One more unit of the Chinese PLA has received the country’s most advanced J-20 stealth fighters, outfitted with home-grown engines.
The J-20 ‘Mighty Dragon’ is the fifth-generation fighter jet developed by China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation. It is a single-seat, all-weather, stealth fighter aircraft with precision strike capability.
On June 18, the Military Development Vanguard Air Group made its debut with the world’s third operational fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, which is currently in service with the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), state-owned Global Times reported. This is the second PLA unit to be equipped with a J-20 fleet.
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The first one, the Vanguard Air Group, “made glories in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) and homeland air defense missions by shooting down 92 hostile aircraft”, according to a PLAAF spokesperson, quoted by the Chinese daily.
The Military Development Vanguard Air Group made its debut with the new warplanes in Northeast China. It also showcased an aerial performance with J-20s and other fighters including J-16s and J-10s to mark the centenary celebrations of the Communist Party of China at the former site of the old Northeast China Aviation School, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
The J-20 advanced fighters are reportedly equipped with homegrown WS-10 engines.
“My unit is now flying the most advanced domestically developed warplanes, and we will practice hard to make the best of them, hone our confidence and determination to fight and win, and live up to the expectations by the Party and people”, Shi Yunjia, a J-20 pilot, was quoted as saying.
As of now, the J-20s in service with PLAAF make use of circular nozzles that lack thrust vector control capability.
The Eurasian Times reported in April that the fifth-generation J-20 fighter jet of the Chinese PLA Air Force may be upgraded with two-dimensional thrust vectoring control (TVC) nozzles for its engines in the future, thereby increasing the aircraft’s maneuverability and stealth capabilities.
Capable of surpassing its US counterpart F-22 Raptor, the J-20 fighter jets “will be commissioned amongst more units in the PLA Air Force, as the service’s development in the new era requires more heroic forces”, Global Times quoted Wang Mingzhi, a PLA Air Force military expert, as saying.
The J-20 stealth fighter was inducted into military service in 2017; it made its first test flight in 2011. The latest development came as PLA continues to strengthen its infrastructure to safeguard its interests.
Written by Kanika Sachdeva