TheChengdu J-20 is aStealth,twin-engine,fifth-generationfighter aircraft being developed by China’sChengdu Aerospace Corporationfor theAir Force(PLAAF).The J-20 made its first flight on 11 January 2011, and is expected to be operational in 2018.
The J 20 program is the Chinese first fifth generation fighter program, that can designed to hunt down American stealth fighter jets and Bombers and gives an upper edge to the PLA Air force in aerial fighting, the actual program initiated later 1990’s, with many ex Ukrainian aerospace engineers and downed American F 117 technologies, and many hacked source codes of American Joint Strike Fighter program, the J 20 appeared first in 2011, looks similar to the American F 22, with canards, and set a new milestone in global aerospace, the J 20 primarily designed as a Air superiority Fighter, by housing large number of sleek air to air missiles in it’s three weapon bays.
With bunch of resources, the Chinese almost managed to fast track the Fighter development program, after the first flight in 2011, within five years they almost build five more prototypes and using those for testing, even the new seventh prototype 2016 rolled out this month by performing aerial flight tests, six prototypes used for flight characteristics tests and one used for ground based tests, those appeared J 20 prototypes initially tested in long time, sometimes the test can go more than hours, that looks the J 20 has much long combat radius to perform long range missions and long period of aerial supremacy.
The Chinese has only one major problem in the J 20 program is the Engines, they started the engine program way back 1990, still they are not matured enough to create a true turbo fan engines, countries like France, England, America and Russia are the only countries who developed a true fighter jet engines , and they keep the engine blades composite technology as secret, while China could able to absorb the tech, they tried the reverse engineered Russian AL 31 F engines dubbed as WS 10 in China, they used the WS 10 to build as much as Flanker clones,however the engine will not performed well in the J 20 test bed, so they plans to buy newer Engines from Russia. they tried to purchase the AL 41 117 engine who powers the Su 35 Super flankers and the prototype variants of PAK FA, Russia almost denied the Chinese request, how ever instead of selling the Engines, Russia prefer whole Su 35 Sale to China which gives more money to Russia rather just millions for some engines, both of them almost signed the Contract, and earlier this year some media sources reported that Chinese Fighter pilots went to Russia for a Training mission to fly in the Su 35,
The Chinese has a project based on the WS 10 to develop a improved version of AL 31 F, they concentrating the WS 15 engine to power the J 20, as per some leaked reports, Janes says the power output of the new engines is just 80 Kilo newtons, means twin engine provide some 160 kN, which is rated less powerful engine in the fifth generation fighter category,
Same like other fifth generation fighter jets, the J 20 too comes with a AESA Radar, China uses a much larger AESA compared to others with some 1856 modules for transmitting and receiving emitted signals, which is capable to detect and track targets up to some 200 kilo meters, however these are all come from Chinese media, not a analyzed or confirmed reports, because no one saw the Radar inside the J 20, foreign military watches aware of KLJ 5 AESA radar,while the real capabilities is unknown, unlike foreign AESA are usually X band LPI radars , means enemy radar warning receiver will not detect the radar waves emitted from such Low probability of intercept Radar, Radar’s like AN/APG 77, RBE 2 and Byelka has such capabilities,
The real shocking is the J 20’s Electro Optic Targeting system (EOTS) one of the most advanced technologies emerged from the known IRST, which allows the fighter detect and track, enemy low observable stealth aircraft’s in long ranges, even without using the on board radar, the EOTS can allow the fighter to launch medium range IR guided missiles, means the hostile air craft even have no idea about, where those missiles are coming from. such modern systems are presents only in the F 35 fighter jet, the system known as EOTS and in the Rafale known as FSO- Front sector optroincs, even the PAK FA based IRST system too not much advanced than the above mentioned systems.
With the use of J 20’s modern Avionic suites, the J 20 can detect and engage Su 30 MKI fighters from long range, even without being detected by the Sukhoi Radar, due to the LPI capability and Stealth the IAF’s ground based Radar’s too don’t have the capability to track such stealth planes, The Sukhoi too have IRST which can detect the Low observable stealth aircraft, however it can detect those fighters in very close ranges only. same like other EOTS the J 20 too guide the air ground missiles using it’s EOTS, how ever the J 20’s weapon bay will not accommodate heavy bombs, they need to carry those missile externally only.
One more Shocking is, China almost completed J 20’s trails, and planning to mass produce those fighters within next two years, as earlier planned 2016 deadline is almost is passing by, It’s believed China will carryout weapon tests in coming days, before going to mass productions, and by 2017 Chinese Air force gets the J 20 in it’s wings, the same year Russia too induct their PAK FA in it’s VKS fleet.