J-20 5th Generation Fighter VII


Richard Santos

Junior Member
Registered Member
I believe that this is the first time we’ve seen an operational J-20 without luneberg lens. Was it carrying out patrol operations?
Maybe luneberg lens isn’t required if it is flying with transponder on? or flying in a formation with another aircraft that has luneberg lens, or in formation with another otherwise non-stealthy aircraft?
 

GTI

New Member
Registered Member
Maybe luneberg lens isn’t required if it is flying with transponder on? or flying in a formation with another aircraft that has luneberg lens, or in formation with another otherwise non-stealthy aircraft?
The Luneberg lens is also to protect the [true] radar signature of the stealth aircraft.

Having no LL on and then declaring your whereabouts (even getting aviation and OSINT enthusiasts in on it)... is quite frankly stupid (the idea, not ad hominem).

I think the answer you could be looking for is this - any realistic testing, training and wargaming of/with a stealth platform would involve removing LLs.
 

ougoah

Major
Registered Member
I think the answer you could be looking for is this - any realistic testing, training and wargaming of/with a stealth platform would involve removing LLs.

And that would have been done since 2001 prototype. But the real question is whether any flight without LL has been outside of China's airspace where they would increase the risk of exposing its radar, electronic, and infrared signatures to anyone who's got the equipment to gather them (US and Japan).
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
Based on your assessment, are these images of the J-20 prototype cockpit during the missile test?

AJx8yJW.png


BdDDK0j.png


Just out of curiosity your website is safe from the Chinese internet crackdown on military forums/bloggers, right?

Based on one Weibo analysis the second image is that of a J-20’s cockpit during the missile launch. I won’t disclose the Weibo owner to keep his identity safe from censors.
 

e46m3

New Member
Registered Member
Just an observation, having never really looked at the underside of the J-20 until the last couple of photos I never realised it doesn't have a tail hook like the F-15/16 and F-22s do. Guess that's a relic from the old times? Extra complexity etc when you just pull up a crash barrier across the runway.
 

stannislas

Junior Member
Registered Member
Just an observation, having never really looked at the underside of the J-20 until the last couple of photos I never realised it doesn't have a tail hook like the F-15/16 and F-22s do. Guess that's a relic from the old times? Extra complexity etc when you just pull up a crash barrier across the runway.
None of chinese land base aircraft have tail hook, I think this applies to Russian aircrafts as well
 

plawolf

Brigadier
And that would have been done since 2001 prototype. But the real question is whether any flight without LL has been outside of China's airspace where they would increase the risk of exposing its radar, electronic, and infrared signatures to anyone who's got the equipment to gather them (US and Japan).
You realise it’s not just having the equipment that matters, but also being within range right?

Stealth aircraft are really only effective against short frequency fire control radars, and China has probably the world’s biggest (in variety and number of operational units deployed) arsenal of dedicated low frequency anti stealth radars in the world.

While such radars might not have the accuracy to give firing solutions, I think it would be pretty unrealistic to think enemy stealth aircraft can get within a couple hundred miles of the Chinese mainland coast without having to seriously worry about being detected and exposing their own signatures.

As such, I think the likes of the J20 would be able to operate at least within 200km off the Chinese coast over international airspace (as obviously overflights of Taiwan and other non-Chinese land features would be a bad idea) in clean configurations without needing to seriously worry about anything being able to get remotely close enough to even detect them, never mind register anything useful signature wise.

Normally J20s operating with LLs were primarily to help air traffic control since they were operating near major Chinese cities with a lot of civilian air traffic.

The lenses were probably also an added safety/security feature so that the J20s could be tracked at all times so that first responders can get on the scene ASAP should one go down, since even fragments of the plane could yield invaluable intelligence to hostile countries, much like like pieces of the downed F117s over Kosovo were early snapped up by Chinese and Russian intelligence agencies.

As the J20 matures, such concerns are probably receding.
 

Atomicfrog

Junior Member
Registered Member
Just an observation, having never really looked at the underside of the J-20 until the last couple of photos I never realised it doesn't have a tail hook like the F-15/16 and F-22s do. Guess that's a relic from the old times? Extra complexity etc when you just pull up a crash barrier across the runway.
They are using drogue parachute instead...
 

Top