backtop


Print 48 comment(s) - last by Raiders12.. on Jan 28 at 6:55 AM


F-117 Nighthawk

Downed F-117 may have been used by China for J-20  (Source: AP)
J-20 may use tech from F-117 downed in 1999

The Chinese have been showing off their military prowess lately.  The communist nation has trotted out its first stealth aircraft dubbed the J-20. To many observers, the aircraft looks similar to the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, but the J-20 is a larger aircraft that appears to be more appropriate for a mixed role fighter and ground attack mission than a pure air superiority fighter like the Raptor.

Many have speculated on how far along the Chinese are in getting the aircraft into its Air Force fleet. Some predictions have put the aircraft as far out as nine years from entering into service. However, some in the U.S. government have already conceded that China is further ahead than they originally thought. The J-20 has already had its maiden flight.

However, the stealth technology China uses in the J-20 is the subject of debate and some think that the technology China is using may have come from American aircraft. Specifically, many think that the some of the technology that China is using in the J-20 came from an Air Force F-117 that was shot down and crashed in Serbia in 1999. The aircraft was the first of the stealth fighters to have even been hit by enemy fire.

The aircraft was hit on March 27, 1999 and the Pentagon chocked the downing of the aircraft up to sheer luck and clever tactics. The pilot of the aircraft ejected safely and was rescued. The aircraft crashed over a wide area of farmland in the area and apparently, parts from the fighter were collected by local farmers as souvenirs. 

The AP quotes Adm. Davor Domazet-Loso, the Croatian military chief of staff during the operations in Kosovo, "At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents crisscrossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers."

A Serb military official did confirm that some of the parts of the downed F-117 did end up in the hands of foreign military attaches. Of particular interest to the foreign military forces according to repots was the coating the F-117 used to absorb radiation to prevent the aircraft from bouncing back radar signals.

Parts of the F117 are in a Serbian aviation museum today. The deputy director of the museum, Zoran Milicevic said, "I don't know what happened to the rest of the plane. A lot of delegations visited us in the past, including the Chinese, Russians and Americans ... but no one showed any interest in taking any part of the jet."

The Chinese were known to keep an intelligence post in the embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo war. Alexander Neill, head of Asia security program at the Royal United Services institute in London, said, "What that means is that the Serbs and Chinese would have been sharing their intelligence. It's very likely that they shared the technology they recovered from the F-117, and it's very plausible that elements of the F-117 got to China."



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: So?
By Mouth on 1/25/2011 11:59:30 AM , Rating: 2
I would be willing to bet they have captured technology like this using more sophisticated means such as cyber exploitation. Why do the work when you can steal it? Saves on R&D costs.


RE: So?
By InsaneGain on 1/25/2011 2:49:23 PM , Rating: 2
Just yesterday a former Northrop B-2 stealth bomber engineer was sentenced to 32 years in prison for giving stealth technology to the Chinese. There are probably many more technology thefts by the Chinese that haven't been detected.


RE: So?
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2011 2:52:14 PM , Rating: 4
Most of the stories I hear about this kind of thing were from people trying to sell information to FBI operatives posing as Chinese officials or informants.

I suspect the ones who truly do sell technology, we never hear about it.


RE: So?
By Solandri on 1/25/2011 3:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
The case InsaneGain is citing went far beyond that. Gowadia was paid and visited China to help them build the thing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noshir_Gowadia
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2645205&...


RE: So?
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2011 2:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
Clinton gave them plenty in return for campaign contributions. Why steal when you can buy?


RE: So?
By monkeyman1140 on 1/27/2011 5:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Ronald Reagan was the first president to authorize american payloads on chinese space rockets, so the "data sharing" issue started long before Slick Willie.


"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki