J-20 5th Generation Fighter VII


crash8pilot

Junior Member
Registered Member
Seems like the quickest way to achieve air superiority and just win etc is to use stealth strike/bombers to decapitate civilian/military leadership, air fields, utilities, gov institution, air defenses, oil/gas storage ...
Offensive counterair step-by-step in a nutshell:
  1. Take out enemy fighters, AWACs, and tankers patrolling the skies
    • Why stealth BVR is so important to avoid detection
    • Where the J-20 really comes into play
  2. Suppression (with anti-radiation missiles) and destruction (with PGBs) of enemy air defenses
    • Might benefit from a bit of stealth to avoid radar detection, but not the end of the world
    • Probably more important to have speed and manoeuvrability to dodge SAMs and AAA
    • EW really comes into play to jam enemy radar, that's why the need for the J-16D... and perhaps where I could see a two-seater J-20 developed.
  3. More like Step 3a - Strike interdiction on crucial strategic targets like you mentioned
    • Don't really need stealth with enemy fighters taken out in Step 1 and integrated air defense system defeated in Step 2
    • More important to have a larger weapons loadout capability
    • That's when we roll in strike bombers like J-16s, older JH-7s and H-6s.... eventually the H-20
    • Exactly why I don't think there needs to be a strike variant of the J-20
  4. Step 3b - Fighter sweep and escort while strike interdiction happens
    1. Non-stealthy fighters such as J-10s and J-11s (only because they're cheaper to operate than stealth fighters, and there really isn't a need for stealth at this point) sweep off any "runners" that were missed in Step 1, or enemy reinforcements that are scrambled in
    2. They'll also provide fighter escort to PLA airborne assets such as tankers, AWACs, and other ISR platforms
Now of course there will be times when the PLA can't afford to follow the elaborated mission sequence, but that's when the H-20 strategic bomber will come into play. Stealthy J-20s provide escort the the stealthy H-20 as they take out enemy fighters they might come across, clearing up the skies for the H-20 to drop the house (the H-20 might not be fast, but the idea is for them to slip in and slip out undetected with stealth anyway). The J-20 as it currently is has a limited enough of a capability to execute a deep interdiction mission, especially if you sent in a four-ship formation.
 

Inst

Senior Member
Well in this scenario you propose, the fighter has already popped up on radar or the enemy already has visual contact.... So there wouldn't be a need for stealth now would there? Might I add that the J-20 is a stealth fighter, and any variant built off the J-20 would be hoping to utilize it's stealth features?

If stealth is thrown out of the way, well then a non-stealthy J-16 which has twelve hardpoints already has the ability to launch "a ridiculous sum" of bombs to strike ground targets. Similarly the J-11 with it's ten hardpoints has plenty of AAM missile capacity, which is way more than the 2x Sidewinders/2x ARAAMs or 4x AMRAAMs that the F-35 carries in it's internal weapons bay without external hardpoints if it wants to keep it's stealth features. In essence the PLAAF already has the very aircraft you've described, and so I really don't see the need to "strikify" the J-20.

Even if the PLA wanted a strike J-20 variant, the existing J-20 would require a much larger internal weapons bay, which in turn calls for a significantly larger aircraft that's practically unrecognizable from the J-20... You might as well start on a blank slate and make a completely new plane, which is pretty much what the PLA have decided to do with the H-20. For your arguments sake, the PLA have seemingly given up on the JH-XX concept anyway, especially as the increased fielding of the J-16 will see it supplant (dare I say supercede, especially with it's ability to self-escort) the JH-7's striking mission capabilities in the PLAAF's air tasking order.

