Why China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Is of No Great Concern for the USAF Generals

China is ramping up the production of its J-20 stealth fighter jets... But this doesn't seem to bother the top US brass too much.
J-20 stealth fighters

The United States has been flying and designing stealth aircraft for decades. It gives the US a significant comparative advantage over China because the Chinese Air Force has just developed their first stealth fighter, the J-20.

But China is moving quite fast in this aircraft’s production – and it doesn’t seem to concern the USAF leadership so far!

China’s growing fleet of J-20 stealth fighters isn’t a major concern for the US

Today, there are over 150 J-20 stealth fighters in the Chinese Air Force – and China is getting very close to having similar capabilities to the United States in fifth-generation fighter technologies.


China has rapidly increased production of the J-20 to eventually operate a fleet of more than 500 jets… And China’s growing fleet of J-20 stealth fighters is seen as a demonstration of power.

This is causing alarm among China’s neighbors, who fear that the J-20 could be used to gain air superiority in any potential conflict… However, the USAF doesn’t make a big deal out of it.

Two J-20s at CCAS2022
Two J-20s at CCAS2022 by N509FZ. Licensed under CC by 4.0

Actually, the USAF has downplayed these concerns, insisting that they’re not worried about the new Chinese fighter jet as it still remains ahead in the technology race.


The US is one step ahead of the Chinese Air Force

The USAF is currently in the process of developing Sixth generation fighter jets.

While the exact details of these aircraft are still under wraps, it is known that they will incorporate a number of cutting-edge technologies, including the ability to fly alongside a squadron of drones that serve as wingmen – or even reach hypersonic speeds (five times the speed of sound).

In addition, they are expected to feature advanced sensor suites that will give pilots a better view of the battlefield… And, of course, they will likely be equipped with powerful computer systems that will help to manage large amounts of data.


This development is part of the USAF’s NGAD program and the US Navy’s F/A-XX program that seeks to create a fighter aircraft with unmatched capabilities containing all the technological developments available today.

And if everything goes according to plan, the NGAD and F/A-XX jets could be operational in the 2030s. 

FaxxNavy by Boeing via Aviation Week. Licensed under CC by 3.0

To achieve this, the US Navy and USAF are working with a number of aerospace companies to explore new technologies that far exceed the capabilities of fifth-generation aircraft, especially the newly developed Chinese J-20.


This would give a huge advantage to the United States and will guarantee American air supremacy, at least for the first half of the 21st century. However, these programs are still in their early stages.

Meanwhile, the US has a larger fleet of fifth-generation aircraft considered to be more advanced than the J-20.

The J-20 stealth fighter technically looks like a great aircraft, but the Chinese government usually exaggerates certain capabilities of its weapons to have a psychological effect on the US.


brad Kiracofe
brad Kiracofe by pexels.com

Moreover, the F-35 is presumably superior to its Chinese version, the J-20, which was developed by copying the characteristics of the U.S. flagship aircraft.

Sixth-generation aircraft are America’s hope for dominating the world’s skies

When USAF and the US Navy’s new aircraft are combat-ready, the J-20 stealth fighter will be in an inferior position… And it could probably take decades before China can successfully copy this US technology.

Featured image credit: J-20 stealth fighter by N509FZ. Licensed under CC by 4.0.