July 24, 2016

China likely to beat Russia as second country with volume production of a fifth generation stealth fighter

The Chinese People’s Republic Army Air Force (PLAAF) is believed to have received four low production rate J-20 jets, which have been tested and completed acceptance tests recently. The first front-line regiment is supposed to activate and receive aircraft by June 2017 and is expected to be combat ready by 2019. That milestone could be pushed forward, given the budget priority. The final requirement could be between 500 to 700.

Chengdu’s No.611 Institute developed the plane. This large interceptor made its first flight in 2011. Two Russian-made Saturn AL-31F power the prototypes and first production aircraft accelerating it to a maximum speed of Mach 1.7.

Two lateral bays accommodate highly maneuverable PL-9/PL-10 IR missile. The main weapon bay can carry longer weapons can accommodate four PL-15 medium-range AAMs or the new PL-21 ramjet powered, long Range Air/Air Missiles, similar to the MBDA Meteor. Additionally, large air/ground weapons can be carried in this bay.

In 2015, Russia slowed PAK FA (T-50) production and reduce its initial order to 12 jets due to the nation's deteriorating economy, along with the manufacturer's ability to produce the more complex aircraft.

Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev, stated that the PAK FA is to enter serial production in 2017, after all trials are complete. Due to the aircraft's complexity and rising costs, the Russian Air Force will retain large fleets of fourth-generation Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-35S fighters.

The United States could build over 2000 F-35 stealth fighters and has built 187 F-22 stealth fighters.

The U.S. and eight partner nations + Israel, Japan, and South Korea have planned to acquire a total of 3,170 F-35s.

The US should build 873 F-35s by 2022.

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