Skip to comments.China's J-20 Stealth Fighter Is Already Doing A Whole Lot More
Posted on 03/10/2012 6:49:38 PM PST by U-238
New pictures of the China's J-20 Mighty Dragon stealth fighter have surfaced and are making their way across military blogs.
This newest round of photos show the J-20 in the skies somewhere over mainland China.
The prototype is said to be using the Saturn AL-31 turbofan engine developed by the Russian's for their Su-27 air superiority fighter.
Reuben Johnson at The Washington Times reports the Chinese may be as much as 10 years away from producing an original stealth engine to slip into the J-20.
In the meantime, they'll have to take comfort in the fact that while the F-22 Raptor may be more agile and made entirely in the U.S., the Dragon carries more fuel and weapons than Lockheed's fighter.
The J-20's development is also moving along much faster than anyone had expected. Back in 2009, Gen. He Weirong, deputy commander of the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force said in a TV interview that the J-20 wouldn't be operational until 2017-2019. That estimate will likely be revised if work continues at the current pace.
Bill Sweetman at AviationWeek points out that for all its headway, no one is yet sure what the J-20 is for. He speculates that given the aircraft's size and weapons bays, it may be used to "threaten intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets and tankers, by using stealth and speed to defeat their escorts."
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
Good photos at the link
Considering all iPads and iPhones are being produced in Communist China and “can not be made in the USA”, why is anyone surprised how fast they are developing their stealth fighter?
We are idiots. Short sighted, foolish, idiots.
The only upside is that my grandkids may wind up speaking Mandarin instead of Arabic.
Ipads and Ipods haven’t been weaponized have they?
I’m afraid your analogy is a bit like saying we won WWII due to the transistor radio.
But....they’re designed in Cupertino .
Who knows if they are stuffed with malware just waiting for a go code?
My analogy has to do with a technological and manufacturing advantage we have surrendered to our largest communist enemy.
Doesn’t it concern you a at least a little?
Brought to you by americans who think the world tunes into American Idol, and thinks the world wants to be like us... got news for ya... the world wants to burry us, and the sooner the better.
Agreed. And those who lean hard on the “superior quality” of US made products seem to have forgotten how “made in Japan” went from a joke to not so funny in 30 years.
Resting on your laurels isn’t a good long-term policy.
They've already learned how to hack in and take control of NASA, various power grids, traffic grids, sanitation systems, data systems, etc.
But don't worry. The Chicoms won't, nor will anyone else, be able to stop us from giving our Ms. Flukes their free birth control.
Thanks to obama and the progressives, unlike the Chinese, WE know what's really important!
We, on the other hand, have taught them all we know and got out of the business of producing.
We taught them how to be what we used to be and then we retired.
Heck, half of "us" wants to bury us!
My money says the Canards will fall off and the J-20 becomes a lawn dart!!
In aeronautics, canard (French for “duck”) is an airframe configuration of fixed-wing aircraft in which the forward surface is smaller than the rearward, the former being known as the “canard”, while the latter is the main wing. In contrast a conventional aircraft has a small horizontal stabilizer behind the main wing.
Thanks for the ping. That is a VERY agile air-superiority fighter. Look at the canards set well forward.
The fact that its a 25 year old design is not surprising at all. The F22's planning and design began in the early 80's. Lockheed won the contract to build the thing as far back as 1991. It also doesn't matter if they are completely equivalent in performance to our planes either as long as they build and fly more of them. Quantity has a quality all of it's own.
“Quantity has a quality all of it’s own.”
That’s why the treasoncrats killed the F-22 program at 187 aircraft, instead of buying enough for a 1 for 1 replacement of the elderly F-15 as well as enough to cover for attrition.
Unfortunately, in this instance the treasoncat was none other than Dubya.
Unless I’m missing something, Apple products are still engineered in American, only built in China. The sad reality is that we couldn’t run an Apple plant here in the US if we wanted to. The regulatory/union environment wouldn’t allow it.
I agree with you 100% in being concerned - I just think we see the cause for concern in entirely different terms.
Manufacturing (workforce) is a 20th century path to economic power - resources and energy are the issue and path of the current era. Food, water, oil, mined materials, etc.
Ever notice how we’re always caught unaware by how the PRC has ‘unexpectedly’ developed something or another thing, faster than our intelligence had thought?
Our intelligence is done by people with an interest in selling us down the river with ‘free trade’.
We are being betrayed, by those whose job it is, to protect us.
“Apple products are still engineered in American, only built in China.”
What does that mean exactly?
“engineered in America”.
The factory is in China. The automation is in China. The skilled labor is in China.
The tooling is in China.
“engineered in America”.
“MADE IN CHINA”.
Everyone whines about how people don’t “buy American”, but we have made industry nearly impossible in this country with all the taxes, legislative overhead, bureaucracy, litigation, union activity, environmental regulation, never mind our own government deliberately jacking up the cost of energy.
We cannot mine. We cannot drill. We cannot build factories. We cannot employ people.
And it all stems from an overreaching, mountainous bureaucracy of federal, state and local government that is mounted on a one way ratchet that is only allowing them to get bigger, fatter, more bloated, more liberal and more restrictive over time.
It isn’t that America doesn’t have a capable workforce, manufacturing know-how or ability to leverage technology to produce goods and products. We aren’t being allowed to increase and grow industry. It is NOT an accident.
What investor, with good money is going to invest in a factory here in the USA with the accompanying taxes, environmental regulations, union/government meddling etc. when they can invest in a place like China where the government says “Just give this person and that person this much money, and we will stay out of your way. You won’t have unions protesting and making court challenges. You won’t have the Sierra Club protesting and blocking you in court. You won’t have the government agencies crawling up your butt. Just pay the tribute and your can build and prosper.”
There was once a time in this country where our way of business had a huge advantage over countries whose business environment was lubricated with bribes and payoffs and whose products were less cost competitive because we could get the raw materials here and didn’t need to pay shipping costs from making it elsewhere.
Our country has, since WWII, developed huge, encrusted growths of tax-fed, legislative, bureaucratic barnacles on the hull of our industrial ship, to the point our engines cannot develop enough thrust to drive us through the water.
The Chinese are not dumb. Even if we are do the engineering in the USA today, the Chinese engineers are learning or have learned what we are doing.
I think we have gone past the tipping point. If we don’t restart manufacturing here, then we won’t be able to tip it back the other way.
The pathetic union and welfare leaches will soon suffer incredible hardships when we have used up all the credit our forefathers fought hard to collect. Unfortunately, most of us and our children will suffer along with them.
Not so much (in fact, many defense analysts rate it well below the F-22, Rafale, etc. in maneuverability). Even if you discount the engines (which are a big issue, since sustained and coordinated G turns are dependent on available thrust), non-lifting control canards (which those look like in that picture) usually act to control stall properties (the canards usually stall at slightly lower AoA than the wing lift surfaces, meaning that the canards stall before the plane does) compared to a conventional setup. If you look at the NASA research on both control and lift canards, there's a reason OUR fighters don't have them. They really don't add much to the design, and they have some significant drawbacks (see the lifting canards on the X-29 for example)...
And the fool at the top cancels our F-22 because of cost. If they, like the Japanese, decide to hit us, we are in trouble.
They are not spending all this money just to look good. Wake up before it is too late.
“Unfortunately, in this instance the treasoncat was none other than Dubya.”
Actually, it was killed in 2009 for the FY2010 budget.
A short timeline to the death of the Raptor program:
On 6 April 2009, Secretary of Defense Gates called for the phasing out of F-22 production in fiscal year 2011.
On 9 July 2009, General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained to the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services his reasons for supporting termination of F-22 production.
“The Pentagon cannot continue with business as usual when it comes to the F-22 or any other program in excess of our needs.” - Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, speaking on the cancellation.
On 21 July 2009, President Obama threatened to veto F-22 funding.
On 21 July 2009, the Senate voted in favor of ending F-22 production.
On 30 July 2009, the House agreed to remove funds for an additional 12 aircraft and abide by the 187 cap.
President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 in October 2009, without F-22 funding.
The J-20 is a rather strange airplane.
It is big. BIG. It’s size indicates something along the lines of a strategic interceptor.....think F-101, Su-15, or Mig 25/31. It is not a “dog-fighter” or air dominance airplane.
It’s forward section.....nose cone, cockpit, is F-22 like. Stealthy at least in shape. Aft that, it’s a combination of Rafale and F-23. Canards are not stealthy no matter how much you doctor them.
It’s a weird combination. Stealthily shaped big interceptor with very un-stealthy control surfaces and design that can’t possibly fly with more agile opponents.
It is impressive of them to display this level of tech. It is not impressive of them to display this level of technological disconnect.
The J-20 is an airplane designed to fly long ranges into an AWACS range and destroy the mothership while undetected. It’s other aerodynamic problems belie it’s ability to do so
It’s a modern day “Zerstroyer” which tech does not bear out.
The canards on the J-20 are individually pivotable and retractable. Take another look at the photo in Post #26, in which the right canard is pivoted (for rapid roll) and the left canard is retracted (swept back into the fuselage).
In their last budget, the Bush administration kept the option to extend F-22 production up to the next administration, but still planned to end production at 187 aircraft.
