J-20 goes operational again

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post29 Jul 2019, 02:46

weasel1962 wrote:There are reports of Anshan airbase being upgraded. The 1st brigade, flying J-11Bs, is based there and is rumored to be switching to the J-20A by year end, marking the potential introduction of a 2nd J-20A combat unit. The 1st brigade is generally regarded as a premier unit, based near the North Korea border on the Liaoning peninsular.

This is consistent with the earlier J-10 development and production schedule suggesting an LRIP production rate of ~12 a year (2017: 2, 2018: 6, 2019 onwards: 12 per year) before going to full production of ~30 a year after a few LRIP batches. J-10 production appears to have passed 500 units and is now producing the J-10C variant. J-20A which continues to use the AL-31F engine, if consistent with J-10, can be expected to equip a few brigades before moving to a J-20B variant.

The J-10B uses an upgrade AL-31FN as compared to the J-10A


With the US producing over 100 F-35's per year and growing. China will have little choice but to accelerate production of the J-20 and J-31 in the coming years. Otherwise, her massive defense spending will be for not...
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Unread post29 Jul 2019, 07:21

Corsair1963 wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
blain wrote:I am amazed at how quickly the J20 went operational. I wonder how long it takes the PLAAF to produce more J-20s than we have F-22s. Which makes me wonder when the IC became aware of the J-20, and more importantly when Robert Gates knew about the J-20 or the Chinese military build up for that matter.

Hmmm. There's no guarantee that they will build a larger quantity of J-20s than 187. It's not an inexpensive aircraft, and their defense budget is considerably smaller than ours. They might build the J-31 in a higher quantity, though.



While, I don't see China building the J-20 is vast numbers. I personally wouldn't be surprised if they produced more than 200-300. That said, it's clear the J-31 will become the backbone of the PLAAF and PLAN. Which, would perform similar roles as the US F-35....(i.e. Multi-Role Strike Fighter)


I don't see them building more than 500 J-20/31 In total. They're not trying to match us globally. The J-10/11/16 will be the backbone of their fleet for decades, with J-20/31 being the high mix.
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weasel1962

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Unread post29 Jul 2019, 11:03

CAC and SAC are the 2 primary fighter manufacturers in China. CAC builds the J-10. SAC builds the J-11. When CAC completed J-10 development, production team takes over and design team goes to the drawing board for the next design i.e. J-20. Now J-20 development is completed, production team takes over and design team then work on the next gen fighter. It is therefore likely J-10C production is either complete or near completion and production will be fully shifted to the J-20. Production capacity of the J-10 was 3X a year.

SAC's focus was on J-8 then replaced by J-11. Today SAC's building J-16s. They took a production pause to build the J-15 but that airframe is based on the sukhoi airframe, no issue. The FC-31 is not a carrier design and is an export design. Clearly J-31 has not been adopted. Otherwise we would have seen a lot more test units and prototypes. I don't think the PLAAF was convinced the J-31 is much better than the J-16. Whilst there is talk about a new carrier fighter based on the FC-31 design, that is currently only media reports. Will wait and see.

There is no concept of hi-lo mix in PLAAF production intent. Otherwise there should be more single engine J-10s. Instead because of the way the 2 manufacturers are set up, there are more sukhoi based fighters (once sukhoi imports are added). The manner of fighter induction is also interesting. Rather than J-7s converting to J-20s direct, those are replacing J-11 sqns. The J-11s are then moved to the 2nd tier units i.e. less drastic jumps. The J-16 with a stronger A2G focus appears to be replacing JH-7 sqns.
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Unread post29 Jul 2019, 11:55

weasel1962 wrote:There is no concept of hi-lo mix


Quick question, does the US still employ a high-low mix? I'm really undecided.
in the past we would see, 2 platforms with similar missions but varying capabilities.
F-15A and the F-16A were both A-A only for a time. But one had BVR and WVR while the other was WVR only.

