Net users have taken the above photos of the flight of formation of 5 J-20s as well as a formation of one KJ-2000 AEW&C aircraft followed by six J-10s and a formation of 7 J-10s.
There is speculation such flights are preparation for the military parade marking the 90th anniversary of PLA establishment.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Formation of J-20 appears again in preparations for major activity” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
Mil.huanqiu.com has a report today on the progress of the development and assembly of China’s homegrown engine for its most advanced stealth fighter J-20, which is said to lack engines powerful enough to achieve its designed advantages. No one in the world is willing to sell such powerful engine so that China has to develop its homegrown powerful engine for J-20.
According to the report, CCTV reporters have recently visited the assembly factory of AECC Shenyang Liming Group Co., Ltd. that develops and assemblies WS-15 Emei turbofan for J-20. There was report that WS-15 is more powerful than all its foreign counterparts, but its details remain China’s top secret.
However, CCTV has been able to take 15 photos of the top secret engine and its assembly factory, three of which are shown on top of this post.
The report only reveals that the internal workings of an aircraft engine (not specifically WS-15) are very complicated being made up of over 10,000 precision parts and that the quality of the assembly as the final step in producing an aircraft engine (not specifically WS-15) to a major extent affects the quality of the engine.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Official media reveals progress of homegrown engine for J-20” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
In its report “FIRST AIRCRAFT ENGINE ASSEMBLED IN CHINA USING MOTOR SICH TECHNOLOGY COULD BE SHOWN BY LATE 2017 – KUBIV” on May 23, open4business.com.ua says Ukraine and China will set up a joint venture between its PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia) and China’s Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co. Ltd. to use Ukrainian technology to produce aircraft engines.
China can make advanced fighter jets but cannot equip them with advanced Chinese or imported aircraft engines. It has an urgent need to import engine technology but no one is willing to provide until Ukraine is willing to provide now.
Ukraine on the other hand needs funds to improve its aircraft engine technology. The report says that China will provide US$250 million for PJSC Motor Sich’s modernization.
Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report “Ukrainian first prime minister visit a mystic place: Perhaps very good for Chinese aircraft engine industry” on May 23 that after attending the One Belt One Road summit, Ukrainian First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv visited a Chinese private aircraft engine producer in Chongqing, China and reached agreement with China for the establishment of an aircraft engine joint venture to provide China with Ukrainian aircraft engine technology.
Ukraine has helped China build aircraft carriers and world largest air-cushioned landing crafts, but refused to provide China with its aircraft engine technology in spite of China’s repeated requests. The establishment of the aircraft engine joint venture means the further strengthening of the strategic relations between Ukraine and China so that Ukraine is now willing to provide China with the best of its military technology.
China has allocated 100 billion yuan (USD160 billion) for development of advanced aircraft engines to meet its urgent need for advanced aircraft engines to equip its stealth fighters J-20 and J-31. The joint venture will greatly facilitate China’s achievement of that goal.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on open4business.com.ua and mil.huanqiu.com’s reports. Mil.huanqiu.com’s report is in Chinese and a summary translation of it is given in the post. Full text of it in Chinese can be viewed at http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-05/10717781.html while that of open4business.com.ua’s report is reblogged below:
FIRST AIRCRAFT ENGINE ASSEMBLED IN CHINA USING MOTOR SICH TECHNOLOGY COULD BE SHOWN BY LATE 2017 – KUBIV
23 May , 2017
KYIV. May 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The first aircraft engine assembled in China under Ukrainian technologies within the framework of strategic partnership between PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia) and China’s Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co. Ltd. could be demonstrated by late 2017, Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv has said.
During a briefing held in Kyiv and dedicated to the results of a recent visit of the Ukrainian delegation to China to participate in a high-level dialogue within the framework of the “One Belt. One Road” forum, the deputy premier highlighted the agreements achieved on Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation in the aircraft engine industry, saying the creation of aircraft engines production in Chongqing under Ukrainian technologies is “one of the priorities of the government.”
