We have had quite a few threads on Chinese aircraft production lately so I thought I would give an analysis of where PLAAF production tech is in relation to dated technology. So I am going to put a year on it... The first argument the Chinese fanboys will make is, hey man we make 5th gen J-20 stealth fighter so we are current with the West. Well boys, nothing could be further from that truth. J-20 is an LO strike aircraft testbed, much like F117 was back in 1981 with its first flight. J-20 is a strike aircraft pure and simple, fighter it is not and VLO like F117 it is not. So the date we have for that level is 1981 minus a few years for its lack of par with the US at that time... Moving on to legacy 4th gen... J-10 and J-11B are equivalents to early model F-16s and Su-27s which date to the late 70s, early 80s. They even use a simlar BVR missile which is a Sparrow clone called the PL-11. Rolling over to engine tech, the WS-10A is a poor AL-31F clone which is similar to the first version of it made in the early 80s. They are still stalled on it so subtract that to 1979 or so. Fanboys will say the avionics are up to Western standards... they are NOT. Think early block F-16s and Su-27SKs which in Western terms is mid 80s tech. They got a few years there thanks to the simple fact of commercial processing power of computers that was not available to USAF in the early 80s and cloning obsolete Russian radars. Bombers and tankers are based on upgraded Tu-16 clones which is a 50s aircraft. They cloned An-12s which is the mainstay of their transport and platform production strategy which is a late 50s early 60s design. Their attempt at strategic transport is not even on the map. With some upgrades you are looking at the equivalent of 60s era fleet with this production technology. There are many dates thrown around here but for fighter technology you are looking at about 1979 for an average year in tech level. For bomber/transports you are looking at about 1965. It is easy to say PLAAF production technology is at least 30 years behind the West in fighters and 45 years in transports. The problem for PLAAF trying to bridge that gap is the West is progressing too fast for them to catch up. They are breaking even with Russia which is stuck with about a 20 year edge but they are losing it if they can't make their current programmes reality.