China launches mass production of new local-made J-20B stealth fighter aircraft

According to information published by the South China Morning Post on July 12, 2020, the Chinese aviation industry has launched the mass production of the Chengdu J-20B stealth fighter aircraft. The Chengdu J-20 also known as Mighty Dragon is a single-seat, twinjet, all-weather, stealth, fifth-generation fighter aircraft developed by China's Chengdu Aerospace Corporation for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

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China launches mass production of new local made J 20B stealth fighter aircraft 925 001 The J-20, China's fifth-generation stealth fighter, debuted at the Zhuhai Airshow in November 2016. (Picture video footage CCTV)

The J-20 made its maiden flight on 11 January 2011 and was officially revealed at the 2016 China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition. The aircraft was introduced into service in March 2017 and began its combat training phase in September 2017.

According to Air Force Technology, the design of the J-20 features a blended fuselage with low radar cross-section, low jet engine intakes, canard delta configuration, modern fly-by-wire (FBW) system, diverter less supersonic inlet (DSI), V-shaped tail and tail fins.

The aircraft features a glass cockpit, with one primary large color liquid crystal displays (LCD) touch screen, three smaller auxiliary displays, and a wide-angle holographic head-up display (HUD). The size of the primary LCD screen is 24 x 9 inches (25.63 by the diagonal) with two systems for redundant illumination.

According to Chinese military sources, the J-20 is armed with internal rotary cannon. The weapon bay is able to house both short and long-range air-to-air missiles (AAM) (PL-9, PL-12C/D &PL-15 – PL-21) while the two smaller lateral weapon bays behind the air inlets are intended for short-range AAMs (PL-10).

According to the Forbes website, the engine of the new J-20B is equipped with Thrust Vector Control (TVC) allowing the pilot to tilt the exhaust nozzles of a jet engine to redirect thrust to perform jaw-dropping maneuvers at very high angles of attack. Such maneuvers may grant a pilot an edge when evading a missile or seeking an advantageous position in within-visual-range air-to-air combat.