, which Beijing had managed to acquire from Ukraine and reverse-engineer it, a result of which seems to be reliability issues.

Some experts believe that the J-15’s heavier weight bolsters its ability to carry more fuel and a higher weapons payload, which could give it an edge in air-to-air combat. However, a sticky issue is that the ski jump-assisted short take-off launch on Chinese aircraft carriers becomes self-defeating as the aircraft’s weight goes against it. 

Captain DK Sharma (Retd), a decorated Indian Navy veteran who served as the Navy spokesperson, told the EurAsian Times that the two aircraft cannot be compared as, “Both are totally different like chalk and cheese. The F-18/18A is a proven platform with USN. The J-15 has not been seen by the world, and is more of propaganda.”

While both navies will come across one another in the Indo-Pacific, a direct confrontation between the American and Chinese carrier-based aircraft is something that is hard to predict at this juncture.

  • Aritra Banerjee is a defense journalist who has worked in both online and print media. He has laid an emphasis on issues related to military human resources, tactical psychology, military-media relations, professional military education, and combat fitness. He can be reached at aritrareporter@gmail.com.

https://eurasiantimes.com/chinas-designed-fighter-jets-should-kill-us-navys-f-35s-super-hornets-quickly/

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Compared to the US F/A-18s, both the Hornet and newer Super Hornet, the J-15 is a heavier aircraft able to carry more weapons and fuel, and it can fly higher and faster. … Both aircraft carriers use ski jump-assisted short take-off launch systems rather than catapults.23 Oct 2020

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INSIDER

US Navy F/A-18s would ‘destroy’ China’s J-15 carrier fighters in air-to-air combat today, but the future could be a different story

Ryan Pickrell Oct 24, 2020, 3:01 AM

China’s carrier-based J-15 fighter jets have some advantages over the US Navy’s F/A-18s in air-to-air combat, but the limitations of China’s existing carriers negate them.

“If you’re talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15,” a defense expert told Insider.

But the new carrier that China is building could give the J-15 the opportunity to leverage its advantages, making it more of a threat for US Navy fighters.
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The Chinese navy’s Shenyang J-15 fighters do not stand much of a chance against the US Navy’s F/A-18s today, but that may not always be the case, especially as China builds a better aircraft carrier, experts told Insider.

China has the world’s largest navy, according to the Pentagon’s latest assessment, and it continues to grow. In recent years, the country has managed to field two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, both of which carry complements of Shenyang J-15 “Flying Shark” fighter jets.

The Soviet-style carriers have air wings consisting of 20 to 30 J-15 fighter aircraft.

China argues that the J-15 is comparable to the US Navy’s F/A-18, in some cases even possessing advantages over the Navy’s primary carrier-based strike fighter. The J-15 is capable, but if the Chinese carrier fighter went head-to-head with an F/A-18, it would likely get slaughtered, experts said.
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Compared to the US F/A-18s, both the Hornet and newer Super Hornet, the J-15 is a heavier aircraft able to carry more weapons and fuel, and it can fly higher and faster. “In air-to-air combat, those can be really important factors,” Timothy Heath, a RAND Corporation senior defense researcher, told Insider.

The problem is that the J-15 is unable to leverage a lot of its advantages because of the limitations of China’s current aircraft carriers.

The Liaoning, the Chinese sister ship of Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, is “not very impressive,” China experts have told Insider

China then built the Shandong, the country’s first homegrown aircraft carrier. Although the Shandong, which was commissioned last December, is an improvement over its predecessor, the design is similar to the Liaoning. Both aircraft carriers use ski jump-assisted short take-off launch systems rather than catapults.

“With a ski-slope configuration, weight becomes your enemy, and the J-15, as a heavy airplane, starts to be the victim of its own design,” Heath said.

The J-15 is the heaviest carrier-based fighter in service, and because the fighter jet has to launch under its own power, the aircraft can take off with only a fraction of the weapons and fuel it was designed to carry, reducing its range and overall combat capability.

The US Navy’s F/A-18s, on the other hand, can take off from the carrier with a full load of fuel and weaponry because all US carriers have catapult-assisted takeoff.

Then, there’s the avionics. “The US aircraft has a superior radar,” Heath said. “That’s a huge advantage being able to shoot from a very long range because you can see the enemy first. That gives the F/A-18 a big advantage, even over a more nimble and faster aircraft.

“If you’re talking about the J-15 going up against the F/A-18 at sea, then the F/A-18 is going to destroy the J-15.”
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China is building a new type of aircraft carrier, possibly the country’s first modern flattop, that could allow the J-15 to achieve its full potential.
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The Pentagon reported that China’s new carrier “will be larger and fitted with a catapult launch system,” a design that “will enable it to support additional fighter aircraft, fixed-wing early-warning aircraft, and more rapid flight operations and thus extend the reach and effectiveness of its carrier based strike aircraft.”
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“You can imagine a Chinese carrier with more advanced J-15 variants with more sophisticated avionics, high-quality missiles, maybe 10, 11, 12 missiles loaded on each aircraft, plenty of fuel, good range, good performance,” Heath said. “You could see that at that point the US with its F/A-18s might face a real challenge.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-chinas-j-15s-stack-up-against-us-fa-18s-2020-10

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