Warning for India: Chinese air force inducts new stealth fighter ahead of schedule
India Today ^ | March 10, 2017 | Ananth Krishnan
Posted on 03/13/2017 5:17:01 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
China has put into service its fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighter that many experts say will give the PLA Air Force a massive firepower boost, state media reported on Thursday.
The fighter was earlier thought to be combat ready only by 2019. But the secretive J-20 stealth fighter – a fifth-generation jet that Chinese analysts claim is on a par with the US F-22 – had entered service, an official military channel reported late on Thursday, Reuters reported.
In September, Chinese social media websites showed photos of the J-20 being deployed in southwestern Sichuan province on the Tibetan plateau – not far from the border with India.
The PLA website however then denied those reports, saying the jet was still undergoing trials and was likely to first be deployed on the plains. The PLA said then that the Tibetan plateau was an unlikely site for its first deployment as its airports weren’t even ready to accommodate the fifth-generation fighter.
J-20 DEPLOYED IN TIBET?
Thursday’s report did not provide details on where the fighter will likely be deployed. Last year, a photograph supposedly showing the fighter at the Daocheng Yading airport, which was shared on social media websites but not verified, had led to media reports suggesting the J-20 had been deployed in Tibet.
The Yading airport is located in Sichuan province, not in the Tibet Autonomous Region but in a prefecture bordering the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). It is China’s highest airport. Much of the PLA’s air force deployments aimed at India are located in five civilian and military airports in the TAR.
“It is said that J-20 will be put into service soon but the China-India border is apparently not the ideal place for its deployment. In addition, the world’s highest airport there does not have a complete set of supporting facilities and such shortage will impede the function of J-20,” said a report published on a website of the PLA, China Military Online, which usually carries officially-sanctioned reports and statements.
“J-20 will not be deployed in Daocheng Yading airport as the airport is too close to the border, and it is vulnerable to India’s first wave hit. If India is to deploy BrahMos missile on the China-India border, then the Daocheng Yading airport will likely to become its target,” the report suggested.
China’s other advanced fighters, such as the Su-27 which is also used by India, and the J-10 had been modified and acclimatised to high-altitude operations, the PLA website reported. Despite China’s massive infrastructure developments in Tibet, the report claimed India had been more aggressive on its border deployments, including C-130 transport planes from the US and Heron unmanned aerial vehicles, not to mention the BrahMos.
At the same time, it concluded, “India is not yet the biggest threat for China and though confrontation events along the border would occur from time to time, the overall situation is rather stable. In this way, China does not put too much emphasis and focus targeting India.”
Who needs stealth with a such a big blob like that we can probably just visually see them from satellites.
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