China's new fighter sends sonic boom through region - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 11 January 2011

China's new fighter sends sonic boom through region

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 12th Jan 2011
Hong Kong

China’s massive military lead over India has never been starker. Yesterday, amidst fanfare, Defence Minister A K Antony travelled to Bangalore for a milestone in the development of India’s ‘Tejas’ Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), a fourth-generation fighter that is still two years away from full service. The same day, an advanced, fifth-generation stealth fighter — so far only speculated about, as the J-20 — made its first flight in China, heralding the arrival of what could become the world’s most advanced fighter.

The timing of the test is vintage China. It was conducted on the day that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Beijing to discuss the resumption of defence ties, which a furious China had broken off last January after America sold $5.4 billion worth of advanced weapons to “the renegade province” of Taiwan.

While Beijing has not acknowledged the test, on-line accounts and photographs from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, indicate an advanced stealth fighter took off yesterday from the airfield of the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation at 1250 hours and landing successfully an hour later.

Global experts have hailed the J-20 as significantly superior to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), America’s next fifth-generation fighter that is nearing completion. Experts say the Chinese J-20 has a stealthier design, which will make the fighter more difficult to detect by radar; larger fuel tanks that will allow it to fly almost 2,000 kilometres without refuelling; and the ability to carry more weapons, enabling it to hit long-range targets more destructively.

Says Carlo Kopp, an aviation expert with think tank, Air Power Australia: “The stealth shaping is, without doubt, considerably better than that seen in the Russian T-50 PAK-FA (fifth-generation fighter) prototypes and, even more so, than that seen in the intended production configuration of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Any notion that an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or F/A-18E/F Super Hornet will be capable of competing against [the J-20] in air combat, let alone penetrate airspace defended by this fighter, would be simply absurd.”

The Deputy Chief of Air Staff of the Chinese Air Force (or PLA-AF), General He Weirong, had declared in 2009 that the J-20 would obtain its Initial Operational Service (IOC) between 2017 and 2019.

Robert Gates knows that the J-20 has been designed by China specifically to target the US Navy aircraft carrier task forces that currently dominate the Pacific Ocean, off China. The US Navy’s presence, close to China’s coastline, has become a running irritant for the Chinese leadership. Last summer, after tension between Beijing and Tokyo, and between the two Koreas, China warned the US Navy not to enter the East China Sea to demonstrate support for Tokyo and Seoul. Washington rejected that warning.

But once the J-20 enters service, China’s strike power would be greatly enhanced. Experts say the size and speed of the new fighter would enable it to dominate areas far out to sea. China, which had claimed overlordship out to “The First Island Chain” — a stretch of the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea and South China Sea that extends out to the Kurile Islands; Japan; the Ryukyu Islands; the Phillippines, and Indonesia — has now embraced the doctrine of “offshore defence”. Beijing now sees its exclusive preserve extend 3,000 kilometres into the Pacific, to the “Second Island Chain”, which runs along the line of Japan, the Bonins, the Marianas, and the Carolines, to Indonesia.

Within this area, the J-20 would cripple a US Navy fleet by destroying its airborne control aircraft (AWACS); tanker aircraft for airborne refuelling; and electronic warfare aircraft like the F/A-18G Growler. Attacks by waves of J-20s from airbases on the Chinese mainland would also shut down the US Air Force airbases in the region.

While the J-20 strikes US Navy aircraft and US Air Force bases, the People’s Liberation Army would employ another new “game-changer” weapon — anti-ship ballistic missiles — to sink American aircraft carriers, Washington’s key tool for power projection across the oceans.

Given the flexibility that fighter aircraft provide as a weapons system, Beijing will easily be able to operate its J-20 fleet against India as well, by merely switching these to airfields in Tibet. Given the current capabilities of the IAF fleet, this would pose a major threat to Indian forces in Ladakh, Sikkim or Arunachal Pradesh.


  1. While this is being done, U.S is blocking Israel from selling AESA radar to India. U.S is always stupid.

  2. "President Hu Jintao told Mr. Gates that China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet made its maiden test flight Tuesday "

  3. Full throttle to AMCA+LCAMK2, move to a stealthier rafale like design in MMRCA, more AWACS/long wavelength radars, aggressive RAM/RCS reduction measures on SU-30mki(bcos it really has all large signature)+Mig29+LCA and other a/cs seems the only way out for India.

