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Defence & Aerospace

China has been intensively developing homegrown VTOL fighter jet, but admits it lags behind America

Model of Chian’s Type 081 amphibious attack warship

Model of Chian’s Type 081 amphibious attack warship

The following is based on translations from reports on Chinese websites:

Chinese website mil.huanqiu.com describes in its report the difficulties in developing a VTOL fighter jet but concludes that for China at present, development of a VTOL fighter jet within a short period time is not a simple task.

Though China has started the project for such a fighter jet, Chinese military industrial workers still have a long way to go to fulfil that arduous task.

Another Chinese media of similar status, xinhuanet.com, describes in its report the following shortcomings of a VTOL fighter jet: 1. larger fuel consumption; 2. smaller load of ammunition; 3. difficulties to produce and operate; 4. relatively high requirements for takeoff and landing environment (sand, soil taken into engine may cause serious problems); and 5. longer duration of maintenance.

However, xinhua says that China still wants such a fighter jet as it has the following advantages, 1. no need for runway; 2. increase in the number of fighter jets an aircraft carrier can carry; 3. ability to make highly difficult moves such as stopping in midair to dodge an attacking missile; 4. and quick response.

Therefore, VTOL fighter jets are useful for China when:

1. China’s runways along its coast or on its islands have been destroyed in a war related to Taiwan or the South China Sea so that fighter jets that require a runway cannot take off to fight, VTOL fighter jets that do not need a runway may take to the sky to enable China to have time to repair the runways; and

2. VTOL fighter jets replace helicopters on China’s amphibious attack warships, China’s amphibious warships may play the role of aircraft carriers.

The report continues that China has mastered the technology and made three Type 071 amphibious attack warships with displacement of 20,000 tons. It is confident it can also make large ones with displacement of 40,000 tons. Such warships are much easier and cheaper to produce and operate than aircraft carriers.

China’s amphibious warships are equal in quality to their US counterparts, but its aircraft carriers are much inferior.

The report concludes that it will take at least a decade for China to catch up in mastering the technology to make aircraft carriers comparable to their US counterparts. It will take even longer and greater effort for China to learn to operate the carriers and train pilots.

Contributed by “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements” – Author of “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements” and “Space Era Strategy” – Also English/Chinese translation service

Sources: mil.huanqiu.com “Research and development very difficult, does China have the opportunity to learn from Yak-141 in developing its VTOL fighter jet?” and news.xinhuanet.com “In-depth Military Information: China’s VTOL fighter jets will be its core strength in the South China Sea and supplement to its aircraft carrier” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the reports in Chinese)


About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


2 thoughts on “China has been intensively developing homegrown VTOL fighter jet, but admits it lags behind America

  1. Reblogged this on Dr Alf's Blog and commented:
    This is a popular story from China Daily Mail. It’s well worth a read. Check it out!

    As I dwelled on the implications, my mind switched to Europe and absence of an effective defense strategy. In particular, I am still angered by thought of UK defense cuts in the name of austerity. Surely defense spending should be ring-fenced rather than foreign-aid which often ends up in the hands of corrupt officials in the donne country?



    Posted by dralfoldman | August 22, 2015, 11:36 am


  1. Pingback: China’s top science and technology secretly given to military technology | China Daily Mail - February 5, 2016

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