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Chinese ‘Mighty Dragon’ doomed to breathe Russian fire
Russia Today ^ | 11 March, 2012 | ­Ivan Fursov

Posted on 03/12/2012 12:03:13 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Chinese ‘Mighty Dragon’ doomed to breathe Russian fire

While Beijing is proudly leaking more images of J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, China continues to buy Russian military jet engines and spare parts, which might indicate China is in a technological deadlock.

­China is making an attempt to catch up with world leaders and develop hi-tech vehicles in the absence of crucial military know-how and technology, like engines for ultrasonic cruise flights and active phased array antennas.

“As of now, it is too early to say that China is capable of creating a fifth-generation jet from start to finish,” told RT Vasily Kashin from the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

­Chinese 5th-gen fighter jet

­The Chinese J-20 (Mighty Dragon) fith-generation fighter jet program is advancing in truly huge strides. The jet has already made over 60 test flights, performing elements of aerial acrobatics.

In 2009, General He Weirong, Deputy Commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force estimated that the J-20 would be operational no earlier than in 2017-2019. Now it appears Chinese engineers have done a great job and the jet is much closer to being ready than expected.

Created by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, this heavy fighter jet is the first military plane China has constructed on its own, without visible attempts at copying foreign technology. It resembles neither the American Raptor F-22, nor the Russian T-50 PAK-FA.

Though peculiar forms of the jet and technical decisions allegedly realized in the vehicle might be questionable, one thing about this plane is an established fact.

As of now, the J-20 flies with two Russian AL-31F jet engines it borrowed from the Russian Su-27 fighter jet that entered Chinese service in the mid-1980s.

China also tried to put engines of their own on a second test J-20 vehicle, but the copycat of the Soviet engine AL-31F made by China is not in the same league as the Russian analogue for reliability and durability.

The real problem is both AL-31F and Chinese version are engines of the previous generation.

No question the Chinese jet is a prototype model and technology demonstration vehicle called to test new equipment and technology. Defined as a technology showroom, it may fly whatever engines its creator considers possible. But China has no working engine for a 5G jet.

Despite the fact that China tries to sell clones of the Russian jets at discount prices on the international arms market ($10 million for a J-11, while the Russian original Su-27 is well over $30 million), China continues to buy Russian engines and certain parts of these engines in quantities that far exceed the necessity to do routine maintenance of the Russian planes they use.

Chinese dependence on Russian engines can only be explained by technological inferiority of Chinese engine-building.

Beijing has found itself in a position when getting a decent 5G fighter jets with complying engines means buying engines in Russia, because no other country will sell them anything similar.

­Why China needs Russian 4++ fighter jets

­This week, news came that Moscow and Beijing are close to striking a deal on China buying 48 Su-35 multifunctional fighter jets for $4 billion. The main reason for this remarkable purchase could be Russia’s jet engines.

The Su-35 flies with two next generation AL-41F1C engines that enable it to achieve hypersonic speed without afterburner, a feature attributed to 5G jets. And AL-41F1C actually is a de-rated version of the AL-41F1 (117C) engine used on the undergoing tests T-50 PAK-FA, Russian 5G fighter jet.

The new Russian engine AL-41F1C is what China needs to make J-20 fly as a 5G jet.

In 2010, when Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was on visit to China, Beijing proposed to buy 117C engines, but the offer was turned down.

Russians agreed to sell only assembled planes and in addition insist on signing a special anti-copycat agreement, designed to prevent the Chinese from copying the vehicle and its parts, as has happened before.

This demand has become a stumbling block in the negotiations. After the news about the deal emerged, the Chinese Ministry of Defense rushed to deny that negotiations on Su-35 with Moscow are in the terminal stage.

“Actually, any negotiations with China always come to the following: they try to buy a small lot [of arms] for examination and possible further replication. Naturally, Russia is aware of such risks and refuse to sell arms in small quantities,” said Vasily Kashin, explaining China’s canny moves to obtain missing technology.

Russia has great doubts concerning the practicability of selling AL-41F1C engines to Beijing without the special replication clause. This does not suit China because in the end they need technology to organize a production line for such engines of their own.

­China’s copycat efforts

For many years China has been the biggest buyer of Russian military planes. Overall it has bought 178 fighter jets of only Su-27/Su-30 family – until producing a successful copycat of it, named J-11.

They also replicated Russian deck-based fighter Su-33 (J-15), Su-27 fighter jet (J-10), Su-30 (J-11), MiG-29 (FC-1).

­Chinese dragon with Russian engines

Kashin predicts that after long negotiations Moscow and Beijing will finally strike a separate jet engine deal and Russia will supply engines for the J-20 program, the way it already supplies engines to all four major types of Chinese fighter jets which are actually copycats of Soviet-made planes.

“Buying the Su-35 to dismantle its engines to put on J-20 would be madly expensive for the Chinese,” said Kashin.

“The J-20 is a very technically-risky project because there is no guarantee that Chinese will be capable to put into shape by 2017 several systems they are developing for the project, including special munitions and an active phased array antenna of they own in-house design,” Kashin told RT.

The J-20s will most likely fly with Russian engines for years before they make a reliable engine of their own, Kashin said.

The expert also pointed out that while the Chinese stated earlier they attempted to make a jet with the characteristics of an American F-22, they more likely are now working not on a fighter, but a stealth assault jet.

