J-20 goes operational

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post14 Nov 2017, 05:33

Personally, I expect to see the J-31 as the primary Strike Fighter of both the PLAAF and PLAN. Just like the F-35 will be for the USAF/USN/USMC. 8)



Like the pictures of the J-20 above. The J-31 is maturing nicely and I have to say I am impressed overall with the fit and finish of the latest prototypes......


J-31A.jpg



J-31D.jpg



J-31C.jpg
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rheonomic

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Unread post15 Nov 2017, 03:34

Ugh, those verticals are terrible. People need to stop making ugly airplanes.
u = (CB)⁻¹(cvdt_des - CAx)
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mixelflick

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Unread post15 Nov 2017, 16:13

wrightwing wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:

The J-20 is said to be in production. (LRIP?) So, why couldn't it reach IOC by 2021???

Which, is not to say even if it does it will have anything close to 600! :wink:

For the same reason that the Su-57 won't reach IOC by 2021, even though it's in "production."

A- the aircraft and its systems aren't mature enough
B- in order to be considered IOC, you need sufficient trained pilots, maintainers, logistical supply chain/spare parts, sufficient operationally representative aircraft (with weapons testing complete)
C- the IOC squadron(s), need to have undergone multiple training exercises, to develop TTPs on how to properly employ the new capabilities.
D- what's the status on weapons integration and testing? Have there been any separation tests? Live fires?


So they surprised us once (J-20 flying so soon). Who's to say they can't have a rudimentary IOC in 2021? In fact, I think it's rather likely. A lot of them? No. Tons of trained pilots and an operational footprint far away from her shores? No. But 4 years is a long time. It's likely they're a lot further along than the Russians, who plan to have 12 birds between now and then.

All I'm saying is this: Our intelligence always seems to be a little to rosy when it comes to China's weapons systems. If memory serves, we didn't think they'd fly a 5th gen bird prior to 2020. They did it when, 5- 10 years earlier and not 1, but 2???
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wrightwing

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Unread post15 Nov 2017, 17:53

mixelflick wrote:


So they surprised us once (J-20 flying so soon). Who's to say they can't have a rudimentary IOC in 2021? In fact, I think it's rather likely. A lot of them? No. Tons of trained pilots and an operational footprint far away from her shores? No. But 4 years is a long time. It's likely they're a lot further along than the Russians, who plan to have 12 birds between now and then.

All I'm saying is this: Our intelligence always seems to be a little to rosy when it comes to China's weapons systems. If memory serves, we didn't think they'd fly a 5th gen bird prior to 2020. They did it when, 5- 10 years earlier and not 1, but 2???


The Chinese didn't catch our intelligence agencies by surprise. The assessments are still correct (i.e. IOC between 2025 and 2030.)
What won't be IOC by 2021 are operational squadrons, that have actual combat capabilities, unless they plan on using even more concurrent development, than the F-35 (i.e. declare IOC without final production engines, avionics, sensors, weapon integration, logistical support, etc....) All of those things aren't happening in the next 4 years.
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Unread post15 Nov 2017, 18:22

rheonomic wrote:Ugh, those verticals are terrible. People need to stop making ugly airplanes.


Agree. Those wings and tails look messed up. Enlarged elevators and fattened boxy body makes the wings look smaller. Engine pipes stick out like some after-thought. And those distinct dark lines along slat and flap give the illusion as if they are stuck to the wing with duct tapes. Definitely not a looker.

So this is the 2nd prototype in 5 years, with significant redesign? I don't think J-31 project is given high priority.
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weasel1962

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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 03:40

Rather than seeing this from a western prism, it might actually help understand how the Chinese actually do it. This is not the first time a new aircraft is inducted. For example, the J-10 was first flown in year 1998. First production units was sent to 13th regiment in 2003 which was a test unit and then declared operational that same year. When “operational”, the planes are then transferred to a combat unit (in the J-10’s case, I think that was a regiment the 44th Division). How this is identified are thru serials (2 digit serials followed by 5 digit serials in test/combat units). The explanations of “insiders” in various forums further explain that once in the combat units, combat tactics are further developed and then become effectively combat ready which is roughly the western concept of IOC. I understand the combat readiness preparation process for the J-10 took about 2 years for the 1st unit and I note posters who mention that is repeated for the next unit etc (at much shorter times). It can also be noted that operational units start with initial versions with later units being equipped with later versions e.g. JH-7 then JH-7A (as well as the J-10 to J-10C units).

