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China gives the world a glimpse of its military firepower


China has revealed the frightening arsenal of missiles carried by its J-20 stealth fighter jets. 

The advanced warplanes were paraded to the public yesterday as the grand finale to a six-day airshow in Zhuhai.

Two J-20 fighter jets opened their cargo bay doors and revealed four missiles in its fuselage and one on either side of the aircraft.

Top Chinese officials, according to the Global Times, said the demonstration displayed the J-20’s superiority to the top US fighter jets, the F-22 and F-35.  

Two J-20 fighter jets opened their missile bay doors and revealed four missiles in its fuselage and one on either side of the aircraft (pictured) at the Zhuhai Airshow

Two J-20 fighter jets opened their missile bay doors and revealed four missiles in its fuselage and one on either side of the aircraft (pictured) at the Zhuhai Airshow

WHAT IS CHINA’S J-20 STEALTH FIGHTER?

China’s new war plane made its first flyby in November 2016.

The fighter jet is swift, stealthy, and armed with long-range missiles.

Its design is similar to US fighter jets, stoking concerns that the Chinese military used ‘stolen’ plans obtained by hackers to develop the stealth plane and further drive its military ambitions.

Experts have said that the plane represents a leap forward in China’s ability to project power in Asia, and will compete with US military technology.

China is set to overtake the US as the world’s top aviation market in the next decade.   

The newspaper said two J-20 fighter jets opened their missile bay doors during a flypast.

Military expert Song Zhongping as saying the four missiles in the J-20’s fuselage were long-range air-to-air missiles, while the two on the sides were short-range combat missiles meant for aerial combat.

According to footage released by China Central Television Station, the J-20 is equipped with four PL-15 mid-range air-to-air missiles and one PL-10 short-range ‘combat’ missile on either side.

Chinese news site Sohu previously claimed PL-15 was a wing-less missile and 5.7 metres (18.7 feet) long. It was said to boast an impressive range of 400 kilometres (249 miles) and could help PL-15 out-perform F-22.

PL-10, on the other hand, was reported to have exceptional abilities to intercept other missiles.  

In a post on the PLA’s English-language website earlier this year, Chinese military expert Song Zongping said the J-20 will ‘engage with rivals in the future who dare to provoke China in the air.’  

When the aircraft was shown to the public, there were claims to suggest that it had been built in part from plans of US war planes, particularly the F-22 Raptor, obtained by Chinese hackers jailed last year.

Beijing has firmly denied the theory as it insists that J-20 had been developed and built solely with the Chinese technology. 

Military analysts previously said it was still too early to tell if the jet matches the capabilities of the US F-22 Raptor.

Although pictures of the medium and long-range fighter jets had been released in the past, never before had they shown the weaponry they would carry. 

Top Chinese officials said the demonstration displayed the J-20's superiority to the top US fighter jets, the F-22 and F-35 (file photo)

Top Chinese officials said the demonstration displayed the J-20’s superiority to the top US fighter jets, the F-22 and F-35 (file photo)

The advanced warplanes were paraded to the public as the grand finale to the six-day airshow in Zhuhai and performed a flypast to onlooking spectators (file photo) 

The advanced warplanes were paraded to the public as the grand finale to the six-day airshow in Zhuhai and performed a flypast to onlooking spectators (file photo) 

When the aircraft was shown to the public at an air show in China last November, there were claims to suggest that it had been built in part from plans of US war planes, particularly the F-22 Raptor (file photo)

When the aircraft was shown to the public at an air show in China last November, there were claims to suggest that it had been built in part from plans of US war planes, particularly the F-22 Raptor (file photo)

As China’s fourth-generation fighter jet, J-20 made its maiden flight in 2011. 

According to China Central Television Station (CCTV), J-20 be powered by a made-in-China engine and possess similar combat capabilities to America’s F-22 Raptor.

In 2016, a Chinese national, 51-year-old Su Bin, was sent to prison for his part in stealing US military plans and sending documents to Beijing.

The documents were reported to include plans for the F-35 and F-22 fighter jets, which would have enabled the Chinese military to rapidly catch up with US capabilities.

China claims it is set to overtake the US as the world’s top aviation market in the next decade.

Experts say China has been refining designs in hopes of narrowing a military gap with Washington.

Although pictures of the medium and long-range fighter jets had been released in the past, never before had they shown the weaponry they would carry (file photo)

Although pictures of the medium and long-range fighter jets had been released in the past, never before had they shown the weaponry they would carry (file photo)

China claims it is set to overtake the US as the world's top aviation market in the next decade. Experts say China has been refining designs in hopes of narrowing a military gap with Washington (file photo)

China claims it is set to overtake the US as the world’s top aviation market in the next decade. Experts say China has been refining designs in hopes of narrowing a military gap with Washington (file photo)

Cao Qingfeng, an aircraft engineer at the 2016 Zhuhai Airshow, said J-20’s ‘stunning’ display was a show of China’s strengthening aircraft industry and manufacturing – and Western officials agreed.

‘This shows they now have confidence to put it out in public,’ said a Western industry official who has monitored the biennial show from its inception 20 years ago.

‘This is the airplane for China in the way that the J-31 is not; this is the one they develop for themselves,’ he added.

Despite the impressive show of aerial military might, some foreign observers have questioned its stealth capabilities.

CHINA’S J-20 

Top speed: 1,305 mph

Range: 2,113 mi

Length: 67′

Wingspan: 42′ 0″

Weight: 43,000 lbs

Engine Type: Xian WS-15 turbofan engines

Cost: $110m

Manufacturer: Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group

 AMERICA’S F-22

Top speed: 1,498 mph

Range: 1,839 mi

Length: 62′

Wingspan: 44′ 0″

Weight: 43,430 lbs

Engine type: Pratt & Whitney F119

Cost: $130m

Manufacturers: Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics



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