At present, the air forces of major countries in the world have entered the era of fifth-generation stealth fighters. The mass-produced fifth-generation aircraft include F-22, F-35, J-20 and soon Su-57 will enter into mass production, and a certain type of aircraft is under development like Indian AMCA, Su-75, J-31 and South Korea’s KF-21. According to the latest statistics, the total output of the four fifth-generation aircraft has exceeded 1,000.
The global production of five generations of aircraft has added up to more than 1,000 aircraft, and the era of stealth air combat has arrived
US F-22 and F-35
Of these 1,000 global fifth-generation aircraft, the first to be launched and mass-produced was the American F-22 Raptor. From the first flight on September 7, 1997, to the end of production on December 13, 2011, in 14 years, the F-22 produced a total of 8 prototypes and 187 production aircraft, a total of 195 aircraft. Of course, this does not include the two YF-22 technology demonstrators developed and produced in the late 1980s. In addition, in the 16-year service career, a total of 5 F-22s crashed and 1 was seriously damaged.
The second fifth-generation aircraft of the United States, the F-35, has been produced at a low speed since 2011. As of December 2021, the total output has exceeded 750, but it has not reached the scale of 1,000 claimed by many media. Specifically, the production of F-35 in 2011 was 9, the production in 2012 was 29, the production in 2013 was 35, the production in 2014 was 36, the production in 2015 was 45, and the production in 2016 was 46. Production was 66 in 2017 and 91 in 2018.
After entering 2019, the production of F-35 began to accelerate. The output was 130 that year, 145 in 2020, and 150 in 2021, but due to the impact of the epidemic, it is estimated that there will be only 133 to 139 in the end. The plan for 2022 was also 150, and by 2023, F35 production will peak at 169 a year.
Overall, Lockheed Martin is producing F-35s at an average rate of one every two days, which is not at its peak efficiency. At present, there are three F-35 assembly plants in the United States, Japan and Italy. Currently, only one in Pittsburgh in the United States is under construction. Japan’s Komaki Nan started construction for a period of time before the epidemic, and then suspended it. If the three final assembly plants are in full production, the F-35 may be manufactured at a rate of one per day.
In addition, the U.S. military has currently equipped 465 F-35 fighters, while Britain, Italy, Israel, Japan, South Korea and other countries have a total of 235. Among them, the US Air Force has 283 F-35A, more than its active F-15 fighter jets and A-10 attack aircraft, second only to the F-16 equipment scale, and the future F-35 three series and improved models, The total output will even exceed the F-16.
It is worth mentioning that the current F-35, like the F-22, has also crashed 5 aircraft, including 1 F-35B of the US Marine Corps on September 28, 2018; 1 F-15A for the Guard, 1 F-35A for the US Air Force on 19 May 2020, 1 F-35B for the US Marine Corps on 29 September 2020 and 1 F-35B for the Royal Navy on 17 November 2021 35B, another F-35B was severely damaged by the bird strike, and an F-35A was burned by the fire.
since entry into service in March 2017, when it became the first non-U.S. fifth generation fighter operational anywhere in the world, China’s J-20 heavyweight stealth jet has been surrounded by considerable speculation in Japan and the Western world in particular. Estimates for the number of J-20 is in service have varied widely, and while only on the 30 of the fighters have been seen based on their serial numbers the possibility that over 100 are in service
In 2019, Chengdu Aerospace Corporation began to manufacture J-20 fitted with Chinese-made WS-10 Taihang engines. J-20s manufactured after mid-2019 were no longer fitted with Russian AL-31F turbofan engines. In June 2021, J-20A with Chinese-made WS-10C engines were incorporated into active service. The production rate of J-20 was expected to be further increased. The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that 24 units of J-20 fighters were incorporated into PLAAF service as of 2020. In July 2021, South China Morning Post and Air Force Magazine estimated more than 150 units of J-20 could be in PLAAF service.
Since the successful first flight of Russia’s fifth-generation aircraft Su-57 on January 29, 2010, there are currently 10 test aircraft and 2 production aircraft, of which the first production aircraft just crashed on December 24, 2019, 3 days later is its delivery date. In addition, another Su-57 prototype was on fire on June 10, 2014 when it landed. There is also news that it was this unlucky prototype that crashed on December 24, 2019.
From the perspective of production, the Su-57 basically plays the role of soy sauce, and in the next 10 years, it will not be equipped with troops in large quantities, but will only seek “a sense of presence” at the production rate of one or two aircraft per year. The reason is that Russia’s lack of money is a part of the factor, and the most critical may be that the performance of the Su-57 is not up to standard.