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China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter to Pursue Targets at Greater Distances – Reports

© REUTERS / Stringer Chinese J-20 stealth fighter
Chinese J-20 stealth fighter - Sputnik International
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The fifth-generation Chinese Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter, which entered military service last year and participated at Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, will now be able to strike targets at greater distances, according to Beijing.

China Central Television revealed that the aircraft has been equipped with a retractable refuelling probe embedded on the right side of the cockpit, to help the fighter to maintain stealth while flying greater distances, the Air Force Times reported.

READ MORE: Up And Away! J-20 and Other Highlights of Airshow China 2018

Previously it had been reported that the J-20 struggled to remain in stealth mode, and it had been decided to go with a retractable probe, as a consistently exposed probe would make the J-20 visible to enemy radar systems.

Another feature to help the J-20 remain stealthy is allowing four of the six onboard missiles to be stored internally, Chinese military experts told China's Global Times.

China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 1, 2016. - Sputnik International
WATCH: China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Jet Performs Stunts for Public
The exact range of the stealth fighter — nicknamed Powerful Dragon — is unknown. The Air Force Times suspected that the aircraft has a combat radius of 1,100 kilometres, allowing it to conduct long-range strikes and intercepts. With aerial refuelling capability, the J-20 can extend its reach, allowing China to better patrol disputed waterways.

The J-20's chief designer said, cited by the Air Force Times, that certain capabilities were unable to be presented at the recent airshow, noting that the world would have to wait and see what the J-20 had to offer.

© AP Photo / Color China PhotoChinese ground crew members inspect a J-20 stealth fighter in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province (File)
Chinese ground crew members inspect a J-20 stealth fighter in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province (File) - Sputnik International
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Chinese ground crew members inspect a J-20 stealth fighter in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province (File)
© REUTERS / StringerChina unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 1, 2016.
China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 1, 2016. - Sputnik International
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China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 1, 2016.
© AP Photo / Li Gang/XinhuaIn this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, the J-20 stealth fighter jet flies at the China's International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. China's J-20 stealth fighter has made its public debut at Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai in the latest sign of the growing sophistication of the country's military technology. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)
In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, the J-20 stealth fighter jet flies at the China's International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 - Sputnik International
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In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, the J-20 stealth fighter jet flies at the China's International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. China's J-20 stealth fighter has made its public debut at Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai in the latest sign of the growing sophistication of the country's military technology. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)
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Chinese ground crew members inspect a J-20 stealth fighter in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province (File)
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China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 1, 2016.
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In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, the J-20 stealth fighter jet flies at the China's International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. China's J-20 stealth fighter has made its public debut at Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai in the latest sign of the growing sophistication of the country's military technology. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

The J-20 — a combat platform which according to Chinese experts is superior to the US F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter — was incorporated into Chinese combat units in February. It was tested in combat training exercises, however, according to South China Morning Post, the aircraft is expected to receive new engines which will allow the warcraft to ‘achieve its full potential,’ according to reports.

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