CHINA has been working on a new military stealth jet with a slick tail-free design used to dodge radar.
The concept for the sixth-generation combat aircraft model was displayed during an airshow and aerospace trade expo in the Guangdong province last week.China revealed its concept for a tail-less sixth-generation fighter jet[/caption] The aircraft is said to compete with the US Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter[/caption]
China’s aerospace industry has reportedly been working on a sixth-generation fighter that is faster and more advanced than those already in their arsenal.
The combat jet enhances the fighter’s low observability, which allows them to dodge many radar types, according to The Defense Post.
Reduced drag and sustained high-speed flight and cruising reportedly improves the efficiency of the aircraft.
However, there is apparently a down-side to not having a vertical tail.
It’s absence could potentially make the jet more unstable, which might affect its maneuverability.
United States Air Combat Command chief Mark Kelly said earlier this year that Beijing is already “on track” to making a sixth-generation combat jet.
This aircraft is believed to rival the US Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter, the outlet reported.
During an air, space, and cyber conference in Washington DC this September, Kelly revealed that the US might have two versions of the NGAD to accommodate long-range missions in the Indo-Pacific and short-range operations in Europe.
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He said that China’s aircraft concept appeared similar to America’s sixth-generation jet idea, which is why the US Air Force needs to produce and field the NGAD fighter “at least a month before our competitors.”
Back in June, Secretary Frank Kendall announced that the NGAD fighter program had started its engineering and manufacturing development phase.
However, it will still take several more years for the program to reach initial operational capability, Defense News reported.
The Air Force started early experimental prototyping in 2015.
However, “the clock really didn’t start in 2015; it’s starting roughly now,” Kendall said.
“We think we’ll have capability by the end of the decade.”
The design for China’s combat jet has previously appeared in Chinese aviation white papers that are available for public view.
There was a tail-less fighter-like airframe spotted at a Chinese jet production facility in 2021, but it is unclear if it was the same as the one displayed at the Zhuhai Airshow in Guangdong.The jet’s design allows it to dodge many radar types[/caption]