Aided with AWACs and ground radars, the J-20 absolutely has the ability to counter stealthy F-35s with PL-15s. With the WS-15 unlocking the ability to supercruise, the J-20 will become a BVR beast - I'm not a least bit worried about the PLA's ability to fend off F-35s.
Stop dream about laser technology on jets yet, the fact that any laser weapon, including DIRCM or the laser attack pod @siegecrossbow mentioned before, are all soft kill and all demonstration level and will stay at that level for a long time. Laser hard kill technologies are NOwhere close to practical use in any real-world scenario before the next-gen energy storage technology, for example, new battery technology, comes out. The fact that the previous B747 laser weapon test failed and the project got abandoned is due to this reason, something like fire two rounds laser before another 45 mins battery recharge. Plus battery is a super heavy dead weight, I don't think any jet designer loves it.

For micromissile, if it is designed to perform the missile intercept, then why it's possible for the US to use it on F-22, but not a similar product designed by China then put on J-20...

Honestly speaking I think the most practical technology for aircraft missile intercept to develop, is based on something like the active defense system which is used on tanks, like the one on ZTQ-15. This is a much cheaper, much lighter, and much simpler, and straightforward solution for the current human technology level.
Beginning to introduce 6th gen in early 2030s is exactly what I was thinking of and I think that is fine.

J-20 production continuing between now and ending in the early 2030s, and J-XY/FC-31 variant production starting between 2025 to the mid/late 2030s, and 6th generation production from 2030 onwards, in conjunction with other friendly aerial developments and platforms in UAVs, weapons, EW, bomber, and land based long range strike systems should be capable of maintaining a sufficient balance in relevant air power.


They won't ever have the same number of 5th gen fighters as the combined potential opponents in the region, but they can have enough relevant capabilities to make the difference in effective net air power close or even in their favour if they are capable of exploiting geography for the purpose of offensive long range strike systems.

As for strike capability; the J-20 itself has 6 internal hardpoints and 2-4 external hardpoints, for 10 total hardpoints + the ability to go stealth if needed.

Modifying it for strike is going to be substantial, unfortunately, and will require enlarging the plane to an extent, but the Su-57 arrangement where a weapons bay sits between the engines

The J-11's problem is that despite having lots of external hardpoints, it's still not an F-15EX (can carry 22 missiles). A heavier strike J-16 might be a solution, or you could just go with a strike 5th generation. You have to remember that by definition, a strike fighter is capable of air superiority missions and a J-16 is obsolete for that role.

Re: stannislas: I'm talking 2027 timeframe, by which laser technology could have come a long way. If the PLAAF goes with the laser pod approach, we might be looking at a baseline of 4 km range (linear scaling).

As for the F-22, the F-22 can carry the same missile payload as a F-35, despite costing a lot more. The J-20 can likewise carry the same missile payload as a F-35, but it's still a heavier platform at the very least and likely a more expensive platform, especially if the RMB continues to appreciate (around 5% so far this year).

===

@Bltizo The problem is on what timeline will American 6th gens be ready? The American 6th gens seem oriented at extreme stealth and likely laser capability. If American 6th gens see mass production in the early 2030s with LRIP in the late 2020s, China will want better 5th gens to minimize the 6th generation advantage. NGAD, for instance, reputedly took its first flight this year, and if it's following a F-35 / J-20-type production schedule, you'll see mass production in the early 2030s.

From rumors given, it seems to be a XLO platform with possible lasers, which is still counterable by lasers + a micromissile set-up.

Moreover, this is WHY Chengdu seems to be talking about a strike J-20. An air superiority platform like the the F-22 or J-20 ends up getting relegated to an interceptor role once it's obsolete, A strike J-20, on the other hand, continues to be useful for strike even when it's no longer guaranteed to be effect in an air superiority role. The F-15, notably, had a good after-life as a strike fighter in its strike incarnations.
 

crash8pilot

Junior Member
Registered Member
As for strike capability; the J-20 itself has 6 internal hardpoints and 2-4 external hardpoints, for 10 total hardpoints + the ability to go stealth if needed.
It loses the ability to go stealth the moment it uses its external hardpoints, it's RCS will light up like a christmas tree if it does

