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Chinese J-20 stealth fighter
U.S. officials weigh in on the J-20

We reported last week that China is doing taxi trials of its new J-20 stealth fighter. The J-20 is being seen as a competitor for both the Lockheed F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter (which is going out of production after 187 units have been produced), and the more "workhorse" Lockheed F-35 Lightning II.

Despite the leaked pictures that clearly show that China has something quite advanced in its back pocket, U.S. officials are downplaying the significance of the J-20 in its current state according to Reuters. While the plane appears to be in finished form, it hasn't actually taken to the air like Russia's Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter

"It's still not clear to me when it's going to become operational," said U.S. Vice Admiral David Dorsett who is director of naval intelligence. "Developing a stealth capability with a prototype and then integrating that into a combat environment is going to take some time." 

Dorsett believes that China is still a few years away from actually deploying its stealth fighter.

Another Pentagon official, Colonel Dave Lapan, was even more dismissive of the J-20, stating; "Our assessment of when China might have an operational fifth generation fighter puts it at some point in the future, close to the end of this decade."

Regardless of how long it will take China to field the J-20, it would likely be unwise to underestimate the capabilities of the Chinese military which is using its robust economy to bolster its military might.

The United States has a highly capable platform with the F-22, but its numbers are quite limited due to cost overruns. Likewise, the F-35 is a much more versatile platform (it will be replacing the F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, and A-10), but it's development has been marred by setbacks and it too has been plagued with cost overruns.

It would be interesting to see how new T-50 and J-20 stack up to the latest and greatest from America, but hopefully we'll never have to find out in the real world.



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RE: Interceptor
By Smartless on 1/6/2011 8:50:38 PM , Rating: 5
Agreed, though the term can go both ways. China could be testing just to show that they are have the capabilities. Question is what are they aiming for, worldwide weapons dealers or future expansion?

I think one of our biggest advantages in this is our experience in war and weapons as well as our willingness to protect our soldiers. Meaning we will usually make stuff that works well and if they are a danger to our soldiers we address them. I don't think China cares as much.


RE: Interceptor
By Klinky1984 on 1/7/2011 12:45:29 AM , Rating: 5
I wonder if we really have that big of an advantage besides the ability to print money and give it to defense contractors to build price-gouged projects with. Also our commitment to protect our troops:

quote:
Soldiers in Iraq still buying their own body armor
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-26...

quote:

Water reportedly sickened U.S. troops in Iraq
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2008-03-09...

quote:

Translators dying by the dozens in Iraq
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2005-05-21...


quote:

Army describes Patriot missile friendly fire problems
http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0703/072903gsn1.ht...


quote:

Substandard Conditions at VA Centers Noted
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...


I think it's been shown that the military/.gov will put soldier's care in the backseat if it interferes with profit taking by contractors.

China has a ton of manpower which is conditioned to be faithful to the state & I am sure those in their defense sector are highly motivated. China also has a huge amount of raw resources, plus they hold the US by the balls as far as debt goes. China could definitely get much scarier if their technology continues to improve and they have the ability to implement greater economies of scale. Plus they probably don't have any or as much of the pork that goes into standard US defense contracts.


RE: Interceptor
By roykahn on 1/7/2011 6:02:47 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Also our commitment to protect our troops


Yeah, and the commitment to "protect" foreign civilian populations :-P


RE: Interceptor
By WinstonSmith on 1/7/2011 10:34:02 AM , Rating: 3
"Yeah, and the commitment to "protect" foreign civilian populations"

Only the populations in countries that have some great (possibly just imaginary) geopolitical significance, of course, not for any, real moral reasons as is always claimed to fool the ignorant (majority).


RE: Interceptor
By roykahn on 1/9/2011 1:15:26 AM , Rating: 3
But sir, are you suggesting that they're not just spreading democracy and engaging in humanitarian intervention?


RE: Interceptor
By silverblue on 1/7/2011 3:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget foreign troops. :P


RE: Interceptor
By stlrenegade on 1/7/2011 12:44:15 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
China also has a huge amount of raw resources, plus they hold the US by the balls as far as debt goes.


China holds about 21% of our debt. Not ball-grabbing to me.


RE: Interceptor
By Harinezumi on 1/7/2011 1:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
Possession of 21% of our debt presents them our balls on a silver platter.


RE: Interceptor
By Laereom on 1/7/2011 8:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
Owe the bank a million dollars, and the bank owns you.

Owe the bank a billion dollars, and you own the bank.

For the next several years at least, China has a lot more to lose from pulling that trigger than we do. Of course, how things develop in those years is anyone's guess...


RE: Interceptor
By lyeoh on 1/13/2011 1:07:45 PM , Rating: 1
Not quite the same thing.

The US owes China trillions payable in US dollars. Guess who in the world has the right to create as much US dollars as they deem necessary?

