Thursday, October 3, 2013

F-35: China will export one of its 5th Generation fighters

For those who continue to claim we don't need 5th generation fighters, China dashes cold water all over that silliness:
A PLA Navy official has confirmed to state-run media outlets that China will export the Shenyang J-31 twin-engine fifth generation fighter jet.

According to the Taiwan-based Want China Times, Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong told the People’s Daily this week that the J-31 was never built with China’s military in mind, and it was highly unlikely that the PLA would ever operate J-31s off of its aircraft carriers. Instead, the J-31 was designed for export to China’s strategic partners and allies, particularly those that couldn’t purchase the F-35.

The J-31, often referred to as the Falcon Hawk, Falcon Eagle, F-60 or J-21, is one of China’s two prototype fifth-generation aircraft, the other being the J-20. It is built by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, and images of the aircraft first began appearing on the internet around this time last year.
So the J-31 will be their 5th generation export model.

Now, obviously we don't know how good the J-31 will be nor what sort of advanced capabilities it will have.  But just as obviously, neither China nor Russia are letting any grass grow under their feet.  They see a compelling need to develop advanced capability 5th generation fighters.  And not only are they going to do that, but they plan on exporting a version of their fighter.

That also kicks another cherished criticism in the rear end - that which begins by claiming the F-35 (and also the F-22) is an aircraft looking for an enemy.  Again, obviously, that's not really the case.  Client states of both China and Russia will have access to export models of their 5th gen fighters.

That makes the case even more strongly for full funding and full fielding of the F-35.




  1. I just wondet why they don't want to use the F-35 copytl. Instead they will bilt for themselves the bigger semi-stealh delta-canard J-20 and thousands of 4+ Gen fighters


    1. Canards are considered "unstealthy" because when they are turned, they form large, flat surfaces from the frontal aspect. To prevent this, most modern combat aircraft that feature canards (i.e. Erofighter Typhoon) keep the canards relatively straight when attempting to reduce the RCS of the aircraft. When kept straight, a canard is very similar to a horizontal tail in terms of radar reflectivity. It is true that an aircraft's RCS will increase as the number of wings, tail surfaces, canards, etc increases (theoretically, the best VLO design is a flying wing with no tail or canards); however, if the canards are kept level, they are about as reflective as a horizontal tail. The J-20 doesn't have a horizontal tail, which more or less makes up for the canards in terms of RCS.

      Also, you seem to be forgetting about something called "RAM." All aircraft have surfaces that cannot be shaped so they will not reflect radar energy. To deal with that reality, VLO aircraft have RAM applied.

      The engines don't have serrated nozzles, but that is because they are temporary. The current engines are of unsatisfactory performance, not only because of their limited VLO features, but also because they do not produce enough thrust. However, the final J-20 design is projected to have an improved engine. In fact, one of the prototype J-20s has already had the WS-10G engine installed, which *does* include a serrated nozzle, improving its rear VLO characteristics.

      All I can say after reading that article is that you can't eyeball an aircraft's RCS just by looking at grainy Internet photographs and assuming the final production aircraft will have the same exact features as the early prototype. If only APA understood that fact...

      In reality, both China and Russia are developing LO (T-50) and VLO (J-20/J-31) aircraft. Not only are they procuring these aircraft for themselves, they are also exporting them to other countries. The idea that China developing fourth generation fighters twenty years ago indicates that fifth generation jet fighters are not an improvement is akin to stating that the development of third-generation fighters in the 1960s indicates that fourth generation fighters were not an improvement over the previous generation.

      Also, 515 fourth generation aircraft is not "thousands." I suggest you learn how to count.

  3. They will built 1200 "Chinafighters" J-10

    The Delata Canard configuration is not the best solution for an Stealth fighter but even if fhey succed to produce a LO airplane, the question remains. Why they don't want to use the F-35 copy.

    1. First off, as far as the J-20 and its canards go, you appear to have reverted to your typical tactic -- completely ignoring whatever anyone else has said to disprove you, and instead stubbornly repeating a preconceived belief, as if stating it again makes it correct.

