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J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 11:31
by weasel1962
Starting a new thread after the previous was locked.

Yesterday coinciding with the release of China's 2019 defense white paper, a picture of a J-20 that had the serial of 9 Brigade was provided thru the official weibo account of the PLA. The equipping of 9 Bde with the J-20 was rumored to have happened before Feb 2018 per earlier thread below but no photo evidence during that time.

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=53563&start=120

As per the above link, why this is news is because previously J-20 serials were only spotted in units belonging to aggressor training units, not combat units. 9 Brigade is a combat unit that was equipped with the Su-27/30, and is based at Wuhu (~200km west of Shanghai). Fighters are transferred to combat units for IOC which will normally take about 2 years. (see link for full explanation). The defense whitepaper appears to suggest the J-20 has IOC-ed (whitepaper used "commissioned") with 9 Brigade.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 12:34
by mixelflick
Confusing. They must have a very different way of doing things over there..

Can you imagine if the first F-22's were flown by aggressor units? For what purpose?? Perhaps to simulate our F-22's and 35's? And OK, it's now with an operational unit. But there's talk of IOC taking 2 years. So is it IOC today, or 2 years from today?

In any case, it's far ahead of any other (non US) stealth program. Give them credit for that..

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 14:44
by weasel1962
Should be IOCed already i.e combat ready. They have been in 9 bde close to 2 years.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 19:06
by jetnerd
mixelflick wrote:Confusing. They must have a very different way of doing things over there..

Can you imagine if the first F-22's were flown by aggressor units? For what purpose?? Perhaps to simulate our F-22's and 35's?


I sincerely hope we're doing the same thing with those flying F-117's in the Nevada desert - since it's conceivable that the ChiComms have had the opportunity to reverse-engineer the F-117's RAM, coupled with J-10's serious attempt at shaping to reduce RCS, DACT with F-117's is probably a fair simulation of fighting a jet with its level of stealth.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 19:21
by sprstdlyscottsmn
jetnerd wrote:I sincerely hope we're doing the same thing with those flying F-117's in the Nevada desert - since it's conceivable that the ChiComms have had the opportunity to reverse-engineer the F-117's RAM, coupled with J-10's serious attempt at shaping to reduce RCS, DACT with F-117's is probably a fair simulation of fighting a jet with its level of stealth.

Actually we are doing one better. The first blocks of operational F-35As are now aggressors.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2019, 19:53
by jetnerd
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
jetnerd wrote:I sincerely hope we're doing the same thing with those flying F-117's in the Nevada desert - since it's conceivable that the ChiComms have had the opportunity to reverse-engineer the F-117's RAM, coupled with J-10's serious attempt at shaping to reduce RCS, DACT with F-117's is probably a fair simulation of fighting a jet with its level of stealth.

Actually we are doing one better. The first blocks of operational F-35As are now aggressors.


Logisitically that makes much more sense - why have a parallel maintenance cadre for an older stealth jet that's known as a maintenance nightmare.... plus those aggressor F-35's look awesome in that (J10-ish) paint scheme. (https://the-drive-2.imgix.net/https%3A% ... 657968d31e)

I imagine it would be a relatively simple(r) matter to "dumb down" the Aggressor F-35's radar signature to our intel's best guess of the J-10's level of stealth.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2019, 13:12
by mixelflick
weasel1962 wrote:Should be IOCed already i.e combat ready. They have been in 9 bde close to 2 years.


OK, thanks for clarifying.

Still, J-20's in agressor squadrons is perplexing. They can't have many yet, why tie them up as agressor airframes? Oh well, it's their air force. I'm happy to see agressor F-35's, that's for sure. Simulating ultra high end threats was a capability gap IMO, especially when your force is made up largely of T-38's, F-5's, Kfir's, Mirage F1's and Hawker Hunters. And yes, F-16's too.

Running, hiding and ultimately combating the F-35 in WVR/BVR is going to be a bear. But our pilots have to get used to it, because like it or not - that day is coming. Some would argue its already here..

