UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Military


J-20S Twin Seat Aircraft

The temporary name "J-20S" is used to refer to the two-seater J-20, which is consistent with the usual Chinese People's Liberation Army name (S, for "double"). Note that "J-20S" is not an official name. One of the first famous English articles in the Global Times that mentioned the J-20 in 2019. This article quoted a TV program from CCTV, in which the idea of ??two-seater improvement was put forward. The role of this aircraft is described as including airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) missions, controlling drones, other aircraft, and supporting surface ships and land-based missiles, implying an important battle management (BM) role.

Chinese military experts say that changing a single-seat fighter to a two-seat fighter has many details to consider. It is obviously not as simple as adding a "chair." In fact, the design is relatively complicated, especially since the two-seat stealth fighter is not yet available. The precedent, if China wants to develop the J-20 two-seat version of the fighter, it needs to solve a series of practical problems, such as the contradiction between the rear seat pilot and the aerodynamic structure. Although modern combat aircraft are generally equipped with radar systems, normal flight safety still needs visual environment support.

Most modern two-seater fighters use a tandem cockpit (or stepped cockpit), that is, one crew member sits in the front and the other in the back. In contrast, the side-by-side cockpit puts two crew members together. In short, the tandem two-seater configuration expands the overall length of the cockpit compared to the single-seater, while the side-by-side configuration expands the overall width of the cockpit compared to the single-seater. In terms of development work, the tandem two-seater variant of the single-seater fighter usually requires much less structural modification than the side-by-side two-seater configuration, because the latter requires the aircraft's nose to be widened to accommodate the larger cockpit width. The widened nose of the aircraft may also require extensive modifications to the aircraft's overall fuselage, air intakes, and weapon bays, depending on the configuration of the aircraft.

In the case of J-20, as a fifth-generation aircraft with integrated lift design and canard leading edge root extension and side air intake, it is impossible to see a side-by-side two-seater variant, because it requires redesigning the entire aircraft to this point. To a degree, it is essentially a newly designed aircraft.

J-20 - Two Seat Variant Concept J-20 - Two Seat Variant Concept J-20 - Two Seat Variant Concept J-20 - Two Seat Variant Concept

The two-seat J-16 is powerful enough to replace the J-20 to complete the ground attack mission. Therefore, it is not necessary to develop the J-20 two-seat combat bomber. Since both are new fighter jets recently developed in China, and they are positioned at a high end, many new technologies of the J-20 have been applied to the J-16. For example, the J-16 and J-20 are equipped with the latest generation of ASEA in China. The automatic electronic scanning active phased array radar is said to have a detection range of more than 200 kilometers, can track 30 targets at the same time, and can lock and attack 4 to 6 of them. Even if the performance is slightly different, it will not be too large, so the J-16 can indeed be compared to the J-20 in terms of radar performance.

In terms of engines, the J-16 and J-20 also use domestic WS-10 "Taihang" engines. In addition, the J-16 has its own unique advantages. The J-20's belly magazine has 4 hanging points, and each side has 1 hanging point, which is a total of 6 hanging points. The J-16 is different. The J-16 was originally designed as a fighter-bomber. There are 12 external points and the maximum bomb load can reach 12 tons. Therefore, the advantage of the large J-16 bomb load is that the J-20 cannot be compared. of. In the future combat system, the J-20 will take advantage of its strong stealth and penetration ability to play the advantage of the "knockman", and terminate the enemy's air defense system and early warning command system in advance, and then use the J-16 "bomb truck "To attack one by one.

Therefore, the two aircraft that appeared in the same frame with the J-20 have a pivotal role in the combat system of China's air force. It is precisely because of the strong support of these "good partners" that the J-20 can concentrate on its mission.

As the 10th anniversary of the official first flight of China's first fifth-generation fighter approached, AVIC Chengfei released a commemorative short film to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the first flight of the J-20. In this short film, Chengfei brought a new surprise to military fans, that is, the two-seater J-20 (hereinafter referred to as J-20S).

From the appearance point of view, there was basically no change in the aerodynamic layout of the F-20S. Since the space in the rear cockpit was reserved during the design, the problem of bloated nose did not occur. In addition, the reserved position is not used as the internal fuel tank of the fuselage, so the internal range of the F-20S is not affected, which is basically the same as the single-seater version.

The J-20S will be a combat trainer similar to the Su-27UBK, which will perform certain training tasks for new students. At present, my country’s fifth-generation aircraft pilots are trained using a selection system, which is the same as the initial training model of the F-15 carrier-based aircraft, that is, selecting the best from the active pilots. These pilots themselves have a solid foundation and strong psychology. Quality. After learning the basic theory, use the simulators of Coach 10 and F-20 to simulate the operation of the fifth-generation aircraft. After passing the examination, you can directly board the F-20. When the number of fifth-generation aircraft is small (currently the number of J-20 in my country is in double digits), this training model has its advantages.

However, when the number of fifth-generation aircraft gradually increased, the drawbacks of this training model were obvious, and it was impossible to train enough qualified pilots in a short time. Moreover, the pilots selected by the selection system are older, and because they have been flying the fourth/fourth-generation semi-fighter before, they have inertial thinking and habits that are difficult to change, and their ability to accept new things is poor, and they fully exert the full combat power of the fifth-generation aircraft. Instead, it takes longer.

