China to unveil next generation fighter jet
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
China’s new domestically developed J-20 stealth fighter jet will have its public debut next week as China hopes to show off its progress in catching up with rival USA’s military technology capabilities.
The craft, developed by China’s Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, will help the country’s Air Force to exert more influence over the East China and South China seas.
In development since the 1990s, the J-20 will give a flight demonstration at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in the southern city of Zhuhai, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force said in a statement on its official microblog.
“This is the first public appearance of China’s indigenously manufactured new generation stealth fighter jet,” the air force said.
The air force spokesman Shen Jinke added the J-20’s production was proceeding according to plan and that the aircraft, to enter service in the near future, would assist in the air force’s mission to ‘safeguard sovereignty and national security’. The aircraft is believed to be capable of carrying out long-range strike operations.
The J-20 has been described by experts as China’s attempt to compete with the US F-22 Raptor built by defence giant Lockheed Martin.
Little has been revealed about the craft but some analysts believe China still lags behind its western competitors and is especially struggling with developing advanced jet engines.
Beijing has been ramping up research into advanced new military equipment, including submarines, aircraft carriers and anti-satellite missiles, which has raised concerns regionally and in the United States.
China, however, maintains its activities are a reasonable course of action for every country that wants to defend its security.
The new Y-20 military transport aircraft will also give a flight demonstration at the seven-day air show, which is held every two years and opens on Tuesday.
In 2014, during a visit of US President Barack Obama to China, Chengdu showed off the mid-sized J-31 at Zhuhai.
China hopes the J-31, still in development, will be able to compete with US F-35 stealth aircraft in the international market.