In retrospect, I think the current J-20As do not have established gun ports given what was mentioned by yankee before about future J-20s intending to have guns which suggest the current ones do not.Sorry I was referring to Blitzo's post at #2756. Scroll down a little on that link. He drew a red box around it.
Yeah, I reviewed some old posts yesterday and have drawn the conclusion that a J-20B revision might be more substantial than I originally expected. It would follow that we would see some hardware change substantially, and it’s entirely plausible the current J-20s aren’t even going to get an MLU if the changes are extensive enough...In retrospect, I think the current J-20As do not have established gun ports given what was mentioned by yankee before about future J-20s intending to have guns which suggest the current ones do not.
I do think those drawn positions are fine locations for where a gun port could be placed but are not ports themselves
I’m not ruling out MLUs for the current batch of J-20 frames, just saying it would be plausible that they don’t receive one. After all, we never saw this sort of upgrading process with J-10s and J-11s (except maybe now with potential J-11BGs). I think whether the current batch of J-20s do receive some retrofitting in the future largely depends on a number of factors:Wait, wouldn't that put the current J-20s at the awkward position just like early F-35s that couldn't accept further upgrade? I will be very surprised if they didn't at least account for retrofitting future advancements/refinements (like guns and engines) to current J-20s. Did PLAAF decided to accept the planes because they need a stopgap to train their pilots and refine the tactics for stealthy jets before getting the "real deal"?
There probably isn’t going to be a “final” version of the J-20. Rather they will probably continue to introduce new iterations, improvements, and variants over the lifespan of the design, at least so long as they follow a batch production process rather than a scale production process.Hi latenlazy
Concur on your J20a analysis, J20a for my opinion is an interim design using AL31/WS10 engine while waiting for the WS15 tech to mature.
J20B will be the final design spec that will utilize the full potential of WS15 and it may entail further design changes along the way to include new tech. Just my two cents.
Again, depends on the several factors I’ve listed above, but it’s not like this isn’t a normal practice across the world’s air forces. For example, to my knowledge the F-15 A and B variants never received midlife upgrades.So it is kind of like the Sukhoi family in Russia where they just keep upgrading it? That does sound workable, but wouldn't it result in quite a bit of capability differences and constitute a headache for sustainment with all the different iterations?
Hi latenlazyExtremely doubtful. Small aerodynamic refinements are pretty normal for iterations of a fighter design but total deletion of essential aerodynamic features constitutes an entirely new aerodynamic configuration. The amount of development work that would require, given the potential benefits, would be better spent on a clean sheet design, especially since a clean sheet design wouldn’t have to deal with complications of altering downstream design dependencies that would be endemic to such drastic modification of a mature design. Aerodynamic configurations are highly integrated dependent systems, not highly modularized systems.
Not sure if it can or cannot be retrofitted with a gun or not, but on balance given the general priorities of the aircraft I can see why not having a gun on the J-20As powered by interim engines could be a fair decision.So the current J-20s cannot be retrofitted with a gun? That sounds surprising given that even relatively underpowered J-20s are still designed to compete in WVR engagements.
Well since the turn of the century yes but this is certainly not true. But a gun on the J-20 would be nice if it weren't a space and weight cost for more useful equipment. I agree with the idea that 5th gens should not be used as dogfighters when the PLAAF has got over a thousand cheaper candidates to do that with.This video makes an interesting argument that guns aren't necessary in air-to-air fighters, and specifically mentions the F-22 as an example of a mistaken decision to install a gun on an air superiority fighter. Since the F-22 is the closest analogue to the J-20, I think it's worth posting here
TL;DW: Guns should be installed on multi-role aircraft for ground attack, not air superiority fighters. The overwhelming majority of kills in aerial engagements have been with missiles.