China debuted its J-20 stealth fighter Tuesday at Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai.
Two J-20s made a brief appearance in the show’s opening ceremonies, performing a series of maneuvers and generating enough noise to set off car alarms in a nearby parking lot, Reuters reported.
The warplane is China’s second stealth fighter. The J-31 was unveiled to the public at the Zhuhai airshow two years ago.
While the J-31 is expected to be China’s entrant in the global arms market, the J-20 – which resembles the U.S.’s F-22 Raptor – is unlikely to be exported.
“This is the airplane for China in the way that the J-31 is not,” an aviation industry official told Reuters. “This is the one they develop for themselves.”
The capabilities of the J-20 remain unknown. The aircraft’s brief appearance Tuesday gave observers little insight into the plane’s stealth, performance or firepower capabilities. And airshow attendees won’t be able to see the fighter on the ground in Zhuhai.
An unnamed Chinese air force official told the South China Morning Post the airplane contains “many of China’s top technologies in stealth aircraft, plus other military secrets.” The official said some of those secrets would be compromised if experts got an up-close look at the aircraft’s wings and body.
Other planes scheduled to appear at the airshow include the Y-20 transport aircraft and the AG600, a flying boat billed by airshow organizers as the largest amphibious plane currently in production.