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posted by Fnord666 on Friday December 15 2017, @11:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the at-least-it's-in-the-air dept.

Has the People's Republic caught up?

The Chengdu J-20 marks the first entry of a multirole stealth fighter into China's armed forces. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), China views stealth technology as a core component in the transformation of its air force from "a predominantly territorial air force to one capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations." Designed for enhanced stealth and maneuverability, the J-20 has the potential to provide China with a variety of previously unavailable air combat options and enhance its capability to project power.

As an advanced multirole stealth fighter, it is speculated that the J-20 can fulfill both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army Navy (referred to as either Naval Aviation or the PLAN-AF). According to PLAAF Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, the J-20 will enhance the overall combat capability of China's air force. A 2016 report by the DOD states that the J-20 represents a critical step in China's efforts to develop "advanced aircraft to improve its regional power projection capabilities and to strengthen its ability to strike regional airbases and facilities." In 2014, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission described the J-20 as "more advanced than any other fighter currently deployed by Asia Pacific countries."


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  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Friday December 15 2017, @02:27PM (8 children)

    by Aiwendil (531) on Friday December 15 2017, @02:27PM (#610292) Journal

    It actually doesn't matter - stealth is too expensive to be fielded in significant numbers, the tradeoffs in airframes makes them vulnerable if targeted, and once beaten you'll only have a subpar and overly expensive flying target sign.
    And unless they have a very good range they will be kinda out of luck once the defense takes out their support (basic rule of warfare - take out lines of supplies as soon as you can).

    The main reason to have stealth planes is PR and developing better tech to beat it - take a look at IRST and AESA-radars to see just what stealth is up against.

    Stealth however is great if attacking a technologically inferior opponent, or after you've taken out the radars and AA - but at that point you get a lot more bang for the buck to just use conventional planes instead.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (#610320)

    And unless they have a very good range they will be kinda out of luck once the defense takes out their support

    The offense you mean? They don't need good range or carriers for defense.

    Whereas the USA needs carrier groups for "defense" thousands of miles half way around the world... The USA is like someone many blocks away who plonks a sentry gun in your next-door neighbor's backyard for "defense". And accuses you of being hostile when you fly drones near that gun...

    Yeah China has been involved in "regime change" but not as much as the USA and mostly to _adjacent_ countries.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:32PM (3 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @04:32PM (#610343)

      The US is no angel, I'm hard pressed to decide which was worse: Tibet or Hawaii. I lean toward Tibet because the heavy-duty atrocities were more recent.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:20PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:20PM (#610386)

        How about the USA "wonderful work" in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria?

        See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Schneider#Assassination [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:23AM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:23AM (#610596)

          Meh, those might be considered "Police" actions... not the greatest thing when you're on the receiving end, but at the end of the day the oppressors go home and you get to put the pieces back together. The Hawaiians, Native Americans and Tibetans are now occupied and slowly fading away.

          Also, I'd say the US in Vietnam and Korea, and the Russians in Afghanistan were far worse than the recent US Middle East / North Africa campaigns, just due to duration - although W did sink US in deeper than a wise man (like his father) would have in Iraq.

          It's all bad, but sometimes the "Police" actions can improve life in the aftermath, sometimes.

          --
          Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:22PM (#610387)

        The US is no angel

        Lot closer to devil: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Friday December 15 2017, @05:40PM

      by Aiwendil (531) on Friday December 15 2017, @05:40PM (#610369) Journal

      No, I mean defence. If you come in with stealth-planes and find all your nice little air-refuelling planes and AA-supression units having started new career as fireballs you are out of luck on surviving/completing the return - especially if you are the only radar-interfering object still in the air (that moves differently from clouds at that altitude)

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:29PM (1 child)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @04:29PM (#610341)

    All depends on the mission, and most mission profiling is about political considerations.

    If a stealth plane can pass a sensitive area unnoticed, that can be a huge advantage.

    They're not going to win a massive head-to-head confrontation, but for selective projection of force they give more flexibility.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:03AM

      by bob_super (1357) on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:03AM (#610559)

      Enter the F-22, which doesn't have enough range to pick a fight in Tehran or most of Russia or China, and needs a nice slow big refueling tanker.
      Best-performing useless plane in the world. Meanwhile, the F-15s (all but one) were pretty happy bombing Libya when requested.