Is the People's Liberation Army Air Force's Shenyang J-31 stealth fighter superior to the Chengdu J-20 in agility and for air-superiority missions?
Is the People's Liberation Army Air Force's Shenyang J-31 stealth fighter superior to the Chengdu J-20 in agility and for air-superiority missions-NO - interms of AIR SUPERIORITY MISSIONS (J-20 Wins)Yes - Interms of AGILITY (J-31 edges out)based on limited exposures as there is plenty of speculation on actual specs & performance of Chinese ace jets.China has the third largest air force in the world . Lets first asses PLAAF Key assests :JH - 7 Xian - Fighter / Bomber - 225+J - 8 - Shenyang - Interceptors - 100+CAC J - 10A / C Firebird- Multi Role Fighter - 450+J - 11B - Shenyang - Air Superiority - Approx 350 plusJ - 15 Shenyang Flying Shark - Naval multirole fighter jet - 55+J - 16 - Shenyang - Strike Fighters - 100J - 20 CAC - Mighty Dragon - Stealth Long Range Interceptor - 100Sukhoi 27 Flanker - Approx 100Sukhoi Su MKK - 30S - 100Sukhoi Su - 35 S Super Flanker - Air Superiority - 25U.S.A.F fielded MOST ADVANCED 2 x True 5.0 Gen fighters in complementary roles in 2021 - 16 :The heavy F-22 Raptor - SWORD - Elite Air superiority fighter pentrating deep into enemy air space . (Taking over from F15 & 4 Phantom to challenge enemy Fighters). Its a 300 MUS$ dream..Comparatively lighter F-35 LIGHTNING II - SHIELD - Multirole platform, Carries Higher Payloads , operates at a lower cost. (Replacement of F -16s & F 5s , fulfilling any role but specialising in none)CLASSIFICATION OF COMBAT FIGHTER JETSDefining a Fourth or a 4.5 Generation Fighter jet, ( New F 16s , F 15s, J 10s, Sukhois, Euro Fighter, SAAB, Rafale) It should adhere to following specs :Multi Role i.e Air to Air & Air to Ground ; All WeatherComposite Air FrameGlass CockpitHigher Thrust to Weight Ratio ; Thrust VectoringHigh ManeuverabilityA.E.S.A radarFly - By - Wire FBW Digital Flight control systemsInfra Red Search & Track I.R.S.THigh capacity data-link;Capability to Fire Advance B.V.R Beyond Visual Range BVR Missiles.Adding features ofHigh performance Air Frames ,SUPER CRUISE - the ability to exceed Mach 1 without using afterburnersALL ASPECT STEALTH WHEN ARMEDMinimal Radar Cross Section - LPIR i.e Low probability of intercept radarINTEGRATED NETWROKING SYSTESM design able to transmit and receive info from other assets —converts 4.5 Gen into a 5th Generation Fighter…. 5th gen fighters is supposed routinely penetrate heavy multi-layered defences & kill high value targets. F-35 Lightning II, F-22 , F-20 & FC-31.During combat, Any aircraft can be presented with the opportunity to defeat another aircraft inCHINESE STEALTH FORCEWhile the Pair of USAF aircrafts ( F 22 & F 35) were the world’s first and only fifth generation fighters ‡ until Chinese entered the field with less sophisticated under study versions with issues in Engine development - The J - 20 in 2021 & within 02 years J - 31 . One can label J - 31s and J - 20s as F - 35s & F - 22s of PLAAF very simpistically.The PLAAF sees stealth technology “as a core capability in its transformation from a predominantly territorial air force to one capable of conducting both defensive and offensive operations,” according to the U.S. Department of Defense.J - 31 STEALTH - GYRA FALCON - F-60 shenyang- TWIN ENGINEIts a plane still under the ‘Radar or Pre Maturity stage‡ - The J - 31 is a privately funded Stealth Fighter with great similarities to Lockheed Martin’s F 35 LIGHTNING. It has a MMRCA Medium Multi Role on Liaoning Aircraft Carrier.J-31 design is trapezoidal tailfins with D.S.I diverterless supersonic inlet. Although J-31 is smaller than J 20 , But since It uses RD - 93 Engines (MiG 29 versions) and seems lacking power (Approx 19,000 lbf Dry thrust with After Burners)Engine nozzles are being redesigned to further improve STEALTH capability by reducing radar and infrared signature. It can carry 17.600 lbs Payload.Although People's Liberation Army Navy is buying "fourth-generation" FC-31 fighters from the Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute to replace older J-15s at a Carrier Role, its more suitable for Exports.CHENGDU J - 20 AVIC - Twin Engine iNTERCEPTOR - MIGHTY DRAGON.Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC) ‘Mighty Dragon‡ J-20A multirole fighter is an upgraded version of the J-10B. J-20 Mighty Dragon Stealth Fighter is one of the most visible symbol of ever increasing focus of China to modernize its Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) . Large number of Critics believe the design has progressed so quickly because Chinese were ‘helped‡ by some stolen / copied designs of United States‡ F-22 and F-35. Also referred as Project 718, the J-XX programme depicts the development of fourth and fifth-generation aircraft carried for the PLAAF. Chinse call it J-9I, which means improved version of J-9. Project J-9 was archived in 1960s with only a few prototypes made.Deputy editor of Russian military magazine "Arsenal of the Fatherland" Dmitry Drozdenko told Sputnik."In my opinion, the machine is based on the Russian MiG 1.44. That plane was created to compete with the PAK FA at the preliminary design stage, and made its maiden flight in 2021. The Chinese plane is very similar. Although it hasn't been announced officially, the J-20 uses our AL-31F engine, developed by Salut, which the Chinese bought for half a billion dollars," he revealed.The MiG aircraft corporation began to design a fifth-generation Multirole Tactical Fighter in 1983, in response to US efforts to develop an Advanced Tactical Fighter, which eventually materialized as the F-22. During this time the Sukhoi aircraft company also developed a prototype fifth-generation aircraft, the Su-47. The prototype made its maiden flight in 1997, and paved the way for the PAK FA Su 57 currently in final stages of its development . In 2021 MiG flew a secret prototype of the fifth-generation fighter, but the project was eventually dropped in favor of the PAK FA. The 1.44 prototype remained under wraps until last year, when it was unveiled at the MAKS 2021 International Air Show in Moscow.The first J-20 took flight in 2021. less than five years ago. Xinhua notes there were no major changes from the previous images of the 2021 version to this new 2101 J-20, meaning the design is already fairly set, with only minor alterations expected from here on out. On February 9, 2021. the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) officially acknowledged that the J-20 had completed all tests and entered operational service. While the production rate remains low, and the J-20 is active in limited numbers, the aircraft is often referred as the “needle to break all webs” by Chinese analysts. Using its stealth features, the J-20 would spearhead any Chinese campaign, disabling key defensive assets and providing tactical data for the main PLAAF offensive. It conducted its first over-the-sea combat exercise as per PLAAF in May 2021 .The J-20A is China’s most advanced domestically produced fighter jet to date.The aircraft is a twin-engine, single-seat fifth-generation (designated fourth-generation in the PLAAF) air superiority fighter, designed and built by CAC. J-20 Mighty Dragon fighter jet is developed to have stealth, supersonic cruise and high sensor fusion. Fast pace of induction of new prototypes indicate that program is maturing fast and we might see limited series production aircraft in next few years.DESIGN AND BASIC KINEMATICSThe J-20 is ‘Big‡ in size - has a wingspan of 15m, and length of 23 m . Some reports suggest that the Stealth is also A technology similar to F 117 Night Hawk of Lockheed ‡ China bans it from exports - Like F22 of USAF. J - 20 looks deceptively ‘similar‡ to Lockheed Martin F 22 Raptor , Delta Wings with addition of forward canards on the J-20, these Canards contribute positively to improve lift of the aircraft, . It has movable Ventral fins with forward Canards - Aerodynamically unstable Design gives it manuverability & agility. Its the Tactical Long Range Air Supeiority Interceptor.The J-20 has a long and wide fuselage, with the chiseled nose section and a frameless canopy resembling that of the F-22 Raptor. Immediately behind the cockpit are low observable intakes. All-moving canard surfaces with pronounced dihedral are placed behind the intakes, followed by leading edge extensions merging into delta wing with forward-swept trailing edges. The aft section features twin, outward canted all-moving fins, short but deep ventral strakes, and conventional round engine exhausts.One important design criterion for the J-20 describes ‘High Instability’. This requires sustained pitch authority at a high angle-of-attack, in which a conventional tail-plane would lose effectiveness due to stalling. On the other hand, a canard can deflect opposite to the angle-of-attack, avoiding stall and thereby maintaining control.Canard is also known to prgood supersonic performance, excellent supersonic and transonic turn