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China Inducts Its First Stealth Fighter Jet Chengdu J-20

Beijing:  China today announced commissioning its first radar-evading J-20 stealth fighter jets into military service, giving its air force an edge in the region. The flight tests of J-20 jets are being conducted as scheduled, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence Col. Wu Qian told reporters in Beijing.

The Chengdu J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet. It made its maiden flight in 2011 and was first shown to the public at the 11th Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, in November last year. Mr Wu did not provide more details.

The stealth fighter jet’s introduction could add a new dimension in the India-China air force balance. The twin-engine fighter, built by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation, is a single seat stealth fighter.

It is unknown how many J-20 fighter jets have entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). Pakistan has already expressed interest in acquiring it.

The US Air Force operates the F-22 Raptor which is a fifth-generation stealth air-superiority fighter. In 2014, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission described the J-20 as “more advanced than any other fighter currently deployed by Asia Pacific countries.”