China's new J-20 stealth fighter jet looks like an experimental prototype for a fifth-generation fighter jet produced by Russia's MiG aircraft corporation.
According to a report in Sputnik, all appearances of J-20 have been designed to match the stealth capabilities of fifth-generation fighter aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Russia's Sukhoi PAK FA.
Quoting Dmitry Drozdenko, the deputy editor of Russian military magazine "Arsenal of the Fatherland", the report says that the J-20 appeared similar to a Russian prototype fifth-generation jet fighter, the MiG 1.44, which was finally displayed last year.
"In my opinion, the machine is based on the Russian MiG 1.44. That plane was created to compete with the PAK FA at the preliminary design stage, and made its maiden flight in 2000. The Chinese plane is very similar. Although it hasn't been announced officially, the J-20 uses our AL-31F engine, developed by Salut, which the Chinese bought for half a billion dollars," Dmitry Drozdenko told Sputnik.
China unveiled two Chengdu J-20 stealth fighters at the Zhuhai air show in Beijing on Tuesday.
The MiG aircraft corporation started designing a fifth-generation Multirole Tactical Fighter in 1983, in response to US efforts to develop an Advanced Tactical Fighter, which eventually materialized as the F-22.
During this time the Sukhoi aircraft company also developed a prototype fifth-generation aircraft, the Su-47. The prototype made its maiden flight in 1997, and paved the way for the PAK FA currently in development for the Russian Aerospace Forces.
The Sputnik report reveals that MiG flew a secret prototype of the fifth-generation fighter in 2000, but the project was eventually dropped in favor of the PAK FA. The 1.44 prototype remained under wraps until last year, when it was unveiled at the MAKS 2015 International Air Show in Moscow.