F-35s around China, Beijing sharply increased production of J-20

BEIJING ($1=7.17 Chinese Yuans) — While the world is engaged in monitoring what is happening in Ukraine, in the Pacific region “almost secretly” the cards are being rearranged. A war is imminent in the region, military analysts and political scientists have been claiming for several months. China and Taiwan will be on the front line against each other, with Taiwan relying on friends from the US, Japan, and Australia. The US was the first to flinch and China responded.

Thrust vectoring engine: J-20 performs strong maneuvers at low speed
Photo credit: eng.chinamil.com.cn

Some time ago, BulgarianMilitary.com announced that the aging F-15 Eagles from the Japanese Kadena Air Force Base in Japan will be replaced on a rotational basis with the American F-22 Raptor. At first glance, this looks like a standard planned Pentagon maneuver. Later, joint flights between four US Air Force F-16 fighter jets and four South Korean Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter jets conducted brief aerial exercises to drop laser-guided GBU-12 bombs. However, the training went into an assault configuration. They were a response to North Korea’s earlier launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Taiwan is awaiting the delivery of F-16 fighter jets from the US. Thailand has inquired about buying F-35s from the US, Singapore already operates the F-35 Lightning II, Australia is training jointly with Japan and the US with their F-35s, and Washington has sent F-22s from Alaska to Japan. Do you notice anything? China has been surrounded by fifth-generation fighter jets for the past six months.

Pulsed production lines

Beijing has clearly read these signals because news is arriving from the otherwise conservative and information-obscured China. According to sources speaking to the Hong Kong media outlet South China Morning Post, Beijing has sharply increased production of the J-20 Mighty Dragon. J-20 Mighty Dragon manufacturer Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group [CAIG] has begun accelerated serial production of its fifth-generation fighters using world-class pulsed production lines. Lockheed Martin produces the F-35 Lightning II in exactly the same way.

US sends F-22s to Crete for joint missions with Greek Air Force
Photo credit: Pixabay

However, sources say that China, while lagging behind, has already caught up with the US and is currently overtaking it in fifth-generation fighter jet production. For example, more than 200 J-20 Mighty Dragon fighters have already been designed and produced, while the F-22 Raptor, according to unofficial information, came off the production line in 2012 at the number 186. That is. China already has more J-20 fighter jets than the US operates in terms of the F-22 Raptor.

The South China Morning Post’s source says that it is the presence of American stealth fighters in “Chinatown” that is the main reason Beijing is investing in increasing the production of its aircraft. China will want to assert air superiority in the looming next war but will J-20s alone be enough to counter the F-35 Lightning IIs that have outflanked them.

200 J-20 Mighty Dragorn

If the figures for the J-20s built are confirmed, it means impressive production. Because in reality, this aircraft entered serial production only two years ago. China has officially announced that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force from the five commands is currently equipped with Chinese stealth.

The J-20 began to appear already with some improvements, which is relatively quickly after the start of their serial production. For example, China introduced this year a completely new turbofan engine with a 2D nozzle to control thrust vectoring. This ensures much better maneuverability, some experts say.

F-35 Lightning II fighter jet
Photo credit: Twitter

BulgarianMilitary.com recently wrote that China is scrapping the Russian Saturn AL-31 engines and has begun integrating the Chinese WS-15. This engine will first power the J-10 and J-11, but with the current political circumstances and US military maneuvers in the region, it is no wonder that the J-20 will receive the new engine sooner than planned.

J-20 near Pelosi

The J-20 has already entered real military exercises. China chose to do it in a way that would irritate the Americans. This happened at the military maneuvers around Taiwan, which were dictated by the visit of the American speaker Mrs. Nancy Pelosi to the island nation.

However, Washington accepts the facts, which may turn out to be in their favor in the coming years. I.e. government circles in the capital and the US military are well aware of the growing power of the J-20, which can increase the combat capability of Chinese aviation. All these conclusions have long been included in the American annual reports, and diplomacy has been following the development of the aircraft yearly.


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