China’s J-20 Capabilities

Issue: 8 / 2020

The Chengdu J-20 marks the first entry of a multirole stealth fighter into China’s armed forces. According to the US Department of Defence (DOD), China views stealth technology as a core component in the transformation of its air force from “a predominantly territorial air force to one capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations.” Designed for enhanced stealth and manoeuvrability, the J-20 has the potential to provide China with a variety of previously unavailable air combat options and enhance its capability to project power. As an advanced multirole stealth fighter, it is speculated that the J-20 can fulfil both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the aviation branch of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.