J-20 goes operational

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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knowan

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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 12:48

Airshow footage: https://streamable.com/qdw3b

Thoughts?
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marsavian

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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 12:58

Pretty good instantaneous/AoA ability, competent sustained and adequate transient ability. The canards save such a big aircraft and give it respectable 4th gen performance, it's like a bigger less agile Rafale/Typhoon.
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mixelflick

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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 18:09

knowan wrote:Airshow footage: https://streamable.com/qdw3b

Thoughts?


Rolls much better than I expected. Probably the most sprightly display I've seen yet. I find it telling they don't use thrust vectoring. Probably decided its not worth the cost/weight penalties. Should be something with up rated engines, but being they're behind more than the Russians in that area...

The big question is, how's the stealth? If it's up to par, then coupled with Chinese avionics and weapons... it's going to be quite a threat. Both to US tankers/AWACS as well as our carriers. It will entirely outclass the Super Hornet, and only the F-35C will be able to meet it on an equal footing. Given that platforms lower thrust to weight ratio, I'd have some concerns there too. I do think the F-35's stealth, sensors and SA will be better. How much so and for how long is the real question.
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ricnunes

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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 20:39

mixelflick wrote:
knowan wrote:Airshow footage: https://streamable.com/qdw3b

Thoughts?


Rolls much better than I expected. Probably the most sprightly display I've seen yet.


Yeah, I also think that it definitely rolls better than what I was also anticipating.
However for the rest of the maneuvers - and while there were some neat ones - I felt that the aircraft (J-20) was somehow "slow" when performing even the tightest turning and acceleration maneuvers specially when compared to those of the F-35 (F-35C included) and even other aircraft like the Eurocannards (Typhoon and Rafale).

IMO, I would say that the F-35C (even the -C variant) has a quite better agility than the J-20 but this is very hard to judge (if possible at all) just by looking at "airshows".


mixelflick wrote:I do think the F-35's stealth, sensors and SA will be better. How much so and for how long is the real question.


I also think that the F-35 has (much) better Stealth and also (much) better sensors and SA.
While in theory it could be possible for China to someday match the F-35 sensors, I would say that for something like this to happen it would require that the US and its allies stopped the development of new sensors/technology for the F-35 so that China could catch up but I don't think that's going to happen.

Regarding Stealth, if the F-35 is already stealthier than the J-20 (and I have no doubts about it) than the good news (for the F-35) is that it will always be stealthier than the J-20 since Stealth is not something that you can simply "retrofit" (or vastly improve) on an existing aircraft.
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weasel1962

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 12:15

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/11 ... i-airshow/

Indeed, at the air show, Yang Wei, the chief engineer of the J-20 program, cryptically responded with a cheeky “how do you know we haven’t already done so?” when asked by a local reporter if the J-20 will be similarly fitted with WS-10 engines incorporating thrust vectoring control.


Weasel's note: The F-35 may be stealthier than a J-20A today but J-20B or J-20C?
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vilters

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 15:19

A first block F-16A flies a more aggressive display without using afterburner, so we are talking early 1980 performance in 2018.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 15:52

vilters wrote:A first block F-16A flies a more aggressive display without using afterburner, so we are talking early 1980 performance in 2018.

From an aircraft with a layout and mission performance more like a MiG-31 or F-111. Context. The J-20 design speaks to extended high speed mission parameters. The F-16A was a purpose built knife fighter.
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tphuang

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 16:12

In terms of J-20 maneuverability, I think they are still being conservative with what they are showcasing on these airshow. It takes a while for PLAAF to reach and then publicly display the full flight envelope of a newly developed aircraft. Aside from being a new aircraft, it is also still quite an underpowered one. J-10 used to have the most boring of air show flight displays when we knew from released videos and insider comments that it was capable of far more. I think that was kind of vindicated with the recent J-10B display, which seems to be a testbed for the canard + TVC combo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keub-5jh_M4

