J-20B aircraft
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China’s upgraded J-20B stealth fighter exposes fatal weakness


At the Zhuhai International Airshow, China introduced an upgraded version of the J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighter with the designation name J-20B.

The above-mentioned heavy stealth fighter is confirmed by the Chinese manufacturer to be of the fifth generation, but not all foreign experts are ready to accept that the J-20 meet all factors of the fifth geenration fighter.

In addition to the high radar reflectance area factor, evaluating the flight demonstration of the J-20 stealth fighter at the Zhuhai International Airshow, observers said that it is easy to see that the Chinese fighter “is missing from the ground up”.

Western experts pointed out that the J-20B demonstrated all its weaknesses at the Zhuhai Air Show, which made skeptics further doubt whether it should be classified as a fifth-generation fighter.A good American expert pointed out that if it is not for the stealth coating, the J-20 is an aircraft of the 4++ generation at best and does not have super maneuverability, because the flight performances at the air show are not quite satisfactory. Specifically, when demonstrating its maneuverability, the J-20 fighter “did not show fineness”, especially when performing some complex aerobatics in the air.

J-20B with news WS-10 engine during Zhuhai Air Show 2021
J-20B with news WS-10 engine during Zhuhai Air Show 2021

Western experts pointed out that the fighter “obviously lacks power.”In flight, the aircraft appears cumbersome and weak, especially when performing advanced maneuvers. estern experts also said that the highest maneuver was not shown, so that problems arising during the flight would not attract people’s attention. Moreover, these flight demonstrations were also carried out with the smallest payload, and there were no missiles. Is the power not enough?

Although the aerobatic maneuver was chosen so that the problems with the aircraft did not become too prominent, and the J-20 fighter carried only a minimal payload, however its disadvantages still can’t hide.

One of the most important requirements for the fifth-generation fighter is that its engine must meet standards, in addition to the ability to hide infrared signals, it must also help the aircraft achieve supersonic cruise speed without the need for a supersonic cruise. turn on boost.

Despite the advertising made by China, the engine equipped for the J-20 fighter has not even helped it perform relatively normal maneuvers.

Faced with this fact, many people think that although the J-20 fighter has officially entered the combat service of the Chinese Air Force, it has not really completed its features and needs more time to completely achieve all design parameters.

It should be further noted, at the Zhuhai International Airshow, Chinese designers officially introduced an upgraded version of the J-20 with the designation J-20B. This fighter has an enlarged internal weapons bay to accommodate large-range long-range missiles, but this affects the combat radius. Due to the reduction in fuel tank volume, the J-20B’s range is reduced by about 7%.

The press in China believes that this is the last air show that the J-20B appears without being integrated with the new generation WS-15 jet engine built by themselves.

western experts also said that China has another “fatal weakness”-engine manufacturing.They laughed at Chinese “printers” only knowing how to copy, but they don’t know How to melt and process metal.

However the developers claim that by the end of this year, all problems with the J-20’s propulsion system will be eliminated. Specifically, by the end of 2021, the error of losing engine thrust when reaching the critical operating temperature will be fixed.

But international experts say that during the demonstration flight, the J-20B fighter showed all the weaknesses, giving experts more reason to doubt whether it should be classified as a fifth generation fighter aircraft or not.

Faced with this fact, it is likely that in the not too distant future, China will order a small batch of Su-57 Felon from Russia to serve as a technological control model, thereby further perfecting its domestic fighter.

When the fifth-generation fighter still has a lot of problems to solve, the statements from Beijing about the construction of the sixth-generation fighter are proving quite “out-of-date”.


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