Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Why the PLA’s J-20 jet-fighter has been so hard to spot


It was expected China would produce up to three of the stealth planes every month, but only a handful so far exist


China’s advanced multirole J-20 jets have been hard to find since they entered into service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force almost one year ago, and it isn’t just because they are super stealth fighters.

Embarassingly, the country’s leading aerospace plant is struggling to meet orders for the plane that was trumpeted as China’s answer to the US F-22 and the Russian T-50 PAK FA, with only a handful having so far been produced due to undisclosed manufacturing glitches.

Hong Kong-based Kanwa Defence Review, citing sources within the PLAAF, as well as recent satellite imagery, said it was likely to be some time before any more fighters exited the Chengdu Aerospace Corp factory in western Sichuan province, even as orders piled up.

All the PLAAF can do in the meantime is maintain and service the existing J-20 inside two hangars at the Dingxin airbase in the northwestern province of Gansu, the publication noted.

The J-20 was hailed by China as a technological marvel when it was first unveiled officially in 2016, able to transform the PLA from “a predominantly territorial air force to one capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations”. It was expected that up to three of the highly-manoeavrable fighters would be produced each month.....Read rest of article: HERE

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