World's 5th gen fighters - relative strengths and weaknesses


stannislas

Junior Member
Registered Member
F-22 and Su-57 are both competent dogfighters probably in many flight envelopes but dogfights generally almost always trend towards lower speed and altitude as time progresses. So supersonic dogfighting isn't really a thing (depends how you define it) but supersonic agility to position yourself is key to winning dogfights if it's guns only. There's plenty of indication that the J-20 is quite a capable dogfighter, perhaps only let down by its size if anything. Watching its turns in the most recent showing where the PLAAF really still held back, is enough to know. Long arm canards, high thrust to weight with WS-15 (assuming net mass around 18 tonnes), extremely high lift generation, and low drag, no known aerodynamic shortfalls = at least a decent dogfighter. Anyway it's all on the pilot when it comes to WVR.

The short range missiles on 5th gens are really a last ditch in case they somehow get into a dogfight. They're also mildly capable of shooting down air to air missiles apparently. At least approaching that level. PL-10 also has pretty long range for a SRAAM. Sneaking up on targets as a stealth fighter is possible. There's a lot of cloud covering visual ID chances so it's not exactly out of place at all for 5th gens to carry at least 2 SRAAMs.
I find funny every time people question about j-20 by its size...

Let’s see, f-15 is 19.5 m? F-22 is what 18.9m ? and oh flanker is 23-24m, does anyone question about their maneuverability by its size? No, f-22 and su-35 are always been regarding as two most maneuverable fighters in the world.

For j-20, I saw many different version but most are various from 20-20.5 m which makes it not ridiculously long/large I will say, so why this is an issue matters here?

BTW, what is the size of j-20 exactly? Seriously, this is a genuine question asked here... Is there a concert answer/analysis or anything now?
 
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kriss

Junior Member
Registered Member
It was because by then A2A missile was just invented and not reliable at all and radar is not close as powerful as it has been today
I think you misread my post. Also for size comparison there was a top down photo op with J-20 and J-16 together.
 

MaxRjM

Just Hatched
Registered Member
It was because by then A2A missile was just invented and not reliable at all and radar is not close as powerful as it has been today
I agree! now the radars are very strong and they can almost see the launch from the point of departure
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
air engagements usually end in disengagements before one side is obliterated. The more planes enter the fray, the fewer get destroyed (percentage wise). Of course, if one side has just 2 planes and the other side has 8 - then it is likely the losing side won't be able to disengage and will lose both.
 

Inst

Senior Member
I've been thinking about the YF-23, the Su-57, and the J-20's weapons bay.

When you look at the YF-23, you can see clearly how the plane is designed. You have a pilot pod in the front, two tubes for the engines, the wings, and the pelican tail. The weapons bay is supposed to be part of the pilot pod. On the Su-57, they use a similar concept; except that they deliberately avoid having the engines placed adjacent, partially because the Russian 3D TVC concept benefits from having the engines at an angle. So there's a space between the engines where the Su-57 can jam weapons bays.

On the J-20, the fundamental design is that at the front, you have a pilot pod, with intakes to the side, canards on the sides of the intakes, and LERX forming behind the canards. You have a weapons bay placed between the pilot pod and the engines, which limits the size of the weapons bay.

But what if, say, with mature WS-15 TVC engines, the J-20 used an engine configuration similar to the Su-57? That's to say, let's start by going tailfin-less and relying on the TVC to do yaw control. Drag is reduced to begin with, but where the tailfins used to be, you plant the engines instead. Then you have a huge chunk of space opened up for a central weapons bay, as with the Su-57, but since the weapons bay is wider than on the Su-57, you have almost double the weapons bay room on the Su-57. Then of course, you extend the delta wings to the rear to shroud the engines, and place ECM modules at the exact rear of the J-20 instead of on the extending pylons.

It'd be a substantial change, but you'd have an aircraft whose weapons payload would compete with the JH-XX. Could be an interesting J-20-derived analogue to the Su-34 or just the base design for a J-20 analogue to the Su-30 / Su-35 line (i.e, strike and omni-role).

Edit: Realistically, looking at the J-20, you couldn't move the engines far away enough from the centerline to create enough space to double the J-20's weapons bay. But you could, however, manage to create a long tube extending from the current weapons bay center. Or, in other words, create enough space to launch 2 PL-21s with enough space left for PL-15s behind them.
 
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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
It is likely that J-20 w/ WS-15 will see some structural differences but I would be surprised to see J-20 with that extent of modifications.

There have been studies of such a configuration before with a "not-J-20 aircraft" shown as a representative for what I believe was a damage simulation study. But at this stage I don't think we have any evidence that there will be a J-20 with such a large modification in the future.

 

latenlazy

Colonel
It is likely that J-20 w/ WS-15 will see some structural differences but I would be surprised to see J-20 with that extent of modifications.

There have been studies of such a configuration before with a "not-J-20 aircraft" shown as a representative for what I believe was a damage simulation study. But at this stage I don't think we have any evidence that there will be a J-20 with such a large modification in the future.

You know, I wonder if they actually tested a regular J-20 model in the actual study and simply swapped it out with a modified one for publication.
 

ansy1968

Senior Member
Registered Member
It is likely that J-20 w/ WS-15 will see some structural differences but I would be surprised to see J-20 with that extent of modifications.

There have been studies of such a configuration before with a "not-J-20 aircraft" shown as a representative for what I believe was a damage simulation study. But at this stage I don't think we have any evidence that there will be a J-20 with such a large modification in the future.

hi Bltizo

Will they redesign using a lambda wing, is that concept practical? I see a CGI picture of J20 sporting one but never see any actual usage from any stealth fighter use today.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
hi Bltizo

Will they redesign using a lambda wing, is that concept practical? I see a CGI picture of J20 sporting one but never see any actual usage from any stealth fighter use today.
No. That would fundamentally change the aerodynamics of the plane. The time it would take to test that kind of change, given at best dubious benefits, would be impractical.
 

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