(LA Times) China's development of stealth fighter takes U.S. by surprise

A few weeks ago, grainy photos surfaced online showing what several prominent defense analysts said appeared to be a prototype of a Chinese stealth fighter jet that could compete with the best of America’s warplanes, years ahead of U.S. predictions.

Days later, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet disclosed that a long-awaited Chinese anti-ship missile, designed to sink an American aircraft carrier, was nearly operational.

As Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates heads to China this weekend, analysts are expressing concern about Chinese military advances, which appear to have taken the U.S. by surprise. The Pentagon had predicted that China wouldn’t have a stealth fighter for a decade or more and Defense officials had given no previous indication the anti-ship missile, which had long been tracked by the U.S., was close to fruition.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Science & Technology

3 comments on “(LA Times) China's development of stealth fighter takes U.S. by surprise

  1. Cennydd13 says:

    I think Mr Ford’s assessment is right on the mark, but this doesn’t mean that we needn’t worry about China. Their military aircraft industry, which was once heavily dependent on Russian designs and which now makes use of American technology via sales of commercial aircraft from Boeing, has evolved to the point where they now have design teams which have proven capable of producing aircraft of indigenous design while ‘borrowing’ Western technology and claiming it as their own. They don’t do well in producing viable jetliners, but they show remarkable expertise in designing and now building military aircraft and missiles. We need to be extremely vigilant.

  2. upnorfjoel says:

    The Chinese apparently possess enough intelligence gathering capability (including theft) to construct a fighter with very similar attributes to our brand new F-22, and yet we apparently have so little on them that we are “surprised” when it’s rolled out on the tarmac?!!

  3. libraryjim says:

    If wikileaks can obtain detailed intel correspondence, why should we be surprised if China can get plans to our fighter planes?