Modifying it for strike is going to be substantial, unfortunately, and will require enlarging the plane to an extent, but the Su-57 arrangement where a weapons bay sits between the engines
Modifications will have to so substantial I doubt it'd look anywhere near the original J-20 airframe, you might as well design a new plane

The J-11's problem is that despite having lots of external hardpoints, it's still not an F-15EX (can carry 22 missiles).
The EX was taken on to replace older F-15Cs, the premature termination of the F-22 program, and delays to the F-35. I wouldn't exactly say it's cutting edge new technology that'll give it an edge against our J-10/11s, given the USAF and DoD have indicated it's missions sets will be limited to air defense and the enforcement (and not the establishment) of no-fly zones. Might I also add the more missiles you carry, the heavier the plane becomes, and ultimately the more fuel it consumes alongside the decrease in manoeuvrable. I can't see the EX carrying all 22 missiles if it intends on keeping its drop tanks in order to get to the battlefield, preserving its fuel for the engagement against the enemy. Flankers on the other hand have higher internal fuel capacity and don't require external fuel tanks.

You have to remember that by definition, a strike fighter is capable of air superiority missions and a J-16 is obsolete for that role.
The J-16, like the F-15E, is designed NOT as an air superiority fighter. Rather it was designed for self escort strike missions, which is what separates them from JH-7s and the old F-111s. In essence the expectation is that the J-16 and F-15E can hold their own if they ever encountered enemy fighters on their way to conducting their strike mission, but BFM (or BVR for that fact) aren't their bread and butter. Air superiority is reserved almost exclusively for the J-20.

The F-15K/SG/QA variants of the F-15E are only seen as multi-role air superiority fighters primarily because their respective countries don't have the luxury to field multiple airframes to conduct different mission sets within their combat air force.
 
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Temstar

Junior Member
Registered Member
There are rumors that a major upgrade or derivative of the J-20 will be unveiled soon. Not sure how credible the author is, however.

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I have been hearing a similar rumour about the maiden flight of a new J-20 variant over at cjdby. In the rumour I've been hearing it's a twin seat version. The rumour didn't say if it was regular twin seat or tandem seat.
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
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Guys ... can we return to the topic!??

Again any discussions on potential Su-57 purchases, its benefit on aerodynamic knowledge for China, the F-22 vs J-20 and potentian 6th generation types are way off-topic. There is a dedicated thread somewhere on the future PLAAF composition, continue there but NOT here!
 

Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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I have been hearing a similar rumour about the maiden flight of a new J-20 variant over at cjdby. In the rumour I've been hearing it's a twin seat version. The rumour didn't say if it was regular twin seat or tandem seat.

Could it be that cjdby restricts access from countries outside of China? Even if I can see the discussion, since some time the images are all blocked.
 

W20

New Member
Registered Member
I would use the J-20 as an interceptor, that is their specific difference ... in addition to air superiority

I see external hard points as a way to increase the radius of action with more fuel

a J-20 ... F/A ... strike version (JH-20 (?)) .... maybe it could be sold to Nato to attack russia, but it seems to me a surprising idea
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Any twin seat J-20 would make me lose some (a lot of) faith in its computing and sensor fusion. When is a second pilot ever necessary for a stealth fighter tasked with exploiting its VLO mainly for air superiority? J-20 doesn't look like it's a good low altitude, low speed strike aircraft. Unless that second pilot is helping the control of autonomously directed drones, any requirement for one should be easily resolved with computing.
 

Temstar

Junior Member
Registered Member
Any twin seat J-20 would make me lose some (a lot of) faith in its computing and sensor fusion. When is a second pilot ever necessary for a stealth fighter tasked with exploiting its VLO mainly for air superiority? J-20 doesn't look like it's a good low altitude, low speed strike aircraft. Unless that second pilot is helping the control of autonomously directed drones, any requirement for one should be easily resolved with computing.
I thought the most popular explaination for a twin seat 5th generation fighter is the second man is responsible for coordinating a flight of stealth UCAVs acting as wingman?
 

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