performance, and improved short-field landing performance compared to the conventional delta wing design.Leading edge extensions and body lift are incorporated to enhance performance in a canard layout. This combination is said by the designer to generate 1.2 times the lift of an ordinary canard delta, and 1.8 times more lift than an equivalent sized pure delta configuration. The designer claims such combination allows the use of a smaller wing, reducing supersonic drag without compromising transonic lift-to-drag characteristics that are crucial to the aircraft's turn performance.Its a Twin - Engine , Heavy , Single Crew interceptor with High Angle of Attack. The fighter’s range is about 1,200 kilometres which can be increased up to 2,700 kilometres with external fuel tanks.Crew: 1Twin EngineLength: 21.26 Meters (69.75 Feet)Wing span: 12.88 Meters (42.26 Feet)Canard span: 7.62 Meters (25.00 Feet)Height 4.45 Meters (14.60 Feet)Empty weight 17 TonsLoaded Weight?: 25 TonsMaximum speed: (When Powered with WS-15 turbofan engine)At altitude: Mach 2.5 (1903 mph, 3062 km/h)Supercruise Speed : Mach 1.83 (1393 mph, 2442 km/h)Service Ceiling: 2021. Meters (65620 Feet)Combat Radius: 2021 Kilometers (1243 Miles)Ferry Range: 5500 Kilometers (3418 Miles)POWER PLANTJ-20 designer Yang Wei is of the opinion that three factors determine the advantages of a fighter jet:its engine, pneumatic functions and its pilot’s flight skill.The Achiles heel for the J -20 Program is the HIGH POWER - LOW BY PASS RATIO -SINGLE CRYSTAL BLADES - THRYST VECTORING ENGINE - which can pr95 + KN Thrust with Supercruise suatined capability. The initial production variant of the J-20 is powered by 2 x Russian Lyulka-Saturn NPO AL-31F-M2 turbofan engines . These engines were rated at DRY THRUST OF 86.3kN or 19,400 lb dry and THRUST WITH AFTER BURN 142kN or 32,000 lb with fixed nozzles. The chief designer of Chinese WS-series jet engine development was Late Mr. Zhang Entong Under his guidance - the aircraft protos with local Enginer versions named Taihang series WS-10Bs turbofans with 90kN dry thrust each, which can trace its origin to GE13 core (F101, F110, CFM56) . These proto types were reported to had the Omni - directional thrust vectoring control (TVC) capability 15% greater than AL-31F ones . This is a stop gap solution Until the domestic Chinese WS - 13 & Ermei WS - 15 integration was in line.The aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 2,100 kilometres per hour (about 1.8 mach). Its climbing rate is 304 metres per second & A Ferry Range of 3,400 Km.China’s new jet engine is a game-changer for the air forceThe Chinese aviation industry is developing an indigenous high-thrust turbofan engine WS-15 Tai, which will replace the Russian engine on the batch-production variant J-20. The WS-15 were largely related to blades deformation on account of over -heating (Turbine Blade Creep) at SUPER CRUISE speeds. (Inlet temperatures are around 1, 700 - 2,000 c).There have now been successful ground tests and trial flights of the corrected WS-15. China has needed the more powerful WS-15 for a domestically produced engine for the J-20. In April 2021. it was reported that Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, was set to open a fourth production line for the stealth fighter in 2021. China has produced 8 prototypes and 20+ initial production fighters that using stop-gap engines. Professor Peng Jiahui, who studied laser processing technology in Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said many Chinese researchers and engineers who had worked at GE, Pratt &Whitney and Rolls-Royce had returned to China and significantly increased the pace of jet engine development.J-20B is an improved version of J-20 installed with China’s new homegrown powerful WS-15 Emei turbofans. China has already developed WS-15 all-direction vector turbofan with thrust-weight ratio of 10. The turbofan is now undergoing intensive tests and will be ready to be installed in J-20B by 2021. an improved version of J-20."In the extreme environment of domestic third-generation single-crystal blade uses in WS-10B, the temperature reached 2021 degrees, and it is the best blade in the world for high temperature resistance. This index can not be achieved even in the United States," said Lin Zuo-ming, chairman of CATIC Group. The engine life thus increased from 800 hours to 1,500 hours, overhaul interval to the Western level.RADAR & EOTSIts fitted with KLJ-5 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with 