Why China thinks its stealth fighter J20 is better than F-35

chinese j20
Chinese J20


It is not surprising that China claims its J-20 stealth fighter U.S. Better than F-22 and F-35. All countries like to claim their weapons, which their adversaries do (and if they do not, it is better because they want more money for the defense budget).

But a Chinese defense magazine has gone a step further by explaining how Chinese experts consider the J-20 superior to the US jet in many – but not all – categories.

An article in Shipboard Weapons magazine stated, “While the difference between the J-20 and the F-22 and F-35 remains in some respects, each has its pros and cons.” “The J-20, for example, maybe inferior to the F-22 in terms of supersonic cruise capability and super maneuver, due to engine performance limitations, but its larger body size gives it more fuel capacity and endurance. “

According to a translation by the US Army’s Office of Foreign Military Studies, the article also has a rate of J-20 earlier this year, which is a larger combat radius than the F-22 and thus less reliant on aerial redevelopment. And because the J-20 is a newer platform than the F-22, which first flew closer to its electronics, situational awareness and data networking and better, and capabilities of the new F-35, in 1997.

This article looks at the J-20 broadly compared to the F-35 and is better in some areas such as having supercruise capability. “Compared to the F-35, which has smaller internal weapon stores and does not have supersonic cruise capability and super maneuver, the J-20 has an internal weapon bay and greater mobility gains,” says Shipboard Weapons. “So not only are there no generational differences with the F-22 and F-35, but the J-20 also has some advantages. They can go out in offshore airspace during the war and compete for air superiority and attack enemy air, sea and land targets of foreign fourth-generation aircraft such as F-22, F-35, etc. Act to compete with. “

While the West classifies aircraft such as the F-22, F-35, and J-20 as the fifth generation, China classifies them as the fourth generation.

According to Shipboard Weapons, the J-20 will also have a specific mission in any conflict. Using its stealth capabilities, it would destroy enemy airborne early-warning aircraft and air tankers, indispensable to US air operations in the Western Pacific. “Because these targets are relatively close to the J-20’s effective detection range. And it is difficult to deploy air cover without gaps for these assets, once they are attacked by air-to-air missiles of the J-20, it is unlikely that they will be saved. Whether it is an aerial early warning aircraft or an aerial tanker, one of these property losses will have a very serious impact on the enemy’s entire combat system. “

Deprived of aerial radar aircraft and aerial tankers, the effectiveness of American stealth fighter jets would be seriously compromised by China’s approach. “If the enemy encounters the J-20 and puts early warning aircraft and aerial refueling aircraft into safe rear airspace, it will weaken the front-line army like the F-22 and F-354 supporters. Forces the mission to reduce capacity and even draw the front line back, ”the article states. “It also means that the J-20’s operations in the near-sea airspace could create a favorable situation, limiting the range of movements of the F-22 and F-35 and the lack of adequate air support. The reason may be limitations on enemy maritime activity. , Greatly reducing the pressure on our maritime and offshore defense operations. “

If this is indeed China’s strategy for the J-20, then it has merit. American fighters rely on a very limited number of air radars and tanker aircraft, especially the vast distances of the Pacific or greater, between Taiwan and the South China Sea.

However, the Shipboard Weapon article glosses over some problems. Chief among them is the J-20, a yet unproven design whose WS-15 engine suffers from reliability issues. A stealth fighter with an unreliable engine would prove to be a poor instrument to erode American airpower.

Source: National Interest

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