J-20 5th Gen Fighter Thread VI


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BagPiper

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Dogfights don't occur like they used to anymore over Vietnam. Modern fourth-generation fighters have engaged other fourth-generation (and older) fighters with missiles, almost completely. Just look at the examples in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Ethiopian-Eritrean War, etc.

And a stealth fighter should not be getting into engagements that require a gun anyway. If it ever gets to that case, it would make sense for the J-20 to retire to the back and allow accompanying fourth-generation fighters (J-10/11/16) in the formation to engage. The guns are with them.
F4 designers at McDonnell Douglas thought the same, but soon realized they still can't ditch the guns. China hasn't fought a major war since the Sino-Vietnamese war in 1979 and even then the airforce didn't see any combat actions. There are no precedence for China to rely on. No one knows if guns on stealth jets are necessary, but Lockheed still put guns on both F22 and F35.
Time will tell.
 

FishWings

New Member
Registered Member
F4 designers at McDonnell Douglas thought the same, but soon realized they still can't ditch the guns. China hasn't fought a major war since the Sino-Vietnamese war in 1979 and even then the airforce didn't see any combat actions. There are no precedence for China to rely on. No one knows if guns on stealth jets are necessary, but Lockheed still put guns on both F22 and F35.
Time will tell.
F-4s and MiGs still often engaged each other at gun distance. When it comes to 5G fighters engaging other 5G or 4G, it only makes sense for it to take place in BVR most of the time. In recent times, most engagements between 4G or 3G fighters are fought with missiles. If the missiles fail to hit, both sides often disengage, even IF they still have missiles left to shoot.

But you're right, no 5G fighter has engaged any other aircraft as of yet, so it can't be confirmed. That being said, when there are combined formations of 5G and 4G fighters, it is more likely the 4G fighters (with guns) who will be doing most of the closer engagements, dogfights included.
 

Inst

Senior Member
F4 designers at McDonnell Douglas thought the same, but soon realized they still can't ditch the guns. China hasn't fought a major war since the Sino-Vietnamese war in 1979 and even then the airforce didn't see any combat actions. There are no precedence for China to rely on. No one knows if guns on stealth jets are necessary, but Lockheed still put guns on both F22 and F35.
Time will tell.
This is like an obsession with bayonets or swords after automatic infantry firearms became a thing. The F-4 is a Vietnam-era fighter, and rules of engagement vs an outmatched opponent prevented the F-4s from firing BVR missiles freely.

If there is a slot for the J-20 to include guns, that's great, because if it turns out it needs guns, they can be equipped. Otherwise, this obsession with dogfights and so on is retrograde when even WVR missiles can achieve a 20 km NEZ.
 

FactsPlease

Junior Member
Registered Member
Consider this issue from Network Centric, gentlemen:
1) You need every bit (space and weight) to increase your odds in EW, or at least situation awareness - you're going into the engagement probability or not
2) If you loose the magnetic filed control, totally or to a degree of uncertain, will you send out your best stealth fighters
3) A good combination of 4G and 5G fighters can help, a lot, in both stealth effect/deception and mission success
I tend to agree J20 NOT necessarily get that gun...
 

latenlazy

Colonel
The “turn tail and run” argument kinda misses that the main point of a fighter isn’t survivability by any means but to survive long enough to complete a mission. Being forced to turn and run would probably count as a mission failure.
 
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