For the J-20. The first flight was noted in 2011. This was followed by 2 digit then 4 digit serials representing initial test units. The first production units (LRIP) were noted at end of 2016 with 5 digit serials (78xxx) = 176 brigade (since PLAAF has converted from regiments to brigades known as the “brigadization” process), That is where we are today and estimations are from 10-20 units have been produced. It is still unclear whether brigades are the same size as the previous regiments but regiments used to have 28 aircraft (doesn’t seem that the PLAAF operate using BAI/PAI concepts). The timeline does roughly correlate to what happened with the J-10. It is noted that the “operational” announcement was made in March this year. If it follows the J-10 timeline, it does suggest that the first combat unit could be noted in 2017-2018 and unit IOC by 2020.

As to the J-31’s likelihood of PLAAF adoption, I would cite the JF-17 as the classic example but I would readily accept that this is purely an assumption based on history and not based on any factual basis.
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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 05:54

weasel1962 wrote:Rather than seeing this from a western prism, it might actually help understand how the Chinese actually do it. This is not the first time a new aircraft is inducted. For example, the J-10 was first flown in year 1998. First production units was sent to 13th regiment in 2003 which was a test unit and then declared operational that same year. When “operational”, the planes are then transferred to a combat unit (in the J-10’s case, I think that was a regiment the 44th Division). How this is identified are thru serials (2 digit serials followed by 5 digit serials in test/combat units). The explanations of “insiders” in various forums further explain that once in the combat units, combat tactics are further developed and then become effectively combat ready which is roughly the western concept of IOC. I understand the combat readiness preparation process for the J-10 took about 2 years for the 1st unit and I note posters who mention that is repeated for the next unit etc (at much shorter times). It can also be noted that operational units start with initial versions with later units being equipped with later versions e.g. JH-7 then JH-7A (as well as the J-10 to J-10C units).

For the J-20. The first flight was noted in 2011. This was followed by 2 digit then 4 digit serials representing initial test units. The first production units (LRIP) were noted at end of 2016 with 5 digit serials (78xxx) = 176 brigade (since PLAAF has converted from regiments to brigades known as the “brigadization” process), That is where we are today and estimations are from 10-20 units have been produced. It is still unclear whether brigades are the same size as the previous regiments but regiments used to have 28 aircraft (doesn’t seem that the PLAAF operate using BAI/PAI concepts). The timeline does roughly correlate to what happened with the J-10. It is noted that the “operational” announcement was made in March this year. If it follows the J-10 timeline, it does suggest that the first combat unit could be noted in 2017-2018 and unit IOC by 2020.

As to the J-31’s likelihood of PLAAF adoption, I would cite the JF-17 as the classic example but I would readily accept that this is purely an assumption based on history and not based on any factual basis.


So, your comparing the JF-17 to the J-31??? Would you care to elaborate??? :|
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weasel1962

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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 07:07

When the JF-17 project was launched, roughly about the same time as the J-10, China was facing quite a fair bit of constraint due to embargoes arising from the Tienanmen incident, particularly on western technologies). Not many people will remember now that the project was actually started by China via AVIC who is now also developing the J-31 as well as the J-20. Pakistan was actually brought in a few years thereafter as a joint project owner which eventually pushed production to Pakistan.

A lot of people also thought then that the PLAAF would adopt the plane, notwithstanding that the J-10 was being developed in tandem also by AVIC. After all, it was Chinese designed, quite a lot of China resources went into the plane, and quite a few sources cited official pronouncements that the PLAAF would adopt the aircraft. In my humble opinion, it cannot be discounted that the JF-17 fighter project may have been a failsafe option in case the J-10 project had failed. It is rather interesting that the Chinese specifically chose the Mig’s RD engine instead of the more powerful AL-31 engine to drive the JF-17 which makes sense if one is taking an “insurance” approach to development.

