Video: J-20 Weapons Bays in Action

Here’s best video I’ve seen of China’s J-20 stealth jet up close on the ground. Watch as the bird taxis to a halt and then as the F-22-like canopy opens followed by the plane’s weapons bay doors. Watch how small the ground personnel are compared to the fighter.

Click through the jump for the video.

  • B RAD

    I’d make it bigger…

    • asdqwe

      why? it can probably already carry enough weapon to sink a carrier.
      unless you want to sink the whole fleet.

    • “Watch how small the ground personnel are compared to the fighter”

      The ground personnel are Chinese, this thing ain’t so big.

  • M.A. Harris

    I’m now more convinced that a re-make of Firefox should be filmed… Clint might stick out in China though.

  • Tad

    What does something that big carry?

    • Jason

      your mom

      • Tad

        My question referred to the article’s emphasis on the large size of this fighter aircraft and I was wondering what is the purpose of the size. I note from later posts that the same thing has crossed others’ minds.

        • joe

          Presumably anti-ship missiles. A stealthy bomb truck is a lot easier to build (and given the whole carrier-anti-access idea, just as useful) as a stealthy superiority fighter. Sarcasm aside, you don’t give the USAF or USN aviation a fair fight and expect to live, and the PLA are not stupid.

          The latest chinese SSM is the Yingji (“Eagle Strike”) which is supposed to be genuinely good, even by NATO standards,*but* is something like half again the size of a contemporary Harpoon.

          Remember that a lot of Chinese designs are evolutions of Cold War soviet stuff with modern(ish) electronic gubbinz that are now available on the open-market (i.e. Made In China). Soviet rockets and missiles always tended to be ‘effective, heavy-duty but big’ compared to NATO ones – same as the space programme rockets.

      • Guest A

        OH SNAP!

    • AmicusCuriae

      The esteemed Dr. Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute says it is the same size as the F-22. This must be a fish story.

    • Praetorian

      A large size aircraft also would be able to carry more fuel, range along with payload might have been thier intended goal.

    • Chimp

      It’s not *that* big. 20.6 metres LOA makes it about 3 feet longer than an F-15, and about 6 feet *shorter* than an F-111.
      It’s about 5 feet longer than an F-22.

  • Lance

    Weapons bays look small and cramped to a F-22 so it carries less weapons than a Raptor. More proof its an inferior fighter compared to US and Russian designs.

  • CSZ

    The F-35 has larger weapons bay than a Raptor and can carry more weapon. Is it a superior fighter than the F-22?

    The T-50 has only one weapon bay between its two engines, and the J-20 has three. From this angle it is also hard to measure the size and depth of the J-20 bay, but given its overall size and a flat belly, its main weapon bay should be deeper than that of the T-50’s.

    • blight

      From eyeballing, it looks perhaps twice the length of the height of the ground crew. So 10-12 feet long? Says nothing about depth and internal volume though.

      Imagine our surprise when J-20 turns out to be a EW bird instead of a missile truck…

      • TLAM Strike

        Even Ivan wouldn’t be crazy enough to make a stealth EW bird.

    • CSZ

      An SD-10/PL-12 MRAAM is about 12.89ft long (wikipedia data), so you are in the right ball park.

    • Stratege

      “The T-50 has only one weapon bay between its two engines”

      Wrong. The T-50 has two weapon bays between its engines. Also it has two small bays for short range AAMs.
      T-50’s two main bays are longer than compartments of J-20, F-22 and F-35. PAK-FA would be able to carry big ultra-long range missiles (R-37’s successor) in its internal weapons bays.

    • Jay

      Raptor has twice the internal capacity of the F-35. If you start hanging munitions from the wings it’s closer, but Raptor still carries more load.

      agreed the bays on the J-20 look deep, but it’s hard to say how big from this angle. I’m sure we have people working on it. If J-20 has space for a few serious ASCM, we will probably find out when Navy expands the number of interceptors in our CVBGs or gets serious about laser defenses.

  • Steven R.

    thats a big target for radar…

  • Tim

    Probably as useless as Firefox. More chinese junk .

  • Ha fighter I say bomber it’s to big to out do the f35 of f22

    • SAM

      Fighter-bomber. It’s main target is to take out aircraft-carriers and other surface ships.

  • A. Nonymous

    Anyone ever stand next to an F-15? They are surprising large aircraft when you’re up close to them. The J-20 looks a bit bigger, but not enormously so.

  • Roy Smith

    I read somewhere(was it here?) that J-20 was based on the Former MiG stealth prototype(the current Russian stealth prototype is Sukhoi). I also don’t think we should believe everything we read & hear about Russian-Chinese technical disputes. I’m sure the Russians are helping the Chinese big time to both develop & build this fighter. I also read that the Russians have a different concept of stealth technology(“Active Stealth Technology” aka “Plasma Stealth Technology”) that sounds like science fiction out of Star Trek(a “non-invisible” cloaking device) that they are trying to develop & could conceivably(if I am not over simplifying it) make ANY aircraft a “stealth fighter/bomber).

