image of 6th j20 prototype
China will start limited series production of J-20 fifth generation stealth fighter if the tests being carried out on the newest prototype are successful.
China has begun tests on its seventh and newest prototype of the J-20 fighter, Duowei News reported Saturday.
“If these tests have successfully been carried out by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group this year, small numbers of J-20 fighters can go into production for frontline units of the PLA Air Force,” a military source was quoted as saying by Duowei.
The sensors and cyber warfare capability of the J-20 are as good as Lockheed Martin's F-35, the source said.
Chinese first fifth-generation stealth fighter will be inducted in People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in 2017.
“It will take another two years for the Chengdu Aircraft group to complete development of the aircraft,” Kanwa Defense Review reported Tuesday.
The company still has to carry out many tests and trials in the next couple of years. China began by developing an active electronically scanned array in 2004. They tested it aboard Tu-204 aircraft before filling it into J-20.
China has so far produced four prototypes of J-20. The shape of the fuselage has remained unaltered. Several modifications have been added on the last three aircraft. The J-20 development has been done at a faster pace than Russian T-50 fifth generation fighter.