It is imperative to adopt a new growth model to train fifth-generation pilots. However, the growth model has a big disadvantage. The flight students are selected from the aviation school. It is too dangerous to fly solo on the fifth-generation aircraft. If there are old pilots, the effect will be better. This is exactly the development of the two-seater J-20S. One of the original intentions.

Another purpose of the F-20S is to strike at ground/sea. The J-20 has the largest external dimensions, the largest internal fuel range and the largest internal magazine in the current five generations. It is simply tailor-made for ground/sea attacks. The rear cockpit of the F-20B is only slightly higher than the front cockpit pilot, roughly the same height as the front cockpit, which is consistent with the two-seater F-10S rear seat, because the rear seat is mainly responsible for weapon launch , The cockpit is naturally higher. This is consistent with the F-20S's positioning of taking into account ground attacks. But this will increase the flight resistance, so the top of the two-seater J-20S cabin should be flatter to ensure that the supersonic cruise capability does not drop too much.

China’s main ground/sea attacks are mainly the F-16 and Flying Leopard. Although their performance is among the best in the world, they are not stealth fighters. Under modern conditions, facing the enemy’s advanced air defense systems, their survivability alone is worrying. Generally, they follow the F-20 and wait until the F-20 kicks the door successfully before following up to strike against ground targets.

But this kind of tactics has a more serious problem. First of all, will the J-16 or the Flying Leopard be discovered by the enemy's radar. If they are arranged farther away from the J-20, although this will not affect the J-20, how to cooperate and coordinate with each other is also a big problem.

Obviously, in the face of a high-threat environment, it is obviously more appropriate for the J-20 to perform precision strikes on the ground. On the one hand, the J-20S and the J-20 have the same stealth and super-patrol capabilities, and there is no need to follow up by ladders, making coordinated operations easier. The strike efficiency and survivability are many times higher than that of the J-16. The combat capability of a J-20 is equivalent to several J-16s. This eliminates the need to produce more J-16s and uses the saved funds to produce more fifth-generation machines.

In addition, the F-20 itself has the largest built-in magazine in the fifth-generation aircraft, which can mount various larger-sized precision-guided weapons, and its strike efficiency is not necessarily worse than the J-16. In addition, the J-20 has strong plug-in capabilities. There are two re-attach points under the wings. When performing tasks that are not too threatening, the beast mode can be turned on to inflict a devastating blow to the enemy. Such an J-20S will surpass the F-35 series by then and become the world's most powerful model for ground/sea strikes.

In future wars, drones will play an increasingly important role. Compared with manned fighter drones, it has surpassing human pilots' physical strength, response ability, maneuverability and computing power. Manned fighter jets and intelligent drones have become the focus of research in countries around the world. At present, the United States and Russia have developed their own UAV wingmen to perform high-risk reconnaissance or combat missions that are incapable of manned fighter jets.

At present, China has also begun the development of large-scale stealth drones. Compared with other countries, the J-20S has one more pilot, and the front cabin pilots have a lighter burden. They can concentrate on the fighter pilot and no longer care about the other. The rear cabin pilots can concentrate on operating the drones. In addition to the loyal wingmen, they can also remotely operate more miniaturized drones, or even drone swarms, to achieve higher combat efficiency.

At present, the power of electromagnetic control has risen to the same important position as the power of air control. Both China and the United States have developed their own electronic warplanes. Therefore, some netizens have proposed whether the J-20S will develop an electronic warfare model. The author thinks that there is no possibility. First of all, the electronic warfare itself is a large electromagnetic emission source. In addition, the electronic warfare requires a large number of external electronic warfare pods and anti-radiation missiles. The J-20 must turn on the beast mode to meet the needs of electronic warfare. In this way, the J-20S is excellent Stealth performance cannot be used at all. In terms of combat performance or cost-effectiveness, the J-20S is not suitable at all.

Obviously, the appearance of the two-seater J-20S not only greatly expands the scope of use of the fifth-generation aircraft, but can also streamline the composition of existing fighter aircraft and enhance the combat capability of the Air Force.

Combat management will include monitoring and evaluating the battlefield space through a full spectrum of safe, networked friendly sensors and shooters to maintain situational awareness, which is beyond the time and mental resources of a single pilot. This will provide enhanced command and control capabilities and prioritization of friendly assets across multiple domains, including EW. This role will assume some of the tasks of traditional early warning aircraft, but it will not replace early warning aircraft or future distributed early warning aircraft solutions.

In addition, J-20S will not actively launch its own sensors like the pre-setup, but rely on network sensors provided by friendly and equally well-networked fighters, UAVs and other carrier force multipliers and sensors. The role of drone control and battle management overlaps because it requires the same level of complex networks and situational awareness, but on the contrary, it is the decision maker and supervisor of friendly unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UCAV) formations. It doesn't matter if they are performing air-to-air missions, or sensor, strike, surveillance or electronic warfare missions.

Future drones and drones will certainly have more autonomy than current drones. However, in a high electronic warfare environment, a line-of-sight manned controller may still be required in the same battlefield space to ensure that the tactical decision-making and mission supervision of multiple large-scale UAV formations are performed correctly, and it can control the battlefield space.




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list



 
Page last modified: 28-10-2021 16:50:06 ZULU