A J-20 fighter jet at an air show in China’s Jilin Province on August 26.
Fu Tian/China News Service via Getty Images
China’s air force has rapidly grown in size and capability, adding advanced jets like the J-20.
The J-20 isn’t “anything to lose a lot of sleep over,” the head of US Pacific Air Forces said this week.
But US Air Force leaders do say the US needs to work to stay head of the progress China is making.
The rapid expansion of China’s fighter fleet has alarmed its rivals, but its most advanced jet, the J-20, isn’t too much of a concern, the top US Air Force officer in the Pacific said this week.
“It’s their most modern aircraft. We’ve had a limited opportunity to assess it. It seems OK,” Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, the head of Pacific Air Forces, said Monday at the Air, Space, and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
The J-20 was introduced in 2017 and is China’s first fifth-generation fighter. Like other Chinese military aircraft, it faces technological challenges, most notably underpowered engines.
Beijing, however, continues to develop the jet, making plans to add a better engine and sending it on longer-range operations.
“It’s not anything to lose a lot of sleep over, but they seem to be a building a lot of them, and certainly, we’re watching them closely and seeing how they develop and how they operate them,” Wilsbach told reporters.
J-20s at Airshow China 2021 in China’s Guangdong Province in September 2021
Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images)
The J-20 and the FC-31, a fifth-generation fighter that is in development and will likely be carrier-based, will augment the Chinese air force’s fourth-generation fleet and “bolster its air-to-air capability,” the …read more
Source:: Business Insider