One of four Su-30MK2s of Indonesia's air force currently conducting exercises in Australia. (Internet photo)
The J-60, a Chinese stealth fighter under development for use by the PLA's naval aviation division as a carrier-based fighter, is now considered a threat by the United States and its Asian allies, according to reports by state broadcaster China Radio International.
The aircraft, designed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, is said to be very similar to the US F-22. American military analyst Richard Fisher said that China's future air force will look very similar to its American counterpart. While the Chengdu J-20, China's first stealth fighter which has yet to enter service will play a similar role to the F-22, the J-60 would appear analogous to the F-35, according to Fisher.
Fisher said the decision by former US defense secretary Robert Gates to reduce the production of the F-22 was a big mistake because it now appears China will have a lot more fifth-generation fighters by 2020 than Gates had assumed.
India is busy developing its own fifth-generation fighter and stealth drones with the help of Russia. To counter the threat of the PLA Air Force in the South China Sea, Vietnam also plans to buy 44 Su-30 fighters from Russia.
In related news, a training program for pilots from the Indonesian air force is underway in Australia with their four Russian-built Su-30MK2 fighters, according to a report from Melbourne-based newspaper the Age on Jul. 18. Through mock dogfights with the US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force, the Indonesian pilots have been building their skills in fighter tactics while the American side has gained more information about the Russian-based combat aircraft used mainly by Chinese forces today. This is the first time in history that Indonesia's air force has sent its frontline fighters overseas.