2000-2200 transmit/receive modules. The J-20 achieves the same Radar Cross Section (RCS) as the F-22 in frontal aspect (RCS = 0.0001 m2) . Equiped with the PL-8 BVR Missiles , J-20 has a mechanism in which It first ‘Lock on‡ the target prior to the missile launch.There is also an under-chin turret containing an electro-optical targeting system (EOTS), which would comprise an infrared search and track (IRST) sensor and a laser rangefinder. The system is used to detect enemy targets passively without requiring to turn on the fire-control radar, thus reducing the chance of the aircraft being detected.There are also four diamond-shaped windows on the J-20’s fuselage, which are possibly for a system similar to the electro-optical distributed aperture system (EO-DAS) of the F-35. It would prthe aircraft with a 360° spherical situational awareness capability to detect any incoming enemy aircraft, missiles, and hostile ground fire. The aircraft’s countermeasures suite would consist of IFF and flare/chaff dispenser.All sensors and electronic sub-systems are linked through an advanced serial data bus to the mission computer for form an integrated system management network. The aircraft can also exchange real-time battlefield information with other combat aircraft or AEW&C aircraft through advanced datalink, which is now found in most PLA combat aircraft.As a result of its advanced systems architecture, the J-20 is believed to possess the similar situational awareness, command and control, and network-centric warfare capabilities to the F-35 Lightning-II.PRIMARY MISSION AND WEAPONSThe J-20 is a Large Heavy Weight fighter, even larger than the F-22 and it may be employed by the PLAAF not in AIR DOMINANCE (That Role is for Advanced Versions of J -10s and Su - 35s ) diverse missions. Its missions will involve long range interception of important air assets such as AEW& C, SEAD / DEAD , Electronic Jamming and Tanker killer. J-20 employs a bigger weapons bay then originally thought. The J-20’s weapons are carried internally, with a central bay believed to contain four beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs) as well as two short-range air-to-air missiles (AAMs) -Possibly to hold up to 8 air to air BVR missiles. The bay itself is deep.The J-20A, armed with beyond visual range air-to-air missiles such as the PL-12 & more ;atest PL - 15 Long range BVR , is specifically designed for long-range fighter missions. Normal configuration is to carry 4 x PL-15 Long- r ange BVRs in the main bays, and PL-10 Short-range missiles in the side bays abd able to deploy them with ejection system. This mechanism enables the aircraft to reduce its radar signature while having a missile deployed externally to allow it to seek its target. The F-22, on the other hand, has to ensure that the doors are open during the engagement process, compromising its stealth features.PL-15 air-to-air missile was developed by China's 607 (Air-to-Air Missile Research Institute), which provided China with a radar-guided range of about 140 - 150 kilometers. Compared with the SD -10 equipped in J - 10s or PAF / CAC Thunder JF- 17s , PL-15 radar not only has active detection range increase, but also has anti-interference data link, and there is also a double-pulse solid rocket motor to improve its range. In his interview with Flight Global magazine Head of the Air Force's Air Combat Command Gen. Herbert Carlisle stressed that he regarded outmatching the Chinese PL-15 air-to-air missile as "exceedingly high priority" for the US. "The PL-15 and the range of that missile, we've got to be able to out-stick that missile," Carlisle underscored.PL 15 has a belly intake and a rocket boost motor along with a ramjet sustainer motor, making it one of the longest-ranged AAMs in the world at present. PL 15 is comparable to American AIM-120D. Compared to PL-12, the missile features stabilizing fins and tailfins with reduced wingspans. PL-15 also features an improved guidance system including duplex data link and new active/passive dual mode seeker with enhanced ECCM capability. The missile is thought to have a new dual pulse rocket motor in favor of a ramjet engine, giving it not only a longer range (180 ~200km) but also a relatively small body size. It appears PL-15 has superseded the PL-12 series as the primary LRAAM for the stealth fighters of China in development.The J-20 is capable of in-flight refuelling, with a retractable refuelling probe hidden underneath a cover.