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Chinese stealth fighters are combat-ready: Beijing

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Feb 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Beijing, Feb 12: Chi has said that its newest J-20 fourth-generation stealth fighter was combat-ready and officially commissioned into the country’s air force, the media reported. Long touted as Chi’s answer to US F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets, alysts say the J-20 is intended to fulfil two roles, air-to-air combat and ground attack.

“The stealth jets will improve the air force’s comprehensive fighting ability and eble it to better safeguard Chi’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,” Xinhua news agency quoted Shen Jinke, spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, as saying. A report last year from the Chi Power Project at the Centre for Strategic and Intertiol Studies suggests the J-20 could be used to strike enemy airfields and command centres in the ground attack role, reports CNN.

The report also points out that if long-range air-to-air missile are mounted on the J-20, it could threaten key components of the US air fleet, such as aerial refuelling tankers and early warning and command and control aircraft. In a post on the PLA’s website, Chinese military expert Song Zongping said the J-20 will “engage with rivals in the future who dare to provoke Chi in the air”.

The post claims that the arrival of the J-20 will change the balance of air power in the Asia-Pacific region, CNN reported. “In the past, only the US and its allies like Japan were capable of arming stealth fighter jets. But now, their monopoly in this region has been broken by Chi’s J-20.”

Chi first flew the twin-engine J-20 in 2011, and it was introduced to the public during a flyby at the Chi Intertiol Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, near Hong Kong, in November 2016. (IANS)

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