3D model of China's first stealth fighter reveals its greatest strengths and weaknesses
- China's J-20 stealth jet is getting closer to completion, and it poses a real threat to the US's weapons systems.
- The J-20 has many of the F-35's most favorable features, but slightly worse stealth.
- China has created the first stealth fighter outside of the US, and it will only improve it further.
China's Chengdu J-20, the first stealth jet ever produced by anyone other than the US, has presented a mystery to American military planners trying to maintain an edge in the Pacific.
As China gets closer and closer to actually fielding the revolutionary jet, details are becoming more abundant, and its role in the future of warfare more apparent.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies has put together a report on the J-20, complete with a 3D interactive model that shows the plane's greatest strengths and weaknesses.The J-20 benefits from a stealth airframe that will radically reduce its radar cross section and any adversaries' ability to detect it. The jet holds a competitive amount of ordnance, and it's slated to carry very long range missiles that can keep US systems at bay.
The J-20 also has some of the revolutionary hardware that makes the US's F-35 such a standout.
China's new stealth jet features advanced radars and sensors, a datalink to interface with other systems, six cameras to give the pilot spherical awareness in the sky, and a chin-mounted heat-seeking tracking radar.
But as Business Insider previously reported, the J-20's design isn't fully stealth. Some angles stick out and will light up enemy radars.
However, it appears to have a low radar cross section from the forward angle, which would help its proposed air interception role.