  4. What are the implications for MRCA? The australians have simply ruled out the F18. I wonder if any of the contenders have a L-band radar which may be able to detect the J20.
    There are rumors that the EF may carry an L-band and newer generation IRSTs to see some of the RCS and heat emissions of the J20. Not sure we can rely on Pakfa's avionics to detect the J20.

  5. The plane looks pretty slick during flight! Even the exhausts seem quite well camouflaged..
    People in the defense ministry should be shivering in their dhotis about now..

  6. Dear Ajai,

    Carlo Kopp is a person who's only purpose of life is to see the F-22 in Australian service. Though he is having a very good knowledge about the Russian systems, he often undermines any american tech apart from F-22.
    Now J-20 is very large in its size, compared to even PAK-FA.I dont think their cloned AL-31 engines or WS-10 Engines are going to give it any considerable thrust. Good thing for the aircraft is that they stole the F-22/35 style design from the US which considerably reduces the frontal RCS and merged it with the MIG design. So this is more of a Bomber which relies more on stealth for its survival, once detected in a network centric environment it will not have anything to put up before a F-35/PAK-FA which has advanced OLS kind of systems for detecting stealth. Our FGFA will be further capable stealthy design of the PAK-FA. Being said that, its time for beefing up our Himalayan defenses.
    So IMHO there was no need such a Chinese Hoo haa article, considering the fact j-20 will take another 10 years for testing and certification and FGFA will Enter first service prior to that and in considerable numbers.

  7. Indians will now plan for 5th gen fighter for the next 10 years, and after that decide to implement it for the next 20 years.

  8. I'am afraid, India needs to be doubly sure that Russia is not playing double cross with India on military technologies. I suspect Russia is helping china secretly to enhance its military capabilities.Is it just a coincidence that J20 makes a flight within a year of T50's flight ?

  9. Even though its more bigger to carry more weapons with more range to travel, by technically its not equal to T-50 /F-35, does any one knows how far its superior against T-50/F-35 . but anyway i think US need to start its F-22 production . As per india our AMCA will get inducted , when world is manufacturing its 6th generation jets .
    India need to forget HAL's monopoly- we don't have patience for another 30 yrs to see matured AMCA, try to give these new projects to trusted indian pvt company .

  10. What is absurd is to use Carlo Kopp as a key source for anything objective on the F-35, an aircraft he is dedicated to discrediting at any cost.

    And his sweeping judgements about the J-20 vs. F-35 are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of air warfare. Low observability is but one leg of futuristic network centric warfare. Sure the J-20 seems to have low observability. Will benefit from total sensor fusion, supercruise and the benefits of network-centric warfare? Maybe. That's a big maybe. The Chinese are undoubtedly a capable lot, but we have no idea where the total package of the J-20 will end up. But Mr Kopp somehow can leap to conclusions without worrying about humility or scepticism.

    As for the F-35, allow me to quote a prominent defence journalist: "even though air-to-air combat is a secondary role for the F-35, US Air Force simulations (and remember, that is the most demanding of customers) have concluded that the F-35 is at least 6 times better in aerial combat than even advanced fourth-generation fighters. While the Gen-4 fighters handle well in “air show” configuration --- i.e. without weapons and topped up fuel --- comparative studies in combat configuration have proven that the F-35 outperforms all advanced Gen-4 aircraft in top end speed, loiter, subsonic acceleration and radius, besting them comfortably in aerial combat at shorter and long ranges."

    Quite a leap then to say that this product is outclassed by an aircraft about which we know next-to-nothing outside of stage-managed photo ops. Sure you might say that the J-20 looks like a 5th gen aircraft. But the bottom-line is that we have no idea what its capabilities are, and we have a much better idea what the F-35's capabilities are. Any conclusions are waaay premature.

  11. This development should only strengthen our resolve to get our own AMCA in air.

    Anyways - what capabilities does this aircraft have besides being stealth? It seems it has a HUD and the pilot didnt have a HMD, atleast from a side view.