      Saying that the fact China isn't using an F-35 copy indicates that the F-35 is ineffective is remarkably poor logic -- it would be like saying that the fact Russia doesn't operate F-16 copies indicates that the F-16 is ineffective as a fourth generation fighter, or saying that the fact China doesn't operate F/A-18 copies indicates that the F/A-18 is ineffective as a fourth generation fighter.

      Another reason China has a differently design aircraft is that they most likely plan to use it in a different role. The F-35 is designed as a multirole fighter, with a focus on ISR capabilities, deep strike/penetration, and air-to-air combat. The J-20 appears to be either an interceptor or a F-111 style bomb truck.

      Regardless, the fact that China is designing a VLO fifth-generation aircraft should indicate that they believe such an aircraft will be effective.


  5. Russia didn't make any F-16/18 copy for export.
    China is doing it F-35 copies for export.
    Maybe they jusy realize that instead of building thousands of expensive little short range/small payload stealth multirrols, is more cost effective to have few expensive long range LO/VLO bombers for day one of conflict to destroy enemy air defenses, airfields and carriers and at the same time to built thousands of agile and cheaper 4+ Gen. multirrol fighters for the rest of the war and cheaper to mantain during 30/40 years.
    To sell the F-35 copy could be a good business for them, to use it maybe not.
    In occident we already use a big variety of very long stand off weapons to destroy enemy radars, air defences airfields, weapons deposits etc. Also we have the most advanced electronic attack airplanes and jammers.
    Russians with their pakfas are taking a similar approach than the USNavy with their LO airplanes, good enough for day one and cost effective for the rest of the war.

    1. The point was that the fact that Russia/China never produced copies of the F-16/F-18 has no bearing on the combat effectiveness of the F-16/F-18, and that the same concept holds true for the F-35. Of course, that point went over your head at Mach 1.6 (when you see it...).

      Also, it's interesting how it's been claimed that the J-31/J-21/F-60/whatever it's called is a F-35 clone. So far, all we know about the J-31 comes from a few grainy pictures. We know virtually nothing about its characteristics. To call it an F-35 clone just because it looks sort of (a little bit) like a twin-engine F-35 represents rather nebulous logic.

      Once again, you're restating an old point by saying that VLO aircraft are only necessary on "Day 1" of a conflict, and are thus of limited utility throughout the rest of the war. Obviously, you never bothered to look at previous conflicts, such as the air war over Yugoslavia, where air defense batteries were able to remain in operation weeks after the start of the air campaign. Going into a war under the assumption that you'll be able to knock out all the air defense systems on Day 1 is just about the surest way to get your entire 4th gen fleet shot down.

      Relying upon jamming would also be an incorrect decision. Good luck trying to jam the AESA radars that both China and Russia are producing. Also, jamming may be useful in defeating the opposition's radar equipment in some situations, but it's also a great way to give away your position and be shot down. Jamming involves sending a large amount of energy directly at a radar receiver, which makes it pretty detectable via ESM. Also, most modern missiles include HOJ, so conducting jamming could end up doing nothing besides guiding a SAM/AAM directly to a friendly aircraft. Jamming has its place, but the idea that it's some panacea against IADS and enemy aircraft is blatantly false.

      And no, the F/A-18E/F's RCS is not "good enough for day one." Unless being shot down is your definition of "good enough." I've already been over this before: the Super Hornet has a marginally reduced RCS from the front, but that's it. Its RCS from the front is still far too large to evade detection, and from most aspects, it's not much better than a Fourth generation aircraft.

      Contrast that to the F-35. The F-35 doesn't just have "some RCS reducing features." It's VLO. Not only is it VLO, it's VLO from all aspects. And not only is it VLO from the radar perspective, it's low observable in the realm of infrared detection and ESM as well.

    2. I also find your take on the T-50 amusing. Of course, the T-50's less-than-stellar LO characteristics have nothing to do with the fact that the entire Russian defense industry has been in a shambles for over two decades. It has nothing to do with a chronic lack of R&D funds that has plagued Russia ever since the early 1990s. It has nothing to do with deficiencies in skilled manpower that Russia has been dealing with ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has nothing to do with the fact that this is the first LO aircraft Russia has ever actually flown, and that the Russian defense industry has very little experience designing LO aircraft (in comparison, the United States has been working with LO designs for four decades). Most of all, it's not that Russia has serious issues with quality control.

