China’s J-16 multi-role fighter jet will now have a silver-grey paint coating that can provide a kind of cloaking capability.
The fighter jet is now confirmed to be able to carry all types of air-to-surface weapons in precision strikes, China Central Television (CCTV) reported Monday.
Brigade commander Jiang Jiaji, the first pilot to win the PLA's Golden Helmet competition three times was quoted by the national broadcaster that the J-16 used during the exercise carried out in January had a silver-gray painting cover which acts as a kind of cloaking coating that gives the warplane a certain stealth capability, making it nearly invisible to the naked eye and electromagnetic devices, CCTV reported.
Fu Qianshao, a Chinese air defense expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the aerodynamic design of the J-16 stresses maneuverability rather than stealth, but the coating can make it more difficult to detect.
The stealth coating can reduce detection of the J-16 by radar, Fu said. The jet's camouflaged coloring makes the aircraft blend into the sky and sea, so that the enemy will only recognize it at close range, giving it a huge advantage in combat.
Jiang also revealed that all types of Chinese air-to-surface weapons currently in service with the PLA can be installed on the J-16.
This means the J-16 can use a wide collection of air-to-ground missiles, bombs and anti-ship missiles, Fu said, noting that the multi-role fighter jet can carry several tons of munitions and launch multiple waves of attack before it runs out of ammunition.
The J-16 is reportedly capable of carrying at least eight tons of weapons.
Although the J-20 is China's more advanced fighter jet, the PLA Air Force still needs the J-16 as the two types of fighter jets can complement each other, analysts noted.
The J-20 can use its stealth capability to destroy hostile anti-air installations and win aerial superiority first but it cannot carry as many weapons as the J-16, because the J-20 hides its weapons in smaller weapon bays to ensure stealth capability, Fu said.
The J-16 can follow up a J-20 attack and clean away surface targets with its missiles and bombs, Fu said.
The J-16 is a twin-engine, twin-seat multi-role fighter jet that is also capable of air-to-air combat. It made its debut during the Army Day parade on July 30, 2017 at the Zhurihe military training base in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
China has started to hard-sell its J-10 fighter jet to Laos and Bangladesh to wean them off Russian aircraft such as the Yak-130 trainer/light fighter which both countries are considering. The country has been trying to get Pakistan interested in the J-10 but Islamabad has shown little interest despite several photo-ops of Pakistani military leaders in the cockpit of the J-10 fighter jet
The Chinese Army forces have been halved while the Navy and Air Force has been significantly boosted in an attempt to transform the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) into a comprehensive modern force, Xinhuanet reported on Sunday. The army now accounts for less than 50 per cent of the total number of PLA troops; almost half of the non-combatant units have been made redundant and the number of officers in the PLA has been reduced by 30 per cent, the report stated
Chinas People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force conducted a simulated intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strike mission from an underground bunker against an imaginary enemy. China Central Television (CCTV) did not disclose details on the location and time of the exercise
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