    Comparison with India celebrating Tejas IOC seems misplaced as Tejas is an important landmark in development of our own Aero Industrial capabilities. Otherwise, it would have been practically impossible to think of developing a stealth aircraft on our own.

    To acknowledge, we are behind China, but if things go to plan AMCA should fly in 2017.

    To close out, why shouldn't we expect China to design and develop their 5th Gen aircraft, in fact it should be a given as they are at the heart of most the products, which we know to be American including parts of iPhone.

  12. No need to worry about this.

    The thing which makes us worry is that our defense sector is not growing as it should be. MOD should wake up, call for more private participation.
    Then motivate youth to adopt defense as their profession and passion. There should be army colleges for design and development of weapons.

    DRDO should have project management in place.

  13. Another stupid move by Chinese. This will only shore up anti-china fears, will lead to to better arming up by all other countries.

  14. I think procurement of a good MMRCA aircraft would give India an opportunity to buy time to think and develop a single engine Fifth generation light combat aircraft and scrap the Tejas production plans!!.. IF India intend to compete with a rising super power like China, it has to up its production facilities by involving more private industries & inducing more emergency fund flows! If India wants to project Tejas as a tactical air support aircraft, i suppose its just a suicidal thought which stands no chance in the advance futuristic competion it has to face!! With almost every countries in future possesing long range highly agile missiles fitted along with accurate radars on all aircrafts, would mean Tejas hold no chance to survive due to its low kinematic performance & highly detective design features!! MMRCA, Su-30mki, AMCA, FG-LCA & FGFA(PAK-FA) must be the future of Indian Air Power! It would also put India in a place to compete with China in global defence market & improve our defence export potential.... Jai Hind.....

  15. Ahh good old Dr Kopp...Ajai, Carlo hates the F-35, simply because he wants F-22s for Australia in a typical fanboish nature. Do yourself a favour read his analysis of the F-35 vs Flanker series...they just reek of comical bias & frustration.

    That comment of his about the F-35 & F-18 going against J-20 was made barely hours after the first pictures appeared on the interweb. This when nothing is known about the sensors and weapons it will carry, whereas Lockheed has already demonstrated a world class DAS on the F-35 capable of tracking a ballistic missile launch more than 1000 km away. Not to mention that it is a direct descendant of the Raptor & has been flying for 5 years.

    I'm sure there are more reliable think tanks out there other than APA that will allow all of us to brag about the J-20...

  16. No comments unless more details come up.

    why because stealthier cuts easy to make system inside not easy to make.

    with few tweak in cuts & shapes we can have our LCA stealthier.

  17. @Vishnu:
    If you argue that the Chinese 'stole' the design type from the F-22/F-35, you could also argue that the Russians 'stole' the a lot of design components from the YF-23 'Black Widow'.
    Undermining Chinese capabilities is not advisable. The frontal design of the J-XX and the F-22 look so similar because the Chinese must have found that the F-22-type stealth shaping is a lot more efficient than the PAK-FA type shaping.
    Can you back up your claims that this aircraft will be a 'bomber'? Look at other major canard delta designs: The Flatpack, the Typhoon, the Gripen, the Rafale. The former two were designed for air superiority (while the Typhoon was adapted for strike capabilities) while the latter were designed from the ground up as multirole fighters. So how do you come to the conclusion that the J-XX will be a 'bomber'? True, it is large, though this gives it significantly higher internal volume for fuel and weapons than the other current 5th gen designs, allowing it to be a direct competitor with the PAK-FA and F-22 in the aerial arena.
    And one can only speculate of whether the engines are 117S or their indigenous taihung. Seeing as the capabilities of the latter and it's developments remain fairly ambiguous, and given the global shock over such an early emergence of the J-XX, you'd be underestimating the Chinese at your own peril.
    However, the impact of the J-XX might not be as major as other's would like to think, at least not as far as India is concerned. According to the PAK-FA analysis on APA, the Russian 5th Gen already displays considerably superior performance characteristics to the F-22 and F-35. The FGFA would be in built in a similar vein. Assuming that the Chinese rush development and production of their J-XX, and the PAK-FA's development concludes on time (i.e. 2015-17) both aircraft would still enter service together, effectively neutering each other. What the Indians have to worry about is the superior coordination of the PLA, superior equipment in other areas, and superior indigenous capabilities.

