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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: 3, Informative) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @02:58PM

    by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @02:58PM (#610300) Journal
    Of course, they won't cost anywhere near as much and they'll be able to produce them more quickly.

    They'll be able to fly them from land bases, in their own territory, rather than relying on carrier decks.

    And of course guided missiles are effectively a kind of 'drone.' They're quite a bit harder to shoot down than the rc quadcopter kind, or even the raptor/predator kind, especially the hypersonic kind of course.

    Cold-war era carrier tactics featured missile defense prominently, and carriers are quite good at it. The expected attack would have been a salvo of sea-skimming missiles, staying at low altitude to avoid detection as long as possible, at maybe 500mph(~800kph). You have a whole bunch of radar systems and short range defense systems all linked together to deal with those, to pick them up as early as possible and feed that target info around to all the different weapons that might be able to hit them as early as possible. And you can count on having a few seconds, long enough to launch some interceptor missiles and then fire a bunch of short range guns at the missiles that are left afterwards, before anything hits.

    Modern anti-ship weapons don't do that. They are fired at extremely long range and first fly into the stratosphere to escape drag. They can then dive relatively straight towards their target, to arrive at maximum speed (~mach10) or they can dive more steeply and pull out to a traditional sea-skimming approach, arriving ~mach5 in that case. Either way it's extremely difficult to intercept a target moving that quickly, either with a missile or a gun.

    Mach 10 is well over 7500mph(~12000kmh.)

    This sort of missile doesn't even need a warhead to be effective as an antiship weapon. Kinetic energy alone would have no trouble shredding the hull.

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