I snooped around some of the forums and grabbed some cool shots that showcase some of the amazing military aviation developments in China…

The mighty SU-30MKK sitting alert complete with wingtip mounted active jamming pods:













The J-20 continues testing with a high pitch climb and being towed with its large weapons bays open:













The J-10 with F-35 like “diverterless intake,” which is also seen on the J-20 and the J-31, and AESA radar:














The rumored to be in development stealthy unmanned surveillance platform and UCAV seen next to the model of what we know now as the J-21/J-31/F-60 stealth fighter. These models seem to be no joke as one has already become a reality. The loss of the RQ-170 to Iran will almost certainly help China catch to US low observable unmanned technology in a massive way. To read more about this please review the follow past Aviationintel feature:









Apparently China has an equal military jet pilot program!










An unknown type of Chinese jet powered unmanned aerial vehicle gets serviced by ground crews:











A possible elaborate testing mockup of a F-35B type Chinese STOVL design. Upon close examination it looks like a loose mix between the J-20 and the J-31. The lift-fan doors are visible right behind the cockpit:














Finally, a rapidly advancing force- Chinese J-10s glisten in the evening sun:

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  1. Shawn says:

    In the second photo with the J-20 being towed there is a plane in the left background covered in camo. Any idea what that plane is?

  2. Bill says:

    Nothing amazes me more than a inferior copy of what someone else thought through and put together decade(s) ago.

    Can you talk a little bit about how many crafts Chinese have in each category (fighters, bombers, navy etc), quality of the pilots’ training and time spent in combat as well as general manufacturing/engineering ability and leadership in acquiring new technologies?

    I am eager to learn how that ranks next to the US and its allies (NATO, Japan, Korea, Australia). Thank you.

  3. nico says:

    The problem we have is the lack of information and status of Chinese capacity. On the Chinese forums, J20 is unbeatable and superior to just about everything. On US forums, it is an inferior copy. I think we need to wait and see, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

    When you think about it, how can we judge since we don’t even know for sure what are the requirement and roles of J20?

    The last point Bill mentions is something I have tried to explain on other forums but I think some people just think money buys everything. (this isn’t directed to BILL, by the why). The Chinese haven’t gone to war in decades, have little contact with other nations air forces until last couple of years, there are rumors of a Chinese Red Flag but those are rumors and again, how do you judge the quality of the training and realism of the Chinese Red Flag? or their training in general? We see a lot of nice staged pics with a lot of parades and formation flying but how much real combat experience does that translate to? Probably not a whole lot…..

    Some idiot told me “the Chinese are buying their expertise from Israel.” That is like saying I can buy someone else life experiences, you have to live your own life. Moron. Anyways, you have to factor in all that PLUS what about their AAMs? We don’t know a lot about them so how can anyone realistically say what the hell the Chinese air force and it’s fighter’s are worth?

  4. says:

    Shawn- Looks like a J-10 to me!
    Nico and Bill- I think its time I do an informal post on this. But to be brief, I think we WAY understimate China’s air combat capability. In numbers alone we have no way of dealing with them really in the region without massive losses. Their gear is rapidly improving, and I think they will begin to make a sizeable impact on the export market in the next decade. As far as pilot training and such, I have heard that it has changed massively in the last 10 years, and that they are concentrating on getting pilots high hours, at or beyond western equivalent, in certain airframes. They know how to look at our strange weaknesses and exploit it through weaponry that is tailor made to do so. Amazing where they have come in a decade or so.

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