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Published on 22 Jul 2014 | over 3 years ago

The Chengdu J-20 (Jian-20; simplified Chinese: 歼-二 十; traditional Chinese: 殲-二十; pinyin: Jiān èr shí) is a fifth-generation, stealth, twin-engine fighter aircraft prototype being developed by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).[4] The J-20 made its first flight on 11 January 2011.[5][6] General He Weirong, Deputy Commander of the People's Liberation Army Air Force said in November 2009 that he expected the J-20 to be operational in 2017--2019.[2][7][8]

The PLAAF designates the J-20 as "Project 718".[9] The general designer of the aircraft is reportedly Yang Wei, who was the general designer of CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder.
In 2002, Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Shenyang Aircraft Corporation had been selected to head research and development of the new fighter,[10] a claim repeated in New Scientist the same week.[11] However, a 2006 article in Military Technology referred to three designs; two by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation and one by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation.[12]

According to the report from Jane's, development of the subsystems, including the engine and weapon suite for the next generation fighter, has been under way for some time. A photograph of a wind tunnel model published with the article showed a twin-engine aircraft with twin vertical tail fins. The article text mentioned that the aircraft would carry its weapons internally like the F-22 Raptor. New Scientist called attention to the angular, faceted features of the design, comparing them to the F-117 Nighthawk. Jane's also linked the programme with China's development of an engine with thrust vectoring capability.

The later report in Military Technology featured a picture of a completely different design, speculatively dubbed J-14 and said to be a Shenyang project, with the designations J-12 and J-13 being applied to (possibly competing) designs by Shenyang and Chengdu respectively.

John Pike has written that China probably declined to participate in joint development and production of a new fifth-generation fighter with Russia given the belief that Russia stood to gain more from Chinese participation. Chinese leaders may have determined that their design was superior to the Russian PAK FA.[13]

Since 2009, Chinese internet comments have repeatedly pointed to a merging of the two efforts, to be named J-14. Chengdu is rumored to be responsible for the airframe, while Shenyang focuses on the engines and other components. It was then revealed that Chengdu proposal won PLAAF's endorsement in a 2008 competition against a Shenyang proposal, with the latter reportedly being even larger than J-20.[14] In November 2009 He Weirong (何为荣), deputy commander of the Chinese air force, confirmed that "intense" research and development work on the fifth generation stealth fighter was ongoing. He expected the aircraft to be unveiled soon and gave possible in-service dates of 2017 to 2019.[7][8]
China (Listeni/ˈtʃaɪnə/; Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a sovereign state located in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. The PRC is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party, with its seat of government in the capital city of Beijing.[14] It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau).[15] The PRC also claims Taiwan -- which is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC), a separate political entity -- as its 23rd province, a claim controversial due to the complex political status of Taiwan and the unresolved Chinese Civil War.[16]
The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.[5] Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.
The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947.[5] It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed, and is the largest and one of the world's most technologically advanced air forces.
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