With J-20, China No Longer Worries about F-22, F-35Posted: November 6, 2016
On November 4, I reblogged the article on China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet titled “Opinion: Should US be worried about China’s new J-20 stealth fighters?” on CNN by RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) combat air power and technology expert Justin Bronk.
I believe Bronk’s analysis that J-20 is not so good as F-22 and F-35 in reducing its radar cross section due to its shape, but I don’t agree with his speculation “China also has significantly less know-how in terms of radar-absorbent coatings compared with the United States. Most importantly, it is extremely unlikely that the J-20 is equipped with anything approaching the F-22’s and F-35’s sensor suite.”
Bronk’s ground for the above speculation is China’s lack of experience as it is quite late in developing stealth technology. That indeed proves nothing.
China is late but able to develop a stealth fighter.
China is late in developing powerful turbofan engine but the air show proves that China has provided J-20 with very powerful engines.
The above are quite sound grounds to refute Bronk’s speculation.
As for sensor suite, China has developed its AEW&C aircrafts not inferior to America’s.
The greatest superiority of F-22 and F-35, according to Bronk, is that the sensor suites enable F-22 and F-35 to have “sensor-fusion capabilities” for “their pilots”.
However, CCTV says in its report yesterday on J-20 that J-20’s various functions rank among the best in the world.
In addition, Chinese air force commander General Ma Xiaotian tells Shenzhen TV reporter that he is very much satisfied with J-20.
That obviously means that having got J-20, Gel. Ma does not worry about F-22 or F-35.
Strange! The US does not worry based on its experts and British expert Bronk’s analysis. What is General Ma’ ground in being satisfied with China’s J-20 in spite of the weaknesses Bronk has pointed out.
Do not be surprised by that. China and US have different strategic goals in developing their stealth fighter jets.
The US has developed F-22 and is developing F-35 for global air supremacy; therefore it needs them to be better stealth to avoid being detected by enemy AEW&Cs and land-based radars.
China has developed its J-20 for regional air supremacy in airspace near it. As J-20 has the support of AEW&C aircrafts and land-based radars while the US does not as US land-based radars are all within China’s intermediate ballistic missiles while its AEW&C aircrafts will be shot down by J-20 if they come near China to support its fighter jets. Even the radars on US warships cannot support US stealth fighter jets as they too cannot come near China for fear of saturated attack of China’s anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles.
That is why data links between all the US stealth fighter jets are so important. That will be the only source of their information in the combat though their pilots will be under great pressure in analyzing the information while controlling their fighter jets to deal with J-20s.
J-20 pilots are much more relaxed so that they can focus on shooting down US warplanes. Their command center either on the ground or in an AEW&C aircraft obtains all the information from land-based radars, all Chinese warplanes and warships in the combat and all the Chinese satellites in space. China’s experts among the crew on the AEW&C aircraft or in the command center on the ground are able to make analysis with the help of much stronger computers to direct J-20s to hit their targets.
With such support, Chinese designer may sacrifice some stealth capabilities for better maneuverability in J-20’s shape.
US stealth fighter jets’ sensor-fusion capabilities are a poor alternative for support from ground, AEW&C and warships. US F-22 and F-35 pilot will find himself like a fly facing a huge net of spider.
That is why General Ma is so satisfied.
The US certainly shall not worry as China’s J-20 is utterly unable to threaten the US outside the airspace near China. The airspace J-20 defends is quite small compared with that outside, which will be dominated by US F-22 and F-35. F-22 and F-35 will help the US maintain its status as world hegemon. No worry!
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on CCTV’s report “Air force shows off establishment of systems of new high-tech weapons and equipment at airshow” and mil.huanqiu.com’s report “Air force commander: Very much satisfied with J-20’s performance: Time table has been set for commissioning of J-20” both in Chinese, and CNN “Opinion: Should US be worried about China’s new J-20 stealth fighters?”, full text of which can be viewed at http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/01/opinions/chinas-new-j-20-stealths-opinion/