China’s new stealth fighter flies with open weapon bay

As the following images show, the Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon flew the Jul. 2 test sortie with main weapon bay doors opened.

This was the first time China’s stealth fighter opened the bay that will house some of its weapons.

Noteworthy, the inside of the bay was blurred and the typical People’s Liberation Army Air Force “roundel” was Photoshopped on the ceiling of the weapon bay.

J-20 open bay 2

In order to preserve their stealthiness and keep the RCS (Radar Cross Section) as low as possible, radar-evading planes rely on weapons bay: bombs and missiles to be fired are kept inside the bays until it’s time to use them.

At the end of March the second prototype of the stealth aircraft was seen featuring a missile deployment device on the side weapons bay which extracts the selected air-to-air missile and then closes the door to keep the reduced RCS.

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About David Cenciotti 3631 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.