All Gates did under Obama was to continue the policy he advocated when he was Secetrary of Defense under Bush.
In January 2008, the Pentagon announced that it would ask Congress to fund additional F-22s.
24 Sept 2008, congress passed a defense spending bill authorizing additional F-22s.
The biggest cuts to the F-22 program came during the clinton administration where it was cut from 650+ aircraft to 438 in 1994, and then cut again in 1997 to 339 aircraft.
Due to a CONGRESSIONAL “cost cap” the procurement was reduced to 277 aircraft in 2003.
In 2004, the air force reduced the procurement to the 180+ in order to implement a multi-year procurement plan to allow for the possibility of future orders beyond the 180+ aircraft.
Actually, I think it’s just the angle that the photo was taken that makes the canard look like it’s retracted.
Maybe so. I will need to see more pictures to know for sure. Perhaps there is one of the J-30 with both canards retracted.
Bah! J-30 is a typo in my last post.
You must think in Rus uh Chinese!
Agility is nice, but the whole point of a stealth fighter is to shoot down the other guy before he even knows you're there. Better sensors, and information exchange as part of superior system with other assets make the F-22 superior. Dog fights are a thing of the past.
the Dragon carries more fuel and weapons than Lockheed's fighter.
That means it will make a bigger boom when the F-22 shoots it out of the sky.
That was over 40 years and many technological advancements ago. Do you have anything better? The army eventually had to go from horses to tanks.
A computer cannot mimick the experience and skill of a pilot.
They used to say the same thing about chess players.
That is true. But I do not see Top Gun or Red Flag closing anytime soon.
Perhaps they should, but maybe it's like carrier groups. There are too many careers and too much money involved.
Maybe you will find this article from 2007 interesting.
We will have to see them in combat to make a conclusion.
Good article by the way.
I have wondered about that, although I cannot claim to own the idea since I read about it in some article. About how, in the near future, the war between stealth and sensors will go one of two ways. The first is that the advancement of stealth amongst near-peer competitors, for instance the Chinese and Russians, evolves to a level whereby their level of stealth is roughly analogous - not equal, but close enough - that by the time the USAF fighter and the Chinese/Russian fighter are detecting each other, the speed of the merge is basically bringing both aircraft at, or near, WVR. It is interesting that both the Raptor and whatever the PakFa prototype will give birth to are meant to be very agile in all regimes.
The second evolutionary thread was that sensor technology would outstrip the capabilities of stealth to ensure survivability within viable ranges, and it seems that sensor technology is evolving faster than stealth. A huge caveat to that statement is that it is based on what is publicly available, which means that the statement is worth a bucket of warm spit since none of us knows, with any degree of confidence, what the latest and upcoming developments are in terms of sensors and/or stealth. However, based on publicly available information, the British were (for example) able to track the B-2, and during the Gulf War were being able to easily track the F-117.
Anyways, sticking to the point of my post, going forward it is very possible that maneuverability will be back as a requirement, and looking at all Gen 5 and Gen 4.5/++ air-superiority fighters, all of them have not just maneuverability but extreme maneuverability as a must. Even the F-35, which was originally not meant to be a air-superiority fighter (before the Raptor got deep-sixed and its role got expanded) still has 'synthetic' maneuverability through its ability to target aircraft through its ingenious melding of its distributed aperture system and the HMDS, which can (based on what is publicly available, and assuming some of the issues they are having are sorted out) be capable of some nice piece of work.
But the interesting thing is - if in the near future a F-22C (assuming the next president lets Raptor evolution continue) facing off against (say) a SU-50 (the finished product of the T-50) or a J-23 (assuming the J-20 was just a technology demonstrator), it is quite possible that a 'dogfight' would ensue. Although I would agree that it would be a 'dogfight' in quotes since it would be I-IR missiles fighting it out rather than fighters aiming guns at one another. Although, again, both the Raptor and the T-50 prototype have maneuverability as key, both are able to jam incoming missiles (and, adding the F-35 to the mix, it was shown capable of jamming the F-22's radar), both have extreme maneuverability and not only in the supersonic regime (where it makes a lot of sense) but also in the sub-sonic area that is arguably only good for air-shows and dog-fighting, and both have guns (in the T-50's case there was a write-up saying the finished product may have TWO guns). In a future aerial environment between two near-peer adversaries (maybe US vs China; maybe China vs Russia) there will be constant jamming, all sorts of varied platforms, and a couple of stealthy players mucking about. I wouldn't be too surprised to see an actual dogfight when, in the muck of all the electronic warfare static in the air and fog of war, that two opposing stealthy platforms actually manage to get within WVR range where they are close enough to use I-IR missiles (which is arguably the modern form of the dogfight).
Just a thought.