F-22 Raptor is the first 5th generation fighter aircraft to be developed. The fighter began production from 1996 andU.S has 187 F 22 Raptors. Unlike the F 35 which has been developed much after the F 22 and is also a 5th generation fighter, the F 22 still can't be exported under American federal law. Even a request from Japan which is a close ally of America was rejected. This indicates only one thing, that F 22 has many closely guarded secrets that remain classified. But even with what is available in the public domain, we can decipher that F 22 is far ahead of the game compared to any other modern fighter.
China's Chengdu J-20, its most advanced fighter jet is touted to be a 5th generation fighter. It is manufactured by Chengdu Aerospace Corporation China has 28 J-20’s in limited service. As per reports, combat units began introducing the aircraft in February 2018. In this video, Defense Updates analyses 3reasons why the Chinese Chengdu J 20 is no match to the American F 22 Raptor? Let us get started. F 22 Raptor is the first operational aircraft to combine supercruise and super-maneuverability. Supercruise is the ability to have sustained supersonic flight without having to use the highly inefficient afterburners. With this F 22 can intercept targets which subsonic aircraft would lack the speed to pursue and an afterburner-dependent aircraft would lack the fuel to catch. This is possible due to very powerful dual Pratt & amp; Whitney F119-PW-100 after-burning turbofan engines. F 22 has a speed of Mach 1.82 during super-cruise.
Chinese J 20 uses Russian AL-31F engines which is the predecessor of AL-41F1 and has struggled to make an indigenous engine suitable fora 5th generation aircraft. The future production version of the J-20 may be powered by the WS-15, a homegrown turbofan engine currently under development and could enable it with supercruise ability. A fighter jet that can’t supercruise is technically not a 5th generation fighter. It also must be noted here that just designing an engine with super-cruise ability is not enough, the engine needs to be reliable. China has been struggling with engine designs in other fighters too like the J 15. J-15 which is basically an unethical copy of the Russian Su-33 has seen several crashes due to issues that are traced back to its engine.
The aircraft uses indigenous Shenyang LimingWS-10H engines. China’s own media has come down heavily on it. Beijing-based Sina Military Network (SMN)criticized the capabilities of the J-15 as nothing more than a "flopping fish" incapable of flying from the Liaoning with heavy weapons, “effectively crippling its attack range and firepower. Radar is like an eye for an aircraft. There was no budget limitation when the AN/APG-77radar was developed for F 22 Raptor. No compromises were made and this keeps it at the top even today.
The AN/APG-77 radar features a low-observable,active-aperture, electronically scanned array that can track multiple targets under any weather conditions. It has a range of around 400 km or around250 miles against 1 m2 target. This radar can also be used for electronic-attack by focussing its signals on the enemy to overload their sensors. The radar changes frequencies more than 1,000times per second to resist jamming and have Low Probability of Intercept. Low Probability of Intercept means the enemy radar warning receivers are not able to detect that a radar lock has been achieved against it and hence opponents have little warning of an impending F 22 attack. With AN/APG-77, F 22 Raptor can gather a lot of data and some experts have said that the Raptor pilot has "God’s Eye View” of the battle-space.
Raptor is also getting Link 16 installed. With Link 16, military aircraft as well as ships and ground forces can exchange their tactical pictures in near-real-time. Link 16 also supports the exchange of text messages, imagery data and provides two channels of digital voice (2.4 kbit/s and/or 16 kbit/sin any combination). China is still experimenting with different radars which include the KLJ-7 and more advanced KLJ-7A's prototype, implying that the aircraft still doesn't have such an important aspect sorted yet. It is well known that Chinese engineering in this field is way less sophisticated than that of the U.S. and the performance of these radars won’t challenge that of the Raptor. Also, it is important to note that having a powerful radar is just one part of the story, integrating them with other components of the aircraft is very important. Raptor has seen many such upgrades and optimization which have been incorporated after direct feedback which were received from mission planners and pilots after the jet has been deployed in real combat.
F 22 Raptor is developed from grounds up to be stealthy. F22 is the stealthiest fighter ever build& has a very low RCS (Radar Cross Section) of only 0.0001 m2. It achieves this due to its structural design as well as the use of Radar Absorbing Materials (RAM). It can’t be detected by most radars. Even if some radars are able to detect it, they will find it very hard to track it and have a radar lock. You may note that to target an aircraft, quality tracking is needed so that the missiles can be guided towards it. Hence, Raptor can strike without the enemy knowing it is there in the first place. Stealth is still is very difficult to achieve and China has a long way to go.
Reports have emerged that a Sukhoi Su-30MKIof the Indian Air Force managed to detect the Chinese Chengdu J-20 jet fighter. The disclosure didn’t come from any independent analysts but from an official source. Indian Air Force commander Arup Shaha said, "The Sukhoi's radar can see them. The new Chinese jets are not so invisible after all. No special technology is required to detect the J-20, as it can be detected by ordinary radar stations.” This elevates doubts about J 20 which was already regarded as a decorated 4++ generation fighter by many experts. Stealth is one of the key aspects of a 5thgeneration fighter and without it, the fighter can't be deemed as a 5th generation jet at all.
China obtained more than 50 terabytes of data from U.S. defense and government networks, notably the F 35 Joint Strike Fighter’sstealth, radar, and engine secrets, through cyber espionage. The NSA estimated that the Chinese had conducted more than 30,000 cyber attacks as part of the massive defense industrial espionage and that more than 500 attacks were significant intrusions in the Department of Defense (DOD)systems. More than 1,600 network computers were penetrated and at least 600,000 user accounts were compromised from the Chinese cyberspying. In all, the NSA concluded that the Chinese compromised key components of F-35.
For example, designed details of AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar for the F-35 has been stolen. Importantly critical aspects of F 35’s stealth capability moved to the Chinese hand. The Chinese stole data on the methods used by the turbine to cool gases emitted by F 35’s engine, along with leading and trailing edge engine treatments and engine heat reduction data—all key elements of its stealth design. These have helped China to develop J 20. But with copying, you can progress to a certain extent. American R&D effort is way ahead and this is the reason why China has not been able to match F 22 whose production started more than 2 decades ago.