Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coming Up... A Glimpse Into India's Official Assessment Of The Chengdu J-20

Earlier this year, when the Chengdu J-20, China's fifth generation fighter prototype went from being a grainy internet rumour into a thundering reality, the Indian Air Force commissioned a report by a group of officers. The group was asked to study all available information on the aircraft, photographs, videos and any other material available. Folks from the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and some academic institutions were asked to be part of the report too. I'm privy to a few excerpts from the final report, and will post those once my sources give me the all clear. Stay tuned.

37 comments :

Paul said...

Now that Chine's 5th generation aircraft is revealed India needs to collect as much information as possible and make sure AMCA is developed to perform better than J20.

Jake Lor said...

I want to see Indian Su-50MKI Fire Fox vs Chinese J-20 Black Dragon.

Amit Srivastava said...

The americans missed its debut too. Not much should expected from the report in terms of this aircrafts' capability assessment its way too early for that, it may focus on possible scenarios in which we may face it and our options to counter hi-tech stealth in the neighborhood. But anyway it would be interesting to see what could its range and payload be, as per experts (aviation week has done a pretty good job here)

Mr. Ra said...

J-20 can be expected to be better than F-35 but not better than F-22 or T-50 Sukhoi. Depending upon the perceived parameters of J-20, the suitable design modifications on the AMCA can be conveniently incorporated.

Anonymous said...

India's hopes are now upon AMCA. The ADA chief has claimed that they plan to roll out something bigger and better than anything flying today, by the end of the decade. Hope they don't turn this statement into a joke. After 30 years of effort IAF chief's terming Tejas as a 3rd Gen aircraft was a big embarrassment for the nation. Hope IAF cooperates and ADA/HAL lives up to the expectations.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Ra, mind listing out the spheres in which J-20 can be expected to be better than F-35 but not better than F-22 or T-50 as you put it.
Given the size of the J-20, a lot can be speculated and a lot can be put to rest. Awaiting your reply based on your assessment. Thanks.

Abhishek said...

@anonymous (9:29pm) Possible... but ada/hal are not at all good places for such kind of work! I wonder how great a TATA company doing design/development/manufacturing could be for such a project... but the govt org are so bloody boring. no scope for branstorming. i think a generation of bad recruits spoiled all the efforts!

-ada employee

Anonymous said...

hey shiv bhai, please copy paste my last comment (the one from ada employee) into an anon. post. dont want a problems!

Ravi Khanna said...

Big Plane... Internal weapon system.. good one..

Anonymous said...

The Achilles heal of the J20 could be its engine. Neither the WS-10 or the AL-31F will get the Chinese what they are looking for. Time will tell....

The other possible issue is agility...this is a big bird...

Anonymous said...

Just like all other Chinese products, they are made to be more than what it should be. Just because they rolled one out, it does not mean that it's fully functional as a 5th gen. fighter. Chinese are not that much ahead of Indians when it comes for technology. Remember FC1/JF17 has been flying for a while, but contrary to early indications, that bird may not even be a match for Tejas. Chinese are good when it comes to copying stuff, but innovation is not something that they are known for. Can J-20 be an innovative product that the rest of the world failed to acknoledge it's true potential, may be... but I highly doubt it. The difference is they do not knock their product, while in a free society like India, the Air Chief's can get away with making irresponsible statements like LCA = Mig 21++..... if you want a true assessment, ask each and every Mig 21 pilot, If given a choice "Would you prefer to keep flying in your Mig or would you rather switch to Tejas"..... I am confident confident that they will prove the ACM wrong.

Anonymous said...

I'll give an assessment -

It's not a fighter, but a medium strike bomber.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese managed with obsolete J-5, J-6, J-7 etc in the 80s while most major powers at that time were using fighters like F-16, Mirage 2000, etc. So how did they manage? BY PREVENTING THEMSELVE FROM FIGHTING A WAR. India should learn form that lesson. The main point of national defense is to prevent war from happening. That can be done without the purchase of expensive military equipments. The Chinese's case is a good example; don't tell me that there are things that India is missing now compare to the China of yesteryear. Look after your economy, your own people (development) and your own national objectives first. Yes it is a tried old tune, but it makes more sense then what India is doing now; buying such a wide array of different equipments.

