Stealth fighter soon powered by local engines


The J-20 stealth fighter at an air show in Zhuhai last November. Photo: Xinhua

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”


China to Be Leader in Military Aviation Technology


The J-20 stealth fighter at an air show in Zhuhai last November. Photo: Xinhua

The Two Sessions of China’s NPC and CPPCC offer the best chance to interview China’s top military scientists and engineers. On March 7, mil.huanqiu.com carried a report by China Aviation News on its interview with Yang Wei when he was attending CPPCC session in Beijing.

Yang Wei, a CPPCC member, is deputy director of China Aviation Industry Science and Technology Committee and China Aviation Research Institute, a top aviation research expert.

Due to the confidential nature of China’s military industry, Yang has difficulty to talk about it, but he says, “The issue is whether our adversaries adjust the targets of their equipment in accordance with our equipment or the contrary in future developments of world aviation equipment industry. There is no doubt whatsoever that we will never cease development of new equipment.”

According to Yang there is a long-term plan for China’s aviation industry within China’s ambitious goal of “Made in China 2025”. It does not simply mean manufacture by China but innovation and creation of advanced products. In that perspective, the development of J-20 stealth fighter is but a minor target.

According to Yang’s description, China has passed the “dark forest” into bright sunshine. He says, “The one who has the power to speak in innovation in science and technology will be the rule setter.”

Yang means that China has passed the stage of adjusting its weapon development according to what others have innovated. Now it is the time for China to innovate weapons to make others adjust their weapon development accordingly.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “J-20 is but a minor target: development of new equipment will not stop” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China’s J-20 stealth fighter joins the People’s Liberation Army air force


The J-20 stealth fighter at an air show in Zhuhai last November. Photo: Xinhua

State media highlights nation’s most advanced stealth fighter coming into operation

China’s latest stealth fighter, the ­J-20, is serving in the People’s Liberation Army air force, according to state media.

Military insiders said the appearance of J-20s in the air force was meant as a warning to Japan and South Korea, which are expected to buy US F-35 stealth fighters now that China has equally advanced warplanes.

Video footage aired by CCTV yesterday showed J-20 fighters alongside PLA Y-20 transport planes and H-6K bombers. The broadcast did not say how many ­J-20s were operational.

America’s F-35 fighter jet vs China’s J-20: which is better, cheaper, stealthier?(

The report said the new aircraft had joined joint drills with troops, rocket forces and the navy.

A source close to the PLA said the J-20s were all equipped with home-made WS-15 engines, but because the engine had not entered mass production, only a few J-20s were available for service.

“There are still a series of technical problems that need to be tackled [on the J-20], including the reliability of its WS-15 engines, [and the plane’s] control system, stealth coat and hull materials and infrared sensor,” said the source, who requested anonymity.

But with the US deploying a batch of F-35s in Japan in January, and South Korea planning to have 40 F-35s in 2018, “it’s urgent for China to show off its achievements as soon as possible”, the source said, adding that more ­J-20s would join the PLA this year.

Chinese military websites showed pictures last December of J-20s with serial numbers indicating that at least three types of the stealth jets had joined the air force since last year.

The J-20 made a two-minute public debut at the opening of ­Airshow China in Zhuhai in Guangdong province on November 1, flying over the show each day after taking off from an airfield in nearby Foshan.

Visitors were not permitted to view the aircraft on the ground, sparking speculation that the home-made aircraft was falling behind its production schedule.

The doubts were countered by air force chief General Ma Xiaotian one day after the jet’s maiden flight. Ma said development of the J-20 fighter jet would be sped up and it would be put into operation in the air force soon.

That claim was countered by air force chief General Ma Xiaotian one day after the jet’s maiden flight. Ma said development of the J-20 would be sped up and that it would be put into operation in the air force soon.

Designers of the J-20 claim the fighter represents a “big leap forward in terms of the capabilities of the PLA”.

The aircraft has a longer range, more internal fuel capacity and a larger weapons capacity than the US F-22 and F-35 fighters, the designers say.

Can you differentiate China’s J-20 and J-31 fighter jets? Taiwan’s defence minister and air force chief can’t(

Western military experts said the shape of the J-20 copies the US F-22, but that many of the internal details of the aircraft remain a mystery.

Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong said China’s J-20 still had a long way to go to catch up to the F-22 and ­F-35, with engine development still the core problem.

“Not only the J-20 but China’s Y-20 transport plane are facing the same problem, that the WS-18 is still not in mass production,” Wong said.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: New stealth fighter now serving with PLA air force

Source: SCMP “China’s J-20 stealth fighter joins the People’s Liberation Army air force”

Note: This is SCMP’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


F-35 Unable to Fight J-20 for Air Superiority: US Think Tank


An F-35 lightning ii completes a flyover of USS Zumwalt ddg 1000. National Interest photo.

An F-35 lightning ii completes a flyover of USS Zumwalt ddg 1000. National Interest photo.

According to National Interest’s article by Dave Majumdar on February 10, 2017, a report of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) commissioned by US Navy says that the US has to develop a new stealth manned fighter to contend for air superiority with China’s J-20.

