Print 114 comment(s) - last by sorry dog.. on Jan 16 at 12:47 PM

J-20 takes flight
Further ahead indeed...

Numerous pictures of the Chinese Chengdu J-20 Black Eagle stealth fighter have surfaced online over the last few weeks. The aircraft has been seen conducting taxi tests at the southwest China Plant 132 facility. Plant 132 is the designation for Chengdu Aircraft reports Defense News.

After government officials initially dismissed the J-20, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates admitted recently that the Chinese "may be somewhat further along" than was previously believed. As Gates is in China for talks with the Chinese government a new report comes out that the J-20 made its first flight. The maiden flight had reportedly been set for January 7, but poor weather forced the flight to be cancelled. 

According to Chinese media, the chase aircraft on the test flight was a Chengdu J-10S Vigorous Dragon fighter. Defense News reports that the test flight will surprise some analysts who though the aircraft wasn’t ready for flight. The maiden flight of the J-20 lasted 18 minutes and was conducted on January 11.

The first flight of the aircraft may be used as a bargaining chip by Taiwan to urge the U.S. to release 66 newer F-16C/D fighters that were requested. The aircraft have been on hold since 2006 due to Chinese pressure on the U.S. to not offer more military aid to Taiwan.

Chinese Minister for National Defense Gen. Liang Guanglie said, "On that, China's position has been clear and consistent - we are against it." He also said, "Because United States arms sales to Taiwan seriously damaged China's core interests and we do not want to see that happen again, neither do we hope that the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan will again and further disrupt our bilateral and military-to-military relationship."

The F-16 aircraft that Taiwan wants aren’t likely to be approved by the U.S., but upgrades for the F16A/B fighters Taiwan may get a green light.

Updated 1/12/2011 @ 7:35am EST

Video has been posted of the J-20's first flight. The taxi/liftoff occurs around the 3:06 mark.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Please don't be so sure it is a fighter.
By nafhan on 1/11/2011 1:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
Lately it seems like new Chinese weapons are often developed around exploiting "chinks" in the US military's armor. A fast stealthy interceptor would be good at attacking things like aircraft carriers and AWACS. In other words, taking out our ability to effectively wage war at a distance, and keeping us out of their back yard.
Anyway, calling it a fighter isn't that big of a stretch. You mentioned the F-111 in your post... That's primarily a strike aircraft, but it's got the F designation. More importantly, even if it's not a dog fighter it's likely that it could still be effective at medium and beyond visual range fighting.

RE: Please don't be so sure it is a fighter.
By zixin on 1/11/2011 1:18:57 PM , Rating: 4
What do you expect? When you build a new military force, you want it to exceed the currently best. And that would be the US military.

By nafhan on 1/11/2011 3:03:06 PM , Rating: 4
Actually, I didn't mean exceed.
I was meaning that they are concentrating their new weapons systems in areas that exploit our weaknesses. It's a cheaper, yet still effective way to combat a technologically superior enemy.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki