J-20 Mighty Dragon and J-16 Flanker Joined in Air Combat Simulation Exercise
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLA) combines the J-20 Mighty Dragon with the J-16 Flanker. They deployed the fighter planes for air-to-air combat simulation exercises.
CGTN media reported that the exercise was specifically centered on close-range combat. The two twin-engine fighter aircraft use a sophisticated airframe design.
This design was designed primarily for air superiority missions and was produced in parallel. The J-20 is at a facility in Chengdu in South China’s Sichuan province, and the J-16 is in Shenyang, Liaoning province, in far northeastern China.
Quoted from Military Watch Magazine, these two combat classes have significant similarities in their power generation. This also includes the sensors and avionics on it. Not only that, they also use the same PL-15 and PL-10 missiles as their main anti-aircraft weaponry.
As is well known, the J-20 Mighty Dragon is one of only two fifth-generation fighters produced and deployed to squadron-level forces anywhere in the world. In short-range combat, the fighter’s use of a distributed aperture system is highly valued. It also allows pilots to see through the walls of aircraft wearing their helmets. Where this is a feature that is unique to him and his American rival the F-35.
On the other hand, the J-16 is a credible multipurpose fighter-bomber with significant air-to-ground capabilities, in addition to the air-to-air role. Quoted from the Eurasian Times, this aircraft is integrated with the H-6K. By then, the J-16 would take out tactical targets such as anti-aircraft batteries and coastal encampments while the latter bombed larger strategic targets such as air bases and command and control centers.
Being a fighter too, the J-16 provides integral air defense to the H-6K where the proprietary radar and airborne radar from the KJ-500 and KJ-600 early warning aircraft keep the skies clear.