A couple of points to add.I've been thinking about a command J-20 for a bit and while I was almost partisan to the idea of it supporting J-20s, here's the big problem: scale.
A command J-20 is not the equal of a normal J-20 when it comes to maneuverability, range, speed, and stealth by virtue of having a second operator. Moreover, a command J-20 is intrinsically more expensive than a normal J-20 due to the different occupant accommodations.
So, let's talk about an actual employment. Let's say you have a flight of 4 J-20s, of which one is a command variant.
Does having a 1:3 ratio between command J-20s and frontline pilots work? Well, you're paying more because now you need 5 pilots per 4 planes instead of 4 pilots per 4 planes and the 4th plane is now more expensive. The command J-20, unlike the other J-20s, can't risk itself because it now carries a precious cargo.
What you're doing here is that you're removing about 25-43% of the combat capability of a J-20 flight because you believe that the command J-20 can add more by virtue of providing the commander with command and control facilities on the front line.
This is just shooting fish in a barrel at this scale.
Now let's move to a 中队, or a current PLAAF flight group. 8-10 planes. When you have 8-10 planes, the command and control needs are going to now be more complex, especially since there are now 7-9 pilots under the control of the commander. It looks way better than a flight.
Here, you can actually see that it might be good to have someone specifically manage these pilots at this size, but in reality the flight group is 2 flights with their own commanders. Someone might end up hanging back to protect the command J-20, which can take the capability efficiency from from a low 10-25% to something around 33-50%, around the same as with assigning a command J-20 to a flight.
At the next level, command J-20s start to make more sense. You have roughly 24 planes per brigade, composed of three flight groups with six flights total. But once you hit 24 planes per brigade, why not just bring a KJ-200/300/500/2000/3000 along? You definitely have enough planes in the air to protect them, and the larger radar (about 3x diameter) delivers far superior detection and imaging to a command J-20.
The only advantage at this point is not stealth, as the KJ-200 can be protected, but speed. The J-20s can presumably supercruise, but then what of the command J-20? Is it going to be able to keep up with the other J-20s?
Sarcasm noted?Absolutely, the burden of proof is on the party arguing against the null hypothesis.
I'll point out something very simple. Where are the drones? China has no evidence of A2A "loyal wingman" type drones in service. On the other hand, China has a couple of hundred Flankers in the air and a couple of hundred J-10s. At a later point drone control might end up being a mission of a twin-seater, but if you have the overwhelming drone numbers (10 to an aircraft), you no longer really need the J-20 for conventional fighter operations at all. In this circumstance, it now makes more sense to have single seaters go to an auto-pilot and drone control function instead of being escorts for a twin-seat drone controller.Of course, this is assuming the stealth and maneuverability of this twin seater aircraft is significantly compromised to a degree such thatit cannot be sensibly mitigated by having the aircraft operate moderately behind the frontline of the rest of your single seaters.
As I wrote before, if your twin seater is able to retain the vast majority of the VLO and A2A characteristics of a single seater but capable of exerting multiple times the command/control capability of a single seater, would such an exchange of capabilities make sense?
Put another way, the J-20 is known to have AESA radars slated for it as well as EODAS. Parsimoniously we can assume that:
#1, the AESA and EODAS are not operational.
#2, at some date the AESA and EODAS will likely be operational.
The operating term is parsimonious, which is that we doubt all information unless strong evidence is provided.Maybe I miss the joke if it is one, but why do you think the J-20 has no operational AESA radar and EODAS yet? Or do I miss the joke?
Lijian is likely active service (air-to-ground subsonic strike UCAV). Anjian is not.LOL Inst if you cannot see the problems with your assumptions, I suggest you stop making a fool of yourself now and just quit while you're here.
You've constructed a make belief structure of PLAAF of what it has and doesn't have in Feb 2020 based on your own personal suppositions. Then you have made a set of predictions for future platforms based on this structure. Please show us how you know about these AESA/PESA and EODAS service nonsense you've convinced yourself of. That I'm actually curious about.