China's stealth fighter steals the show at Airshow China 2018

AFP  Wang Zhao

China has flaunted its advanced stealth fighter jets with full missile loads for the first time as Beijing flexed its military might at its biennial air show.

Pilots from the Chinese Air Force opened the aircraft's missile cases to fully exhibit the functions of the latest stealth fighters.

Sunday also marks the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

In May, China first revealed it was conducting advanced stealth tests for the J-20 and a report published in June by another Communist Party-run newspaper, China Youth Daily, claimed the development of the J-20 gave the country a newfound status shared only by the us and Russian Federation.

The government-controlled Global Times, citing Chinese experts, argued that "the move displayed the J-20's superiority" over USA stealth fighters like the F-35 and F-22 and the growing confidence of the People's Liberation Army. "But now, their monopoly in this region has been broken by China's J-20".

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"The no-show of Chinese built-engines on the J-20 indicates that China is still having trouble mastering leading-edge jet engine technology", said Peter Layton, a former Australian military officer and now fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. For the first time, the aircraft's missile bay was opened to the public, revealing what was reportedly six long-range air-to-air missiles, in addition to two mounted short-range combat missiles.

They also had a separate ground display of new Pili-10E air to air missiles.

Thrust vector technology uses a nozzle on a jet's exhaust to change its direction.

Many took out their long-focus cameras to capture the stunning show when the fighters were rolling over and over again before descending to a lower altitude.

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