The People"s Liberation Army Air Force said on Friday it will send a group of J-20 stealth fighter jets for a flight performance at the coming 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, the largest arms exhibition in Asia.
Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, spokesman for the PLA Air Force, said in a statement published on the Air Force"s website that along with a new paint scheme, these J-20s will display new formations and new tactical maneuvers during the exhibition, commonly known as the Zhuhai Airshow, in the coastal city of Zhuhai in Guangdong province.
This will become the third time the J-20, China"s best and most expensive combat plane, will perform in front of the public and its second appearance at the Zhuhai Airshow.
Wu Peixin, an aviation industry observer in Beijing, said the Air Force seems to have prepared a sophisticated J-20 performance for the coming air show, indicating the Air Force is more confident and open in showing its J-20 force, as opposed to the jet"s debut in the last Zhuhai Airshow in November 2016 that lasted less than 2 minutes.
He said visitors can expect a spectacular show, because the Air Force must wish to use the air show to display the capability of its top fighter jets.
China"s first fifth-generation combat aircraft, the J-20 made its maiden flight in January 2011 and was declassified in November 2016. It started to be commissioned in the Air Force in 2017, becoming the world"s third stealth fighter jet to enter service after the United States" F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.
It has been sent to take part in a series of combat exercises and has practiced beyond-visual-range aerial fighting maneuvers during the drills, according to the Air Force.