What year do you expect the J-20 to enter service and how will it compare to Western fighters in terms of capability and technology level?Read the entire article. I don't agree with many of the guys conclusions but its always good to hear another opinion (my biggest critique is that its all conventional wisdom...any so called defense expert would say the same...even though they were wrong when it came to how long it would take China and Russia to build stealth fighters).
I expect the J-20 to start entering squadron service for IOC around 2020, with deliveries continuing at a fairly impressive rate throughout the 2020s. The J-20 will almost certainly fall short of the F-22 and F-35 in terms of all-aspect stealth and sensor fusion-enabled situational awareness, but will carry a more impressive internal payload and will have significantly greater unrefuelled range which will serve it well in the Pacific. Essentially, the J-20 will present the US and its allies in the region with a long ranged, heavily armed and difficult to track strike fighter-bomber threat. I would suggest its closest Western conceptual analogue would be a low-observable F-111.
Having said all that, I have two things.
1. A low observable F-111? Do you get the force of connection with that statement? Combine the J-20 with the missiles that are soon to enter service with the Chinese and you have an EXTREMELY formidable platform that DOESN'T NEED the same type of stealth that we're trying to put on the F-35.
2. Does anyone but me get the impression that the J-20 is the shiny toy that's dangled in front of the defense media and the real future threat might be the J-31 that we never hear about?
In the end it doesn't matter. We'll find out in due time.