Chinese Air Force J-20 stealth fighter able to launch missiles in high-G maneuvers


Despite the need to conceal its munitions in an internal weapons bay for enhanced stealth capabilities, China's J-20 stealth fighter jet can still effectively launch missiles in extreme battlefield conditions, as revealed by the chief test pilot of the aircraft quoted by Liu Xuanzun in Global Times.

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Chinese Air Force J 20 stealth fighter able to launch missiles in high G maneuvers 1 The main bay can accommodate at least four PL-15 beyond-visual-range missiles, along with side bays on each side of the aircraft capable of holding at least one PL-10 short-range combat missile each (Picture source: via nextbigfuture.com)


It took nearly seven years for the J-20 to be officially incorporated into the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force after its inaugural flight in 2011. Throughout this period, the aircraft underwent a series of combat-oriented test flights that pushed its boundaries and confirmed its operational safety in various extreme scenarios. Li Gang, the chief test pilot of the J-20, discussed these trials in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast.

Among the significant challenges faced during these test flights was the simulation of emergency missile launches from the weapons bay in the midst of extreme battlefield conditions. This test involved opening the bay hatch and launching a missile while executing high-G rolling maneuvers, as described by Li. "It takes some time for the missile to launch after I press the launch button. If an enemy missile were to come for me during this period, I would have to execute emergency maneuvers at high speed and high G forces. In this scenario, my missile needs to be ejected from the weapons bay without impacting my own aircraft or posing any danger," Li explained.

The test flights also demonstrated that the J-20's weapons bay and weapons separation system have been validated through practical application. The J-20 publicly revealed its weapons bays and showcased its missile arsenal for the first time at Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province. The ‘’belly’’ bay can accommodate at least four PL-15 beyond-visual-range missiles, along with side bays on each side of the aircraft capable of holding at least one PL-10 short-range missile each.


Chinese Air Force J 20 stealth fighter able to launch missiles in high G maneuvers 2 The main bay can accommodate at least four PL-15 beyond-visual-range missiles, along with side bays on each side of the aircraft capable of holding at least one PL-10 short-range combat missile each (Picture source: via nextbigfuture.com)