However now, we seem to have a different set up which is 1 platform that is A-A optimized with optional A-G capability (F-22 and F-15C) and 1 platform which is A-G optimized with considerable A-A capabilities for self escort (F-15E, F-16C, F-35)

So I really can't call it Hi-Lo mix since unlike before, they do not have redundant missions.
For A-A the F-22 is the Hi and the F-35 is the low, for A-G its reversed.

Is it still a Hi-Lo mix or just different platforms optimized differently for different missions.
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element1loop

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Unread post29 Jul 2019, 12:48

weasel1962 wrote:I don't think the PLAAF was convinced the J-31 is much better than the J-16. Whilst there is talk about a new carrier fighter based on the FC-31 design, that is currently only media reports. Will wait and see.


I suspect J-20 is going to be the backbone of the PLAAF stealth force, it has vastly better numbers than FC-31. I doubt the FC-31 will be acquired at all by PLAAF.

J-31s implied payload and P:W ratio plus estimated fuel range numbers are awful, it's a dead-end. FC-31 is an evolved J-31, it may be improved but probably not even going to match an F/A-18A for range and payload while the P:W is about 0.59:1 on AB @ MTOW, and 0.4:1 without it. A carrier fighter with a 0.59:1 P:W? ... who wants it?

I strongly suspect any export buyers will take one look at the FC-31's numbers and balk. Thus I don't think China will even offer it for export, even if they do acquire it for PLAN.
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sferrin

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Unread post29 Jul 2019, 13:14

element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:I don't think the PLAAF was convinced the J-31 is much better than the J-16. Whilst there is talk about a new carrier fighter based on the FC-31 design, that is currently only media reports. Will wait and see.


I suspect J-20 is going to be the backbone of the PLAAF stealth force, it has vastly better numbers than FC-31.


We don't have "numbers" for either. All we know is the J-20 is bigger than the J-31. How we can conclude that makes it "vastly better" escapes me.
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Unread post29 Jul 2019, 13:45

The J-20 is happening, and it's a good bet the J-31 will happen. But it likely faces a much longer and more difficult development vs. its big brother. Normally, this is the other way around. But they're going to ask the J-31 to do many different things OCA, DCA, Strike, ISR, fly off a carrier etc.. That's a much taller order, and until they get the engines going it'll be like the SU-57 - going nowhwere fast (for the moment).

I do think both will ultimately make it to serial prodcution. How soon however, and how relavant they'll be at that time is the real question. The F35 as it stands is head and shoulders above the J-31, and future engine/sofware upgrades should keep it comfortaby above the competition..
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Unread post30 Jul 2019, 02:13

The development of the FC-31 baseline is complete. They have a flying prototype. Even the WS-13 engine development appears complete since they have been offering that for the JF-17 blk 3. The development now per media report appears to be an adaption for carrier use. That means bigger wings, strengthened landing gear, tailhook etc. It will not be the same aircraft as the baseline.

There are numbers for FC-31 (export brochure) and the thrust ratings of the RD-93 are publicly available.
[img]http://www.eastpendulum.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2016-12-07-Un-premier-J-20-enfin-immatriculé-08.jpg
[/img]

Thrust is ~88% of the F-35A but due to lower engine rating has an MTOW ~10,000 lbs less than F-35A. Roughly same range suggest 18000+ lbs of fuel carried. @17.3m long, its a longer and taller plane than the F-35 which suggests a higher empty weight. Compared to the J-20, its the equivalent of a Mig-29 vs Su-27. Clearly as a smaller aircraft, it carries less missiles (4 on FC-31 vs 6 on the J-20). Its nose cone is smaller i.e. less powerful AESA. There are no indications of the same bells and whistles e.g. EO-DAS on the J-20. However, since SAC does not own the J-20 design, its not a production trade off between the J-20 vs J-31. Its between J-16 vs J-31.

