As already explained, Beijing’s radar-evading plane shows several differences from the first (and second) prototype aircraft, a sign China is improving and developing more in the field of low observability applied to fighter jets.
These are, an overall light grey color scheme similar to that of U.S. stealth planes (most probably a radar-absorbing coating); new air intakes; completely redesigned nose section and radome (once again showing resemblance with F-22/F-35); dielectric panels in the front fuselage below the completely redesigned canopy; EOTS (Electro-Optical Targeting System); differently shaped gear bays and slightly different tail fins tips.
Use the top image to check on the one below (click for a higher resolution image) some of the differences between J-20 “2001″ (first prototype) and J-20 “2011″.
Composite image created with images from Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Internet (cjdby.net).
One image shows some of the most famous China’s Air Force combat planes.
Even if some types are missing, the photograph is still much interesting. Indeed, if you wondered how the size of a J-10 compared to that of a J-8II, this photographs gives a hint.
BTW, since the Chinese site where the image was posted focuses on scale models, photoshop compositions etc., we can’t be sure the image whether the photo is genuine or it simply depicts a diorama.
Anyway, from left to right you can ID: Shenyang J-11, Chengdu J-10, Shenyang J-8II, Shenyang J-8, Chengdu J-7, Shenyang J-6, Shenyang JJ-2. Front row: Xian JH-7A, Nanchang A5.
If you are interested in Chinese aircraft, Modern Chinese Warplanes written by Andreas Rupprecht and Tom Cooper, and published by Harpia, is the book for you.
The paperback volume, sporting 256 pages, 274 color photos, 12 maps and 60 color drawings, accurately portrays China’s current military planes, their weapons, their markings and serial number systems, as well as the order of battle of both the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and Navy Air Force: the ideal starting point if you want to study Beijing’s air power.
The number is pretty high, second highest during 2013. Only first quarter of last year was more intense with 146 scrambles; in Q2 (second quarter of the year) there were 69 interventions with 80 in Q3.
In the period of 1945 and 1972 it was governed by the USA. Had it not been for this period the archipelago has been under the Japanese jurisdiction since 1895.
After 1972 the ownership was disputed by China, that claimed the islands, as well as Taiwan. The strategic location of the islands, fish density and probable oil reserves make this area highly desirable.
Japanese stance, on the flipside, is that the islands were found terra nulliusby Japan late in the 19th century. Chinese argue that there is evidence that the islands were posessed by China before the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894-1895. The argument Chinese state is that the islands, being a part of territories conquered by the Imperial Japan, should be henceforth returned.
Anyway, regardless of the validity of the claims by both sides, what is clear is that the amount of scrambles by the Japanese QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) cells can be used to measure the status of the (difficult) diplomatic relationships on the Beijing-Tokyo line.
On Jan. 5, the Indian Navy released some shots of its new flagship, INS Vikramaditya, a 40,000-ton 284 metres long and 60 mt high aircraft carrier.
On its way from Sevmash shipyard in North Russia, to Karwar on India’s western coast, the new aircraft carrier, accompanied by INS Trikand, a Talwar class frigate, INS Delhi, a Delhi class destroyer, and INS Deepak, the fleet tanker, has just entered Indian Navy’s Area of Operation in northwestern Arabian Sea where it met the rest of the Western Fleet, which includes the smaller aircraft carrier INS Viraat, two Delhi class destroyers, three Trishul class stealth frigates, a Godavari class frigate and a couple of offshore vessels.
In other words, few days after Beijing released the images of their first CBG, the Indian Navy has staged an impressive show of force consisting of several warships (and few Sea Harriers that appear in some photos) escorting the new carrier to its new homeport. Unlike the Chinese one, the Indian armada comprises some support units that made the very long journey possible: a sign that, unlike China, India is already capable to project naval power on long distances?
Vikramadityais a Kiew-class aircraft carrier dating back to 1987, when it was a part of the Soviet Navy under the name of Baku. In 1996, it was decommisioned and the Indian Navy purchased the vessel in 2004 at an aggregate price of 2,3 billion USD.
Along with Liaoning, 10 more warships took part in the parade (which reminds the American ones): three destroyers, three frigates, three submarines and an amphibious assault ship. A total of eight jet fighters overflew the BG during the return leg of the cruise to Qingdao home port on China’s east coast.
But, as pointed out by defense journalist David Axe on War is Boring, the shots reveal the weaknesses in Chinese naval organization.
The secret to American naval power is the capability to support flattops by means of logistics ships, including tankers, dry stores vessels and ammunition ships.
“The Pentagon’s three-dozen active combat-support vessels, manned mostly by civilian mariners, busily crisscross the globe, carefully plotting their courses to regularly meet up with the carriers and other task forces in order to refuel and resupply them. But no logistics ships are visible in Liaoning’s recent photos. That could be because China possesses only a token naval logistical flotilla—and mostly uses it to support Beijing’s counter-piracy force off of East Africa. “Limited logistical support remains a key obstacle preventing the [Chinese] Navy from operating more extensively beyond East Asia,” the Pentagon reported recently” Axe explains.
Therefore, an image whose aim was to project an image of strength, also highlights the limits of the current Chinese maritime power.