      No, the T-50 has poor VLO characteristics because the Russians wanted it to be that way. Because not being able to be tracked is a horrible disadvantage, and using multi-million dollar cruise missiles fired from 4th generation aircraft will be oh-so-much cheaper than using $18,000 JDAMs launched from 5th generation aircraft that are able to actually get closer to their target.

      Excellent logic!

  6. You totally ignore the advances in the stand off precision weapons market.
    Yes an LO airplane plus stand off weapons bombs are more than enough for day one. Even 3th Gen fighters loke the KFir can do he job with total impunity. Chinese looks pretty cleaver not waisting billions in multirrol stealth airplanes when today 3 and 4 gen fighters can do the same job easily.

    1. Because OF COURSE the enemy won't run a CAP in front of the target to defend it from incoming aircraft carrying cruise missiles.

      And OF COURSE we'll totally be able to know exactly where the target is from 500+ miles away, and would NEVER have to get close to search for the target and identify it -- we'll just fire a cruise missile at it from super-long range!

      And OF COURSE the enemy won't just set up a Silent SAM in front of a known target to shoot down any non-VLO aircraft carrying cruise missile before they reach their launch point.

      And OF COURSE using multi-million dollar cruise missiles will be so much cheaper than using $18,000 JDAMs.

      That's what you fail to realize. A modern cruise missile costs upwards of $2 million. A JDAM costs $18,000. If you can develop an aircraft that can approach the target close enough to use a JDAM, instead of relying on cruise missiles, you can save millions of dollars, even if the aircraft that launches the JDAM is comparatively expensive.

      Here's an article to illustrate that:

  7. To launch a 1 million dollar stand off weapon to destroy a radar, comunication center or a high valuable target is more cost effective than to spend more than 140 million dollars per stealth airplane and more than double in maintainance, pilots and technicians during 30 years, just to carry internally 2 bombs for day one of war.
    But you don't even need to spend one million dollar in stand off weapon, you can launch many cheaper Spice bombs with 100 km of range to smash your targets.
    To obtain those targets images, to launch those spices, you can use drones or to buy satellite images like in the video I just showed to you.
    Even if the enemy has airplanes in cap mission to stop you, it would be too late if you have already launched those spices from 20, 40 or 100 km using jammers to hide you.
    Like the F-15 USAF pilots commented, they were not able to discover the Indian Migs 21 Bisons using Israeli jammers until it was too late to avoif them in aereal excersices.
    The same happened with the modernized 3Gen Brazilians F-5 and Colombians Kfirs using those Isrelis Spice bombs, missiles, HMD and jammers. They managed to destroy all their targets and to kill many Usaf airplanes in the latest Red Flags.

    1. So, let me get this straight. Your plan is to:

      1) Use non-VLO aircraft carrying SDBs (range: 130 kilometers maximum)

      2) Get past the CAP stationed 300+ kilometers from the intended target, which will be aided by AWACS aircraft which can track your non-VLO aircraft at a ridiculously long range and guide the aircraft flying the CAP to an intercept.

      3) Somehow not get shot down by the mobile SAM sites positioned ahead of the target specifically to shoot down aircraft in a strike package before they reach their launch point (which will use AESA radars to avoid ESM detection, will be camouflaged, and will be protected by decoys and a deceptive positioning scheme).

      4) Somehow know exactly where the target is from 200+ kilometers away.

      5) Constantly give away your position to every single enemy with a RWR, as well as making you the world's easiest target to any missile with a HOJ function, by emitting jamming signals.

      6) Release your standoff weapons, and approach to within 100 kilometers of the target, which is defended by a SAM that can hit an aircraft at up to 600 kilometers away (S-500), and is likely placed ahead of your intended target (further reducing your real standoff distance from the SAM site).

      7) ????

      8) Claim a decisive aerial victory.

      I so absolutely no way how that plan could possibly go wrong. No way at all. (/sarc)

    2. Oh, and of course the enemy will do absolutely nothing to disrupt your drone/satellite datalinks, giving you the ability to use them with impunity to collect and relay information.