“Skyrizon and Motor Sich will create a joint venture for production of aircraft engines using Ukrainian technologies in China’s Chongqing. We want in 2017 to show the first engine that will be assembled at this plant,” Kubiv said.
He also welcomed the plans of the Chinese side envisaged by the cooperation program to invest $250 million in the modernization of Motor Sich, noting that the implementation of the program of Ukrainian-Chinese strategic cooperation in the field of aircraft engine building will strengthen the positions and influence of the Ukrainian aviation industry in the world market.
Some people boast F-35’s network function to share information with other F-35s and believe F-35s can penetrate China’s air defense by J-20 that is designed to dominate Chinese airspace. I have pointed out in my previous post that for J-20 network with its ground command center is much more important as there is China’s supercomputer there to analyze information not only from J-20s but also China’s ground and navy’s air defense system and give instruction to J-20s to hit F-35s before F-35s have enough time to analyze the information from their network.
F-35’s computer is but a child’s toy compared with the supercomputer in China’s ground command center.
Now, US military expert Bill Gertz’s article “Chinese supercomputers threaten U.S. security” on May 3, not only confirms my opinion but even quotes a recent report of joint National Security Agency-Energy Department study as saying, “China is eclipsing the United States in developing high-speed supercomputers used to build advanced weapons, and the loss of American leadership in the field poses a threat to U.S. national security.”
Now, its Chinese supercomputers that threaten the US instead F-35s threatening China!
“Supercomputers play a ‘vital role’ in the design, development and analysis of almost all modern weapons systems, including nuclear weapons, cyberwarfare capabilities, ships, aircraft, communications security, missile defense, precision-strike capabilities and hypersonic weapons, the report said.”
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Times’ report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/may/3/china-supercomputers-threaten-us-security/.
The following is the full text of thedrive.com’s article “China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Photographed Toting Massive External Fuel Tanks: The J-20’s range just got longer and its flexibility enhanced” by Tyler Rogoway:
China’s stealthy J-20 fighter-interceptor program continues to gain steam, with deep avionics integration work underway and even reports the jet is already deployed in a semi-operational state. Now the aircraft has appeared in a totally new configuration, toting a quartet of massive auxiliary fuel tanks (aka, drop tanks or “bags”) under its usually clean wings.
The J-20 is designed to capitalize on glaring holes in American air combat capabilities. This primarily includes US tactical air power’s lack of range and its dependence on force-multiplying assets like tanking, airborne early warning and control, data-fusion and other lumbering and potentially vulnerable aircraft. China building a stealthy fighter-interceptor that can range far from the mainland and work to pick off these enabling support aircraft, as well as other fighters, is tactically sound. On a larger level, the J-20 works as an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) weapon, pushing out the PLAAF’s anti-air reach while also bringing a whole new level of capabilities to the flying force’s tactical aircraft inventory.
All this fits into China’s overall A2/AD strategy, which aims to deny an opposing force the ability to operate within hundreds, or even thousands or miles of the Chinese mainland—far enough that many of said enemy’s offensive military capabilities are automatically neutered. But executing long-range combat air patrols or stalking an enemy’s vulnerable force multiplier assets are not the only ways such an aircraft could be put to use. Outside of possible secondary air-to-ground, air-to-surface and suppression/destruction of enemy air defenses roles, the J-20’s advanced avionics can be leveraged to benefit lesser platforms within the air-to-air realm.
If the photos are legitimate, and they appear to be, by adding auxiliary fuel tanks, the J-20 will be able to fly even further than it does today, not just for ferrying operations, but also for air sovereignty missions, just like F-22s do in Alaska. Additionally, the ability to haul thousands of pounds of fuel externally will allow the J-20 to loiter for long periods of time, during which time the aircraft can act as a sensor node and “quarterback” for other aircraft Chinese tactical aircraft. Once again, this is a tactic the F-22 pioneered to some degree, as even after its magazine runs dry, Raptors are often kept on the scene to direct other coalition aircraft not just towards the enemy to assist in kills, but away from them as well.