  18. Chinese people don't give specifications of their fighter planes.There are still many doubts. Have the stealthiness and internal weapons bay been tested? Is it really a 5th gen fighter or only it looks to be? Will it take 15 more years to enter in active service like India's LCA Tejas?

  19. J-20 is no where near the F-35 let alone the F-22. It does seem to have a mean exterior but its interior is no where near the f-22 or the f-35. The F-35's DAS can spot and track a ballistic missile launch at over 800 miles. While it'll be hard for the J-20 to detect an AWACS at over 300 km without giving its position away. The J-20 will only increase US resolve to add more F-35s and F-22s, with republicans in power in house and senate, it will happen pretty soon. USAF might just end up getting original number of 387 F-22s and f-35 over 2000 units. Not to mention the J-20 will inspire new A-A missiles and block upgrades on the f-22 as well as the f-35. With its heavy bulky airframe, the J-20 can neither be as agile or maneuverable as the f-22, f-35 or PAKFA. Even the LCA mk-2 will take on the J-20 and i am very confident our avionics on the LCA mk-2 will be far better than any avionics the J-20 will have for the next 15 years. I wont be surprised if the J-20 has a fatal crash early in the flight test program. The airframe looks too advanced for Chinese programming abilities to keep it in the air.

  20. You are quite an scare monger with your sources in low level officials in the world.

    No sir, this is a Chinese version of psycho warfare i.e. forcing US out of Taiwan. First the Chinese unveiled the missile to shoot at the US Aircraft carrier 2,000 miles away at sea and then this stealth fighter.

    You have bought into this psycho warfare.

    This fighter is far away from anything you describe. I do not have to have the details. I would look at their J-10 fighter which they directly copied and very miserably from Russian SU-27. The newer J-10 is no match to even the older Su-27, let alone the Indian upgraded version of SU-27. Its firing sequence software direct copy, line by line, of Russian software onboard SU-27 missed out on the very vital items because it was encrypted by the Russians. J-10engine has still to come from Russia. Who knows how much of the Chinese stealth fighter is a copy of Russians or Americans. The vital question - what engine powers it.

    Chinese are busy trying to corner US. Finding US in deep hole economically and militarily busy in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chinese thought it is their chance to scare US further.

    That is what the Japanese thought when they struck at Pearl Harbor in 1942.

    Wait until US puts its mind around the subject. All US got to do is raise the Chinese currency value which is 40% undervalued and make Chinese goods much dearer. Then they would be back to where they should be i.e. middle level economic and military power. Further Chinese dreams would be cut down if US forces Chinese to balance the trade. After that their would be no more missiles and no more stealth fighters. Only thing the Chinese would have a restive population willing to throw the Communists out.

    Hence stop buying into the Chinese propaganda.


    Hari Sud

  21. Hey ur take on indigo perchasing 180 airbus aircraft (political ,industrial offsets if any)

    @Prasun did china not steal tech from US jsf?

  22. Hi Mr. Shukla,
    I do not know how did you know that J-20 flew for 1 hour. Many sites even forums related to Chinese Military mentioned that J-20 flew 15-20 mts. Could you please show a link saying J-20 flew more than 59 minutes?

  23. Ajai sir I have been Reading your blog always..
    I think whatever may be the thing whether this plane flew for 1 hr or 20 min , whts more IMP is that it flew.

    And we need some serious catching up...


  24. Whoa!

    I'm afraid I have no choice but to quote Carlo Kopp because, in that short time, I could find no other analysts who had commented on the J-20.

    In any case, the comment he made had been made before, not after the J-20 inaugural flight.

    But he's no uncle of mine, he's just an analyst. Some of them turn out to be right; others turn out to be wrong.

    In any case, while I haven't got any money riding on the J-20, I wouldn't reject it the way many of the posters here are doing. China has made significant headway in avionics and airborne weaponry.

    But the jury is certainly out on the J-20.