    3. Finally, a word on Red Flag exercises: in DACT exercises such as Red Flag, two groups are set up: a "Red Force" (OPFOR), and the "Blue Force." The goal of the exercise is to allow the Blue Force to defeat the Red Force.

      Yes, that's correct: the entire premise of the exercise is that one group has been preselected to "win." If the Columbian Air Force is the Blue Force in a simulated attack on an IADS, and the American F-15s are the Red Force flying a CAP to protect the IADS, the Columbian Air Force WILL win, regardless of whether or not they are more capable, or whether or not they would win in real life. The same is true if the positions are switched.

      The ROE, and really the entire exercise, are set up around this premise.

      That is what you fail to understand: the purpose of exercises such as Red Flag is not to determine which aircraft/air force is superior. It is not to determine which strategy is the best. It is not to provide Internet fanboys with fodder for a pissing contest. The purpose of the exercise is to provide the Blue Force realistic training. That includes allowing them to carry out the entire operation the exercise is scheduled around (i.e. to "win"), even if that outcome is not the outcome that would occur in real life.

      Finally, as for the cost of standoff weapons vs. the cost of aircraft: it would appear that you still haven't understood that standoff weapons are vastly more expensive than JDAMs or other such weapons. Go look at that article again.

  8. You and your dummy bombs....
    I had to correct myself, Colombian Kfirs didn't use stand off weapons, they used dummy bombs to attack vissulay the targets, as they alway do against the Farcs. They used their israelis Jammers to not be detected and also they were covered by the Prowlers. The funniest thing is that Colombia pay $200 million for those updated 24 Kfirs plus the tanker. That's really cheap.

    1. Go back and read what I just posted about Red Flag exercises. You obviously don't have the reading comprehension skills to understand what I wrote after just one look-over, so look at it again. While you're at it, look at what I wrote about jamming, and how it isn't the panacea you think it is.

      You think Syria has a comprehensive IADS? They have a few outdated Russian SAMs that aren't "integrated" in any sense of the word. Against a modern enemy (Russia or China), attack plans that work against Syria will just end up getting your entire task force shot down.

  9. You say this doesn't happens in real life.... Israleis bomb Syrian targets all the time with out enter to their air space, the same Syrians that shoot down a Turkish F-4 few months ago.

  10. I revised your link again. It looks you don't read what you post about stand off weapons.
    " They are 'enablers' that allow the non-stealthy aircraft in the force-mix to operate more freely over the battlefield and do that killing hoodoo-that-they-do so well...."
    If you use few tomahawks to destroy enemy radars, then you can use the airplane you want to continue the campain. But as I just showed to you, now you can use cheap Spice to do the same job easily and jammers just in case you have any surprise. Thats way more cheaper than to have an airforce of just super expensive stealht airplanes.

    1. If you had read anything I said, you would realize a few things:

      1) Standoff weapons increase the capability of non-VLO aircraft. They don't come close to increasing non-VLO aircraft to the capability provided by VLO aircraft.

      2) Jamming is essentially useless against AESA radars, gives away your position, and will guide the enemy's SAMs and AAMs right to you.

      3) As we observed in the Yugoslavian air campaign, assuming you can send in a single wave of ground attack aircraft or cruise missiles on "Day 1", and all the SAM sites will be destroyed, is entirely false. SAM sites can remain operational for a very long time after the initial attacks, and sending non-VLO aircraft into any kind of non-permissive environment controlled by a near-pear adversary is a recipe for disaster, as there will inevitably be SAM sites still in operation.

      4) Even if you somehow manage to destroy every single SAM site, you still have to worry about the enemy running a CAP. When your non-VLO aircraft is inevitably tracked by the aircraft running the CAP, it will be intercepted.

      5) At no point do you mention how non-VLO aircraft will be able to fight against enemy aircraft that are VLO.

