China Using J-20 Fighter to Create Attack Scenarios by F-35 Jets

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 02:42 PM, March 24, 2023
  • 1024
China Using J-20 Fighter to Create Attack Scenarios by F-35 Jets
J-20 fighter jets

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is using its J-20 stealth fighters to practice ground attack scenarios by the American F-35 aircraft.

The PLA apprehends that both ground and carrier based F-35 jets will be deployed by the Pentagon in any confrontation over the South China Sea (SCS). While China claims the whole of the SCS region as its own, the U.S. is conducting regular patrols sea patrols under what it calls, “freedom of navigation.”

“The U.S. and its allies have commissioned a large number of F-35 stealth fighter jets, which are designed mainly for ground attack missions rather than air superiority missions,” Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.

This means that F-35s could opt to penetrate air defense from low altitudes rather than high altitudes, and in this scenario, the Air Force's long-range radars and missiles could lose their advantages, while the Army's short-range radars, infrared and optical sensors as well as air defense artillery guns and missiles mounted on highly mobile vehicles gain significance, Fu said.

An air defense brigade attached to the PLA 75th Group Army and a PLA Air Force unit based in the region held a joint confrontational exercise under realistic combat scenarios in the central region of South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in early spring, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Wednesday.

The exercise was organized to connect the command chain and firepower chain between the Army and the Air Force units and hone their combat capabilities as an integrated system, the report said.

China Using J-20 Fighter to Create Attack Scenarios by F-35 Jets
F-35A Lightning II

During the drill, the Air Force unit shared air information with the Army air defense brigade, and they were able to build up a network of air defense firepower in a short time.

Despite the opposing aircraft unit's immediate change of formation, attempting to take advantage of the mountainous terrain and penetrate defense at a very low altitude, the defending side was able to lock on to the targets.

At night, the attacking side launched a sudden attack and used strong electromagnetic interference, but the defending side was able to deploy countermeasures, CCTV reported.

The CCTV report included footage showing an Army anti-aircraft artillery gun aiming at and tracking a J-20 stealth fighter jet of the Air Force when the aircraft was flying low and could be visually confirmed.

By integrating and sharing real-time intelligence, the PLA has a complete set of tools and measures to deal with different types of threats, Fu said. "In addition to stealth aircraft, low-flying, small and slow drones are also major threats," he pointed out.

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