J-20 fighter — a jack-in-the-box (Air International, May 2012)

For at least some officer who graduated from Command School, works Shove Zi are the principal source of knowledge. Despite the remoteness of the years, a lot of expressions is still finding its place in the pages of presentations and papers of the future commanders of Western armies, which are calculated to promote their own careers.

Although the Chinese military academies have the same honors to the content of the main labor Stick Tzu — "The Art of War", nedavneshnie studies are focused on the other nuance of Chinese military history: the instrument, which in the initial period of struggle hidden from the eye, and is used exclusively in a crucial moment of the battle to surprise the enemy. In Chinese it is called "shashudzyan" in the British version — "Mace assassin» («Assassin's Mace»). For the latest generation of Chinese military thinkers, who are responsible for the development of military doctrine, an appeal to the notion of "assassin mace" allows you to draw on Chinese military history and include this concept in the modern reality, albeit in a somewhat different form.

Military idea

In his works Shove Tzu's emphasis on the element of surprise and his dignity in the process of conducting military operations. Had he lived today, he would have sent a note to the best ideas of the Western military strategists regarding the benefits offered by the activity inside the thought processes of the enemy. In the work of the U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd (John Boyd) «Observe, Orient, Decide and Act» (OODA) introduces the concept of the "loop» (loop), which would Shove Tzu appreciated. OODA was born when George Boyd was the pilot of the F-86 Sabre in Korea, and is a way to penetrate into the decision-making process opponent, thus achieving an advantage.

Stick Tzu with all this, aware that a method based on surprise, can be used both in wartime and in peacetime, and can be applied at the strategic, operational and tactical levels. In old China, the method of "assassin mace" was a tactical maneuver that was used in the melee. Now surprise effect can be used at the tactical level, which may affect the strategy. With its large-scale use of this method can serve as a powerful means of broadcasting purposes.

In recent years, the growth of military spending in the PRC was to bear fruit, and Chinese military strategy changed. Earlier, the Chinese reluctantly showed the West change the trajectory of their own development. But since then, the West nedavneshnih worry about the lack of transparency in military spending and plans for China, and a new style of brutal Chinese military reflects a growing confidence in the degree of development of technologies, some of which undoubtedly have been obtained as a result of undercover operations abroad. One of the examples of similar technologies is a fighter J-20.

The exact intentions

The information that the PRC is developing a new fighter, no hidden political and military control of the country. November 9, 2009 Deputy Secretary of Defense Veyrong PLA General He said the start of work on the fighter fifth generation. President Hu Jintao has confirmed this information and added that the fighter will be a "new chapter" in the development of the PLA Air Force.

The demand of China in a similar plane there. It is necessary to project power over the South China Sea, outside the so-called "First strip of islands" and "second strip of islands." To meet these requirements at the aircraft must be able to fly at supersonic speeds, use a rather short runways, with all this being busy, agile, and most importantly, to own nearly invisible.

It appears that the J-20 can meet these requirements because it found a huge V-shaped wing and front horizontal tail that maintains supersonic speed for long. The combination of stealth with supersonic cruising speed, when applied to the J-20, reflects the approach taken by the United States in the case of a fighter Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor.

In order to declare itself as a regional superpower and to support these claims, China can strengthen his claim to the rich oil and gas fields that lie on the continental shelf of the South China Sea, and it asks for air cover during operations for the "second line of the islands . " China's eagerness to gain control over the shelf and deposits is an economic necessity.

For China, the need to back up their claims to the Spratly Islands, which means that the country needs a plane that can rapidly proparhat distance of 2800-2400 km from their own bases, conduct air combat and defeat it at least some of the enemy, and then reach the continent in view refueling. This range allows you to reach the U.S. base on Guam, and it makes the database very vulnerable to pre-emptive strike. China has a fundamental advantage in the form of 200 airfields in its territory, from which a similar impact can be done.

J-20 stealth enabling Chinese Air Force to try to get around the South American air defense system, and strike at the center of the control system, gathering info and intelligence, also the aircraft that can be deployed in the event of a conflict in the Pacific. This is largely narrows the margin of maneuver for U.S. forces operating in closely spaced areas.