The article says, “The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter—which are not dedicated air superiority fighters—would not be suitable to defeat advanced adversary air defenses or enemy aircraft such as the Chengdu J-20 or other Chinese fifth-generation warplanes. ‘In contrast to today’s multimission strike-fighters, such as the F-35C, the design of these aircraft would need to focus mostly on the fighter mission rather than strike, so that they would have the speed, endurance, maneuverability, and air-to-air sensor capability needed for counter-air operations,’ the report states.”

That is only natural because when the US began developing F-35, no other country has stealth fighter to contend for air supremacy with F-35, therefore there is much more emphasis on F-35’s capabilities in penetrating enemy air defense to attack enemy targets on land or at sea.

Now, China has developed J-20 specially for grabbing air supremacy from US stealth fighters. The US finds it in a poor position and is in dire need for some fighters to deal with J-20. Sad for US Navy. No worry, US Navy can ask Congress for lots of funds to develop new stealth fighters for air superiority.

The problem is that China is also spending a lot in developing fighter jets superior to US ones and so is Russia. The US has to conduct arms race in earnest with both Russia and China.

Usually, at least one of the two countries competing with the US may develop something better than US ones. If it is China, US will lose the arms race. However, if it is Russia, the US will also lose to China as Russia is willing to sell and China can afford the purchase of Russia’s best fighter jets as proved by its purchase of Russia’s so far the best fighter jet Su-35.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article, full text of which can be viewed at http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navy-needs-new-fighter-russia-china-are-blame-19409.


Photos of J-20’s Advanced Diverterless Supersonic Inlets


J-20's DSI

J-20’s DSI

J-20's DSI

J-20’s DSI

J-20's DSI

J-20’s DSI

J-20's DSI

J-20’s DSI

J-20's DSI

J-20’s DSI

J-20's DSI

J-20’s DSI

J-20's DSI

J-20’s DSI

Diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI), according to Wikipedia, is less complex, more reliable and lighter than other inlets. In addition, Wikipedia says “DSIs also crucially improve the aircraft’s very-low-observable characteristics (by eliminating radar reflections between the diverter and the aircraft’s skin). Additionally, the ‘bump’ surface reduces the engine’s exposure to radar, significantly reducing a strong source of radar reflection because they provide an additional shielding of engine fans against radar waves.”

Of the six fighter jets with DSI in Wikipedia’s list, all are Chinese ones (J-10B, JF-17, J-20, J-31 and JL-9) except America’s F-35.

Therefore, China’s mastery of DSI technology is well-known in the world. There is no need for mil.huanqiu.com to show off the above photos of J-20’s DSI.

However, as Chinese military fans are much interested in J-20’s functions and performance, they have taken and posted photos of J-20’s DSI to show their pride in China’s success. They are especially happy in doing so as Chinese government is not willing to do so.

That makes pro-US people, especially military fans, unhappy. Some of them give elaborate description of F-35’s superiority and exaggerated J-20’s weakness.

That certainly makes pro-Beijing readers unhappy. However, according to my experience, people indeed have helped me a lot by pointing out my errors and shortcomings no matter whether their intention is kind or not. I will be very happy if the pro-US readers point out J-20’s shortcomings. However, as they have no source of information, they are unable to effectively do so.

That is really a pity.

If they have professional knowledge, they may be able to find something unsatisfactory in the photos taken by Chinese fans that aimed at showing off J-20’s superiority.

Maybe they do have such knowledge, but Chinese fans refrain from posting photos that reveal anything unsatisfactory in J-20.

Indeed, pro-US readers should not be unhappy. They should know very well that those Chinese fans have PLA internal sources so that they need not wait day and night by the side of Chinese airfields to take photos of J-20’s test flights. The internal sources reveal to the fans before the tests and told them the time and place they can take photos satisfactorily and what they should included in their photos to show off J-20’s advantages.

Pro-US military fans simply have no such access to enable them to take photos of J-20’s test flights to find and show off J-20’s shortcomings. What a pity! They cannot help China improve J-20 by making China aware of J-20’s shortcomings.

In comparison, US military is better. They are too anxious to show off F-35. That perhaps scares its enemy. However, it enables its enemies to know in designing their rivals to F-35 what they need to include and what not. That saves them much costs and time. Moreover, it enables them to learn from F-35’s good design, functions and performance and include F-35’s good design in their designs.

It is good for US military that they can learn F-35’s shortcomings from unfavorable comments on what they have disclosed about F-35, but bad that others may copy F-35’s designs and know what their aircrafts shall have to deal with F-35.

China, however, keeps strict confidential information about J-20. It follows Sun Tzu’s teaching: The art of war is an art of deception; therefore show what you are unable to do when you are able to and you are not to use your military when you are …”

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on mil.huanqiu.com’s report “There is something profound in J-20’s air inlets: It caves in?”. The original report in Chinese can be found at http://mil.huanqiu.com/photo_china/2017-01/2858732.html


Comparison Shows Improvement in J-20’s Engines


Engines in early version of J-20 in silver color

Engines in early version of J-20 in silver color

J-20’s new engine with muzzle thicker than old one’s and in black color

J-20’s new engine with muzzle thicker than old one’s and in black color

Comparison between J-20’s old and new engines in the above photos shows the improvement China has made in J-20’s engines.