Although cumbersome external fuel tanks sap the J-20’s low observable (stealth) qualities and maneuvering performance, it is likely that they can be jettisoned along with their pylons in a similar manner as the F-22. This allows the aircraft to recapture a large degree of its low observability, and is clearly useful if increased kinematic performance is needed. The tanks will also allow J-20s to reach stations hundreds of miles beyond what they are capable on external fuel alone. They will make the J-20 more independent of aerial tankers for certain missions, and even with four tanks, the J-20’s baseline internal weapon carriage capability is not disturbed.
It is also becoming increasingly evident that for some missions the J-20, or a least a portion of them, are likely to carry weapons under their wings. In particular, China’s new and nearly telephone pole sized very long-range air-to-air missile that is in development. You can read all about this missile here, but it certainly will not fit in a J-20’s weapons bay. That does not mean the J-20 won’t have great use for it, quite the contrary.
J-20s working cooperatively are the perfect team to put such a weapon to use. For instance, a devision (flight of four) J-20s could work in two sections, one section of two jets in stealth configuration, and the other two carrying four long-range air-to-air missiles. The stealthy pair can venture forward to quietly (electronic emissions silent) obtain targeting information while the J-20s carrying the long-range missiles can act as weapons magazines, leveraging the targeting data obtained from their stealthy wingmen. These are similar to tactics being developed by the USAF for the F-15 and F-22 air dominance team. For instance, the stealthy J-20s can use their passive sensors (electronic support measures and infrared search and track) to silently stalk targets far in front of the non-stealthy configured J-20s. Meanwhile the other non-stealthy J-20s operating many dozens of miles to the rear can use their radars freely, providing enhanced situational awareness to the stealthy J-20s ahead by sharing their radar “picture” via data-link. In doing so these non-stealthy configured J-20s also act as bait, drawing in enemy fighter aircraft, and leaving them vulnerable to ambush by their stealthy and silent counterparts. You can read more about these types of tactics here.
Although similar tactics can be realized via the interoperation between China’s Su-27 derivatives and J-20s, the J-20’s sensor suite and level of sensor fusion is supposedly a leap ahead anything else in the PLAAF. Most importantly the J-20 is built to work among its own kind above all else. Training is also simplified by keeping these tactics “in house” at least until the aircraft has many more years to develop and synergies with other PLAAF platforms are identified, tested and regularly trained for. Even then, a Flanker does not have the ability to blow off its external stores and instantly become much harder to detect, all the while still be armed with internal short and medium-range weaponry.
Basically, seeing the J-20 tanked up gives us evidence of a potentially more flexible combat aircraft than we have known in the past, and it will be interesting to see other stores begin to appear under its wings. It is also another reminder that the J-20 is rapidly maturing and will soon become a front-line reality within the PLAAF. And this is just part of China’s stealth aircraft revolution. With a medium weight fighter also in the works—flying in its second and much more refined form no less—as well as a stealthy bomber program underway, the PLAAF of today is likely to be unrecognizable from what it will become a decade from now.
Source: thedrive.com “China’s J-20 Has Longer Range with 4 Massive External Fuel Tanks”
Note: This is thedrive.com’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
By Zhao Lei ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-03-13 07:33:24
A domestically developed engine will soon power the nation’s latest stealth fighter jet, according to a senior scientist working for Aero Engine Corp of China.
“It will not take a long time for our fifth-generation combat plane to have China-made engines,” said Chen Xiangbao, vice-president of the AECC Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials. Chen, also a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was referring to the J-20 stealth fighter.
“The engine’s development is proceeding well. We also have begun to design a next-generation aviation engine with a thrust-to-weight ratio that is much higher than that of current types,” he said. Thrust-to-weight ratio is considered the top indicator of an aviation engine’s capability.
Source: China Daily “Stealth fighter soon powered by local engines”