You HIRED your politicians for a reason. It is time you put them to work. They should be the first line of defense of your country; diplomacy should alway be the first option, not the last. Don't believe those who tell you that if India does not have a big sword, no one will respect her. She (India) has the respect of her peers, unless she lost them first.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 929 AM

get your numbers right...30 years???..go read the facts about the tejas timeline...in 1983..they thought lets build a fighter to replace the mig 21....they didnt release money to build it the very next day...

it was in 93 that funds for building the a/c came..the funds in 83 were for building the infrastructure needed to design n build an a/c

"Only after a decade of infrastructure building did the design work start, when the ministry of defence (MoD) sanctioned Rs 2,188 crore in 1993 (which included the initial Rs 560 crore). This allocation was to fund the building of two ‘technology demonstrator’ Tejas fighters."

http://www.defence.pk/forums/india-defence/94476-lca-tejas-project-funding-details-revealed.html

I suppose you will now call me a fool for believing him...

about what the IAF chief said....he said mig 21+ in its IOC configuration ..i.e before full flight envelope explored.....


and if the link gives too many details for you to comprehend (or read and accept)...refrain from commenting

indian said...

i challange india to make AMCA with in timeframe what they promised to complite . it will be delayed to another 5 year after 30 years we delivered underrated fighter called Tejas ...what do you expect if war broken with china we will defenitly loss the war ....need comments

Anonymous said...

Any generation its Indian,wait and see Tejas will excel all parameters

Anonymous said...

There's a saying in Hindi "Haathi ke daant...dikhaane ke liye ek aur chabaane ke liye ek". I wonder in the J20 is something like that? Have external media and pundits buzzing and scratching their head while they go ahead and make something else?

Anonymous said...

Anon@5.51 AM
Our politicians are corrupt cannot be trusted, unlike yours. Therefore, our mainstay will be big stick with corrupt politician to do diplomacy. Currently our corrupt politician is gaining by letting us buy expensive gear. If you can give him more than what he is already getting, probably, India may not end up buying all this. You know how it works???? after all you have experience of 30 yrs dealing with Americans in your country.

Anonymous said...

India is always a generation or two behind. For submarine and aircraft carrier manufacture, India is three generations behind. India is just too good at fooling itself at every occasion, but India has never fooled its enemies, while its enemies have always fooled India. Through the 1970s and 1980s, China fooled India into thinking it was militarily superior to India when it wasn't.

If the J-20 is just a little ahead of India, just ask all of India to wait till 2020 or 2022, by which time China will be many generations ahead of India. This isn't unbelievable because China is spending five times more every year on defense than India. At that time, watch with bated breath while Chinese troops reach Allahabad and Kanpur on the Ganges river.

Don't tell me I didn't warn you! What can India do about it? Nothing! Just prepare yourself to enjoy it while it's happening. That's the best India can do!

RAT said...

LOOK CLOSLEY TO THE PICTURE AND THE VIDEOS OF THE PLANE TELL ME WHAT DO YOU SEE DIFFERENT? ITS A HINT PEOPLE ENJOY HAPPY ANALYSIS.

Anonymous said...

China is the manufacturing hub for the world , their knowledge of material , ability to put hi-end products together cannot be undermined.

Also there software might is huge, look at their local software solutions , they have practically all software counter parts eg baidu for google etc.

Being communist helps their defence sector easily 5x more.

The best talent wants to join govt operations or gov't bodies. unlike in India where the govt organization are rotting and filled with incompetent people (barring very few exceptions in forces )

Private Entrepreneurial sector is completely kept out of the Defence

What ever talks right now are happening don't still make a startup to entere defence sector , get funded and make money. Its challenging and not based on meritocracy like the software , social media , eCommerce sector.

