|A Chengdu J-20 on the tarmac|
Video and screen shots of an aircraft fuselage covered in camouflage tarp seen in late June have fueled rumors that China may be developing a second fifth-generation aircraft, known as the J-21 “Snowy Owl.” Whether a new stealth aircraft is being developed, at a time when Chinese engineers are still struggling with the Chengdu J-20, remains to be seen, but military analysts are of the view that this is not impossible, especially if the aircraft are to play different roles.
|The alleged J-21|
What is known so far, though, is that given its size (an overall length of about 70 feet), the twin-engine J-20 will likely serve as a strike fighter, like the F-111 Aardvark, rather than as an air superiority fighter.
My article, published today in The Diplomat, continues here.