China’s fighter jets to bring more surprises: J-20 designer

BEIJING, March 20 (INP): After China’s latest J-20 stealth fighter was commissioned, the country will continue to explore new fighter jets that meet national needs and create more surprises, the fighter’s chief designer said Tuesday.

China will continue to support efforts to further prepare the fighter for combat, develop more versions of the fighter and explore new fighter jets, Yang Wei, a National People’s Congress (NPC) deputy and chief designer of the J-20, told the press on the sidelines of the NPC annual meeting.

“There will be more surprises in future fighter jets, which will be more mechanized, information-equipped and smarter,” Yang said.
The surprises include progress on the research of China’s next generation of stealth fighters, which is expected to make China a leader in stealth fighters, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the local media on Tuesday.

The J-20 series is also expected to undergo renovation, such as a high thrust engine and new electronic equipment and radars, Song said.

The J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet. It was first showcased in public on a flypast at the Zhuhai airshow in November 2016, and after it was delivered to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force in March 2017, it joined the military parade at the Zhurihe military training base in July 2017.

According to air force spokesperson Shen Jinke in February, air force combat troops had armed the J-20.

China’s J-20 jets have several unique designs and capabilities, such as the canard configuration design that provide them greater stealth while maintaining maneuverability and its supersonic speed, Yang said.

The design allows the J-20 to fly further and with greater bomb load, he added.

The J-20 is also capable of situation awareness, information operation and cooperative combat, which shows that China’s aviation industry has progressed from a “follower” to a “leader,” the chief designer said.

The fighter is also a product of military-civilian integration, as its carbon fibers and metamaterials are produced by private companies, Yang said.

Carbon fibers not only provide the fighter with greater stealth, but can also reduce the aircraft’s weight to allow more weapons for greater attack power, Song said.

INP/J/AK