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Defence & Aerospace

After stealth J-20, China’s next fighter-jet could be a super F-35 copycat

China's Shenyang J-31 The F-35 Copycat

China’s Shenyang J-31 The F-35 Copycat

In its endeavours of achieving the “world-class military” status, China’s military and its defence industry may have taken a significant step in the right direction with the development of its first sixth-generation fighter jet, which experts claim to be a superior version of the US F-35s.

According to a technical paper published by Yang Wei, the chief designer of the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter, the next-generation fighter jet is being planned to trump all of the features that are currently possessed by a fifth-generation fighter.

As stated in his paper, published in Global Times, a daily newspaper under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Yang said –

A revolutionary, cognition-subverting next-generation fighter jet, characterized by long-range, high capabilities in penetration, awareness, firepower and fast decision-making, is about to come into being amid great power competition.”

The stealth technology employed by the US F-35s makes it one of the most sought-after fighter jets in the world. The fighters use advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, and advanced sustainment. However, due to the unforeseen nature of advanced warfare, they may still fall short of battling out to be the best aircraft.

Yang, who is also an aircraft designer at Aviation Industry Corporation of China, wrote that research is underway in regard to ‘changes in the types of warfare’, ‘amid great power competition’.

Amid great power competition and the commissioning of more and more fourth-generation fighter jets (or fifth generation under US classification, which includes China’s J-20, US’ F-22 and F-35), there have been extensive discussions on the changes in types of warfare, and the development of post-fourth generation fighter jets.”

While different nations across the world are involved in the development of sixth-generation fighter jets and basic configurations of which can differ due to the technological resources and experience at their hands, some features could yet remain similar for all.

Experts believe that one of the most salient features of a six-gen jet would be its ability to see out missions with or without human assistance, with unmanned operability becoming an absolute prerequisite for any next-generation fighter, which could be further boosted if artificial intelligence (A.I) surpasses all hurdles in its way.

Moreover, with information becoming a crucial factor in modern combat, there is a need for a modern fighter to garner more information using AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radars and data chains while limiting the enemy’s processing of information with the help of stealth technology and electronic countermeasures. However, this can only be possible if a modern pilot has the ability to analyse and operate accordingly.

And according to Yang, the emergence of A.I will be aiding the pilots in processing the information and will enable them to become objective-oriented.

Each step in the original observe-orient-decide-act (OODA) loop in the air combat decision-making process will feature artificial intelligence’s assistance. Intelligence becoming the deciding factor” said Yang

According to experts, a sixth-generation fighter will aim to surpass the functionalities of the already existing-fleets of fifth-generation aircraft across the globe and could be equipped with laser weapons, deriving their energy from the plane’s engines or energy storage system onboard.

They would also be suited better to carry out combat missions while travelling longer distances than any current fifth-generation fighter. While the most common feature of the jets would be stealth-technology, which assists them to be untraceable on the radar, it is the most spoken about hallmark of a current fifth-generation plane.

Echoing the same line of thought, Yang said,

The future fighter jet will generally require a longer combat range, longer endurance, stronger stealth capability, a larger load of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons, and the functionality to provide its pilot with easy-to-understand battlefield situation images and predictions. In an integrated system, the aircraft should be able to form a network, draw real-time integrated situational images, create multiple attack routes, and transmit target information across mission areas in real-time.”

Other features of a sixth-generation aircraft would include the presence of radio-photonic radars, their ability to travel at hypersonic speeds and fly into the near-Earth space. They could also be equipped with subsonic drones, providing a pilot with the freedom to send the unmanned vehicles into dangerous areas, where a manned-aircraft wouldn’t ideally be able to travel.

Currently, work is underway on the United Kingdom’s Tempest and United States’ F-X fighters, both sixth-generation fighter jets. However, none of the nations have revealed concrete information on their respective planes.

According to reports, China which currently holds its first operation fourth-generation stealth fighter, J-20 on a high pedestal, is looking to develop the next-generation fighter jet by 2035 or earlier.

Source: Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements – After Stealth J-20, China’s Next Fighter-Jet Could Be A Super F-35

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


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