    • Enrico

      Relations between Russia and China are really a mystery at times. Russia wasn’t exactly happy for the unlicensed production of modified Su-27, the so called J-11B; also China is trying to become independent from Russia, they’re trying to develop their own engines and apparently J11B (and other fighters) are equipped with indigenous engines rather than Russian ones. Overall it looks like Chinese are fully aware that Russia is trying to get a lot of money from them (just like in the case of India and in minor scale other countries), and it looks like they feel confident enough to “refuse” their help. It should be noted that India can offer something (composite materials and software development) to Russia so their relations probably offer benefits to both sides. I’m not sure that the same could be said in the case of Russia/China relations.
      TL;DR: I’m not excluding that you can be correct but imo if their military relations are warm enough, China would have cooperated on the PAK-FA, like probably Russia offered them to do, rather than re-starting work on MiG 1.44 or anyway using Russian assistance to build a completely different design.

      • Stratege

        Composite materials and electronics on the PAK-FA are all Russian made, not Indian.
        China is not interested in PAK-FA.

  • slick willie

    I question if its real. why is the lettering on the aircraft in english?

    • TLAM Strike

      You mean the numbers? “Arabic” numerals (really they Hindu but that’s another discussion), are mostly universal. The Chinese Navy uses them for hull numbers.

      Just about the only countries I’ve seen NOT use Arabic numerals on their ships is North Korea’s border guards (they used a mix of both for some reason…) and Burma.

  • Alton

    There is a reason for it’s size. It is so big that when it is on the radar, it will overwhelm it and if the decide to drop decoys or fly three or more together, all we’ll see is a big Pizza pan, then we wake up Cholly, cause he ain’t never seen nothin like this. Oui! Ah ain’t never seen nothing like this since someone decided to stretch the B-52 and put three sets of wings and bomb bays on it!

    • sam

      Size has little to do with radar signature. In fact, vietnam style army jeeps appear over 20 times larger than that of a boeing 747 on radar.

  • Cardoso

    You’re gonna need a bigger missile.

  • John B

    Being able to manufacture such complex shaped aircraft that flies is no smal task. Strange thing that the serial number is printed in Latin numerics rather than chinese characters.

  • mik

    Its like the old F-111 bomber

  • Chimp

    I just wish the CIA would pay the guy for a tripod. Some image stabilization would be nice, too.

  • Sanem

    speed, range, electronics and guns are what air combat is all about now, manouverability has become a tertiary concern; a clear example is the F-35, compared to the F-22 and 4th gen jets

    the J-20 doesn’t have to be better than the US or Russian fighters btw, it just needs enough ability to cover the Chinese Sea’s in big enough numbers to track and engage targets succesfully. in such a large area, it’ll certainly have an edge over tanker-dependant Western fighters

    which is why we need UCAVs btw, manned jets are quickly becoming obsolete

  • Tyler

    China uses regular Latin numbers rather than Chinese character numbers in most situations where more than one number is listed. So its not really unusual that the lettering is 2001 instead of the Chinese characters.

  • Stormcharger

    Ever try to keep more than a Billion People in the dark? We can’t do it with only a few hundred reporters…

  • Tony C

    This is a BIG jet, maybe it won’t be as stealthy as it looks? The issue for the
    US planners is how to deal with large numbers of them. The Chinese
    will undoubtably want to use overwheming numbers to offset any qualitative
    disadvantages they may perceive. All this build-up to take over Taiwan.

    • doubleA

      Exactly. A couple hundred of those over Taiwan and we won’t take any military action.

    • jhm

      it will take some time. even with their j11 anj10 air fleets only numbering in the hundreds so far. A little small for such a long period of time. Unless China forsakes development and further procurement of these craft, adn throw it all behind the j20, its gonna take some time. but who knows?

  • Infidel4LIFE

    Thats right, its the size of an F-111. Its not built to dogfight i imagine, this is a long range carrier killer. This plane is huge. The Raptor is alot smaller, this plane is big. And, we are financing our own demise..

  • Infidel4LIFE

    Anti-ship cruise missles and PGM’s.

  • Hmmm. For all the ‘secrecy’ that China put behind that thing, then allow it to be ‘filmed’ in the open, and have cadets or whatevers show up and look at it. All I”ve seen are stills and this film of that J20, taxing around. Looks more like a big movie prototype than an actual combat aircraft. Why would the ChiComs allows the West to see it so easily? They have something else cooking somewhere.

  • dauntless

    At least Iran is open about their vehicles. China tries to make ’em look ‘secret’.

    I’m still unsure if I should be surprised of the size. If they have 20th century syndrome then ‘bigger is better’. But I guess this is more anti-sea vessel than full-on fighter.

  • aero

    It’s not always about physical size when it comes to radar. Look at the B-2 the aircraft itself is massive yet it’s radar cross section is probably orders of magnitude smaller than an F-15. This is one case where size doesn’t necessarily matter it’s more about shaping and materials used. Don’t forget that there are also IRST systems that can detect aircraft a raptor in supercruise is gonna get awfully hot. I think this will be stealth’s Achilles heel.

  • anme9304

    Maybe it doesn’t have to be as stealthy or maneuverable as the F-22. What if it’s used as a strike aircraft? Which would probably explain the large size of the J-20. It would provide the aircraft with more fuel and ordnance. Given the distances China would face with any future adversary. Here’s my scenario: A few squadron’s of J-20’s could take off from the Chinese coast and fly below the radar, launch several dozen cruise missiles at key targets at Taiwan. This would be followed by ballistic missiles fired from the mainland at military bases, Communication stations, shipyards, fuel depots, and airfields. This would disable Taiwan’s ability to defend herself in those first crucial moments, before the massive invasion begins. How fast could we respond to something like this before Taiwan is taken over? I know I went a little off topic, but it’s something to consider.