Did The J-20 Come From This MiG?

That’s the cancelled Russian MiG 1.44 stealth fighter, a plane that many have noted has external similarities with China’s new J-20 stealth jet.  Now, Russian defense sources are saying that design data and parts from the MiG 1.44 were indeed used in the design of the J-20.

From Reuters:

“It looks like they got access … to documents relating to the Mikoyan—the aircraft that the Ministry of Defense skipped over in its tender to create a stealth fighter,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said it was not clear whether such a transfer of technology had been legal. Analysts say Russia’s assistance to the Chinese may help Moscow keep tabs on the rising military power’s defense capabilities of its eastern neighbor.

Independent analyst Adil Mukashev, who specializes in ties between Russia and China, suggested there had been a financial transaction.

“China bought the technology for parts, including the tail of the Mikoyan, for money,” he said.

Considering Russia is already providing engines for the J-20, this seems pretty plausible that Moscow gave China access to its losing fifth-gen design (as you all know, the Kremlin chose the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA as its stealth fighter over the MiG). I’m still curious as to what’s inside the J-20 with regards to its sensors and avionics and EW tools.

  • nebelwerfer

    J-20 seems to be a combination of the Mig 1.44 and the Yf-23, but generation of ew and avionics package still open to question.

  • ed!

    It looks a lot like the Mig. The surprising thing is that in a computer game, Command and Conquer Generals, the Chinese had the Mig 1.44 as their aircraft. This and the Laser Avenger seem to be a possible result of getting your tech wherever you can get it from.

  • Anthony

    Phew, and we were worried about the J-20…a jet China basically bought at a shady used car dealership…I will start taking them seriously after operational jet number 36+ rolls off the assembly line. Until then ill put my faith in the good old boys at Lockheed and DARPA - If we are allowed to see the F22 and Sentinel drone…What we Really have behind the curtain are a half century ahead of anything we have seen.
    Yea the J-20 might be a nice demo platform but it’ll be 10 years before it is an actual strategic threat to our air superiority. By then i hope they make em fast enough to dodge lasers!

    PS China, Add some more canards that will really help our your stealth…lol

    • Letsallbefriends

      LoL all you like, but you can’t even afford the pensions of the good old boys at Lockheed. If you ever have a 6th gen fighter, you’ll have to borrow the mobey from China to buy it.

    • Joseph Tan

      2 possibilities:-

      1) It may be not - i.e. not from MIG 1.44

      2) Remember MIG 1.44 is the canceled program due to the DOWN-SIZING of the Russian military in favour to a less costly PAK-FA or T-50 program.

      Either way, the plane may be in the running to be the top dog in the aviation field in not too distance future!

  • mat

    I thinks days of wast behind the curtain programs has long passed as they are simply to expensve to hide and US manufacturers are now hooked up to cost+ contracting ,the only projects that might be built as a private venture are small drones as for canards they can still work with stealth ,just look at X36 .you could make the same argument and jokes at F22 and F35 for having such huge vertical and horizontal stabilizers .In 10 years you will only have 150 F22s with current atrition and F35 is no airsuperiority fighter its a bomb truck with preformance envelope of a 60’s fighter ,just look up its sustanied G ,turn rate and speed all very poor. Stealth is a diminishing advantage but F35 sacrificed lots of preformance for stealth.

  • TribulationTime

    Yes it is posible. I belive J-20 have more additional work on design. As F-2 from F-16 or F-14 from F-111, Krif from Mirage III or F-35 from Yakolev Yak-141.

    • William C.

      F-14 and F-111 are quite different outside of the obvious similarities. The F-35B and Yak-141 are worlds apart outside of the method used by the rear engine for vertical lift. The same concept was also looked at with the Convair 200 design that lost out to the XFV-12.

      • blight

        Dude, didn’t you know swing wing means they are inherently the same? [/sarcasm]

      • ed!

        The F-14 was designed off the failures of the naval variant of the F-111.

    • tribulationtime

      Thats I ´m saying quite different outside of the obvious similarities. F-14 sweep wing took example from all F-111 previous work but are very different…thats my point.

  • Lance

    Proof again that fear over China’s crap is not founded and China’s weapons are crap nothing more than knock offs of other weapons.

  • justsaying

    This website makes designing and building aircraft sound as easy as building with LEGO. “Take a piece here and attach it here…”

    • TLAM Strike

      Google North American F-82.

