July 24, 2014

J-20 may begin small-scale production in 2017

The J-20, China's first fifth-generation stealth fighter designed by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, may enter production on a small scale in 2017, after the completion of the aircraft's test flights, according to the Wuhan-based Hubei Daily.
Citing the test flight of the fourth prototype of the J-20 with the serial number 2012 earlier this month, the Hubei Daily said that the development of Chinese stealth fighters has become more mature. It took a year for the second prototype of the J-20 to complete its test flight after the first one, however, it took the 2012 prototype only four months to complete this procedure after the third aircraft–bearing the serial number 2011–completed a test flight.
If between three and four J-20 prototypes are able to conduct test flights together this year, the article predicted that the stealth fighter may begin its production on a small scale by 2017.
Japan recently displayed a video clip of its fifth-generation stealth fighter, known as the Mitsubishi ATD-X Shinshin, to the public. Many consider the aircraft Japan's answer to China's J-20, should tensions over territorial claims in the East China Sea escalate into a open conflict.
The state-run Global Times said that Shinshin is only designed to give Japanese people more confidence in the face of a rising China. As Japan cannot build its own third-generation fighter without permission from the United States, the paper said that Shinshin is unlikely to play a major role in aerial combat against China. Shao Yonglin, a military expert told the paper that the US will impose some limitations on the Shinshin.


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