China’s J-20 Obtains Initial Operation Capability Earlier than US F-35

Trial takeoff of a F-35 on an aircraft carrier.

Trial takeoff of a F-35 on an aircraft carrier.’s photo

According to US media’s report on August 22, though the US has deployed its F-35s, it has just begun trial landing and takeoff of F-35C on an aircraft carrier. It plans for F-35C to obtain initial operation capability in late 2017 or early 2018.

China is quite different. It does not deploy its new fighter jets until tests have proved that the fighter has obtained initial operation capability. J-20 is expected to be deployed in 2017, earlier than F-35.

F-35 can dominate the sky if others have no stealth fighter jets, but China has been developing J-20 to grab air dominance from F-22 instead of F-35 in the airspace near it. As J-20 is a heavier fighter with better radar and other equipment to detect F-35 earlier and longer-range air-to-air missiles to shoot down F-35 before it comes within the range of F-35’s missile, it will have air supremacy over F-35.

However, if F-35 had initial operation capacity earlier than J-20, it would be able to dominate the sky before J-20 is deployed.

F-35 is indeed unfortunate for its late emergence.

As a Chinese, I am happy that China will have succeeded to have active defense capability to resist US aggression. Note: The US is indeed an aggressor with respect to China as we see lots of discussion about the ways to attack China by US military, but no discussion whatsoever of the way to attack the US by Chinese military.

Now, the US has to upgrade its F-22 heavy fighter jet to deal with J-20. It has a plan to do so but needs the funds. To maintain world hegemony, the US has to deploy its military all over the world and develop all kinds of weapons so that its much bigger military budget is not enough.

China has only to focus on deployment of its military in its own territories and development of weapons to resist US attack so that its much smaller military budget is more than enough. Moreover, due to patriotism (regarded by the US as nationalism), its weapon development is voluntarily subsidized by state-owned and private enterprises. US enterprises, however, want to make substantial profits in providing weapons to their country.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on’s report titled “We have been aboard USS George Washington during F-35C’s latest carrier trials”, full text of which can be viewed at


10 Comments on “China’s J-20 Obtains Initial Operation Capability Earlier than US F-35”

  1. Joseph says:

    So the F-35C can fly. Good for the American, after all those billions of dollars wasted. At least they have some thing that ‘fly’. But is it enough? The F-35 is designed to do F-35 ‘things’, not to just ‘fly’. If anything that the avionist show, is that rhe F-35C is even worse than expected. Look at the butt of those planes. It was not even F-15 engine, but the even cheaper and unreliable F-16 engine. Forget thrust-vectoring, those engines are lucky if they do not go FORD (fix or repair daily). Make sense since the F-16 and F-35 have the same manufacturer. Being an American company, they care revenue more that national pride. But can they at least do the math? F-16 is a very light tin can, while the F-35 is supposed to carry heavy composite body. No wonder these junks need so frequent aerial refuelings. Lightning is an overrated name. F-35C Suckling Baby is more appropriate. And the American should rename those tankers to be KC-135 Mum.


  2. Sentinel says:

    What’s this F-35 “C” when the original F-35 haven’t even got off the ground yet? Who are the American’s trying to kid? A new improved version when the original haven’t even passed the development stage yet? The F-35 “C” should just be named F-35. Maybe now it is only starting to complete it development process and going on into initial operating capability. Typical of Americans – rigging everything to win or appear they are winning; Even the name of a a dud aeroplane. Sad that they Americans have descended to such low levels of cheats and inglorious b*stards.


    • Joseph says:

      The ‘C’ in the F-35C means it is a new variant. Which it is not something originally intended. Normally it is assumed to be an improvement. But in some case, it is used to denote generic model. In the case of F-35, it is definitely a generic since the F-35, F-35A and F-35B are not even completed. Not even X-35 is completed.


  3. Foxhound says:

    For China, this is the start of the beginning road toward the world leadership in almost all areas, including aircraft industry, and jet engines technologies.
    This news illustrates how China’s ambitions are real :–finance.html
    In ten years, twenty years U won’t recognize your country.


  4. Steve says:

    This is indeed great news for China and for All Chinese to be proud. The US may have to come up with a F35D because the F35C may still be a lemon in the sky. The US has at least another year to obtain IOC with the F35. The US can no longer guarantee supremacy in aerial combat against China or Russia, notably from 2017 onwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Foxhound says:

      The US may have to come up with a F35D because the F35C may still be a lemon in the sky
      Everybody is well aware that the F-35 is a failure. However, for evident geopolitical reasons, they could not cancel the program. It is too late. Moreover against either the F-22, or F-35, China does not need J-20. The powerful J-11 B, and the J-11 D with their AESA radar, and their engine WS-10 G vector thrust -2D- are largely enough. It is no use to wait stealth aircraft to fight a stealth fighter. The Rafale, or Typhoon are largely able to down an F-22. The most asset against a stealth fighter is the ability to detect it enough time and to track, and down it. Nowadays all embedded radars are designed to detect a LOA.

