China Springs A Surprise: A New Generation Jet Fighter

November 22, 2009

China Springs A Surprise: A New Generation Jet Fighter

Martin McCauley writes: There has long been speculation that the Chinese Air Force has been developing fifth generation fighters. The aim is to have them in service within eight or ten years and certainly by 2020. Recently, the deputy commander of the Air Force confirmed these rumours. Flight trials will begin soon. These revelations came as a shock to Western analysts who have been taken aback by the speed of this modernisation. It also reveals that the Chinese defence industry is becoming increasingly sophisticated and making it possible for China to alter the strategic balance in Asia. The Chinese regard superiority in the air as a major factor contributing to dominance on the ground and the oceans. The fifth generation fighters will have 4S capabilities: stealth, super cruise, super manoeuvrability...