Stealth Around the World

Here’s a great shot from China Defense Blog of China’s J-20 stealth fighter alongside Russia’s Sukhoi PAK FA and the American F-22 Raptor.

I’m no low-observable design expert, but the undersides of the Raptor and J-20 look a heck of a lot cleaner than the Russian jet. This fits reports that the jet’s design trades stealth for increased maneuverability compared to the F-22.

Also, where’s the space for the internal weapons bay on the PAK FA; between the engines, forward of what looks like an aft-EW suite? It’s been reported that the weapons are carried there and in the two bulbs that can bee seen next to the air intakes.

30 Comments on "Stealth Around the World"

  1. I thought I read somewhere that the PAK-FA would have a cleaner underside when the final engines were developed. Anybody if this is true?

  2. The J-20 looks like a box or a toy; Totally unsophisticated (looking). Those exposed engines on the PAK-FA will make nice IR targets. Agree and have said before that the PAK FA is too small to carry stores internally, while the J-20 looks too large for the air-air role.

  3. The J-20 has those cannards forward which will make likely more manuverable at low speeds but restrict its speed and create alot of drag.

    The F-22 is the superior of the 3. That said the DoD and such seem to have decided to go with mass producing a inferior plane compared to what our enemies will be fielding with the J-20 and the PAK-FA. F-35's will die in droves if the have to fight one of there basterds.

    Restart the F-22 line sell them to Japan also and buy a couple hundred more atleast for the airforce. Lose some of the F35s and F-15s. Transfere the A-10's and AC-130's to the army.

  4. I've been waiting for a nice photo like this comparing the three.

    The J-20's engines corrupt attempts to gain any stealth, along with those fins in the aft.

    A large enough weapons bay will be built into the T-50. Russia doesn't need excessive space as their missiles aren't much larger than ones developed by the US.

  5. the PAK FA doesn't have DSI (diverterless sup. inlet)?

  6. The PAK-FA has two internal bays, positioned in tandem, between the engines. Depending on type, it can carry 4-8 AAMs internally for "Day One" missions.

    The Russians decided for a good "bow tie" stealth profile instead of going all-aspect F-22 LO, to keep costs down – whether that is a smart move is still to be decided, as PAK-FA still needs to be mass produced.

  7. To me they seem to be copies of American and European designs that pak fa = f22 and the j-20 = the Eurofighter or they probably purchased the design from the failed Russian program mig 1.44 did not have the funding. From other pictures I’ve seen the j20 resembles the yf 23.

  8. Without digressing into support for the Raptors, we must move past these air craft to the next level. I am glad to see the logic of a super F-22B is not lost in discussions of the new bomber. In the modern battle field it must have the attributes of these air craft above on steroids…..
    http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/inde

    We need stealth, super cruise, advanced avionics and payload capacity. We should up grade our Raptors, but the next level is shaping up to be our best move. A stealthy, multi-role manned bomber may end up being the last manned air craft of significance we produce before the Era of smart drones and DEW.

    They could be as game changing as this was 100 years ago today: http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/01/0118fi

  9. Obviously the F22 is likely to be the more sophisticated plane, given that the US has been at the forefront of aerospace technology for a century. However, it seems to me that the 3 key questions are these:

    1. The J20 probably isn't a match for the F22, but how long before they build something that is? They've already come a long way in a short time.
    2. How many J20s can they afford compared to how many F22s the US can afford? Especially given that Uncle Sam will have to borrow the money from China to buy them.
    3. Why are we worrying about F22/F35 vs J20 when none of them are any use against the RPG/IED toting hordes of central Asia. China and the West both need stability and trade, the mullahs don't. Time to realise we're on the same team.

  10. Again, stealth is more than a design. It's materials. If shape were the only quality to low observability, blimps would be in the forefront of aero-design. And while LO is acheived, it isn't complete. Operations are designed to avoid detection by avoiding enemy radar installations.
    And then there is the obvious, if any are seen by eye, no amount of stealth will help. Then it's plane vs plane, pilot vs pilot and in those circumstances, I like our chances more than China's or Russia's.

  11. Rather that look at a 1-to-1 comparison, imaging a mass producted J-20 with sub-F-22 capability but still in the ball park. Then put 5 x J-20 vs 1 x F-22 dogfight (and scale that). It an't going to be pretty but in a numbers game China will win.

    They don't have to equal the F-22 they just have to get in the ball park and then outnumber them.

  12. F-35, Need I say more.

  13. My observations to this all being at same size, the Chinese version seems to have the largest volume , thus can carry the most fuel.

    I'd like to know which is the largest because if the Chinese version does have the most fuel capacity it is then created for only one use, to get to us.

    I would have hoped by now Russia and China would be at peace with NATO even apart of it…

    Logistically we have the advantage being spread over planet but China has the future capability of out numbering us on every weapon in conventional warfare 5 fold atleast.

  14. From looking at it, and reading other's posts, it seems very likely that the J-20, should it ever be produced and have half of the capability we think it has, is more about stealth attack than air-air. Still, I don't believe it will be mass produced, deployed, and stealthy.

  15. I think we will see China's real answer to the F-22 and PAK-FA in 5-10 years. The J-20 is just their attempt at an FB-22.

