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Chinese J-20 Stealth Fighter
Apparently Liang forgets the new stealth fighter China is showing off

The tensions in Asia over the growing might of the Chinese military are easy to see and understand. China is using its booming economy to fund the development of new weapons programs. China wants the world to believe that it is merely being sure it can defend the sovereignty of its nation while others fear that China will use the military might to take resources and possibly attack other nations in the area.

With tension growing, Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie said at the 10th Shangri-La Dialog in Singapore that the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) is 20-years behind the U.S. Military. Guanglie said, "I would call the gap big. [The PLA] main battle equipment of our services ... is mainly second-generation weapons." He continued saying, "For example, the army is still being motorized, not mechanized."

Liang acknowledged that the modernization of the Chinese military has drawn attention and concern from around the world. Liang says that China has a right to protect is "core interests" such as protecting its sovereignty. Liang also explained at the conference that relations between the Chinese and U.S. military were improving. This year's Shangri-La dialog was in face the strongest turn out for the Chinese after years of ignoring the conference.

In addition to Liang there were a number of other Chinese officials at the conference including Rear Adm. Guan Youfei, deputy chief, Foreign Affairs Office, Ministry of National Defense; Senior Col. Ou Yangwei, director, Center for Defense Mobilization Studies, National Defense University; Major Gen. Song Dan, deputy director general, General Office, Central Military Commission; Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe, deputy chief of general staff, PLA; and Xiao Jianguo, director, Department of Ocean Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

As much as Liang wants the world to believe China has a massive gap between its military and the U.S. military (and other armed forces of the world), the country is investing heavily in next-generation weapons. A the most high profile new weapons program is the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter. The J-20 completed its second flight in April and has been captured on video as it has been tested. Some speculate that China obtained the stealth technology that is used in the J-20 from a U.S. F-117 stealth fighter that was downed in 1999 in Serbia. China is known to have had agents crisscross the area where the fighter crashed buying up the wreckage from local farmers.

The Chinese military is also believed by many around the world to be carrying out very sophisticated and successful hacks against military and corporate networks. Many digital attacks have been traced back to parts of China where the government is known to have a strong military presence. The Gmail hack that was revealed earlier this month is believed to have been perpetrated by China, though Chinese officials have denied any involvement. China is also allegedly the source of the hacking attacks that compromised networks at Lockheed Martin using stolen RSA SecurID dongles. Those hacks are believed to have targeted Lockheed Martin military projects. 

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Are you kidding DT?
By theapparition on 6/8/2011 1:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they are 20+ years behind. I'd estimate even further.

So what if they have a modern figher with some "stealth" capabilities? Our first stealth crafts were designed in the 60's, and stealth work began in the 1950s. The F117A, who some speculate they stole technologies from, had it's first flight in 1983. That's 28 years ago.

Regardless, China's military capability is very, very limited. They have a huge army, which is thier strength. But as mentioned, they have tremendous difficulty deploying that army arcoss thier country. They have very limited airpower which can be classified as local defense only. They have zero ability to project power (think carrier battle groups), nor do they have signifigant missle or ordinance technology. China also seriously lacks the communications infrastructure required.

China has lots of bodies, but not the capability to use them effectively. I'm not suggesting that they couldn't be a threat at some time, but just because they have a modern aircraft with some steath features does not for one second mean they are anywhere close to cutting edge defence capabilities.

RE: Are you kidding DT?
By Brandon Hill on 6/8/2011 1:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
I have no doubts that the Chinese were studying the F-117, but from a layman's viewpoint, the J-20 shares more in common design-wise with current generation Russian fighters and Russia's stealth fighter.

The F-117 was all about faceted panels with no curves. The J-20 is more of a "blended design" like the F-22 or F-35.

Now as far as avionics or engines go, that's anyone's guess.

RE: Are you kidding DT?
By 91TTZ on 6/8/2011 3:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
The F117A, who some speculate they stole technologies from, had it's first flight in 1983. That's 28 years ago.

The F-117A in its final production form first flew in 1981, but there were prototypes which looked very similar flying since the mid/late 1970's.

Here's the Have Blue prototype, it looks nearly the same with the exception of the rudders:

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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