“Mass production of fifth generation fighter jets in China unlikely”
China has confirmed it has conducted a successful test flight of its new stealth fighter. Following on the heels of the US and Russia, it is now the third country to put a stealth prototype into the air.The test flight comes on the second day of the visit of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates to the country. According to director of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Ruslan Pukhov, despite all the noise surrounding the test flight, mass production of fifth generation fighter jets in China is unlikely.
Chinese President Hu Jintao confirmed on Tuesday his country had carried out its first test-flight of a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet.
Hu confirmed the flight during talks with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The prototype Black Silk J-20 stealth fighter made the flight at around 1 p.m. on Tuesday, according to information posted by Chinese aviation enthusiasts on websites.
The jet was tailed by two J-10 fighter chase planes during its 20-minute maiden flight.
The J-20 is thought to be similar to the U.S. F-22 Raptor and the Russo-Indian T-50 jets, although imagery and video footage now appearing on the Internet suggests the Chinese model is larger, the Aviation and Aerospace website said. This means it could be capable of flying a longer range and carrying a heavier load.
"The J-20 appears to be either a demonstrator or a prototype of a combat aircraft with low observable characteristics, particularly in the front quadrant," said Douglas Barrie, a senior fellow for military aerospace with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
China has been working on a future fighter program since the mid-1990s, and the J-20 is notionally anticipated to enter service around 2018-2020, he added.
"The design, particularly the rear section and in plan-form is reminiscent of MiG's 1.42 fighter project, the program for which was canceled in the latter half of the 1990s," Barrie said.
BEIJING, January 11 (RIA Novosti)