New Chinese Stealth Hunter Variants Break Cover
| Local News | World News
MELBOURNE, Australia – Two new variants of Chinese stealth fighters have broken cover in the past three days, including the upcoming Chinese carrier-based fighter, alluded to during a recent air show.
Photos and videos taken on Tuesday outside the Chengdu aircraft factory in its namesake city showed a two-seat J-20 stealth fighter in the general primer, confirming persistent rumors that such a variant was under development by the company.
The photos and video, posted on Weibo and other social media portals, distinctly showed the aircraft’s tandem cockpit as it taxied to the runway for take-off.
The role of the backseat is unclear, although a logical explanation would be that the backseat would be occupied by a Weapons System Officer, or WSO, responsible for the operation of the J-20’s radar and weapons.
It has also been suggested that the two-seater J-20, the exact designation of which is still unknown, would be an unmanned team mothership, controlling the Chinese version of a loyal wingman or other unmanned combat air vehicle. pilot or UCAV.
Another possible use of a J-20 WSO is the primary sensor operator who coordinates other network inhabited resources. Chinese aviation industry officials have said in the past that they see potential use of the J-20 as an airborne stealth early warning aircraft, using multiple J-20s as an array of sensors.
New on-board hunter
Additionally, photos surfaced earlier today of what appears to be the Chinese aircraft carrier stealth fighter taking off for the first time. As previously reported, industry officials said at the recent Zhuhai Air Show that the new on-board stealth fighter will make its first flight in 2021.
The photos also confirm that the aircraft, the exact designation of which is also unknown and is also left in the primer, is a development of the redesigned Shenyang FC-31 stealth fighter which was also called the J-31 in some neighborhoods and has previously suggested as an export design.
Photos, taken while the aircraft was in flight, show the catapult launch bar on the nose landing gear and what appear to be hinges on the wings that allow them to be folded up, a typical feature of on-board aircraft to allow the limited space on the flight deck and hangars to be maximized.
The new type will likely equip the Type 003 aircraft carrier under construction at a shipyard in the coastal mega-city of Shanghai, which, unlike the two existing Chinese aircraft carriers, will be equipped with catapults that will allow it to shorten the launch cycle of the l ‘aircraft, as well as allow to operate larger and heavier aircraft such as the Xi’an KJ-600 turboprop airborne early warning aircraft.
Satellite photos of the Jiangnan-Changxing shipyard where the Type 003 aircraft carrier is being built suggest that the Type 003 will be fitted with three catapults and will be roughly the same size as the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. of the US Navy.
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