Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chinese Assault !?

The latest buzz on Internet is that the China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group is preparing to test its first stealth aircraft known to world as the J-XX. According to enthusiasts living nearby, the aircraft has already done taxi run and top level officials are coming to the facility to witness the first flight. This comes as a surprise as both American and Russian think tanks had written off China. J-XX is Chinese competitor in the Fifth Generation race. It is stated to have very low observability, advance avionics and radar coupled with two Turbofan engines generating 180 kN of thrust.

The exact happenings are still uncertain but the images leaked on the internet are extremely convincing. The aircraft seems to be around 60-70 feet long with forward canards and delta wing configuration similar to the J-10. On first look the aircraft looks very similar to the American F-22. However, it has features such twin DSI inlets and V-shaped tail. The aircraft seems to be fitted with WS-10 engines rather than WS-15 but this cannot be confirmed. According Janes there are two prototype airframes in existence of which one is flight ready.

Exact happenings are still unknown in the formal media as the Chinese Govt is tight lipped on it. The latest images show some startling similarities between the Chinese J-XX and cancelled Russian MiG-1.44. Both have similar style of delta wing canard configurations and V-Shaped tail section with closely mounted engines. The frontal aspect looks extremely similar to that of the American F-35 JSF with DSI intake which has now become common on all new Chinese designs.

Finally we cannot comments on this latest development in detail since there are no images of the cockpit hence we just don’t yet know how advance the aircraft is. It could be a half baked cake with good icing or China is indeed very advance. Building a stealth airframe is easy thing for moderately advance countries but what matters is remaining stuff like engine, avionics, radar and sensors and other sub-system which China hasn’t developed to advance stage. It’s time to wait and watch and for HAL to get going !

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