      6) JDAMs are orders of magnitude cheaper than cruise missiles. You keep repeating "the F-35 is expensive" over and over again, because you are far too stupid to understand that the cost of using a combat aircraft includes both the cost of the aircraft AND the cost of the weapons it employs. If you have to use JASSM-ERs (current price: $1.75 million a pop) to allow your non-VLO aircraft to penetrate an enemy's airspace (glide bombs won't work -- the maximum range of a SDB is 130 kilometers, whereas a modern SAM such as the S-500 can hit a target at distances of up to 600 kilometers), you will inevitably end up spending far more money, even though your aircraft is cheaper.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Since you are of marginal intelligence, and need all the help you can get to comprehend this situation, I'll illustrate it with an equation:

      Let's say you've got a really cheap, 4th gen fighter. At present, examples of such aircraft would be either the Gripen or F-16. Both aircraft cost (at minimum) $40 million (sometimes, they cost more). Moreover, 4th generation aircraft don't come with all the combat systems required to operate -- adding them costs $10-15 million more. To bias the calculation in favor of the 4th generation aircraft, I'll assume it only costs $10 million, giving your aircraft a MINIMUM cost of $50 million. To attack your target, you'll have to use JASSM-ERs, which will cost $1.25 million once they reach full rate production.

      On the other hand, you could use F-35A's, which will cost $65 million when they reach full rate production, and can use JDAMs, which cost $20,000 each (that's the cost of the bomb AND the JDAM kit). The F-35A comes equipped with all the combat systems required to operate, so its actual cost is identical to the stated cost.

      The total cost of using your aircraft is represented by this equation, where "x" represents the total number of targets attacked:

      50000000 + 1250000x = 65000000 + 20000x

      Let's simplify it:

      1230000x = 15000000
      x = 12.2

      So, the cost of using a cheap 4th generation aircraft (Gripen or F-16) will be roughly equal to the cost of using a more "expensive" F-35A after both aircraft have been used to attack twelve targets. If you attack thirteen or more targets, the F-35A will become cheaper than the Gripen/F-16, and will only become cheaper the more targets you attack.

      Also, I might note that this equation assumes 100% reliability for both the JDAM and JASSM-ER. In actual combat situations, the reliability of JDAMs was 95% with *developmental* software, compared to a 50% reliability rate for cruise missiles. This will drive the cost comparison further in favor of the JDAM-carrying F-35As, as they won't have to use twice the payload to attack the same numbers of targets.

      Of course, you won't understand any of that. You'll just keep rambling on about jammers, glide bombs that don't have enough range to keep non-VLO aircraft out of harm's way, the apparent nonexistence of CAPs and silent SAMs, and a dozen other talking points that have already been debunked, but which still seem perfectly logical to your moronic, stubborn mind.

  11. Well, if you are so retarded to beleive the L.M. propaganda about the 65 million per F-35, you will also beleive the Russian propaganda about the capabilties of the S-400 to destroy stealth airplanes.

    1. The $65 million cost isn't propaganda. Those are cost projections. So, how have those projections held out? Every single F-35 order has come in *below* the cost projection. Far from being overly optimistic "propaganda," Lockheed Martin has actually been overly *pessimistic*, as the actual cost of each F-35 LRIP has been lower than what Lockheed projected they would cost, and the cost of the aircraft has been *coming down even faster* than Lockheed projected.

      For example, Lockheed Martin projected that the LRIP-4 F-35 contract would cost around $140 million per aircraft. The actual cost per aircraft was approximately $128 million. All the other LRIPs have been the same: not only has the cost come down relatively quickly, it's come down faster and further than even Lockheed projected.

      Compare that to the PBO estimates, used by many in the anti-JSF crowd to indicate how "expensive" the F-35 is, which projected that the aircraft in LRIP-4 would cost $200 million each. If the current URF of the F-35s is any indication, the final production F-35s could end up costing just *under* $65 million.

      Ha ha. Look at you, citing PowerRossiya like it's actually credible. That's just cute.

      That video just indicates how truthful statements can be skewed to become utterly ridiculous lies. Here's an example:

      True statement: The radars used by the S-400 will be able to detect, and even track, stealth aircraft like the F-35 and F-22, *assuming they get close enough to the radar*.

      Utterly ridiculous lie: Therefore, the S-400 is "anti-stealth," and the F-22 and F-35 are "vulnerable."