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.
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.
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.
- Chinese ground crew members inspect a J-20 stealth fighter in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province (File)© AP Photo / Color China Photo
- China unveils its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, November 1, 2016.© REUTERS / Stringer
- 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© AP Photo / Li Gang/Xinhua
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.