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Dubious Report: J-20s & J-31s on Future Chinese Aircraft Carriers

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posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 06:23 PM
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I recently called out the Russians for their extraordinary claims for the Su-57 aircraft. Actually, I have a number of times, but pretty vocally, erm, aggressively in this forum lately. However, I also stated the Chinese have been far less likely to make wild claims and walk them back. Or do a 'we were always at war with Eurasia' moment. However, today, I call them out.

The Chinese Global Times paper claimed future Chinese aircraft carriers will be launching J-20s and J-31s. They even quoted a Chinese admiral about this. This is...dubious at best.

It is not to say there will not be a 5th gen fighter on the decks of the Chinese carriers in the future, but rather its highly unlikely the J-20 will ever be on the deck. The J-20 does not appear to have been designed as a carrier bird from the get go and adapting the plane to the rigors of the sea, never mind the harshness of the cat and trap, is probably too difficult to do. Rather it would be better to start from scratch with a new bird with the lessons learned from building the J-20 and the lessons from the J-15.

There is a bit more evidence the J-31 might make a carrier appearance: a J-31 mockup was seen at the 'land carrier' the chinese use for making sure everything fits where it ought and (iirc) for training. However, the Chinese military has shown little to no interest in the Gyrfalcon and the aircraft's development has lagged far, far behind the pace of the J-20 as a result. That would strongly suggest the J-31 will remain the FC-31 and stay off the PLAN's decks.

Let me be plain: it's not that I don't think the Chinese will ever place a fifth or sixth gen bird on the decks of its carriers. Rather, I am calling horse pucky on the idea the J-20 and J-31 will ever be on the decks.

www.janes.com...




posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 06:30 PM
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a reply to: anzha




The J-20 does not appear to have been designed as a carrier bird from the get go


I assume this is as far as you know.

This is where your argument falls down, you are basing your piece on the above assumption.

They may end up with a J-20A, B and C.

Now who did they learn that from.

P



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: pheonix358

There have been two modern US built aircraft that have been successful multi service aircraft (one is still in testing), and many attempts. When you modify an aircraft for carrier operations you have to make some pretty major changes. That will reduce the flexibility of the J-20, if they were to do that. They may build a spin off design of it, but it won't be the J-20 at that point.
edit on 12/12/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/12/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

F-35 is one, what is the other successful program. We're talking planes right? Otherwise I would say the Osprey.



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 07:44 PM
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a reply to: Bfirez

The F-4. It was originally designed for the Navy, and transitioned to the Air Force as well. I use "modern" in terms of "post Korea". It's been that long since they've really tried a true multi service fighter.

There have been several cases of an aircraft designed for one service that wound up in another, such as the F-111 and the F-18, not as far as the Navy and Air Force both using them, at the same time, those are the only two successful programs that I can think of off the top of my head.
edit on 12/12/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 07:56 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Ah gotcha I thought you meant of the teen series.



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: Bfirez

You had to go all the way back to the F-4 to find one besides the F-35. That's how difficult it is to do.



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 08:31 PM
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how many carriers in the chinese navy use a catapult? would it be easier to modify a plane that just uses the ramp system instead? id imagine that also has its own challenges when it comes to a planes design but id imagine its not nearly as bad as a catapult



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: TheScale

The first two are STOBAR, from the third one on they're going to use EMALS. So currently none.

The problem with a ski jump is that you can't take off heavy. They have to limit either weapons or fuel on takeoff, because they can't get enough speed up in such a short distance if they're heavy.
edit on 12/12/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 10:34 PM
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Wouldn't they have to come up with a salt environment RAM for the J-20? Or is standard RAM up to the task? Sounds expensive/maintenance intensive.



posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 10:39 PM
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a reply to: E92M3

It depends on the RAM. At one point they offered a navalised F-117, but one of the problems was the RAM at the time and corrosion. But now, the RAM on the F-35 is durable enough to handle it. It depends largely on how they apply it as well as what it's made from.
edit on 12/12/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 10:06 AM
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Interesting. So is it more likely this was propaganda or that this admiral simply wasn't aware of the difficulties of adapting a plane to carrier operations, given that they don't really have much experience with carriers?



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 11:10 AM
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It's not impossible. It just involves some serious problems. It's easier to go from naval design to land service (F-18, A-4, F-4, E-2 all put in service with several countries, F-14 Iran) but it has been done the other way, too. The F-18 itself was heavily derived from the YF-17 design. Soviets derived the Su-33 from the land-based Flanker. China has built itself a Su-33 clone already for testing. The MiG-29K was derived from a land-based design and serves in India and Russia. Rafale was designed from the start for land and naval versions. Saab keeps promoting a navalized Grippen, but has no customers (or demonstrator).
So can they put a J-20 variant on a carrier? Maybe. Particularly if they started the variant work early in the design process. Same with the J-31 which seems to be orphaned at the moment. But it's certainly not easy.
edit on 13-12-2017 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

I think this is a little different than those cases. Deriving a new airframe while incorporating elements from a previous airframe isn't what they're proposing here. They're talking about adapting an existing airframe to carrier ops. As Zaph said, they'd probably have to make so many changes that it would essentially be building a new aircraft.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: face23785

The Su-33/J-15 is substantially similar to the Su-27. It is purely adapted. As is the MiG-29K to the M. Rafale was designed with consideration for naval ops from the drawing board, and it's not impossible this could have been done with the J-20 or J-31. There is nothing inherently impossible about an adaptation. It usually ends up heavier with all the associated drawbacks, but it's been done. The naval version of the Rafale, for example, is nearly a ton heavier than the Armee de l'air version. The Su-27 is about 2 tons lighter than the Su-33. That has serious effects on performance and operations, but those are both in service. Northrop's F-18L modification was able to lighten the airframe/gear by 3,000 lbs as another example.

Bottom line is you need a much stronger keel and gear. That's the big need. The keel modification depends on how strong it is from the get go. Both J-20 and J-31 have gear that retracts to the fuselage. That makes it a lot easier to add stronger gear. You may need wing modifications or a new wing to reflect operational needs and envelope. If you care about durability, you probably should look to beef up the wing structure to help deal with the added weight/loading. It sort of spirals on itself a bit. You need more strength, which means more weight, which means even more strength, et al. But all of those things are possible, and not beyond the Chinese.
edit on 13-12-2017 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 02:24 PM
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If you include the brits would you consider the Harrier and maybe even the Buccaneer as contenders..?!? a reply to: Zaphod58



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Nobody said it was impossible. But the YF-17 and Su-33 are good examples of what I said. Both began life as something else, and were modified into different aircraft.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: Silentvulcan

Going worldwide there were those, as well as a couple of others.




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