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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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RE: 20 year gap.
By Solandri on 6/8/2011 4:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
Read up on radar cross section.

The B-52 has a RCS of ~100 m^2
The B-1B has a RCS of ~10 m^2
The F-16 has a RCS of ~1.2 m^2

The F-117, B-2, and F-22 have a RCS of ~0.01-0.0001 m^2. Classified so nobody who knows for sure can say, but I've heard it described as a marble or a tennis ball.

RE: 20 year gap.
By Calin on 6/10/2011 5:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think the returned energy varies by the RCS and by the inverse square of the distance - so you could get radar returns out of a B-52 at ten times the distance from where you could get radar returns from an F-16, and (assuming the F-117 has 0.01 m^2 RCS), the F-117 would be detectable from about one hundredth of the distance from where an B-52 could be detected.
Assuming my radar sees an B-52 at 1000 km, then it can find the F-117 at 5 km. So, one F-117 can fly 12km/7miles high and have not a care in the world.
Reduce the radar cross section another 100 times, you reduce detection range tenfold, and the F-22 could fly at 4000 feet.

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