29 December 2010


Bill Sweetman and others had initially speculated that the new Chinese J-20 fighter might have been a product of Adobe OKB. More photos have emerged to suggest that they are not. Quoting Sweetman:

"More photos of the Chengdu stealth fighter prototype, reportedly the J-20, continue to emerge - although they don't add too much as yet to our understanding of the aircraft itself. It will take a little more measurement to pin down the jet's size, and without a plan view we can't say much. (The last time this happened was with the YF-12, and most people were miles away from the real aircraft.)"

This appears to be a new fighter with low observable characteristics. Whether this is a generation five fighter remains to be seen as the performance and other characteristics are not known at this point. It is unlikely that the Chinese would have achieved parity in terms of fighter technology at this point. This is apparently a product of the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, the producer of the J-10 series of fighters.

The Chinese aviation industry has not managed the development of advanced engines of the Pratt & Whitney F135 class nor the General Electric / Rolls Royce F136 class nor the Pratt & Whitney F119 class. The industry has previously reverse-engineered the Russian Saturn AL-31FN in the form of the Shenyang WS-10 engine. It would be really interesting to see what could be powering this new unknown aircraft.

The photos of the J-20 were first spotted in a Chinese website. The Defense Update website has an article with more speculation and photos.


Anonymous said...

Aiyyyaa ... of course lahhh ... China would copy anything or everything if they see fit.

Copy and learn.

J10 ... Made In China what ...


Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Undoubtedly. However, copying an engine is not straight forward.

The WS-10B copy of the AL-31 has only a lifespan of 30+ hours instead of the expected 400 hours.

Avionics? Software? Not that simply either.

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

J-10 has supposedly Israeli assistance, right? The Lavi. Who knows. However, the engine is still Russian. Limiting factor.