  16. Its totally pointless to comment on the design of the T-50 / PAK FA and J-20 compared to the F-22A at this early stage in their development. The T-50 prototype is just that – a prototype (for aerodynamic purposes), with no account being made for the numerous low-RCS optimizations to be made later in development. Same with the J-20.

  17. The PAK-FA has four internal weapons bays:

    1) Two elongated bays between the engines for various types of missiles:

    – Anti-ship cruise missiles (up to 2 in two bays)

    – The successor of R-37 ultra-long range air-to-air missiles (up to 4 in two bays). The killer of AWACS, aerial tankers and bombers with the range ~400KM (~250 miles). It could be used against targets such as fighter jets with max G-load >8G.

    – Medium range missiles, new generation of R-77 with significantly improved range (>200 Km). (Up to 8 missiles in two bays)

    – Air-to-ground missiles including anti-radiation missiles (up to 2-4 in two bays)

    + Optional external pylons for weapons

    2) Two side weapons bays for short-rage air-air missiles
    – The successor of R-73/R-74 "dogfight" missile (2 missiles in two bays)

  18. The issue of manueverability J-20 verus F-22A is the J-20 uses the Eurofighter canard approach and teh F-22A uses vectored thrust. Vectored thrust will give more uniform results and doesn't change with altitude and temperature. The issue of stealth remains to be seen on the J-20, looks like a knockoff from the Typhoon to me.

  19. Thinking about the size of the thing…if you wanted to extend your reach over the water but you didn't have viable carriers or island FOBs, a long range fighter-bomber is one of the things you'd need.

  20. Comparing fighter to F22 on from the same viewpoint is wrong ,PAK-FA and J20 are meant to operate on their own turf (or close territory ,Taiwan,Georgia )with good radar and AAM coverage F22 and JSF on the other hand are both meant to operate over foreign land possibly in well defended airspace and that means they need stealth much more that the opposition +stealth is rapidly deminishing with new radar technology which will definetly be a problem for JSF that is one trick pony

  21. Russia still strongly believes super-manuverability is a key feature for fighters, whether they be stealth or not.

  22. Anyone else getting anoyed at how slow this site has become?

  23. "Russia still strongly believes super-manuverability is a key feature for fighters, whether they be stealth or not."

    Yes, PAK-FA was designed with a superior manuverability in mind. Thats why:

    – Large wings and underfuselage tunnel for better lift generation
    – Small all-moving vertical tails that gives not only superior supersonic manoeuvrability, but also gives advantage for reduction of radar visibility.
    – Movable LERX. Better balancing capability and additional agility which is much better and smarter solution than non-stealthy canards on J-20.
    – Widely separated engines for 3D thrust-vectoring. It also gives a better IR-signature reduction and survivability.

    As for stealth, i could agree. Russians didn't forget about it too. Just look at fronal view of the T-50-1. It's definitely stealth airframe with a very large usage of composite materials. Production model would have radar absorbent coating, frameless canopy and "stealthy" engines.
    Russians taking BVR capability very seriously as well. Thats why PAK-FA will have FIVE radars (main and side-looking X-band, L-band), integrated 360-degreee IRST, new generation of air-air missiles (some of these missiles with a notably long range).

  24. I like the pictoral comparison. Shouldn't the F-35 be up there too?

  25. I don't see no weapons bay on the J-20 either I think its inferior to both the F-22 and PAK-FA. I also see w/o vectored thrust its far less maneuverable to the F-22A and F-15 as well. It'll be 5 to 10 years before we see production aircraft so I wouldn't worry anyway. Keep F-22s F-15s and dump the F-35 and go for either the EF-2000 or a new lighter fighter for support.
    All this hype over China is unfounded since most of there weapons are still Junk in quality. there quantity is more fearful.

  26. Or serve to justify the paranoia of other people, but sure, your idea could be true too. Let's call it a point of contention. But I think we can all agree that they don't get invited to dinner parties as often.

  27. So you want to dump the F-35 and totally abandon the entire U.S.
    Tac air, and strike force?
    Do you really believe the J-20 or the T-50 are more stealthy than the F35?
    What about the navy marines and allies?
    The amount of Ignorance pm the F-35 has become sickening

  28. To all the arm chair procurement folks Stop with the F-22 restart BS. It's not going to happen!!!! It's done. We need tankers, not mig chasers right now. We need "Something" for the USMC & RN Fleet Air Arm. Most of all, Till Bin Laden get Air power, the DOD money is not going into fast jets.

  29. nonito d. cabato | January 21, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Reply

    just buy more F-22A block 35 increment 3.3 version, a thousand of them! Retire most the legacy fighter for example for every 40 plane F-22's bought retire 100 hundreds of the legacy fighter! Just for the navy just buy the navalized F-22, 576 of them. Buy buy the next generation bomber 300 of them! Lastly for close air support use the F-35B!

    How you do this demobilized all your base around the world. cancel all foreign aids all over the wolrd, the sole jobs of the president to defend the country FIRST, let defend their country by themselves, idf they CANT they have no rights to be a nation

  30. LOL China isn't the only country making bootleg materials. Nice Knock Off versions of the Raptor though.

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