STEALTH FIGHTER RE­VEALED

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

Chi­nese mil­i­tary fo­rums on the In­ter­net were abuzz re­cently over the post­ing of the first photo of China’s lat­est test flight of a pro­to­type jet.

The photo iden­ti­fied the air­craft as the next-gen­er­a­tion heavy stealth fighter, the J-20 Dragon — the third J-20 pro­to­type Bei­jing has re­vealed to the pub­lic since its de­but in 2011.

The J-20’s key fea­tures re­sem­ble those of the top-ofthe-line U.S. F-22 Rap­tor and F-35 Light­ning.

In fact, the of­fi­cial Com­mu­nist Party news­pa­per Global Times bragged about how key tech­nolo­gies used for the F-35 Light­ning were “com­pletely ob­tained” by China and how the J-20 is equipped with th­ese tech­nolo­gies and fea­tures.

In a Jan. 20 ar­ti­cle ti­tled “Six of F-35’s Cru­cial Tech­nolo­gies Have All Been Ob­tained by China; J-20 Epit­o­mizes All the Six Tech­nolo­gies,” the Global Times con­firmed that the ad­vanced de­signs and fea­tures in­clude a di­vert­er­less su­per­sonic in­let, an elec­tro-op­ti­cal dis­trib­uted aper­ture sys­tem, an elec­tro-op­ti­cal tar­get­ing sys­tem, an AVEN noz­zle, and a fire-con­trol ar­ray radar sys­tem.

The ar­ti­cle stops short of claim­ing China di­rectly ob­tained th­ese tech­nolo­gies from the United States. It stated that “at present, our coun­try has com­pletely ob­tained the six key tech­nolo­gies [used in the F-35], mak­ing us the only coun­try af­ter the U.S. that has com­pletely ob­tained th­ese ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies.”

The first test flight of the fifth-gen­er­a­tion stealth twin-en­gine fighter jet took place Jan. 11, 2011. That act caused a diplo­matic firestorm be­cause it was sched­uled dur­ing the mid­dle of a high-pro­file visit to China by De­fense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates, who took the tim­ing of the test flight as an in­sult.

In his mem­oir “Duty: Mem­oirs of a Sec­re­tary of War” pub­lished re­cently, Mr. Gates re­galed read­ers with his dis­plea­sure over the test. He drew the con­clu­sion that Chi­nese leader Hu Jin­tao was un­aware of the test flight when Mr. Gates con­fronted him with a ques­tion about the un­friendly act.

For­mer U.S. Am­bas­sador to China Jon Hunts­man said re­cently that Mr. Gates was so in­fu­ri­ated by the flight test that he con­sid­ered end­ing his trip pre­ma­turely in protest.

The lat­est test-flight photo shows the J-20 pro­to­type with the call sign “2011” tak­ing off from a mil­i­tary run­way in the south­west­ern prov­ince of Sichuan.

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