  25. Yeah Yeah air chief naik is telling he had mmrca now he wants air superiority vechicle and these all involves handsome money and money can be pocketed by all sundry... it god damn indian farmers sweat and it is to be swindled... like for the past 800 years...this can be done only when phorigin companies come like the moghuls, the raj, ..... then as now there were people like the above mentioned people... what indigenisation what is that.. crap...

  26. [i]I'm afraid I have no choice but to quote Carlo Kopp because, in that short time, I could find no other analysts who had commented on the J-20.[/i]

    Ever heard of Bill Sweetman?

  27. china to the north...pakistan to the north west....india is well boxed in....

  28. "China’s massive military lead over India has never been starker."
    Really? In which areas? How many air bases in Tibet today can sustain all year-round permanent deployments of assets like J-10 and Su-27SK, leave alone the J-20? How many infantry divisions can the PLA presently mobilise and deploy against the 10 permanently-deployed Indian Army mountain divisions along the LAC? What is the Tibet Autonomous Region's (TAR) capability to sustain warfighting PLA formations and for how long? What's the existing annual troop-rotation schedule and practice of the PLA within the TAR? Let's get real! Any interested observer of PLA developments will easily conclude as as of now it is the Indian Army and IAF that retains a significant edge along the LAC. If only the China-baiters bothered to analyse the results of the multi-services ‘Mission Action 2010’ exercise and of the PLAAF's first joint expeditionary Army-Air Force live-fire exercise on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau between July 27 and August 9 last year, would it then emerge that it is India that will, for the next five years at least, that will retain significant operational advantages over the PLA all along the LAC.
    And as for the so-called unnamed 'global experts' hailing the J-20 as significantly superior to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), it needs to be pointed out that the full-scale cockpit mockup of the J-20 that was shown at the Airshow China 2010 expo in Zhuhai last November, in fact featured a Grifo-F-type slotted-array airborne multi-mode radar! And there is nothing to indicate that the J-20 will be an unbeatable multi-role air dominance combat aircraft even by 2019. Therefore, trying to raise the ante through over-zealous and outrageous/preposterous claims in favour of the J-20 at this stage is clearly unwarranted and needs to be discredited. Regretably, almost all journalists/reporters associated with India-based news/broadcast media houses seem quite satisfied with being mere armchair specialists, instead of taking the trouble to attend expos like Airshow China and CIDEX in order to obtain first-hand knowledge of on-going PLA force modernisation efforts/programmes.

  29. All these, never ending, highly expensive, technological developments to out do one another militarily suggest only one thing: diplomacy and genuine efforts at achieving peace are the ultimate solution to all human struggles. Europe has learnt it hard way and has learnt well. Hopefully, India and China would learn that too without virtually anhilating each other on military chessboards

  30. Psy war indeed is a vital aspect. Two observations and comments by Raman on this are here:


  31. I found some of the comments in here rather amusing! one very optimistic persons has argued that LCA mk2 would take on J-20!!! haha..
    well Let me ask u one thing, how much J-20's can Tejas mk2 take down?... Even at the current statistics China has more than 3 times the size of combat aircraft inventry than compared to India! so can our Tejas take down 3 J-20 together?!!!... Well at present our best aircraft is Su-30mki which posess Israeli avionics.. do u think China has no connection with Israel?!...China has a massive production facility by which in a war situation it can produce atleast 10 times more aircrats than India in a given time period!!! They got two or more companies competing & fighting for existance, which indirectly indicates only point i.e. forward movement with improving quality! But Indian indigenous capability z ruled by the monopoly of HAL!! We Indians got a system by which every project has to go through piles of corruption & politics! But Chinese doesn't have to!!! even if its less superior, numbers will be crusial in a war scenario between the both developing Giants!...
    Well some ppl here says who knows the capability of J-20, but they themself goes on to downplay it by using their supernatural common sence?!!..

