Hi ougoah isn’t it possible for China to deploy more SAM batteries with ability to detect stealth planes if they can’t churn out enough stealth planes and offcourse till that time they can stay within their own territoryNot sure if we can accurately guess at PLAAF's acquisition planning. One thing I didn't see mentioned is the utility of older generations (compared to J-20) in creating more noise in the environment and using these as potential targets. The internal missile space on a F-22 or F-35 is invaluable. Not all missile launches result in a hit and not all hits result in loss. Therefore fighters like J-10 and J-11 can serve as sponges soaking up missiles launched by F-22s and F-35s and either scooting away or dodging them where they can. I'm sure this was also the thinking behind keeping J-7 production back when J-11s and J-10s were also produced during their initial stages. Even today, J-7s and J-8s can serve the role of creating more targets and noise in the air. Every missile shot out of an F-22 is one less aimed at a J-20 or J-16 in its limited bay. Flying back to Okinawa or Pacific bases will take time.
J-10s and J-11s are most likely cheaper and quicker to build than J-20s. They can carry far more effective ordinance than J-20 and are not limited in the types of ordinance e.g. heavy bombs and long range missiles. Therefore they have almost as much importance to PLAAF as J-20 does. It's not all an air-superiority high end fight. Most missions can be BETTER done by fourth gens that can carry far more. Particularly if PLAAF is defending and PLA should have ground support.
Meteor and AIM-120D are missiles that have improved the kill probability so there's a chance scooting away and using different tactics in bleeding missile energy won't work in dodging them. Fighters have fuel advantage and at end of missile's kill ranges (non-duel motor types) the missile can be defeated by high speed tight turns where the evading fighter burns through a lot of fuel but should easily be able to dodge heavy medium and long range missiles. That's where stealth fighters for PLAAF is a must have. Not only to go up against USAF 5th gens but to be active in denying airspace to USAF upgraded 4th gens and all heavy supporting assets. PLAAF needs numbers and missiles in the air to support J-20 operations in the front line fights. Drones are another rich area for exploitation in this regard.
Your input please