Chinese manufacturers may have begun mass production of their most advanced stealth fighter jet, the J-20, and have dedicated a number of them to the Air Force unit responsible for the South China Sea.
State run Chinese media Citing a statement issued on Dec. 10 by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group Co Ltd, the maker of combat aircraft, as saying that the company ramped up the delivery of its military aircraft including J-10 and J-20 in the fourth quarter. 2021 due to high demand.
At the same time, A European aviation magazine said a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) J-20A aircraft was spotted on a test flight from the Huantianba production facility in Chengdu, and the serial number 61162 on its tail indicated that the aircraft was assigned to the 5th Air Brigade. Southern Theater Leadership.
The J-20A is one of the new variants of the Chengdu J-20 fighter jet, also known as the “Mighty Dragon”. The Southern Theater Command is one of the five regional commands of the People’s Liberation Army and is responsible for the entire southern part of China and the South China Sea.
“Having a J-20 air brigade based in the Southern Command’s area of responsibility will place some of China’s most advanced fighters close to the South China Sea,” David Cinciotti, a prominent military aviation blogger, told Radio Free Asia.
Another famous aviation author who specializes in Chinese aircraft development, Andreas Rupprecht, said it would be an unusual move to assign the J-20 to the 5th Air Brigade that had just been changed to the Chengdu J-10C, an older but still capable multirole fighter, several years ago.
This may indicate that Chinese military planners are seeking to enhance air defense capabilities in the South China Sea and that fighters will have combat roles rather than training.
said Colin Koh, a researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
“China has already started serial production of the J-20 with the aim of equipping more front-line units with the type as the first air superiority fighter of the People’s Liberation Army of China,” Koh said, adding, “It has been reported that the J-20 has been deployed closer to the Indian border where it is located.” continuous ignition.
The J-20 Mighty Dragon is China’s fifth-generation stealth fighter with precision strikes. It made its first test flight in 10 years and entered official service in 2017 as part of China’s military modernization plan.
The aircraft is the third stealth fighter of the fifth generation in operation in the world. Its appearance is similar to the US Air Force’s F-22, but experts say American fighters are much better.
Jane’s, a global intelligence firm, mentioned That at Airshow China 2021 in September, the PLA first revealed a new variant of the J-20A powered by locally developed engines.
The new J-20A appears to be powered by domestically developed Chinese WS10C turbofan engines, which replaced the engines of the first Russian-made Saturn AL-31FN series.
It is estimated that there are 50 to 60 J-20s currently in service, and switching from traditionally imported engines to original ones will allow mass production of the fighter jet. The scale of production, however, remains unclear.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force has deployed a group of military aircraft in the skies over the South China Sea. Recently, several H-6J strategic bombers conducted a live-fire exercise, dropping bombs and laying naval mines on islands in an unknown location in the sea.