  32. This is interesting:’s-over-hyped-stealth-jet/#comment-8234

  33. ajai,

    i thought i posted this earlier but if not: i thought you'd like to know, with all do respect, but the apa is laughed at by defence professionals.

    a great source of information for current military affairs is

    look at this specific thread:

    the last ten pages are a great start. bill sweetman is also a great person to look at as posted already

    good luck.

    p.s. this website cites your articles often in the india forums :)

  34. Col Shukla, I really admire your work but I have to say that this article reads more like a Chinese news propaganda item. I agree with your primary argument that India is decades behind China in terms of indigenous weapons development. Having said that, your article portrays the J 20 like some sort of Sci-Fi super weapon that will dominate the skies once operational. I respectfully disagree with your assessment as I feel it is to early to gauge the potential of this aircraft.

    The Experts?
    Might I ask, who are these "global experts" that have already declared the J 20 superior to the F-35? What are their credentials? And how have they been able to make this analysis considering that the world only came to know about this fighter since Christmas. We have only seen a few pictures on a foggy morning and there is complete absence of any technical data.

    Carlo Kopp's analysis is also unreliable. I believe he wanted F-22s for the Australian Air force and since the US is only offering the F-35, he is known to be a very vocal critic of the aircraft. So it is no surprise when he says that the J 20 is superior to the F 35. I think its bias against the F 35 than the features of the J 20 that lie behind his analysis.

    "J-20 would cripple a US Navy fleet"??
    I read this statement 3 times. Surely a defence journalist of your stature cannot afford to make such sweeping comments? A modern US naval fleet is one of the most potent weapons of war the world has ever known, with technology, training and equipment perfected over decades and against a foe like the Soviet Union. Are we to believe that J 20s will simply stroll in destroy all the support aircrafts? I think you should give the Americans a little more credit.

    And its not that US Armed Forces are not preparing to face off against a fifth generation fighter aircraft. The PakFa of a resurgent Russia will probably has been and will continue to be a bigger concern than China, whose Navy, incidently is technologically inferior in many aspects to most developed nations in the world.

    Lets not make assumption about a weapons platform that we virtually know nothing about and then proceed to compare it against proven and operational systems.

  35. Ajai sir

    Too much thought is being said on the J-20 flight. True it looks a lot bigger, stealthier, and whatever compared to JSF-35 or F-22. But I dont understand, why we should worry.

    We are worried about how quickly J-20 will cross the Himalayas and flatten India. I think by the time any plane howsoever stealthier crosses the Himalayas, India radars will catch a wiff of these planes.

    As for what to do, I will say

    1. The 30 tonne plus PAK FA/FGFA, a Indo Russian effort and a 5th generation aircraft, which will enter service pretty much the same time as J-20.

    2. The 20 tonne AMCA, a 5th generation aircraft, and completely Indian effort, will see work start by 2012.

    My assertion is that the Chinese have just come out with J-20 s inaugural flight, but we already have PAK FA/FGFA, which has done several test flights and AMCA about to come out of the design table. We need to quickly increase work pace on them.


  36. cont.

    Since we will have a 30 and 20 tonne plus 5th generation aircraft flying by 2020, I would like to see the development of a 10 tonne plus 5th generation aircraft.

    As we all know a 30 tonne aircraft cant be expected to do what a 10 tonne aircraft can do (cutting cake with sword), its important that we start work on that front.

    I would like to see a collaboration between Saab and HAL to design a 10 tonne plus, 5th generation aircraft modeled on Gripen and Tejas with advanced technology.


  37. contd.

    We should remember that if a future war is fought with 5th generation aircraft on both sides, then stealthy airframe, advanced radar or BVRAAR missiles nothing will work.

    It will be ultimately the test of the pilot skills who flies the plane and not the computers fitted in the plane or radar or missile.

    As such while working on the 2 5th generation aircraft and if possible on the 3rd one, we will need to enhance the training and skills of the pilots who will fly our planes. After all we cant put a plane costing hundreds of crores at the mercy of computers that can go wrong any day.

    Will welcome your views Ajai sir

    Joydeep Ghosh

  38. China seems to be developing a larger, heavier and stealthier Fighter with basic attributes of attack. This may lead to sacrificing other aspects like speed which may be limited to 1.2 to 1.4 Mach.

    Maneuvering may be another sufferer.
    PAKFA has perhaps intentionally left out such design features enabling itself to be a versatile and effective under all circumstances.