      The F-35, as the F-22 were not designed for dogfights, but mostly for the BVR’s combat a mere fantasy, by the way never worked, will never work one day. Structural flaws in the F-22 showed that after 100 minutes of fly, the aircraft must be grounded for weeks, it implies a low availability of the fleet, contrary to what US say. China takes its time to build up their stealth fighters in order to avoid the same US mistakes. Moreover the new Print 3D as it is the new industrial revolution, is a fantastic game changer at the favour of China, as chinese can afford to invest in this strategic area. It shortened the gap between US and China. A gap that nowadays does not exist, in few years -around 2020-, China will overpass US. The F-22’s design is overpassed, as it was conceived during the time when no one has super computer. Nowadays all countries in this planet could design its own super computer. In this strategic area China is ahead too. See Top500.
      Moreover all US news about F-35, or F-22 are mere communication, in order to not frighten US european, and asian allies. If Japan, and South Korea are designing their own stealth fighters, this is for good reason. No one trust US.
      Soviet Mig-15 helped China to hunt US out of Korea. soviet Mig-21 helped chinese pilots to expel US out of Indochina, and to stop israeli expansionism in the Middle East.
      Chinese J-11, J-31, and J-20 undoubtedly are geopolitical tools that will help the world to burst this infamous US empire, that is turning around Goldman Sachs, and Hollywood.


      • Fre Okin says:

        Welcome! If you notice, there is a Real World Hollywood so to speak on the East Coast USA and it is located in Washington DC, specifically the Pentagon. These guys there loves to Hype US capabilities. They stretch the truth in order to fool the world US is invincible, still number 1. The truth is US missiles are less capable than those from China, Russia, even the Indians BrahMos. US are good with expensive platforms like the aircraft carriers but they are easy targets, the bigger they become. So the boys in Washington DC have to hype US capabilities in order to convince allies she is still the best while in truth her advantage is vastly shrinking.

        As I noted before, US sent a few half baked F35’s to Okinawa a couple of years back. Nobody believe current F35 is ready for action yet except under extremely restricted scenarios.

        Only her submarines have advantage. Here too, China is catching up to drive them out of the South China Sea with Divine Eagle HALE, tethered aerostats looking very promising within next few years and new undersea sensors and UUV’s. The actors in Hollywood East keep hyping, telling stories about US capabilities but less and less people are convinced as the world realise US is no more leading in the air and space, especially with Chinese WU 14 hypersonic maneuverable glider system. This is evidenced by the nuclear tantrum she throw with her B52 displays and the recent massive deployments of B2, B1, B52 to Guam. US just cannot ever win a conventional war against China. One day soon, US will be the New Paper Tiger.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steve says:

        Good Article, much appreciated…According to the US, China will surpass the US Airforce by 2030. I believe by 2020, China’s fighter jets will easily outmatch the US fighters. The J-20 has already obtained IOC and will be deployed next year (maybe even this year in small numbers) and when supported by the J-10C, J-11s, J-15s and J-31, the US only have in possession the F15/16. The current F22s are not viable till it has being upgraded, but may take up to another 10 years and by then, China may have presented another 1 or 2 new stealth fighters. China need to develop a longer range bomber.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. advantec333 says:

    Both the F22s and F35s are fundamentally flawed in designs and engines, they will never be as good as the J20. The Chinese were patient and planned well.

    On Sat, Aug 27, 2016 at 6:14 PM, Tiananmens Tremendous Achievements wrote:

    > chankaiyee2 posted: ” According to US media’s report > on August 22, though the US has deployed its F-35s, it has just begun trial > landing and takeoff of F-35C on an aircraft carrier. It plans for F-35C to > obtain initial operation capability in late 2017 o” >

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fre Okin says:

    American military planners operate under the Use It Or Lose It doctrine. So whatever the Military Industrial Complex produce, they are intended for Forward Deploy to avoid Losing it if attacked First by China or Russia by ICBM perhaps. The Americans think the Forward Deploy of F35’s etc in massive numbers with multilayer defense makes them more survival. Even a Half Baked F35C to try to scare China is part of the Pentagon strategy. Remember, it was at least two years ago, F35’s landed in Okinawa and even now they are not ready, so we can see US bluff as we know F35 is still not quite ready, including the F35C variant.

    Further, US war planners operates on the basis of Playing Offense Is The Best Defense, like in football, meaning Defending the US Homeland by Playing Offense In A Far Away Theater like the South China Sea to Tie Down Chinese military assets Assuming we don’t go into Nuclear War.

    This is Exactly the Game Of GO US is Playing All Along Actively while the Chinese is Only Now trying to Change The Playground Towards US theater like the West Coast with Chinese surface ships, submarines, UUV’s heading there, Type 94 Qin with JL2 heading there (on patrol) perhaps unreported. This is why US is So Very Desperate in using her allies to be eyes and ears in the China Seas and Even Draw A Red Line if the Chinese build up Scarborough Shoal/Huangyan Island as this will drastically increase the odds of Chinese navy being able to sail towards US West Coast undetected.

    This explain why US is in a hurry to ramp up F35, LCS, UUV etc productions Hoping to continue to tie China up in the South China Sea. China should ramp up her navy assets to at least reach the mid Pacific to be able to target Hawaii first. Then US will have to commit more resources Away from the South China Sea in order to Defend her own homeland instead of Messing Around Near China.

    Liked by 1 person