The arguments then for JF-17 were the large numbers of J-6 and J-7s that needed replacement. History does show the JF-17 was never adopted by China. Again, it does not mean the J-31 will follow the way of the JF-17 but history does have a precedent to suggest so.
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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 08:03

weasel1962 wrote:When the JF-17 project was launched, roughly about the same time as the J-10, China was facing quite a fair bit of constraint due to embargoes arising from the Tienanmen incident, particularly on western technologies). Not many people will remember now that the project was actually started by China via AVIC who is now also developing the J-31 as well as the J-20. Pakistan was actually brought in a few years thereafter as a joint project owner which eventually pushed production to Pakistan.

A lot of people also thought then that the PLAAF would adopt the plane, notwithstanding that the J-10 was being developed in tandem also by AVIC. After all, it was Chinese designed, quite a lot of China resources went into the plane, and quite a few sources cited official pronouncements that the PLAAF would adopt the aircraft. In my humble opinion, it cannot be discounted that the JF-17 fighter project may have been a failsafe option in case the J-10 project had failed. It is rather interesting that the Chinese specifically chose the Mig’s RD engine instead of the more powerful AL-31 engine to drive the JF-17 which makes sense if one is taking an “insurance” approach to development.

The arguments then for JF-17 were the large numbers of J-6 and J-7s that needed replacement. History does show the JF-17 was never adopted by China. Again, it does not mean the J-31 will follow the way of the JF-17 but history does have a precedent to suggest so.


It was my understanding that the JF-17 was a cheap export fighter tailored specifically with Pakistan in mind. While, the J-10 was planned as a F-16 equivalent for the PLAAF and to a lesser extent the PLAN. Yet, in either case today there is no JF-17 equivalent to the J-31 today.
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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 08:09

Honestly, what is odd to me is all of these people that discount the J-31 in favor of the J-20. While, China pours more and more resources into the J-31 Program........


Case in point......first flight of the J-31 V2


23559528_1792420627477115_5128577773684293715_n.jpg
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weasel1962

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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 08:53

Cheap export fighter? Sounds very familiar

From Janes...
http://www.janes.com/article/45625/airs ... er-concept

AVIC officials at Airshow China 2014 would not comment on the J-31 and FC-31's development, nor detail the aircrafts' respective performance specifications, except to reiterate that the FC-31 is intended for the international export market, with "a number of countries expressing an interest in the aircraft"....

SAC's FC-31 multirole fighter concept is China's most ambitious export fighter programme yet, under which it is seeking to develop a relatively low cost multirole platform with an emphasis on strike capabilities and incorporating some degree of stealth - although the latter's actual radar evading effectiveness is unknown.

The design evidently stands a reasonable chance of entering production (provided that a customer is found) given that a prototype, the J-31, has already been successfully flown for a number of years and has now been demonstrated to the international public.


From China daily....

China targets export sales with its latest advanced fighter jet
http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/201 ... 424350.htm

Li Yuhai, deputy general manager of AVIC, has previously said AVIC plans to use the FC-31 to "put an end to some nations' monopolies on the fifth-generation fighter jet" and this plane "is able to compete with any other aircraft of its kind".

The only fifth-generation fighter jet currently available in the market is the US' F-35 Lightning II, but the US sells it only to allies.


Weasel's comments: There's quite a fair bit of news supporting what Milosh had already mentioned previously...
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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 09:39

weasel1962 wrote:Cheap export fighter? Sounds very familiar

From Janes...
http://www.janes.com/article/45625/airs ... er-concept

AVIC officials at Airshow China 2014 would not comment on the J-31 and FC-31's development, nor detail the aircrafts' respective performance specifications, except to reiterate that the FC-31 is intended for the international export market, with "a number of countries expressing an interest in the aircraft"....

