The Chinese stealth fighter J-20 entered service with the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and numerous reports emerged indicating that the United States had lost its edge in the stealth field of the aircraft.
According to the National Interest website, although the J-20 makes China one of the first countries to develop their own stealth fighters, the aircraft still needs a lot of modifications.
One of the more prominent features of the J-20 is the canards, which are small wing-like control surfaces near the cockpit.
Although the candard does not necessarily correspond to hidden designs, it also provides radar operators with another surface that can reflect the radar’s power away from the airframe and amplify its radar signature.
However, the J-20 lacks superior maneuverability due to conventional exhaust nozzles and weak engines.
“Ultimately the newest variant of the Chinese-built J-20, the J-20B, is intended to be equipped with powerful Chinese-designed WS-15 engines that would offer increased performance, likely better fuel efficiency, and a higher-altitude flight envelope. But because the production of the newer engine is lagging behind schedule, China has opted for a foreign design made in Russia,” National Interest said.
While the Chinese Air Force will undoubtedly prefer not to rely on engines from external sources, the Russian-designed “AL-31” engine does provide superior momentum and improves the characteristics of the J-20.
Source: Almasdarnews, July 25, 2020