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2019, 19:47
by Prinz_Eugn
I'm just guessing, but the "Aggressor" squadrons could just be the best ones they have in terms of pilots and crew, so the logical people to give a fancy and temperamental airplane too after the true "test" units.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 00:31
by blain
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.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 01:19
by weasel1962
If an air force comprised 3G/4G fighters and the main potential aggressor has 5G fighters, the 1st order of the day is to train those 3G/4G fighters against 5G fighters.

If an air force has never used 5G fighters before, it makes sense to develop fighter tactics for a new 5G fighter. That means pitting the 5G fighter against other fighters.

If the surrounding neighbors use predominantly 4G fighters and one faces 4G CV-based fighters 1st, the last order of the day is to train the best fighter (i.e 5G) to tackle those 4G fighters.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2019, 08:59
by wrightwing
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.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 06:06
by element1loop
Would you build a fleet of J-20s with an aim of fitting an entirely new engine to them later? I'd give that a miss.

And how can J20 be considered 'operational' if they've not met design engine-thrust requirements or design fuel-burn requirements and the envelope has not been tested for such thrust, range and speed levels? i.e. they're still developing a prototype, just as the Russian's are with their T50. Neither has an operational service jet yet. They bluff.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 06:19
by weasel1962
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

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 29 Jul 2019, 01:56
by weasel1962
Ignoring the propaganda in the article. Bolded portions relevant.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1159509.shtml

J-20 fighter makes combat unit debut
By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times
PLA photo indicates new jet has passed trials: experts

A photo released by the People's Liberation Army Air Force on Wednesday shows for the first time what reports said to be a J-20 affiliated with a combat unit, suggesting that the aircraft has graduated from a trial unit and is ready for active duty. Photo: screenshot from cctv.com

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force for the first time released a photo of a J-20 stealth fighter jet showing the serial number of a combat unit, indicating that the warplane has ended trials and become a potent warplane protecting the country.

A photo with the caption "An Air Force J-20 fighter conducts real combat training" was released by the PLA Air Force on Wednesday, along with a statement introducing its increasing strategic capability.

Although the warplane has been seen in previously published photos and videos, Wednesday's photo attracted attention as it showed a J-20 with the tail number 62001.

This is the first time a J-20 has been seen with tail number beginning with a "6," Weihutang, a program on military affairs affiliated with China Central Television, reported on Friday, noting that the numbers on previously seen J-20s began with a "7."

According to PLA Air Force's tradition, numbers starting with "7" indicate aircraft attached to a trial unit, while the "6" indicates the J-20 is affiliated with a combat unit under the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Xi'an-based periodical on the national defense industry, in an article published on its WeChat account on Friday.

This suggests that the J-20 is already on combat duty, becoming an important new force in safeguarding China's skies, the magazine said.

In February 2018, the PLA Air Force announced the J-20 has been commissioned into its combat troops, but a photo of it had not been released until now.

The release of the photo of a J-20 with a "6" on its tail also indicates combat troops have mastered the fighter jet, Chinese analysts said.

Fu Qianshao, a Chinese air defense expert, told the Global Times on Sunday that training under a combat unit is different than under a trial unit.

While exploring specific capabilities is likely emphasized in trial unit training, the focus of training under a combat unit includes tactical practice, Fu said, noting that a training syllabus and a maintenance manual have also likely been completed for the aircraft.


Fu believes that the J-20 is now more sophisticated than US' F-35.

The J-20 is listed in China's latest national defense white paper as one of the new, high-tech weapons the Chinese military has commissioned.

Fu said that the aircraft will be mass produced and further enhanced in the future. Its engines, aerodynamic design, weapons and electronics systems including radar, avionics and flight control system could be upgraded, he said.

The public might get to see the J-20 in flight if it makes a flyby over Tiananmen Square in Beijing during an expected parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic's on October 1, analysts predicted.

Re: J-20 goes operational again

Unread postPosted: 29 Jul 2019, 02:43
by Corsair1963
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)