The Complex

First pics: China's J-20 stealth fighter armed with a missile

Here are what might be the first photos and videos of China's J-20 stealth fighter equipped with an air-to-air missile.

We've seen this coming for several weeks now as photos and videos emerged on the Chinese internet showing the second known J-20 (dubbed serial number 2002) flying with its weapons bay open and a missile rack popping out.  

Notice in the video below how the J-20's missile rack allows its weapons bay doors to close while the missile is still attached to the rack, unlike those found on American stealth jets like the F-22 Raptor. This may help cut down on drag and reduce the plane's radar signature.

(For more on this, check out David Cenciotti's analysis of the design of those found on the J-20.)

So, a little over two years after the J-20's first flight, the aircraft may be ready to conduct weapons tests. (Or, Chinese engineers just want to make sure the design of the plane's weapons bay and racks work.)

Chinese Internet


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