Informed sources believe China’s Chengdu J-20A Dragon fifth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet has been in service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) since early 2017. Having first flown in January 2011 it was first shown to the public during the 11th Zhuhai Airshow in November 2016.
However, speaking at a press conference Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defence said all flight testing having been conducted as scheduled, the stealth fighter was officially commissioned into PLAAF service on September 28.
So far, six low-rate initial production aircraft have been identified by their serial numbers (78271-78276), but there are at least two more flying with no numbers applied. The J-20A is operated by the 176th Air Brigade at Dingxin Air Base as a dedicated ‘Blue Force’.