Short-range tactical fighters like the F-22, F-35 and J-20 are ill-suited for operations in the Western Pacific where distances are vast and bases are scarce. The same geographic constraints also apply to the Chinese. That means that jets like the F-22 and F-35 need tankers to operate over those vast distances.
The J-20 will strike at U.S. bases, tankers and communications nodes to prevent refueling and vastly limiting the operational range and effectiveness of US fighters.
The US would also be able to take China’s bases and refueling capability. However, in a Pacific battle near China, China would have many domestic air bases from which to operate.
The J-20 has a stealth airframe and is based on a lot of stolen classified F-35 data.
Like the American F-35, the newest J-20 prototypes appear to have an electro-optical targeting system mounted under the nose. That sensor could be Beijing A-Star Science and Technology’s EOTS-89 electro-optical targeting system (EOTS). A dedicated air superiority fighter wouldn’t need that kind of sensor.
The J-20 carries an active electronically scanned array radar (AESA- Type 1475 radar).
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