Since J-20’s number 2017 fighter appeared, discussions about its “golden cockpit canopy” has been heated on Chinese internet. It is reported that U.S. fighters with “golden cockpit canopy” are never exported to any other countries, in its air forces in European during the Cold War, only F-16C and F-15C were equipped with golden cockpit canopies, which could reduce the rate of being discovered by 15-25%, and thus determined victory or failure of an air combat.
And America’s F-22 stealth fighters also use such canopies, while Russia’s T-50 stealth fighter is still waiting for it. But it seems that China’s J-20 stealth fighter has owned it.
“Golden cockpit canopy” is using ITO stealthy electroconductive film, a coating of gold or platinum on the surface, which can shield radar frequency bands and meanwhile reserve transparency. And this coating must be extremely even and stable, and merge between the cockpit canopy and the coating must be very close and seamless.
As radar aims at cockpits of fighter jets instead of their bodies, cockpit stealth has become the key of keeping a fighter stealthy in face of radars, the reflected waves of equipment and pilot inside the cockpit would be bad for stealth of fighters. So “golden cockpit canopy” is very significant for China’s J-20 stealth fighter jets.
Chinese military expert Lei Ze said China had researched the “golden cockpit canopy” for nearly eight years and now finally used for J-20 fighters. At present, only America and China have mastered this technology.