mytopleft

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Not clear how ready for action China's fifth-generation fighter is

Apparently, China's J-20, which it claims is a fifth-generation, stealth fighter, is not exactly fully operational. Mind you, this isn't that unusual for advanced aircraft -- operational does not mean fully operational. But it is interesting in that China hasn't hedged its language on how ready the J-20 is:
It is unclear exactly how close the J-20 is to being truly operational. An initial operational capability is often a long way off from a fully operational capability. In the case of the fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter, the aircraft still had many teething issues when the U.S. Air Force declared it operational in 2005. Meanwhile, the tri-service fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, both the United States Air Force and Marine Corps declared their versions of the stealthy single-engine jet to be operational with a very basic interim capability. Only the U.S. Navy is holding out for a full warfighting capability before declaring their version of the F-35 operational. Thus, only time will tell just how operational the J-20 really is.
This isn't really all that unusual, obviously. Still, interesting given the absolutist language from China about how ready the J-20 is. Still, it is a good-look aircraft:


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