PLAAF seems to really like this canard + Lerx + TVC combo that they were willing to sacrifice stealth somewhat. Give it 3 to 5 more years once it has achieved FOC and is equipped with WS-15 + TVC, I think you will see quicker turns and better maneuvers. I personally think that they designed it to be more maneuverable than the eurocanards. J-20 is never going to match F-35 in stealth, that's too big a hill to climb for a first real attempt. They are going to have such a huge learning process with respect to improving software that controls the aircraft, the pilots that now have to learn how to make use of the greater situation awareness and how to maintain stealth quality on J-20 and improving their availability. All of that cannot get fast tracked.
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ricnunes

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 16:43

weasel1962 wrote:Weasel's note: The F-35 may be stealthier than a J-20A today but J-20B or J-20C?


It doesn't matter if you're talking about a J-20A, J-20B, J-20C or a J-20D-thru-Z, unless those other post-J-20A aircraft are completely new and differently designed aircraft than they will never be stealthier than the F-35!
Remember, Stealth isn't something that you can simply add to an existing aircraft - you have to design it from the start.

And even if you could "add stealth" (or more precisely reduce RCS) on further J-20 variants like for example a J-20C then how would you compare it against improved F-35s? You are aware that the F-35 will also receive lots of improvements during its lifetime (probably even more than the J-20), no?
If you want to compare the "stealth level" of a tentative J-20C than you should probably "try" to compare it with an also tentative F-35D (or something along those lines)...
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ricnunes

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 16:48

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
vilters wrote:A first block F-16A flies a more aggressive display without using afterburner, so we are talking early 1980 performance in 2018.

From an aircraft with a layout and mission performance more like a MiG-31 or F-111. Context. The J-20 design speaks to extended high speed mission parameters. The F-16A was a purpose built knife fighter.


I fully agree sprstdlyscottsmn.
Yes, when I always look at the J-20 it always crosses me as it being some sort of a stealthy MiG-31 crossed with a F-111 (in terms of roles and capabilities). So if I'm correct with this assessment (which seems to concur with the assessment of some aviation experts) than I would say that the J-20 has a very good agility indeed (for an aircraft of its class, that is).
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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 17:07

Back in 2009, I was impressed by the T-50. Once more information came out I was only impressed by it's aero layout. Right now, I am tentatively impressed by the J-20. It seems like a good first attempt. Those ventral fins need to go though, those are going to be hell on RCS.
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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 18:28

In its current rendition, the J-20 is notably inferior to the F-35 in the following areas...

1.) And the biggest one, stealth
2.) Engines (close to stealth)
3.) Sensors/SA (another big one)
4.) Numbers

If the reports out of India are true, their SU-30MKI's detected the J-20 some months back. That doesn't bode well, especially considering the J-20 is more or less flying in its final design. Those engines are going to be BIG as to if it'll be able to supercruise, and whether or not it has the legs for the South Pacific theater. Sure it carries a lot of gas, but if the engines burn through it quickly it'll be staying close to home.

Readiness? Nobody knows if it's a hangar queen, and it'll probably be awhile before we do. Too few in service. The one area the Chinese are going to be sprinting out of the gate will be weapons. The BVRAAM's they have in development are in a word, scary. The AIM-120D is a fine weapon, but it won't be long before the next Chinese BVAAM out sticks it...
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citanon

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 21:53

Here's a better capture of all the Zhuhai performances filmed by CCTV:

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swiss

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 22:05

mixelflick wrote:
If the reports out of India are true, their SU-30MKI's detected the J-20 some months back. That doesn't bode well, especially considering the J-20 is more or less flying in its final design.


Indeed. The bars N011M has a detection range, in a area of review of 300 square degree, up to 140 km against a " Mig-29 size target" ( i assume 5-10m2 ?).
https://web.archive.org/web/20170706201 ... rlsu-bars/

This are not impressive figures for a modern MSA/PESA Radar with this size. Let alone for a AESA.
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marsavian

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Unread post09 Nov 2018, 22:29

The J-20 may have been carrying reflectors.
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