We need to create excellent funding infrastructure for Defence Startups , Market is huge we need to and Defence RnD private companies.

They are way more efficient than gov't institutes and can do 100crores of work for 1/5 the cost and will be of global standard.


I am sure you guys will have heard of Space startup in US called SPACEX read about it and you will know what potential lies in give defence development to private companies , there are plenty of great engineers from excellent institutes who will work hard for their nation and to become wealthy.

Anonymous said...

Like it or not, the chinese juggernaut will roll on. They will be a threat not only for India but for all the current major powers.

They will do so because they have encouraged domestic development and manufacture.They are likely to come up with innovations sooner rather than later.

Let us learn from them and urgently focus on domestic skill development. No amount of imports will save us in the future if we do not have our own development and manufacturing capability.

Animesh said...

a good analysis of the J-20 is available on
http://ausairpower.net/APA-J-XX-Prototype.html

Pankaj said...

In 2025 china wil have 75-110 j20,bt AMCA IN Prototipe stage ,china captur north east with the help of j20 and commando operation Indianarmy and su 30 r not able for this situation HAL & army quik fast m777 & Amca

Manish Kumar said...

When will India wakeup and free itself from babudom and corruption. It has now been confirmed by U.S. that the Chinese Army is now bolstering its presence all alon the LOC. Read full article on:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-agencies-confirm-presence-of-Chinese-troops-along-LoC-in-PoK/articleshow/7930199.cms.
The way the Chinese Armed Forces is growing by leaps and bounds it soon will be very difficult even for the U.S. to contain its hegemonistic designs. It is high time Indian Govt ties up the HAL, ADA etc with TATA's and other technologically advanced companies so that we do not lag behind in technology and complete all our projects on schedule. For that matter SAAB or Dassault maybe a good option to tieup with. Just imagine what will happen if war breaks on 2 fronts? Go and finalise the MMRCA deal ASAP. There is a limit to how much we can linger such an imp. deal. Go India Go!!!!!!!
Manish Kumar
Dainik Hindustan

Mr. Ra said...

Anon@10:56 PM

You have correctly recognized that the higher size of J-20 in comparison to all others may have its own limitations within the existing paradigm of available or foreseeable technology.

For example F-22 and Sukhoi T-50 are with Mach 2+ and F-35 with Mach 1.6. With its heavier size and weight it will be very difficult for J-20 to reach Mach 2 as it may require high cost technological superior engines which may be beyond its reach now. So they mean to compromise on the deep penetration strike role with little possibility of the air superiority.

Once coming in to the slower deep penetration strike role, the geometrical stealth achievement has to become that of paramount importance. The improvement on geometrical stealth reduces the aerodynamic properties so it further affects on the maximum possible speeds and loads. Their size tells that they are not compromising on the loads and it may mean they may be compromising on the speeds.

Accordingly I surmise that the maximum speed of J-20 may be limited to 1.4 Mach, until and unless they put some very powerful engines to reach Mach 1.6. I think they are putting up the delta canards to increase their maneuverability again to compensate for the speeds.

As such J-20 will be best for deep penetration strike especially against weak nations and worst in the air superiority role. Further based on the available data it can be guessed that J-20 is going to be second in stealth only to F-22, but better than F-35 and T-50. However it can be the slowest so overall it may be better than only the F-35.

Anonymous said...

who is bothered about all these high tech stuff! enjoy cricket yaar!!! first world cup and then IPL series. so whole India dozes off before LCD and not so LCD TV sets. Have easy life!!! If china asks for Arunachal simply hand over the keys and let us go back to our TV sets praising sachins,dhonis etc...

SS said...

