Continuing to show off their military buildup, China has allowed several of their newest varieties of stealth fighters to be spotted. The U.S. Air Force and Navy are already getting nervous about the increasingly aggressive displays being put on by the Chinese in the Pacific. One of the newly revealed fighters will be carrier-based, making it an important contribution to growing Chinese naval strength and aircraft carrier development.
Chinese stealth fighters revealed
The next generation of Chinese stealth fighters had been hinted at and speculated on but this is the first real look the aviation world has had.
The new J-20 stealth fighters seemingly have two seats ; the exact purpose of the additional seat has been subject to some speculation.
One theory is that the back-seater is meant to manage drones which will operate in cooperation with the manned aircraft. The United States has developed similar coordination between manned and unmanned aircraft.
The Chinese are believed to be making rapid progress in developing drones and artificial intelligence. The new fighters may be intended to take full advantage of that progress.
China has two operational aircraft carriers currently. By the beginning of the next decade they intend to have a fleet of five or six carriers completed.
Beijing preparing for conquest of Taiwan
This future fleet of planned carriers will still be materially outclassed by the combined navies of the United States, the United Kingdom, and their allies.
China, however, has focused its naval development largely with a single purpose in mind; the conquest and reintegration of the island nation of Taiwan.
It has become clear that Taiwan will be at the center of the rivalry between the United States and China. Chinese aggression on this front has left American allies in the region deeply concerned.
The Biden administration has promised to help Taiwan should China launch an attack. Continued Chinese provocations around Taiwan indicate that Beijing isn’t buying these promises.
The Chinese seem to be increasingly confident that the United States will not risk full scale war to defend a small island nation with a disputed international status.
The Chinese military isn’t ready to launch an invasion of Taiwan yet, but the new stealth fighters reveal the speed with which Beijing is progressing towards that readiness.