J-20 5th Gen Fighter Thread VI

Discussion in 'Air Force' started by siegecrossbow, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. manqiangrexue
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    manqiangrexue Captain

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    This is a question? Wolf's explanation does not contradict what is seen nor suggest production issue. In essence, it means that the engine change can cause a delay in the number of finished aircraft seen, however, it would be amidst a backdrop of a build-up of unseen unfinished machines awaiting their new engines.

    However, it's also completely reasonable that after an initial batch, improvements are being incorporated from the experiences of the pilots. I don't know if that constitutes what would be defined as a problem or issue.
     
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  2. Brumby
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    Brumby Major

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    I agree it is incredibly naïve to think that producing 5th gen planes is easy and especially at industrial scale. It is a big leap from producing Russian SU-27 variants. Just because the F-35 has successfully transitioned to industrial scale doesn't mean it is easy to replicate. A 2017 USAF report on the F-22 restart is insightful on what it takes. The same country that created the F-22 would have to spend $10 billion to restart the production. The timeline associated with pursuing F-22 production restart would see new F-22 deliveries starting in the mid-to-late 2020s. This is considering that it was only 6 years after the last delivery and the tools carefully stored.

    So if the J-20 is taking time to ramp up is because it is natural for such type of program. What is abnormal is the expectations that is divorce from reality.;
     
  3. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Moderator
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    It's very possible that J-20 likely has faced challenges during its development and initial production cycle. In fact, I think it is very likely it has.

    However that does not mean that the 13 J-20 airframes we've positively identified as being in service are the only ones that exist in service.

    For example, I deliberately pointed out in the piece how back in April of this year we had satellite imagery of 9th brigade with 3 J-20s under aircraft covers, yet it took until July/August for us to get a single confirmed serial from 9th brigade. That means the number of "confirmed" J-20s at Wuhu is possibly at least 1/3rd of the actual likely number of aircraft at Wuhu from nearly 4 months ago!


    All this is to point out that using the "confirmed serials" method for guessing the number of airframes is only useful for giving us a confirmed definitive floor, but next to useless for letting us estimate how many may actually exist, because the PLA doesn't let the photographers take images of all of the in service aircraft serials.



    So you don't have to be "skeptical" of the idea that there are likely more than 13 J-20s in service, because that doesn't rely on rumours but on pictures, logic and past practice.

    How many more than 13 J-20s is the question that we don't have an answer to.
     
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  4. manqiangrexue
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    manqiangrexue Captain

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    He's clearly not talking about the regular ramp up time that's expected; he's asking about some "unexplained" lull. If it was, "You know, 5th gens take some time to ramp up," I assume he wouldn't have asked about it so many times.
     
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  5. foxmulder_ms
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    foxmulder_ms New Member

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    You have been around long enough to know that rumors (that are originating from reputable sources) about Chinese military developments are, most of the time, true. I have no question in my mind that there are more than 30 J-20 produced so far.
     
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  6. Air Force Brat
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    Air Force Brat Brigadier

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    First off Mr. Blitzo, thank you for your continued patience and kindness, and an outstanding effort to "win me over", I do appreciate it more than you know.... also congratulation on your appointment as moderator. Your demeanor and logic are indeed a credit to your love and respect for SDF and each of the poster's here, I do indeed consider you as a close friend.

    I too am a great fan of the J-20, a great fan of Dr. Song and Yang Wei, I am a believer in the outstanding work that has been and continue to be done toward bringing the J-20 to LRIP....

    No offense is intended as I am standing very close by the 13 serialized tail numbers for the J-20, perhaps this fall we will see #14, #15, and #16??

    But if indeed you are correct in your generous assumptions? and we see another dozen confirmed serials by years end, I will offer you a formal USAF AIR FORCE BRAT, public apology, and bow toward your avatar on my computer screen!

    but for now my friend, I will intone Jeff Head's solemn, "we shall see?".
     
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  7. Air Force Brat
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    My friend, I take rumors with a "grain of salt", and that was exactly my point, I've not heard any credible reports of new primer birds or new tail numbers flying at Chengdu? the little vignette "pictures! or it didn't happen is my moto here on SDF, but I appreciate your enthusiasm and conviction that there are more than 30 J-20?? and so we shall see? I'm not saying their are only 13? but until I see further evidence?? I'm going to remain skeptical??
     
  8. FriedRiceNSpice
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    FriedRiceNSpice Senior Member

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    It's a valid and reasonable statement to say something along the lines of, "given the difficulties of mass producing a 5th gen stealth fighter, especially the first of its kind for given country and the the timeline of the project, I believe that there has been at most x units produced so far." However, it is simply not logical to say, "I believe only x units have been produced because there are only pictures showing x distinct serials." That statement assumes EVERY J-20 every produced is photographed by the PLAAF, and then released to the public, which is completely off the mark.
     
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  9. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Moderator
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    No -- I am saying that there might be dozens of J-20s in service by the end of the year but we might only get a fraction of them confirmed via photographs of their serial numbers.

    What I'm saying is that for virtually all PLA combat aircraft (especially newer types), we almost never receive pictures of every airframe in service.

    Instead, at any one point in time we tend to only have pictures of a fraction of the aircraft in service, leaving an unknown fraction of the rest of the aircraft unaccounted for.
     
  10. AssassinsMace
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    AssassinsMace Brigadier

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    We see new engines for the J-20 coming. Production could be slowed or halted for it or something else that's coming. They don't do that in the US. Most likely because it just means more money for the defense industry. Privatized business needs to make money. They have to meet quarterly and yearly expectations.
     
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