Chinese fifth generation fighter J-20 ‘shot down’ 17 aircraft
BEIJING, (BM) – Success in the development of the latest fighters, by and large, is meaningless without their demonstration in real or close to combat conditions. Probably, the People’s Liberation Army of China [PLA] understands this very well, so they released a report on the conducted aviation exercises.
During one of the key exercises, the Chinese fifth-generation fighter Chengdu J-20, under the control of a pilot who had recently mastered the car, conditionally destroyed 17 planes of a potential enemy, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing popular Mechanics.
The South China Morning Post, citing the PLA’s official newspaper PLA Daily, reports that Chen Xinhao was at the helm of the J-20, who, together with his wingmen, had to reflect multiple waves of attacking planes of a potential enemy. The newest stealth fighter was able to hit 17 aerial targets without being hit. As enemies in the exercise were unnamed vehicles, among which there were at least three J-16s [the Chinese “descendant” of the Su-30MKK].
As usual, the Chinese military does not indulge in details – the total number of aircraft involved, their types and conditions for the exercise are not indicated. It is also noteworthy that the military newspaper calls Qinhao in its article a “novice” or “junior pilot”, because he flew only 100 hours on the J-20. However, this is not quite a fair characterization, since Chen is a member of the elite squadron of the PLA Air Force “Wang Hai” (Wang Hai Unit).
This unit is distinguished by advanced pilot training and is named after an ace pilot who participated in the Korean War. At the beginning of an armed conflict with Taiwan, this squadron of the Eastern Military District will have to be at the forefront of the strike. In other words, these exercises can be regarded as a kind of warning to the island Republic of China. Considering that the latter has recently decided to purchase another 66 F-16V fighters from the United States and thus will become the state with one of the largest air forces in the region.
Well, and it seems that the highest ranks of the PLA decided to boast a little, they say, look, what a cool plane we have turned out – you don’t even need to master it for a particularly long time, already surpasses all opponents. They have the right, to be honest: after all, the J-20 is the third in the world of only three fifth-generation fighters that are in service in 2020.
Recall that the history of the creation, testing and development of this aircraft by the pilots, as well as the Air Force, is poorly documented, but some details become known to the public. For example, more recently it became known that the J-20 has a unique two-seat modification, and among the “fives” no one else in the world has such. In addition, very soon this fighter will acquire modernized engines, the development and production of which is completely localized in China – until now, Chengdu is equipped with “clones” of the Soviet-Russian AL-31F.
China has begun mass production of an unknown J-20 fighter modification
In China, a new modification of the fifth generation fighter J-20 was created. In addition, the fighter jet has already begun to be mass-produced, as we reported on July 15 according RusGazeta.
In their article, journalists also refer to the expert opinion of military analyst Yuri Lyamin. In particular, according to his estimates, at the end of last year, about 30 such aircraft could be in the ranks of the Chinese Air Force.
It is noted that 18 J-20 vehicles were accurately identified by their tail numbers. About the new modification, which was called J-20B, is not yet known.
The main question asked by experts is the power plant of a new modification of the machine. “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” writes that earlier it became known about the development of WS-15 engines in China.
This engine has enough power for the fighter and a controlled thrust vector. It is noted that the first J-20 aircraft had Russian AL-31FN engines as a power plant, however, according to unconfirmed information, the last batch of fighters released in 2019 was already equipped with the Chinese WS-10.
By the way, this engine does not meet some of the requirements that apply to a fifth generation combat aircraft.
Expert Yuri Lyamin emphasizes that if the information on the release of the upgraded version is confirmed by the PRC, then, as usual, the Chinese will certainly show photos of the fighter.
A new engine for J-20 fighter
China is interested in acquiring a batch of Product 30 aircraft engines, which are being developed specifically for the Su-57 fighter, reported BulgarianMilitary.com on May 28.
The latest Su-57 is the most advanced Russian fighter, whose strengths include its excellent maneuverability. At the moment, AL-41F1 power units are used on these aircraft, but in the future they will be replaced by completely new engines, known in the media under the code name Product 30. China wants to have this unique motor at its disposal, Moscow will receive an offer to purchase it right after the start of its mass production.
“While maintaining high performance and traction Product 30 boasts low fuel consumption, this parameter is 30% lower than that of its predecessors,” noted Sohu authors.
However, not only its low fuel consumption attracts the new Russian engine of the Chinese military. The nozzle of the power unit can be deflected at a sufficiently large angle, which allows for impressive maneuverability for the aircraft. During air combat, this factor can be crucial.
Beijing intends to install these engines on J-20 fighters, which are currently equipped with other engines from the Russian Federation – AL-31FN. China will make every effort to agree with the Russian Federation on the supply of Product 30, an extremely tempting offer will be made to Moscow.
“China is far behind Russia in engine building, a universally recognized fact. The introduction of foreign engines is the most optimal step for China in this situation,” the experts concluded.
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