China Activates J-20 Mighty Dragon Stealth Fighter at 5 PLA Theater Commands

China Activates J-20 Mighty Dragon Stealth Fighter at 5 PLA Theater Commands
China Activates J-20 Mighty Dragon Stealth Fighter at 5 PLA Theater Commands

Beijing - The Chinese military is now activating J-20 stealth fighter jets in five theater commands of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The deployment of Beijing's most advanced fighter jets was revealed by Chen Liu, a delegate from the PLA and the Armed Police Force who attended the recent 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).

Experts said on Wednesday that more J-20 fighter jets are expected to enter service to replace their outdated predecessors and better protect the country's sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests.

Chen said since the J-20's maiden flight in 2011 and the commissioning of the first aircraft of this type to the PLA in 2017, the J-20 is now active in all five theater commands across the country. Chen revealed the deployment of the fighter jets when he visited an exhibition themed "Step Forward in the New Era" at the Beijing Exhibition Center earlier this week. The J-20 is taking on an increasingly important strategic role, said Chen, who is also a pilot of the J-20 fighter jet.

Chen's remarks came after Shen Jinke, spokesman for the PLA Air Force, said at a press conference on Sept. 27 that China's fifth-generation fighter jet, the J-20, had been deployed across eastern, southern, western, northern and central China. According to Chinese military aviation expert Fu Qianshao, this means that the J-20 has likely entered service with all of the PLA's East, South, West, North and Central Theater Commands.

It also shows that China has produced enough J-20s to equip all theater commands with the aircraft. Fu said China is a vast country with a very varied environment, leading to very different requirements to operate the J-20 aircraft.

That means the J-20 can adapt to all types of climates and geographic conditions, capable of flying at sea and at high altitudes, as well as in hot and cold areas. Citing the Global Times, Friday (10/21/2022), the report at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party emphasized the further modernization of national defense and military and said the presence of combat troops in new domains and new qualities would be enhanced.

Analysts say that the J-20 is a type of weapon that fits the description of having new qualities. Fu added that China still operates outdated third-generation fighter jets, and needs to be gradually replaced by more advanced aircraft such as the J-20 to better safeguard the country's territorial airspace, national interests and security.

The J-20 fighter jet has switched to using domestically developed engines in 2021, and has participated in missions in the East China Sea, South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in 2022, according to an official release by the PLA Air Force.

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