China showcased its Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter jet in public for the first time Tuesday at the Zhuhai air show in Guangdong province.

The jets conducted a 60-second flyby as people at the show applauded while the deafening roar of the engines reportedly set off car alarms in a parking lot at the site. The J-20, with radar-evasion and air-to-air missiles, is an upgrade to China's military capabilities.



"It is clearly a big step forward in Chinese combat capability," Bradley Perrett of Aviation Week, a veteran China watcher, told the BBC.

The J-20 jets, which have been developed and manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Industries Group, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, are reportedly being likened by analysts to Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor jet.

Other recently developed Chinese aircraft that appeared at the air show included the Y-20, China's first heavy transporter jet, and the AG-600 seaplane, the largest of its kind in the world.

China is set to overtake the United States as the world's top aviation market in the next decade, and the Zhuhai air show — the biggest in the country — is a platform to showcase both its civil and military aviation advances.