WASHINGTON – May 4, 2019 – China is working more and more intensively in the development of its new fighters and bombers. With that in mind, the US is preparing to counteract this by sending its F-35 fighters to the Pacific, according to US Air Force commander in the Pacific, General Charles Brown.
According to US intelligence, the Chinese military are developing new medium- and long-range stealth bombers aimed at boosting their attack capabilities.
The new Chinese J-20 poaching may be operational this year. In addition, the country considers the idea of transforming the J-31 poaching in an aircraft embarked for use by the Chinese Navy in its future aircraft carriers.
General Charles Brown told Bloomberg that F-35 employment will be needed to contain Chinese developments as the new Chinese J-20 fighter is seen as a sign of China’s “greater threat, greater capability” in the Pacific and, so the US plans that the F-35 will continuously fly over strategic areas such as the South China Sea.
“My sense of the way the Chinese operate is somewhat incremental,” Brown said in an interview this week at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “They’ll continue to push the envelop to figure out does anybody say or do anything — if you don’t push back it’ll keep coming.”
Brown recently told Japanese reporters that he expects the US and its Pacific allies to have more than 200 F-35 fighters operating in the region by 2025, noting that US allies, such as Japan, South Korea and Australia, are part of the F-35 program.
However, the Chinese Air Force is the largest in the region and the third largest in the world, with approximately 2,500 aircraft, including 1,700 fighters and bombers. As such, China is one of three nations to develop a fifth-generation fighter and to create a stealth bomber, thus becoming one of the three countries to complete the nuclear triad.
According to Chinese media, analysts argue that the Chinese J-20 fighter will have a “dominant superiority” over the F-35 fighter, providing the ability to face the so-called “F-35 hunting circle of friends.”