The J-16 is the F-15E/Su-30 equivalent of the PLAAF. It can carry large AAMs wasted on stealth fighters who are constrained by bay size. It can carry multiple large standoff AGMs which render stealth less useful. Easy to forget JH-7s are almost 30 years old i.e. time for replacement. J-7s production ended only in 2013 so PLAAF might actually replace JH-7s first before all J-7s are replaced. The J-31 don't have the F-35's A2G capability. PLAAF still use large AGMs as their favorite strike weapons. That's my read why SAC's production is still mainly J-16. I could be wrong and will wait and see what happens next.
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Unread post30 Jul 2019, 03:12

mixelflick wrote:The J-20 is happening, and it's a good bet the J-31 will happen. But it likely faces a much longer and more difficult development vs. its big brother. Normally, this is the other way around. But they're going to ask the J-31 to do many different things OCA, DCA, Strike, ISR, fly off a carrier etc.. That's a much taller order, and until they get the engines going it'll be like the SU-57 - going nowhwere fast (for the moment).

I do think both will ultimately make it to serial prodcution. How soon however, and how relavant they'll be at that time is the real question. The F35 as it stands is head and shoulders above the J-31, and future engine/sofware upgrades should keep it comfortaby above the competition..



I disagree my guess is China is putting every effort in the J-31. As it will become the backbone of both the PLAAF and PLAN. As for engines the Russian Turbofans are adequate to get production going. Until New Chinese Designs are ready....


"IMHO"
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Unread post30 Jul 2019, 03:16

sferrin wrote:
element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:I don't think the PLAAF was convinced the J-31 is much better than the J-16. Whilst there is talk about a new carrier fighter based on the FC-31 design, that is currently only media reports. Will wait and see.


I suspect J-20 is going to be the backbone of the PLAAF stealth force, it has vastly better numbers than FC-31.


We don't have "numbers" for either. All we know is the J-20 is bigger than the J-31. How we can conclude that makes it "vastly better" escapes me.



With the J-31 arriving much later than the J-20. It should gain much from the J-20 and stolen data from Western Sources.


So, for me this idea that the J-20 is markedly better than the J-31 holds little water. Which, is not to say the J-20 could hold some minor advantages in some respects.
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Unread post30 Jul 2019, 03:19

weasel1962 wrote:CAC and SAC are the 2 primary fighter manufacturers in China. CAC builds the J-10. SAC builds the J-11. When CAC completed J-10 development, production team takes over and design team goes to the drawing board for the next design i.e. J-20. Now J-20 development is completed, production team takes over and design team then work on the next gen fighter. It is therefore likely J-10C production is either complete or near completion and production will be fully shifted to the J-20. Production capacity of the J-10 was 3X a year.

SAC's focus was on J-8 then replaced by J-11. Today SAC's building J-16s. They took a production pause to build the J-15 but that airframe is based on the sukhoi airframe, no issue. The FC-31 is not a carrier design and is an export design. Clearly J-31 has not been adopted. Otherwise we would have seen a lot more test units and prototypes. I don't think the PLAAF was convinced the J-31 is much better than the J-16. Whilst there is talk about a new carrier fighter based on the FC-31 design, that is currently only media reports. Will wait and see.

There is no concept of hi-lo mix in PLAAF production intent. Otherwise there should be more single engine J-10s. Instead because of the way the 2 manufacturers are set up, there are more sukhoi based fighters (once sukhoi imports are added). The manner of fighter induction is also interesting. Rather than J-7s converting to J-20s direct, those are replacing J-11 sqns. The J-11s are then moved to the 2nd tier units i.e. less drastic jumps. The J-16 with a stronger A2G focus appears to be replacing JH-7 sqns.


Sorry, the J-31 and FC-31 are mostly one and the same.....
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element1loop

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Unread post30 Jul 2019, 13:56

Corsair1963 wrote:Sorry, the J-31 and FC-31 are mostly one and the same.....


Yup, ordinary.

This is the best case:

FC-31 baseline figures with full fuel and weapons = MTOW

Fuel Load lb =18,000 (per Weasel's guestimation)
Empty Weight lb = 37,363 (implied)
Payload Weight lb = 5,366 (implied)
Full fuel Weight lb = 60,729 (claimed)
Under MTOW lb = 0 ... (i.e. no payload left after just 5,366 lb stores added)

Engine = WS-13 claimed thrust
No AB Thrust lb = 26,000 (i.e. dry * 0.65)
A/B Thrust lb = 40,000

@100% fuel
Dry Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.428 : 1
A/B Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.659 : 1

@ 50% fuel
Dry Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.57 : 1
A/B Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.893 : 1

Now add the carrier gear to it.