The US has already created trillions since 2008 (lending/borrowing money that doesn't exist yet is still the same thing as creating). Nobody seems to care as long as you give it a fancy name like "Quantitative Easing". It's the Petrodollar after all.

So if China insists, the US can repay. But China knows if they do it wrong, what they get would be worth less or even worthless.


RE: Interceptor
By eskimospy on 1/8/2011 11:09:09 AM , Rating: 2
China does not own 21% of our debt, it's more like about 10-12%.


RE: Interceptor
By cruisin3style on 1/8/2011 2:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well, China holds ~21% of our debt that is held by foreign countries. They have slightly more than Japan according to official Treasury numbers.

But as far as total debt goes, China holds about 6.5%


RE: Interceptor
By kaosstar on 1/12/2011 8:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
These things you list are mostly referring to veterans, who are now worthless to the military, or infantry, who merely serve as cannon fodder. Obviously, the US doesn't protect all of its soldiers well, but the valuable ones, like pilots, it certainly does.


RE: Interceptor
By snakeInTheGrass on 1/7/2011 3:09:12 PM , Rating: 4
I agree that China doesn't care, but I'm not so sure I'd label our way as an advantage, assuming they can put together enough missiles / planes to challenge carrier/air superiority. Sure, we have more expensive stuff that is better when it's working out in the field... like the German WWII tanks were better than a Sherman, though outnumbered and in the shop too much. (Tommy Cooker / Ronson - think the U.S. top priority was our lives or lots of tanks?)

If China doesn't care about their soldiers, they can run off many more [tanks/planes/guns/...] and overwhelm whatever we have. The drones we're using are friggin' crazy expensive for the most part, let alone the aircraft and other vehicles.

China has a lot of military age males they can afford to lose, and maybe more frighteningly, thanks to their killing of baby girls to have boys instead, they have a lot of young males who aren't going to find spouses (which will lead to a lot of social unrest) and which they are probably going to want to lose. Anyone have any ideas how to cut down on the numbers of 'extra' unhappy guys in their society? How does a war over Taiwan or oil in the China Sea sound? Over minerals in Africa? For our sake I hope they decide they and India need reductions, as awful as that is to think.


RE: Interceptor
By geddarkstorm on 1/7/2011 3:12:36 PM , Rating: 2
All very true points.

Why does this sound like the lead up to the Fallout series, minus the stuck in the 50's bit?


RE: Interceptor
By snakeInTheGrass on 1/7/2011 3:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Because cool games will be based on it assuming enough infrastructure survives? ;)


RE: Interceptor
By bennyg on 1/7/2011 7:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think China can afford at all to lose any working-age males. They have a looming issue regarding demographic shift to ageing population many times worse than the West because we haven't had laws that have outright restricted population growth, and have led to sex favoritism.

Their only resource advantage is their population. And I can very realistically see that advantage gone by 2040 by the way they're mishandling it. Their regulation of reproduction is primitive in the extreme.


RE: Interceptor
By Jerricho24 on 1/10/2011 9:42:26 AM , Rating: 2
primitive and effective much like the Anglo's that crushed early Britain, the only ever sucssesful invasion and genoside factualy recorded in history, the Invasion of Native north america or australia don't count cos they are still in affect.
The F22 IMHO is a white ellephant to a point, as has been pointed out they are a publisity stunt. the T32 and T35 tanks of WWII and the British Hurricane are shining exanbles how cheap and easy to repair wins over technicaly advanced much like a gorila war wins over a conventional slug fest.
despite China having a large share of US debt, it maybe wise to remember that Iraq was not just about Oil, The Debt for all the Jets and tanks and arms that had been sold to Sadam to aid the war on Iran had not been paid, the US govenment couldn't let sadam go on thumbing his nose at that debt. Countries are not banks and don't have to work within any legal framework or regulation if china wants it's money back and deside to come and get it it will not be F22's that stop them! and many a chinaman would maybe like a nice american wife? if you can think of a more succsesful Social planning scheme I would be interested to hear it cos swine flu was a fail.


RE: Interceptor
By lolmuly on 1/11/2011 2:17:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
genoside

quote:
australia don't count

quote:
cos

quote:
still in affect

quote:
ellephant

quote:
point, as has been

quote:
publisity

quote:
are shining exanbles how

quote:
technicaly

quote:
gorila

quote:
govenment

quote:
deside

quote:
get it it will

quote:
them! and many

quote:
succsesful

quote:
cos


I can forgive a couple of misspellings, punctuation issues, and sometimes a run on sentence. This is an informal discussion, however you sir are a plague upon the English language.


RE: Interceptor
By geddarkstorm on 1/7/2011 3:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Their building and soon to be fielding of the super carrier killer missile, as well as how they have been buying up carriers left and right, added to how they are backing North Korea's irrationality on purpose... does suggest they are gearing for expansion, not weapons dealing.


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