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The little changes of new J-20 prototype

J-20: previous prototype
A quick update before Chinese New Years

In less than 2 weeks, we will have Chinese New Year. Every year as with other Chinese companies, all of the military industrial complex stops working from a few days before Chinese New Year until 2 weeks (sometimes longer) after the Chinese New Year. This is a very short update before that period hits.

This past week, we saw a new J-20 prototype (No. 2011) coming out. It seems like the previous J-20 prototypes were all part of the technology demonstrator phase of the program. This new prototype features some changes like redesigned intakes, installation of nose mounted EOTS, smaller wing actuators, clipped tail fins, frame strengthened canopy and frameless holographic HUD. 

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It is said that unless major problems are found in this prototype, the changes before the production version will be minimal. The changes in this prototype explains why we had such a long wait until this prototype. 

This prototype had its first low-speed taxi test on the 16th. I think it will not make its maiden flight until sometimes after Chinese New Years. Here are two comparisons of No. 2011 vs previous J-20 Prototype No. 2002 from different view. In both cases, No. 2011 is the one on the bottom.

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In the naval side of things, there are some rumours that I think is probably fairly accurate. It is said that Dalian shipyard will probably start the construction of the first domestic carrier. I would expect it to look very similar to CV-16 Liaoning. Dalian shipyard is also expected to start work on the 052D project (if it hasn't already). 

Previously, Dalian and JN shipyard have both been the shipyards responsible for building larger surface ships designated in the destroyer class for PLAN, so it's not surprising that they will be participating in the 052D project. The production run of the 052D class is now estimated to hit 12 ships. 4 of which will be produced by Dalian shipyard and the other 8 will be by JN shipyard. 

We know that 3 052Ds have already been launched at JN shipyard. Based on the current rate of production and commissioning, all of 052Ds from JN shipyard will probably be handed over to PLAN by around the end of 2016. It is likely that the Type 055 project will start before then. All of the above are from a pretty good source, but things could obviously change before then

The new prototype
China Air and Naval Power
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