Mission Possible

Aerodynamic assembly J-20 gives the PLAAF notable abilities in this case, if it comes to testing the roles and tasks for which it was created fighter. His innate versatility allows us to consider J-20 as an attack aircraft, air defense and interceptor launch platform for anti-gun. It can be installed electrical equipment and electronic warfare intelligence. In a certain sense, this multi-functional multi-purpose aircraft resembles General Dynamics F-111 Aardwark, developed in the USA. Even the size of J-20 reminds F-111.

C Given the fact that the fleet of air refueling tankers to the Air Force of China is still developing, for J-20 needs a big in store fuel that will allow project power at a given distance, will also give an opportunity for a long stay in the air in order to complete the targets. In fact, with 100% probability with the passage of time J-20 system will be installed in-flight refueling to increase flying range, which will give the potential to fly to airports in northern Australia (eg, Darwin).

Purchase of Indonesia functional Su-30MK2 and Vietnam to re-test its air force Su-30 fighters, mean that China has two possible enemy that must be destroyed in the event of a dispute over ownership of deposits in the South China Sea. Another enemy is the United States Navy, in which there are aircraft carrier strike groups. Freedom of maneuver, which is used by the South American fleet in the South China Sea, it is very irritating to China's political and military elite.


Chinese military is often blamed for their approach to the development of military platforms, which consists of stealing a mental facilities and the use of working engineering is already produced in other countries of military equipment. Our homeland is not so long ago, has already expressed its concern about this in the process of discussing a contract to supply to China up to 48 Su-35 fighters total cost of $ 4 billion in these safe to go back to the contract to supply China with 200 Su-27SK. After assembling 95 of them, the contract was suspended by the Chinese side, which rapidly has adopted without the help of other developed fighter J-11B. If not to pay attention to the external markings that between Su-27SK and J-11B is difficult to find any differences.

Outside the similarity between the J-20 and South American F-22, which at the present time is the "gold standard" for fighter fi
fth generation, is also often used to prove the Chinese approach to the design of platforms. Taking into account the charges that occur in the media concerning attempts to access PRC mental accessories mapping F-22 and J-20 deserves further consideration.

Dimensions J-20 for consideration as a languid class fighters, whose empty weight is estimated at 18,1-22,7 tons, and the weight of fuel in internal tanks achieves 15.8 tons. For comparison, F-22 has a maximum weight of 29.3 tons, the weight of the fuel achieves 8.2 tons, although it may take an additional 11.9 tons of fuel a 2-mounted fuel tanks due to the growth rate of effective surface of the cross section (RCS) .

Chinese surprise

It should be emphasized speed with which J-20, made by way of the drawing board to the first flight. It has become a strategic surprise to many in the United States, with particularly worth mentioning is the former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who secretly said that China is not in a position to make a J-20 in 2020, but by 2025, these aircraft will be very few . As you can already understand at this point, it was a very usmotritelnaya assessment. Although there are many guesses as to the timing of J-20 to the troops, current estimates they say that it will be 2017 If this deadline will be met, it will be a confirmation of the fact that the ability of the PRC on self-development aircraft have reached a new level .

Given the fact that the civil aviation industry of China has started to develop passenger aircraft with an eye on export, the technological advantages of the classic West are under threat, except for the design and production of aircraft engines, an area in which China is very behind Russia and the West. Capacity-building for the development of its own motor has value. Because it is very possible that the rumors surrounding the development of WS-15 engine in China, still have a certain base.

The emergence of J-20 fighter has raised questions in some departments of the Pentagon's intentions with respect to end production of the F-22. For those who criticized Robert Gates for this decision, the first flight of J-20, committed in the course of his recent visit to Beijing in January 2011, gave the rich food for ironic remarks.

It is possible that showing scruples against Robert Gates, the Chinese administration has refuted any connection between his visit and the first flight of the J-20. In the ordinary course of the conference at the Foreign Ministry of China on the occasion of the visit of the South American Secretary of Defense, the Chinese official dealer was unable to confirm that the first flight. Of course, from the political point of view, the first flight of the first Chinese fighter fifth generation may not be the cause of concern. In general, after a small pressure bureaucrat was more outspoken, saying that "because the development is developing in accordance with the needs of national defense, for the country is a natural upgrade its weapons systems." He added that "the basis of the development of Chinese weapons systems are judgments of their security, namely the protection of China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity." Those who challenge the Chinese claim to the possession of the South China Sea, received a warning.

