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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."



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RE: So?
By Desslok on 1/25/2011 12:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
After the Shaw was ovethrown the F-14's were sabotaged by the departing Grumman techs so they could not fire any missles(some say only the Phoenix missle). Because of the paranoid nature of the radicals all the pilots who could fly the Tomcat worth a damn were "purged" out of the Air Force.

So technically you are correct that the Iranians did fly the F-14, but they were mostly used for long range radar platforms during the Iran/Iraq war.

Are they still flying them? No one is sure there is alot of conflicting info.


RE: So?
By pukemon on 1/25/11, Rating: -1
RE: So?
By jjmcubed on 1/25/2011 5:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
He was talking about the Iranian navy...


RE: So?
By zmatt on 1/25/2011 4:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
It is widely known that at least one Iranian Pilot attained "Ace" status in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's flying an F-14. Iraq pilots have gone on the record on more than one occasion stating that they did encounter F-14s and were very afraid of them. if they could fly them in the 1980's then unless their supplier stopped, there is not reason to think they still can't today.


RE: So?
By monkeyman1140 on 1/27/2011 5:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
Iran is still flying the F-14. They were not sabotaged, and flew hundreds of missions in the Iran-Iraq war scoring numerous kills. While the spare parts were embargoed, the Iran-Contra scandal resulted in Iran receiving a C-5 Galaxy full of Hawk missiles, TOW antitank weapons, and you guessed it....F-14 spare parts courtesy of Ronald Reagan.

Right now Iran flies them mostly for airshows and their staged military exercises, but they are now resorting to cannibalizing older planes for parts and the last upgrade they got was a new computer system installed by Russian engineers. Iran is moving much of their frontline hardware to new Russian Sukhoi and Mikoyan-Gurevich aircraft but their older stuff works fine so they are more than content with it for now. It includes the Cobra Attack helicopter, the Huey, and the Chinook. Iran has reverse engineered all 3 of them and has produced hundreds to replace older stock. Iran knows well engineered product when they see it.


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