The J-20 will presumably be capable of piercing an enemy’s air defense to strike an important target – something like an aircraft carrier, as could be seen in J-20 “Attack on all fronts”advertising clip.

­Ivan Fursov, RT


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: aerospace; china; j20; russia

J-20

1 posted on 03/12/2012 12:03:23 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki
SU-35 military jet (Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)
2 posted on 03/12/2012 12:05:05 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I thought this was about the Chinese “Fire Drake” Jammer


3 posted on 03/12/2012 12:07:59 AM PDT by mylife
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Thats a pure Russian kite


4 posted on 03/12/2012 12:09:22 AM PDT by mylife
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Give Obama one more term in office and the Chinese will surpass us before his term is over. The Taliban want to take us back to the 14th century but Obama only wants us back to the 18th.


5 posted on 03/12/2012 12:09:22 AM PDT by Dapper 26
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To: mylife
Thats a pure Russian kite

Especially when compared with the MiG 1.44 project that some sources claim was sold by the Russians to the Chinese. At the very least they look very related (apart from the air-intake they are clones). But I am sure the Chinese will claim they are different - just as the J-11 is 'different' from the SU-27, and the J-15 is 'different' from the SU-33. I am sure any similarities are just coincidence.

MiG 1.44:


6 posted on 03/12/2012 2:04:30 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: spetznaz

They did coat it in menacing black. Give them that much at least.


7 posted on 03/12/2012 2:58:17 AM PDT by steveyp
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To: sukhoi-30mki
China is only as advanced as the technology traitors like Bill Clinton sold them and Obama is currently giving them.

Bill did it for the money—BHO is doing it out of his hatred for America.

8 posted on 03/12/2012 3:44:49 AM PDT by Happy Rain ("Better add another wing to The White House cause the Santorum clan is coming.")
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To: spetznaz
I suppose like any country trying to catch up, they have to start from somewhere.

So why did the Russians cancel the MiG 1.44 and the Chinese proceeding with the J-20? Notice that Russia's newest 5th generation, the Sukhoi T-50 looks more like the Raptor.

I suspect the Chinese aren't expecting the J-20 to be up to the Raptor in performance when it is ready for combat. But that it is a stepping stone in development to prepare their defense industry when the world moves onto 6th generation fighters.

9 posted on 03/12/2012 10:15:49 AM PDT by ponder life
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To: ponder life

China doesnt even have a 4th generation fighter to call its own let alone 5th or 6th generation. Lables such as 5th gen, 6th gen have no meaning if you dont have an engine, the most important part of the aircraft.


10 posted on 03/12/2012 11:11:39 AM PDT by ravager
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To: ponder life

China doesnt even have a 4th generation fighter to call its own let alone 5th or 6th generation. Lables such as 5th gen, 6th gen have no meaning if you dont have an engine, the most important part of the aircraft.


11 posted on 03/12/2012 11:15:42 AM PDT by ravager
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To: ravager
Well, there are alot of things China don't have yet. Don't forget, China just came out of their economic slumber just in the last few decades, so they aren't going to be able to develop everything in 30 years what took the West 200 years to develop. Not having their own indigenous 4th or 5th generation fighter doesn't mean they won't be able to compete at the 6th generation level. And have their own engines to boot.

Much of China's current military hardware began her development back in the 90's, even the 80's, when her GDP was smaller than Canada's in the early 90's and smaller than Australia back in the 80's. 6th generation fighters will begin their development sometime during the 2020's when the Chinese economy is expected to be larger than the US. Though, the US likely already has a start in 6th generation fighters as defense companies are already working with potential designs.

12 posted on 03/12/2012 2:55:10 PM PDT by ponder life
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To: sukhoi-30mki

WIll a .50 caliber BMG penetrate the cockpit or the engine compartment of one of these Chinese birds?

How would one “lead” it if it’s flying low enough?


13 posted on 03/12/2012 4:48:19 PM PDT by Yehuda (Muck Fislam and it's useful infidel - dhimmie supporters.)
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To: Yehuda

The Vietnamese tactic was to have machine gunners aim vertically and fire whenever there was a jet in the area, basically hoping for good luck. Worked often enough for their purposes, I suppose. They had a lot more ammunition than we had planes and pilots.


14 posted on 03/13/2012 3:51:39 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Thanks.


15 posted on 03/13/2012 4:45:28 PM PDT by Yehuda (Muck Fislam and it's useful infidel - dhimmie supporters.)
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To: Yehuda

Actually, we had a course on shooting at high performance aircraft with small arms in the Army. They told us to guessimate a spot it would be flying through and direct a stream of fire in that direction, might get lucky. The other thing they taught us was that if a jet flew overhead in the direction of another friendly unit try to contact them on the phone and have them direct their fire vertically.

Good luck with that, Sir.

I knew a guy who engaged an ME-109 with an M2 during World War II. The 109 made a couple of lazy passes straffing his position and he fired at it wildly without effect. He was fustrated because when the 109 turned it looked so slow that he could have sworn he could have knocked it down with baseball.


16 posted on 03/14/2012 3:46:45 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Thx 2x!


17 posted on 03/15/2012 8:49:49 AM PDT by Yehuda (Muck Fislam and it's useful infidel - dhimmie supporters.)
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