J-20 Back in the Air

The Chinese J-20 stealth fighter has reportedly returned to flight testing, completing a publicly witnessed flight in recent days that was much longer than its first reported flight back in January. Britain’s Daily Mail reported Tuesday that a J-20 aircraft took to the skies this past weekend from an airfield in Chengdu in southcentral China in a flight meant to coincide with the 60th anniversary of China’s aviation industry. It cited a report in a Chinese Communist Party-owned tabloid that included alleged new J-20 photos. US officials have said they were not surprised when China unveiled the J-20 late last year. However, they have acknowledged that the J-20’s emergence has shown that China may be making progress in the design of advanced combat aircraft more quickly than the United States had anticipated. (See also Reuters report and Navy Intel Assesses the J-20 from the Daily Report archives.)