Why I think PLAAF is probably not going to want it as an A2A fighter and little to no air to ground? ... nah. PLAN only, and export unlikely.
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Unread post31 Jul 2019, 01:31

element1loop wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Sorry, the J-31 and FC-31 are mostly one and the same.....


Yup, ordinary.

This is the best case:

FC-31 baseline figures with full fuel and weapons = MTOW

Fuel Load lb =18,000 (per Weasel's guestimation)
Empty Weight lb = 37,363 (implied)
Payload Weight lb = 5,366 (implied)
Full fuel Weight lb = 60,729 (claimed)
Under MTOW lb = 0 ... (i.e. no payload left after just 5,366 lb stores added)

Engine = WS-13 claimed thrust
No AB Thrust lb = 26,000 (i.e. dry * 0.65)
A/B Thrust lb = 40,000

@100% fuel
Dry Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.428 : 1
A/B Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.659 : 1

@ 50% fuel
Dry Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.57 : 1
A/B Thrust with 100% fuel = P:W 0.893 : 1

Now add the carrier gear to it.

Why I think PLAAF is probably not going to want it as an A2A fighter and little to no air to ground? ... nah. PLAN only, and export unlikely.


We hardly have accurate data on the exact weights and thrust of the J-31. Yet, good guess would be a little less than the "F-35". This in turn would provide "adequate" performance....Remember, biggest advantage for Stealth Fighters are their low RCS and Sensor Fusion. Not extremely low speed performance!

Nonetheless, the type will become the backbone of both the PLAAF and PLAN. If, for no other reason is they (China) have no alternative....


"IMHO"
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Unread post31 Jul 2019, 10:48

Corsair1963 wrote:We hardly have accurate data on the exact weights and thrust of the J-31. Yet, good guess would be a little less than the "F-35". This in turn would provide "adequate" performance....Remember, biggest advantage for Stealth Fighters are their low RCS and Sensor Fusion. Not extremely low speed performance!

Nonetheless, the type will become the backbone of both the PLAAF and PLAN. If, for no other reason is they (China) have no alternative....


"IMHO"


So you don't have data but your are guess J-31 is lighter then F-35A :-|

J-31 is bigger plane (not much still bigger) with similar design and two engines, so it hardly can be lighter.

As for not having alterantive well Chinese already are making J-20 which because of similar engine as J-10/11 and probable future bombers is lot better option for backbone of their AF then J-31 which engine wouldn't be use for nothing expect for J-31. And did I already mentioned, J-20 is in production while they are changing J-31 design from airshow to airshow.
Last edited by milosh on 31 Jul 2019, 11:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post31 Jul 2019, 10:53

milosh wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:We hardly have accurate data on the exact weights and thrust of the J-31. Yet, good guess would be a little less than the "F-35". This in turn would provide "adequate" performance....Remember, biggest advantage for Stealth Fighters are their low RCS and Sensor Fusion. Not extremely low speed performance!

Nonetheless, the type will become the backbone of both the PLAAF and PLAN. If, for no other reason is they (China) have no alternative....


"IMHO"


So you don't have data but your are guess J-31 is lighter then F-35A :-|

J-31 is bigger plane (not much still bigger) and it hardly can be lighter. Chinese already are making J-20 which becuase of similar engine as J-10/11 and probable future bombers is lot better option for backbone of their AF then J-31 which engine wouldn't be use for nothing expect for J-31. And did I already mentioned, J-20 is in production while they are changing J-31 design from airshow to airshow.


I never said the J-31 was lighter. In fact I suggested it would have lower Thrust to Weight Numbers than the F-35.

The J-20 is similar to the F-22 as the J-31 is similar to the F-35. One dedicated Air Superiority Fighter. While, the other is a Multi-Role Strike Fighter. Honestly, not a hard concept.... :doh:
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