    China rightly considers India as a third world country and so is developing J-20 accordingly and against it and others like Formosa, Japan and may be even Vietnam. J-20 may not be so effective against superior US war technology. Hope later or sooner people are going to find out the measures against the stealth and then shoot such sitting ducks.

    If they survive, then after ten years China and Pakistan may start joint development of small and cheap stealthy aircrafts for donating them to Pakistan.

  39. HI Am not sure that article gives the right perspective. atleast some of the arrogant among the Netizens do not think so. Ajay Sir pls read on...


  40. J-20 takes a maiden flight and is crowned the King of the skies and for some reason F-35 which is more thoroughly tested is not being heralded in any shape or form.

    Either the experts should be more elobarate why and how of the J-20's marquee status or just crawl into their debating caves.

  41. Looking at the design, it is clearly derived from the MiG-1.44 MFI (which flew in 2001) but with reshaping of the front to be more of a F-22/35 design. Maybe the Chinese bought the design and engineers from the cash-strapped MiG.

  42. Have a look at this it proves what the col wrote on regional issues before...

    he is ahead of the curve as they say.

  43. @ Nishant et al -

    To me the point of this article is not the deification of the J20.

    It is more about the way China goes about doing its thing. Classic understatement/ disinformation/ raising interest/ rumours/ followed by a sudden "leak" and then a display... with no chest thumping till something tangible is actually seen. No display, no claims, nothing of the sort we do with our defense projects.

    How good the J20 really is something only time and circumstances will tell. Because as someone pointed out, all we see is the airframe... and that does not say too much.

    That said, it is still a very loud statement in terms of action as to what direction China is headed... and they should be applauded for having the national "balls" to act rather than talk.

  44. Air Power Australia always over estimate Russian and Chinese powers to increase defence spending and getting F-22 from US.

    China is still dependent on Russia for most of the technologies. The engine those powering J-20 are Russian. They have long way to go to catch up Russia.

  45. for all that we know of china this could just be a body with engines!

    this could just be propaganda machine, the reality could be judged only by the reaction from America and the European countries.

  46. Quite disappointed to see a map showing PoK as part of Pakistan. The dispute has not been resolved, last I heard...

  47. Ajaiji, can you please report on the Tejas Mk2 during AeroIndia-2011 ?

    There was a recent AW&ST report stating that the Tejas mk2 will feature canards. I recall reading one of your reports dating back to 2008 stating that they were looking to add an additional Eurofighter type control surface (hinting at a canard?).

    You've stopped reporting on the LCA and consequently we've seen very little good quality reporting on it. Please re-start your series on the Tejas and the Tejas Mk2. I'm sure plenty of people will greatly appreciate that.

  48. Nix:

    On the other hand, Arunachal is shown as a part of India.

    Yeah! Whoopee. Wow. We won.

    This is not a government of India website. Here on Broadsword, I'm more concerned with reality than propaganda positions.

  49. Its really surprising to believe that US is sitting still while the chinese are advancing! J20 is NOT as much a threat to US as it is to India. We have to be weary, not the US - make this clear in ur head, no need to repeat Nehru's folly again.

  50. No way,LCA will kick all others aircraft 'ass including F22 and F35.

  51. Sun Tzu said: "All warfare is based on deception". This is what communist China does nothing in practical. I wonder every time whenever there is any news so called "leaked" by Chinese through bloggers everyone is disturbed. They showed a plane with engine(Russian made) called it J-20 people are scared that it will take down anything even US Navy Fleet a dream which Russian have too.
    Prasun K. Sengupta said very good points in his comment "China’s massive military lead over India has never been starker". Also this comment
    Heberian said...
    It is more about the way China goes about doing its thing. Classic understatement/ disinformation/ raising interest/ rumours/ followed by a sudden "leak" and then a display... with no chest thumping till something tangible is actually seen. No display, no claims, nothing of the sort we do with our defense projects. And also this
    J-20 takes a maiden flight and is crowned the King of the skies and for some reason F-35 which is more thoroughly tested is not being heralded in any shape or form.

  52. its simple xD why trust the jews ?


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