Conceiving the first flight of the new fighter during the visit of Robert Gates, the Chinese military had other plans. This flight was to show the Minister of Defense, the military potential of China is not standing still.

After the visit of the Pentagon, the Chinese appear to have accelerated testing program from J-20. Photos made in March of this year, show that the example program is progressing spirited pace.

Given the propensity of the Chinese authorities to censor materials entering the network website as they are regarded as harmful to the state, videos and photos are available on the Web, demonstrate how Beijing is seeking to use the World Wide Web as a channel broadcast their own purposes.

Designed for operations in the network

As part of the project merits of stealth J-20, appears to have swallowed a lot of features of the F-22. Its shape resembles the F-22, which means much the smallest characteristics of the EPR and infrared visibility compared with the T-50 or F-35. Its flat bottom of the fuselage is a good solution to reduce the signature of the aircraft in a significant spectrum of the electric light, and internal weapons bays also contribute to a decrease in the EPR indicator.

One can imagine that the plane was designed for the merits of small characteristics of the EPR in the L-and Ku-band waves (about 1 GHz and 12-18 GHz), which are used for target detection by most anti-aircraft systems were in service in Asia. Dual-mode radar can cope with this technique to reduce the ESR, but it asks for a certain contrast in geography and applied frequencies.

It may seem that the strategic effect made J-20 will fit his abilities on the battlefield, and this may be crucial for at least some air-sea conflict in the South China Sea. But its appearance can also give a significant deterrent and will allow China to achieve advantages in the air without military action. This approach is accurate reminiscence of some postulates Stick Tzu.

Betting on the development of low-profile fighter fifth-generation J-20, the PLA Air Force immediately have an advantage over those States Air Force, which are also claimed by the South China Sea. China will also get a fighter who, in the views of many industry professionals will be able to challenge the F-35.

For those who hold the opposite point of view, and believes that the technological advantage of the F-35 will always remain, "Mace assassin" may be in a different form. To catch her first goal must be to find. If China's strategic efforts to accelerate the development of programs from J-20 also suggest the development of technology, it is possible for the West would be a nasty discovery.

For at least some developer manned aircraft question of physical activity, which may make the pilot during maneuvers with bolshennymi congestion is always a subject of special attention. There is not that quite a few ways to compensate for the fragility of the human body. The solution to this prepyadstviya highly stressed in the criteria of the battlefield in the air can have different shapes.

Alternatively, you can remove the pilot from the cockpit, but in the short term, emphasis will be made on the transfer of maneuverability required to conduct air combat, from the aircraft to the missile. This is a clear solution. If the platform can reach the desired point of fighting the location from which can be carried out interception, in this case, you need more maneuverability need a rocket, not the pilot. In other words, exactly rocket should be allowed to maneuver. Although the technology used in its seeker must be resistant to various existing interference. At first glance, this approach seems very reasonable.

But China has accelerated the development of technologies for low visibility, tactical surprise can be achieved due to the fact that the installed on fighter F/A-18, F-22 or Su-30 radar will detect hard-J-20. If the J-20 will be able to avoid detection beyond line of sight, he can to a large extent, "to cut the area of free maneuvering," in which his opponents will be able to act. This is a significant advantage.

Together with this it should be noted frisky development of Chinese network management systems, communications, intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance, data (C4ISR), as the growth of threats by the PLA Air Force. In the presence of J-20 on the ability to conduct network-centric military operations, at least some conflict between China and the United States and its allies in the region will not be asymmetric. This will be equal to the final confrontation with an unclear.

Even those areas where the United States have a c
ommon advantage, for example, in the level of training of pilots, are also under threat because China is improving its system of training pilots. It may seem that in his own quest to become a regional power, China will stop at nothing.

It seems likely that a possible conflict of fighter F-35, despite its advantages, may be peremanevrirovan. Taking into account the large investment project in the West F-35 and the presence of plans to purchase 3,000 of these aircraft, similar fact can not but cause concern. Western intelligence agencies to collect disk imaging J-20 should be the value. If they wish to avoid being hit by "blunt assassin", they should pay their attention not only on the platform itself, and on the set at the J-20 avionics.

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