Meta-material antennas can increase radiated power, resulting in longer-range and more precise radar, as well as powerful jammers and data-links. In turn, by fine-tuning their structures, meta-material absorbers can be engineered to absorb specific wavelength ranges, such as those from the radars of enemy fighters and missiles. Such absorbers would likely be put on areas likely to reflect radar waves, such as the edges of canards, weapon bay doors, and engine nozzles.

China is developing new J-20 variants and has begun research on a ‘sixth-generation’ fighter. J-20 chief designer Yang Wei said that China will develop a large family of J-20s to give play to its various advantages.

“There will be more surprises in future fighter jets, which will be more mechanised, information-equipped and smarter,” Yang said.

The surprises include progress on the research of China’s next generation of stealth fighters, which is expected to make China no longer a follower, but a leader in the development of stealth fighters.