The photo below shows the climb-up of a J-20 with new engines.

A J-20 climbs up with new engines.

A J-20 climbs up with new engines.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Comparison shows what changes there are in J-20’s engines” and “The beautiful curve of air flow drawn by J-20’s test flight” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on he report in Chinese)


Not Trade War but Real War between US and China


Rex Tillerson, former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, is seated prior to testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U.S. secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Rex Tillerson, former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, is seated prior to testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U.S. secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

When the US wanted China to respect Hague arbitration ruling to give up China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea, Chinese troops conducted its largest drill there and Chinese navy chief pointed his finger at his US counterpart in his talks with him. Soon afterwards Chinese air force began to conduct combat patrol in the South China Sea especially on the disputed Scarborough Shale.

Now, Reuters says in its report “Trump nominee says China should be denied access to South China sea islands”, “U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state set a course for a potentially serious confrontation with Beijing on Wednesday, saying China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.”

What does that mean?

It means the nominee Rex Tillerson wants a real war instead of trade war with China.

The US is preparing for that as it has been sending a squadron of F-35, its most advanced fighter jets, to Japan for the war.

China is not less prepared as it has been stepping up the development, production and deployment its most advanced fighter jet J-20s so that if the US hurts China’s core interests of its rights and interests in the South China Sea, China has to fight. The Chinese ruling party the CCP will become extremely unpopular if it is afraid to fight.

We hope it will be a limited war between the two powers as the US cannot send its army to invade China given China’s huge modern army and US experience of defeat in Korean War. China, on the other hand, is utterly unable to send its army to the US.

China is now able to win the naval war as China’s J-20 is superior to F-35 in a war of defense and China can sink US aircraft carriers with saturate attack of its large number of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles.

What will follow then? Attack China with nuclear weapons in retaliation? That will be the end of human race.

Do Trump and his nominee Rex Tillerson want that?

Let’s hope that Rex Tillerson’s hardline statement is but rhetoric.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which is reblogged below:

Trump nominee says China should be denied access to South China sea islands

By David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick | WASHINGTON January 11, 2017

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state set a course for a potentially serious confrontation with Beijing on Wednesday, saying China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

In comments expected to enrage Beijing, Rex Tillerson told his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that China’s building of islands and putting military assets on those islands was “akin to Russia’s taking Crimea” from Ukraine.

Asked whether he supported a more aggressive posture toward China, he said: “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

The former Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) chairman and chief executive did not elaborate on what might be done to deny China access to the islands it has built up from South China Sea reefs, equipped with military-length airstrips and fortified with weapons.

Tillerson also said Washington needed to reaffirm its commitment to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province, but stopped short of Trump’s questioning of Washington’s long-standing policy on the issue.

“I don’t know of any plans to alter the ‘one China’ position,” he said.

Tillerson said he considered China’s South China Sea activity “extremely worrisome” and that it would be a threat to the “entire global economy” if Beijing were able to dictate access to the waterway, which is of strategic military importance and a major trade route.

He blamed the current situation on what he termed an inadequate U.S. response. “The failure of a response has allowed them just to keep pushing the envelop on this,” Tillerson said.

“The way we’ve got to deal with this is we’ve got to show back up in the region with our traditional allies in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration conducted periodic air and naval patrols to assert the right of free navigation in the South China Sea. These have angered Beijing, but seeking to blockade China’s man-made islands would be a major step further and a step that Washington has never raised as an option.

Tillerson’s words also went beyond Trump’s own tough rhetoric on China.

Obama has sought to forge a united front in Southeast Asia against China’s pursuit of its territorial claims, but some allies and partners who are rival claimants have been reluctant to challenge Beijing.

Tillerson called China’s South China Sea island-building and declaration of an air defense zone in waters of the East China Sea it contests with Japan “illegal actions.”

“They’re taking territory or control, or declaring control of territories that are not rightfully China’s,” he said.

Tillerson also said the United States could not continue to accept “empty promises” China had made about putting pressure on North Korea over that country’s nuclear and missile programs.

He said his approach to dealing with North Korea – which recently declared it is close to carrying out its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile – would be “a long-term plan” based on sanctions and their proper implementation.

Asked if Washington should consider imposing “secondary sanctions” on Chinese entities found to be violating existing sanctions on North Korea, Tillerson said: “If China is not going to comply with those U.N. sanctions, then it’s appropriate … for the United States to consider actions to compel them to comply.”

He accused China of failing to live up to global agreements on trade and intellectual property, echoing past remarks by Trump, who has threatened to impose high, retaliatory tariffs on China. But Tillerson also stressed the “deeply intertwined” nature of the world’s two biggest economies.

“We should not let disagreements over other issues exclude areas for productive partnership,” he said.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)