@indian and loads of people on here who doubt the capabilities of the indian army/soldier based on the delays in decision making by the authorities in charge of Indian defence. Remember how the "mighty" Patten tanks of the mighty pak army were supposed to annihilate india in the 1965 war and how in the famous battle of Longewala in 1971 an entire division of tanks was wiped out..if u have forgotten that please go and check again before dismissing India. Also my fellow indians and as pointed by someone few months back on this blog, wars are not necessarily won by the side having the most advanced weapons- dont forget my dear pakistani sympathisers and those in awe of China's military might, how the "puny" Gnat of the IAF proved to be a nightmare for the much vaunted US supplied F-86 Sabres in 1971, even though we had better fighter planes at the time. A lot of time has passed since then and India has significantly modernized its defence forces since then and is continuing to do so. For a J-20 we also have equivalent PAK FA program with Russians in place, that should enter service around the same time as J-20 with China- net result- advantage not so much- but definitely of deterrance value to stop any Chinese of daydreaming about bathing in the Ganges. Not to mention the AMCA, MMRCA programs which would add significant value to the Indian Air force. Also, we have moved far beyond the situation of 1962, if that wasn't the case then what is stopping the Chinese now? Are they afraid of India too? maybe not, but they know for sure that it is NOT the india of 1962 they are faced with, but a force that will match them if not through number of equipment, but definitely through ingenuity and valour that is the hallmark of Indian defence services- that can give as good as it gets, if not more- the supposed production delays by various defence production agencies notwithstanding..Jai Hind!

parthvader said...

1. India has two new generation fighters in the pipeline.

2. Introduction of new fighters by itself is not a game changer. An air force is an ecosystem of multiple things like intelligence infrastructure, logistics, support capability, air defence, bases, combat and support aircraft etc.

Hence, the type of fighter one operates is just one of many factors that constitute air power.

Mr. Ra said...

@Anon 10:56 PM

You have correctly recognized that the higher size of J-20 in comparison to all others may have its own limitations within the existing paradigm of available or foreseeable technology.

For example F-22 and Sukhoi T-50 are with Mach 2+ and F-35 with Mach 1.6. With its heavier size and weight it will be very difficult for J-20 to reach Mach 2 as it may require high cost technological superior engines which may be beyond its reach now. So they mean to compromise on the deep penetration strike role with little possibility of the air superiority.

Once coming in to the slower deep penetration strike role, the geometrical stealth achievement has to become that of paramount importance. The improvement on geometrical stealth reduces the aerodynamic properties so it further affects on the maximum possible speeds and loads. Their size tells that they are not compromising on the loads and it may mean they may be compromising on the speeds.

Accordingly I surmise that the maximum speed of J-20 may be limited to 1.4 Mach, until and unless they put some very powerful engines to reach Mach 1.6. I think they are putting up the delta canards to increase their maneuverability again to compensate for the speeds.

As such J-20 will be best for deep penetration strike especially against weak nations and worst in the air superiority role. Further based on the available data it can be guessed that J-20 is going to be second in stealth only to F-22, but better than F-35 and T-50. However it can be the slowest so overall it may be better than only the F-35.

Anonymous said...

shiv you repeatedly say "stay tuned for this and that" but don't deliver always... i can dig out many if you wish

Anonymous said...

@Abhisekh/ Anonymous: You really out did all expectations from u..... bravo....

Anonymous said...

kiththe?

Anonymous said...

Stay tuned ..... for Garbage !!!!

Anonymous said...

India is a sinking ship! Nationalism is sinking, too! Everyone cares for "paisa" and no politician I know cares for India. India's politicians are often good orators, but little else. In addition, every military officer and govt official is probably corrupt. An honest living has become impossible for every Indian. A country such as this is going to get its wind knocked out! And, the Chinese are going to do it!

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

still staying tuned..

should that be viewed as a no-go from your source? or ur being too busy?

Anonymous said...

J-20 I believe has been ultra hyped. A plan that is making its second flight has been hyped up to show the world that the Chinese have the stealth technology.

The aircraft will take years to get to a stage when the PLAAF will be able to confidently position it as strategic bomber/air superiority fighter, unless the Russians provide them the technology.

India needs to get over with the MMRCA deal. Buy 200 of them and closely work with DRDO on Tejas Mk2 and AMCA.