Offensive counterair step-by-step in a nutshell: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 ...
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Step 3b - Fighter sweep and escort while strike interdiction happens
- 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
- They'll also provide fighter escort to PLA airborne assets such as tankers, AWACs, and other ISR platforms