SAC's FC-31 multirole fighter concept is China's most ambitious export fighter programme yet, under which it is seeking to develop a relatively low cost multirole platform with an emphasis on strike capabilities and incorporating some degree of stealth - although the latter's actual radar evading effectiveness is unknown.

The design evidently stands a reasonable chance of entering production (provided that a customer is found) given that a prototype, the J-31, has already been successfully flown for a number of years and has now been demonstrated to the international public.


From China daily....

China targets export sales with its latest advanced fighter jet
http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/201 ... 424350.htm

Li Yuhai, deputy general manager of AVIC, has previously said AVIC plans to use the FC-31 to "put an end to some nations' monopolies on the fifth-generation fighter jet" and this plane "is able to compete with any other aircraft of its kind".

The only fifth-generation fighter jet currently available in the market is the US' F-35 Lightning II, but the US sells it only to allies.


Weasel's comments: There's quite a fair bit of news supporting what Milosh had already mentioned previously...


You could just as easily say the F-35 is intended for the international export market, with "a number of countries expressing an interest in the aircraft".... :?

Nonetheless, you like others are glossing over the whole point. That is China has "no" other option..... :doh:
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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 10:16

J-10 was covered in secrecy for years after its first flight. FC-1/JF-17 maiden flight was highly publicized by the official media. That is how China treats a high-priority project and some side show differently.
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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 10:49

Corsair1963 wrote:You could just as easily say the F-35 is intended for the international export market, with "a number of countries expressing an interest in the aircraft".... :?

Nonetheless, you like others are glossing over the whole point. That is China has "no" other option..... :doh:


Good point and no one is discounting that the J-31 might actually enter PLAAF service (although many speculate the PLAN as the more likely candidate). Would highlight that some people still think the PLAAF will eventually adopt the JF-17 as well. Can’t disprove that either :bang: .

There are major differences between the F-35 program and the J-31 program though. The F-35 program was undertaken by the US DoD with full funding and LM as the main contractor so the decision to acquire in large numbers locally was already in place from day 1. The J-31 program, on the other hand, raised a few eyebrows when the AVIC chairman himself claimed in year 2014 the entire development was undertaken via the company with no funding from the Government i.e. purely private venture. Whilst that is, in my opinion, a bit difficult to believe, there aren’t really much facts that have been put forward to suggest otherwise. Yes, a lot of rumors and logic but facts?
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Unread post16 Nov 2017, 11:17

weasel1962 wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:You could just as easily say the F-35 is intended for the international export market, with "a number of countries expressing an interest in the aircraft".... :?

Nonetheless, you like others are glossing over the whole point. That is China has "no" other option..... :doh:


Good point and no one is discounting that the J-31 might actually enter PLAAF service (although many speculate the PLAN as the more likely candidate). Would highlight that some people still think the PLAAF will eventually adopt the JF-17 as well. Can’t disprove that either :bang: .

There are major differences between the F-35 program and the J-31 program though. The F-35 program was undertaken by the US DoD with full funding and LM as the main contractor so the decision to acquire in large numbers locally was already in place from day 1. The J-31 program, on the other hand, raised a few eyebrows when the AVIC chairman himself claimed in year 2014 the entire development was undertaken via the company with no funding from the Government i.e. purely private venture. Whilst that is, in my opinion, a bit difficult to believe, there aren’t really much facts that have been put forward to suggest otherwise. Yes, a lot of rumors and logic but facts?



Well, sounds like we agree more than we disagree??? Like you I doubt that China would ever adopt the JF-17. Nor, that AVIC is footing the entire bill for the development of the J-31 without Government Assistance! (absurd in my opinion)

Yet, my basic point is the J-31 is critical for both the PLAAF and PLAN. As China can't project power without a Modern 5th Generation Tactical Fighter Fleet. Which, surely isn't going to be J-20. As such a fleet would have to be produced in very large numbers. So, considering to start from scratch and start all over. Would take another 20-30 years. Means we are right back to the J-31 as the only real viable option...


Which, clearly China agrees with as she is accelerating its development..... :wink:
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