The Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jet has been put in service in the Chinese Air Force.
The Chinese Air Force has adopted the Chengdu J-20 fifth-generation fighter jet, the Reuters news agency reported. Later, the news was confirmed by the China’s state television. The aircraft’s tactical and technical characteristics have not been made public, but it is known that the J-20 is very similar to the Russian MiG 1.44 prototype of the fifth generation fighter jet.
Reportedly, the aircraft was developed by the stealth technology and is designed to reduce the technological backwardness of the China’s aeronautical engineering from US fighter jets.
The newest Chinese J-20 fighter jet is going to be a progenitor of a whole family of unique combat aircraft. A frontline bomber, a delivery aircraft for anti-satellite missiles and a multipurpose deck-based fighter have being developed on its basis.
According to some reports, the F-22 is the closest fighter jet to the J-20 by its features. At the same time, the J-20 is closer to the F-35 Lightning II by its universality and purpose.
For the first time, the J-20 was shown at an aviation exhibition in China in November of the last year. At that time, many experts noted some defects in the aircraft’s engines. In addition, they expressed doubts about an export potential of the fighter jet. Experts were not sure that the Chinese aircraft can compete on an equal footing with Russian or American models.
As it was reported, mass production of the Chengdu J-20 fighter jet will not be started until 2018.
At the same time, China is working on creation of another stealth fighter jet, the J-31. Beijing hopes that this aircraft will be capable to compete with American warplanes.