China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet will spawn a 2-seater variant with functions such as a dedicated bomber and electronic warfare (EW) aircraft.
Currently, all stealth fighter jets feature single-seat, so the J-20 variant might become the first two-seat stealth fighter jet in the world, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Wednesday.
“The aircraft will be serialized and its combat capability will constantly be upgraded," People's Daily quoted Yang Wei, hief designer of the J-20 as saying in March last year.
The J-20 "Mighty Dragon" is by design, highly customizable. To help pilots coping with large information at the control panel, the warplane has been outfitted with a second seat and a panel. Having variations that other countries do not possess will greatly expand the Chinese military's capability in an asymmetric warfare, Global Times reported.
“An upgraded J-20 will have improved avionics and fire control systems, more powerful engines and more weapons payload. The J-20 can also be modified to fulfil the role of Chinese FC-31 next generation carrier-borne fighter jet,” Global Times quoted Song Zhongping, a military expert as saying.
The US wanted to build a tactical bomber version of the F-22, the FB-22 owing to the aircraft’s supersonic speed and potential to penetrate airspace without being detected. The plan was, however, scrapped in 2006 because the US Air Force wanted a strategic bomber instead of a tactical one, US media outlet the National Interest reported.