China deploys its J-20 to counter the American F-35 in the Western Pacific – Last month, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) began deploying China’s most advanced fighter jet, the Chengdu J-20, to the East and South China Seas. . It was the first official confirmation that the country’s fifth generation was operating over a wide area.
The J-20 began to participate in “routine training sessions” and combat patrols in the two seas, the Beijing government regulated world times The news website reported on April 13. State media quoted Ren Yukun, head of the discipline, inspection and supervision team at domestic aircraft manufacturer Aviation Industry Corporation of China, maker of the J-20.
“Presumably it gives something that can go along with the United States over Taiwan or the East China Sea,” said Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and Environmental Studies. international organizations based in Washington. Voice of America last month.
The J-20, also known as the Mighty Dragon, is only the world’s third operational fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft after the military’s F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. American. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long touted the capabilities of its Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter since its introduction in 2011. The fifth-generation superiority fighter from the 1990s J-XX program entered service. in March 2017, while the first J-20 combat unit was formed just under a year later.
With some 200 J-20s currently in service, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) “now has in regular service a fleet of advanced stealth fighters as good as the Americans, which remain the reference,” Peter Layton, a visiting scholar at the Griffith Asia Institute in Australia, told CNN. “Any foreign military aircraft entering China’s claimed airspace in the East and South China Seas can now be intercepted by J-20s.”
New Engines – Real Deal or Hype?
According to a statement from the aircraft developer, the J-20 is now powered by newly developed and domestically produced engines. This could likely increase the capabilities of the fifth-generation aircraft, which was previously powered by Russian-made Al-31F engines and the locally produced WS-10B. Both of these engines were designed for less advanced aircraft.
Today, a few dozen J-20s in service are powered by WS-10C engines, an upgraded version of an older Chinese-made engine. Yet Beijing has struggled to develop the WS-15 engine designed explicitly for fifth-generation aircraft like the J-20. The lack of engine power should prevent the J-20 from adopting advanced armament and participating in high-end operations.
Chinese military officials have previously said the WS-15 will be completed by 2023. With the upgraded engine, it has been claimed that the Mighty Dragon will even be on par with the US F-22, but some analysts have argued that the upgrade shouldn’t be overstated and that the WS-15 is “at least a generation behind” the F-22’s engine.
D-20 What is its role?
Analysts also said it was early to determine whether the J-20 could be used as a multirole fighter like the F-35 Lightning II or could be used as a more air superiority fighter like the F-22 Raptor. Still, as Business Insider reported, China is trying to showcase the Mighty Dragon’s capabilities.
Even though the PLAAF aircraft is not yet as capable as the F-22 or F-35, the J-20 should still be taken seriously and a sign that China is serious about its ambitions in the West. Pacific and beyond.
Today’s editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He writes regularly on military hardware and is the author of several books on military headgear, including A gallery of military hairstyles, which is available on Amazon.com. Peter is also a Contributing author for Forbes.