  • Scubafreak

    Hell, I spotted that the day the first pictures came out. Mig 1.44 dolled up with stolen F-35 features.

    Only time will tell how effective the plane is.

  • Inst

    Mig 1.44 - J-20

    Dual engine canard fighter with underside weapons bay, lifting body

    J-20 - Rafale

    Dual engine canard fighter with Lerxes

    J-20 - F-35

    Stolen frontal RCS design, DSI,

    J-20 by itself: Thin, anhedral wings, high aspect fighter to minimize drag.

    The rumors go that the J-20 had the tail design taken from the Mig 1.44, though. The J-20’s got enough aspects taken from other fighters that it can be called a true original, that is to say, it copies from enough sources that it can’t be said to be a direct derivative of any other plane.

  • Black Owl

    Somethings never change. The Americans make over designed equipment. The Russians make over produced equipment. The Chinese aren’t creative enough to do either so they steal or buy from the Americans and Russians.

    • crackedlenses

      That made me chuckle; then again, we don’t have the manpower to use over-produced equipment, so I guess we have to settle for over-designing everything….

      • blight

        As demonstrated by the private sector, benefits like Tricare and pensions are too expensive to be cost-beneficial. Unlike the private sector though, if you strip benefits and jobs go unfilled, it has national security consequences

  • Inst

    It’s more of a franken-fighter than anything else:

    Lerx + canard delta
    Rafale
    Twin-engined Lifting Body
    Mig 1.44
    Stealthy Frontal Profile
    F-35
    Fully Movable Tailfins
    Mig 1.44, PAK-FA, YF-23

    It’s an original plane simply because it’s derivative of so many other aircraft. And if you look at it from the top profile, you can’t really mistake it for anything else. The Mig 1.44 doesn’t use LERXes in the same way the J-20 does, nor does it have planeform alignment for stealth shaping. The anhedral wing and the dihedral canard is something new besides that.

  • Stratege

    I’ll have to make some corrections here:

    1. MiG 1.44 was not stealth fighter jet. Yes, it had some measures to reduce RCS, but it had not stealth airframe after all.

    2. MiG 1.44 was canceled just before the PAK-FA program (fifth generation fighter jet program for RuAF) was launched. 1.44 was designed for obsolete 1980’s Soviet new generation fighter jet program, not for PAK-FA,

    For sure, Chinese designers used some ideas that come from MiG 1.44 aircraft, but very unlikely that they got technologies.

  • cup

    Reuters, one of the most inaccurate new sources on Earth. http://securityandintelligence.wordpress.com/2011…

    It’s even surprising you people can buy that crap as real and believe in it, while Reuters themselves are even more terrible in their arts, failing to get solid proofs and check those sources before spilling these stories out.

  • Robert A. Little

    One of the aspects of military technology large ignored here is that the Chinese are building momentum while the USA is losing it. Today, yes, it would appear that American stealth technology and hardware is superior. Probably. However, the Chinese are looking at 2061 as an interim, short-term target, while the US political structure is looking at 2021 as long-term, and in all probability can’t even plan that far ahead. There was a time when we could look and plan ten years ahead (Kennedy’s goal to put a man on the moon), but today’s severely, explosively confrontational political climate has created a situation that makes the US future seem more aluminum than golden.

  • USam

    Guys sit back: If it is really stealth than it is an achievement by China that is enough to buzz East Asia. But also good for Americans because then American umbrella countries will demand America for more sophisticated hardware to tackle J20 types which means $ coming home. I believe that we focus on developing cheap technology for such demand and when China is ready we can sell that tech for our quoted price you know what it means. So you dont need to guess who supplied such technology to China. After all demand has to be created by any means, this is real world and who we are.

  • Brian B. Mulholland

    The ignorance and conceit apparent in so many posts, the insistence that anything Chinese is a knockoff design, and inferior as well, is absolutely appalling. Groups of engineers working on the same problem set will often come up with similar solutions.
    China has the money to buy technology? Fine. That will save time. A billion people with a cultural emphasis on education, hard work and the long term, and yet every thread on things Chinese is punctuated by the same sneers as Americans enjoyed vis-a-vis Japanese technology before WW II. It’s insane. And as the efficacy of modern military systems are increasingly driven by the electronics inside the airframe, no one should even pretend to have an informed opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of this or any other Chinese weapon. We won’t know unless and until some Chinese Viktor Belenko flies one over to Japan as a defector.