China Working on New-Gen Warplane as Successor to J-20

China's next-gen fighter could feature AI, drones, advanced engines, better situational awareness, improved stealth, and C4ISR capabilities.
  • bureau
  • 06:17 AM, June 3, 2024
  • 1719
China Working on New-Gen Warplane as Successor to J-20
J-20 stealth fighter @China MoD

China is actively working on a next generation fighter jet to succeed its J-20 stealth fighter, which is undergoing constant upgrades.

This information was recently disclosed by Li Gang, the test pilot who flew the J-20's maiden flight, as reported by China Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday.

"The J-20 is constantly improving, keeping pace with the times, and continuously perfecting its mission system to achieve its expected combat objectives," Li said.

Since the J-20's first test flight in 2011, China's aviation technologies have advanced rapidly, outpacing many other countries, according to Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, who spoke to the Global Times on Thursday.

Fu detailed that the latest technologies, including aerodynamic design changes, new engines, and advancements in avionics, radar systems, software, and materials, have been integrated into the J-20. He highlighted that these upgrades position the J-20 as a leader among advanced fighter jets, noting that the U.S.' F-22 has not seen significant upgrades since its inception, rendering its technology relatively outdated.

Chinese observers indicate that China is already preparing for the next generation of fighter jets, a necessity given that the U.S. and other countries have begun developing sixth-generation aircraft. "As the technology of our country's aviation industry continues to develop, the next generation will definitely come out soon," Li stated.

Fu claimed that China, which initially lagged behind the U.S. at the start of the J-20's development, has now caught up with or possibly surpassed the U.S. in terms of next-generation fighter jet technology. Analysts expect the new warplane to incorporate an open architecture, facilitating rapid development, production, and upgrades, similar to the J-20.

While specific details about China's next-generation fighter jet remain undisclosed, global trends suggest the inclusion of artificial intelligence, loyal wingman drones, advanced engines for greater speeds, enhanced situational awareness, improved stealth capabilities, and functioning as a C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) node.

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