China ‘nearing mass production’ of J-20 stealth fighter after engine problems ironed out

https://cdn4.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/980x551/public/images/methode/2018/09/05/06df11a8-aff3-11e8-b224-884456d4cde1_1280x720_092034.JPG

China’s new J-20 stealth fighter could soon go into mass production as earlier problems with its engine have now been resolved, sources say. Photo: EPA

 

Improved power train will give Chinese jet ability to fly undetected at supersonic speeds, on par with United States’ F-35

A new and improved engine designed to make China’s J-20 stealth fighter a world-class combat jet should be ready for mass production by the end of the year, military sources have said.

The WS-15 engine features cutting-edge single-crystal turbine blades and has been in development for several years, but Chinese technicians have struggled to get it into mass production. Continue reading

Four in a Row: China’s Stealth Fighter Fleet Grows Again

https://i1.wp.com/www.popsci.com/sites/popsci.com/files/styles/large_1x_/public/j-31_v2.jpg

Fighter on a Truck: Wrapped in a tarp, the second J-31 prototype leaves Shenyang, on an escorted convoy for specialized testing (since the wings are completely integrated into the fuselage, it’s too wide to be shipped by train or air). | =GT at China Defense Forum

 

In July 2016, the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation rolled out two more low rate initial production (LRIP) J-20 stealth fighters. This brings to a total of four J-20 fighters built for service into the Chinese air force, as opposed to the original eight J-20 prototypes, which are still undergoing a rigorous flight testing regimen. At this rate of production, China may have 12 production J-20 ready to hand off to a PLAAF squadron for operational and flight familiarization, with an initial operating capability (IOC — meaning those fighters can conduct combat operations) in 2017-2018. Continue reading