posted on Dec, 12 2017 @ 06:23 PM
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.