J-20 5th Generation Fighter VII


sinophilia

Junior Member
Registered Member
They won't ever have the same number of 5th gen fighters as the combined potential opponents in the region
How can you say that with any confidence whatsoever when is a real possibility that China could in the coming decades have an economy that is more than 3x or even possibly 4x the size of the combined potential opponents in the region (USA included). This isn't even an outside shot, it is the most likely outcome.

If you hold that to be true, then you must think that China's aviation industry will always lag significantly behind its development. Even if China's overall size of industry, GDP, national net worth, etc. is only 2x the entire region (not an unlikely feat, with current projections of this happening in about 15-20 years), then how can you not think that China's aviation assets (both military and civilian) will never reach a commensurate status?

You must either be

a) Very pessimistic on Chinese growth outlooks, believing that China will never so much as reach 50-60% of US living standards (as assessed by proxy metrics like GDP per capita and median household net worth), and therefore simply never have the size to even attempt to produce the quantity of such aircraft

or

b) Believe that China will never have an aviation industry that can produce the quantity or quality of output that the US can (+20% for the combined non-US forces in region), regardless of how many multiples China's economic size, or industrial size, or manufacturing size is over the US.

The latter (b) is even more pessimistic because it implies that even when Chinese living standards finally approach developed levels and fully catch up with Western levels, that China will still always be qualitatively inferior.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
How can you say that with any confidence whatsoever when is a real possibility that China could in the coming decades have an economy that is more than 3x or even possibly 4x the size of the combined potential opponents in the region (USA included). This isn't even an outside shot, it is the most likely outcome.

If you hold that to be true, then you must think that China's aviation industry will always lag significantly behind its development. Even if China's overall size of industry, GDP, national net worth, etc. is only 2x the entire region (not an unlikely feat, with current projections of this happening in about 15-20 years), then how can you not think that China's aviation assets (both military and civilian) will never reach a commensurate status?

You must either be

a) Very pessimistic on Chinese growth outlooks, believing that China will never so much as reach 50-60% of US living standards (as assessed by proxy metrics like GDP per capita and median household net worth), and therefore simply never have the size to even attempt to produce the quantity of such aircraft

or

b) Believe that China will never have an aviation industry that can produce the quantity or quality of output that the US can (+20% for the combined non-US forces in region), regardless of how many multiples China's economic size, or industrial size, or manufacturing size is over the US.

The latter (b) is even more pessimistic because it implies that even when Chinese living standards finally approach developed levels and fully catch up with Western levels, that China will still always be qualitatively inferior.

Note specifically I said "5th generation fighters".
Think about what that entails in terms of future production runs of fighters and combat air power; 5th generation, and 6th generation, and when they may emerge and when production of 5th generation fighter may stop, and the respective aerospace industry of the relevant nations now and into the future decades.


In terms of aerospace industry capacity, and the number of F-35s that will be produced and deployed in the region between now and the late 2030s, and the likely number of 5th generation fighters China will be able to produce between then and the same period, I do not expect the number to exceed the count of F-35s in the region.


The reason I talk about the 2030s, is because that's when I expect 6th generation fighters to emerge with the associated future combat air technologies that will be associated with it, and by the 2030s is also when I expect Chinese military aviation industry and capacity to be capable of potentially rivalling that of the US on a more "pound for pound" level. Of course by that time period the Chinese economy will also be in spitting distance of being the largest nominal economy or the largest with the associated benefits of military funding procurement it will bring.

In other words, I expect Chinese 5th generation production to end come the mid to late 2030s in favour of 6th generation aircraft, and that I wouldn't be surprised if at that point in time the total run of combined Chinese 5th gen fighters is ultimately still less than the fleet of hostile 5th gen fighters in the westpac region, airframe for airframe.

But post 2030s, going into the 2040s and 2050s it's very possible that the PLA may have a chance to procure the world's largest fleet of 6th generation fighters and/or "largest"/most capable combat air fleet into that point.
However, it also means that PLA 5th generation production ending in the mid-late 2030s means the total fleet of 5th gen fighters produced will likely still be lower than the total number of 5th gens in the region deployed by its opponents considering what we know about F-35 procurement plans especially by the US.
It's actually not a particularly controversial statement if you think about it -- unless one thinks the PLA should continue producing 5th gen fighters into the 2040s and beyond.
 

sinophilia

Junior Member
Registered Member
Note specifically I said "5th generation fighters".
Think about what that entails in terms of future production runs of fighters and combat air power; 5th generation, and 6th generation, and when they may emerge and when production of 5th generation fighter may stop, and the respective aerospace industry of the relevant nations now and into the future decades.


In terms of aerospace industry capacity, and the number of F-35s that will be produced and deployed in the region between now and the late 2030s, and the likely number of 5th generation fighters China will be able to produce between then and the same period, I do not expect the number to exceed the count of F-35s in the region.


The reason I talk about the 2030s, is because that's when I expect 6th generation fighters to emerge with the associated future combat air technologies that will be associated with it, and by the 2030s is also when I expect Chinese military aviation industry and capacity to be capable of potentially rivalling that of the US on a more "pound for pound" level. Of course by that time period the Chinese economy will also be in spitting distance of being the largest nominal economy or the largest with the associated benefits of military funding procurement it will bring.

In other words, I expect Chinese 5th generation production to end come the mid to late 2030s in favour of 6th generation aircraft, and that I wouldn't be surprised if at that point in time the total run of combined Chinese 5th gen fighters is ultimately still less than the fleet of hostile 5th gen fighters in the westpac region, airframe for airframe.

But post 2030s, going into the 2040s and 2050s it's very possible that the PLA may have a chance to procure the world's largest fleet of 6th generation fighters and/or "largest"/most capable combat air fleet into that point.
However, it also means that PLA 5th generation production ending in the mid-late 2030s means the total fleet of 5th gen fighters produced will likely still be lower than the total number of 5th gens in the region deployed by its opponents considering what we know about F-35 procurement plans especially by the US.
It's actually not a particularly controversial statement if you think about it -- unless one thinks the PLA should continue producing 5th gen fighters into the 2040s and beyond.
I see what you are saying, indeed a misunderstanding. I do believe China will not produce anywhere near the total # of US 5th gen combat aircraft, let alone the combined forces. Catch up in quantity should start to be obvious in my opinion by the late 2030s.
 

FangYuan

Junior Member
Registered Member
Producing a small number of 5th generation fighters (just enough for defense) is a way to save money and resources devoted to the research and production of 6th generation fighters.

China does not want to fall into the arms race trap. Do not attempt to produce 5th generation fighter jets with the same number as NATO
 

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