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The Military

First Pictures of Chinese Stealth Fighter 613

Posted by samzenpus
from the share-the-stealth dept.
Frosty Piss writes "The first clear pictures of what appears to be a Chinese stealth fighter prototype have been published online. The photographs, published on several unofficial Chinese and foreign defense-related websites, appear to show a J-20 prototype making a high-speed taxi test — usually one of the last steps before an aircraft makes its first flight — according to experts on aviation and China's military. Several experts said the prototype's body appeared to borrow from the F-22 and other US stealth aircraft. The US cut funding for the F-22 in 2009 in favor of the F-35, a smaller, cheaper stealth fighter that made its first test flight in 2006 and is expected to be fully deployed by around 2014."
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First Pictures of Chinese Stealth Fighter

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  • by icannotthinkofaname (1480543) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:18PM (#34770490) Journal

    Pictures of a stealth fighter.

    If I can get pictures of it, is it really all that stealthy?

    • Pictures of a stealth fighter.

      If I can get pictures of it, is it really all that stealthy?

      The real question is, if you think getting photos of it is relevant, then maybe you don't know what "stealth" means?

      Tadah! Captain Literal shits on another joke!

      • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @09:15PM (#34772280) Homepage

        Tadah! Captain Literal shits on another joke!

        How is it possible to defecate on an expression of humor? I mean maybe one could shit on a fixed representation of a joke, like a joke book, but this is on the internet, so I can only guess you just crapped on your monitor. Which seems like a pointless and self-defeating gesture if I may say so.

        Or am I taking Captain Literal too literally?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      The fighter plane you see in the pictures is a Russian YAK-69. The Chines stealth fighter is the one in front of it.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:20PM (#34770526)

    Looks like the YF23... This is the start of Cold War II..

    • by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:41PM (#34770790)

      Except the Chinese and American economies are too interlocked to repeat something like the that. Its hard to say what Sino-American relations will look like in the future, but I don't think the Cold War is a particularly good model.

      • Re:Hacking Pays Off (Score:4, Informative)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @07:23PM (#34771274) Homepage Journal

        Except the Chinese and American economies are too interlocked to repeat something like the that. Its hard to say what Sino-American relations will look like in the future, but I don't think the Cold War is a particularly good model.

        How about a hot war? In the early 20th c., it was widely and loudly proclaimed that the economies of the great European powers were far too dependent on each other for any serious conflict to take place. They might play ego games with each other by building lots of battleships, sure, but anything worse than the occasional naval skirmish, or brief land war in some far-away colony, was unthinkable And, um, we know how that worked out [historylea...site.co.uk].

  • The article says it would be a contender for the F-22, and calls it the world's only fully operational stealth fighter. Why don't the f-117 or even the f-35's count?

    • Well, the F-117 is actually a bomber but was given an "F" designator to throw people off. At least, that's what I was told when I asked that question.
    • by Microlith (54737)

      Neither the F-117A nor the F-35 are fighters, but bombers. They had to be sent in at night to prevent visual spotting, as they couldn't be escorted in by fighters.

      That said, this sucker looks like China scored big and managed to jack the plans for the F-35. Go go Corporate American network security policies.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@Gmail.YEATScom minus poet> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:29PM (#34770642) Homepage Journal

      The article says it would be a contender for the F-22, and calls it the world's only fully operational stealth fighter. Why don't the f-117 or even the f-35's count?

      The F-117 has been retired, and the F-35 isn't operational yet. Indeed, there's a growing scandal about the lack of progress in flight testing (as well as the emergence of weight and exhaust heat problems) for the F-35, and it's likely at that at least one version... probably the STOVL "B" version... will be canceled. And it's possible that the whole project will be canceled.

      • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Xest (935314) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @08:40PM (#34772016)

        "And it's possible that the whole project will be canceled."

        Not likely, the F22 project was cut back because it was not deemed acceptably exportable technology, the F-35 is and already has a bunch of export customers set up, and even helping to fund the project such as Australia and Britain.

        It may well be scaled back in capabilities but it will not be cancelled because it's just too important to US defence exports, cancelling it would not only be devastating financially for US defence contractors involved but it would also massively harm the US' image as a trustworthy defence exporter- why trust your military equipment future on a country that just can't deliver and ends up leaving you defenceless and out of pocket? The US just can't afford to cancel the F-35.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

      by SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @07:03PM (#34771044)

      Despite the F designation, the F-117 is an attack aircraft, not a fighter. The F-35 is a multi-role aircraft, ala the F-16. The F-22 is a true air superiority fighter, ala the original F-15. That' why we've scaled back F-22 production and ramped up F-35 production. Hasn't been much need for a U.S. air superiority fighter in the last 20 years. On other hand, we've needed lots of attack aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • FTA: The Chinese prototype looks like it has "the potential to be a competitor with the F-22 and to be decisively superior to the F-35," said Mr. Fisher. The J-20 has two engines, like the F-22, and is about the same size, while the F-35 is smaller and has only one engine.

    So... more engines and bigger equals "decisively superior," based solely on some photos?
  • At first glance, that looks exceedingly like an F-22 (I'm no expert-maybe specialists here can point out differences). I wonder what the odds are that this- like so many Chinese knockoffs- was designed with extensive engineering details about its competitors, gained in a clandestine manner?

  • The u.s. is like the decline of Rome. Most of the budget spent on the military to little gain.
    When will we realize we need to spend those billions on educating new engineers and scientists,
    repair our education system and bring industry back home? Do we value having $1.00 stores so much
    we will slit our own throats to save 0.50 cents on plastic goods? China's power is there is no individual, there
    is only the state. Need a new bridge? Seize houses. New factory? Take land. We need to realize what we are
    up
    • by ShavedOrangutan (1930630) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:39PM (#34770750)

      China's power is there is no individual, there is only the state. Need a new bridge? Seize houses. New factory? Take land. We need to realize what we are up against and adjust our outdated ideals about business.

      How long can China realistically keep that up? Manufacturing in the U.S. is so damned expensive because you can't just dump your industrial waste into the nearby stream. China is enjoying a 1st world economy with 3rd world living conditions. It'll catch up with them eventually.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        USA was able to keep that up for a century, back in 19th, so why did that stop? Because the gov't found a way to crack around the Constitution and destroy foundation of the US principles.

    • by Degro (989442)
      There's no 'we' about it. Just like ancient Rome, the economy has been completely captured by a tiny percentage of the population that will run everything into the ground in order to maintain their own wealth and profits.
    • by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @07:41PM (#34771486)

      The u.s. is like the decline of Rome. Most of the budget spent on the military to little gain.

      The U.S. is in decline because a lot of people think the problem is overspending on the military. It's not. Don't get me wrong; yes there's lots of pork in the U.S. military budget which could be cut. But it doesn't comprise most of U.S. government spending, nor is it the cause of the U.S.'s budgetary woes. And a good part of the reason we're in the buget mess we're in now is because people like you who think that it is implement solutions which don't address the real problem.

      U.S. military spending is actually one of the few parts of government spending which has been more or less steadily declining since WWII, both as a % of the budget [urban.org] and as a % of GDP [cbo.gov]. It started climbing after 9/11, but it's still close to the lowest it's been since WWII [truthandpolitics.org].

      What's killing the budget (indeed, where most of the money is spent) are the social programs; specifically, medicare and medicaid. They're projected to grow so quickly [cbo.gov] that even if you stopped all military spending, dropped it to zero , all the money that saved would be eaten up by growth in medicare and medicaid within 20-25 years. In other words, in 20-25 years we would have no military, no military spending, and our budgetary problems would be the same as they are now.

      The first step in fixing a problem is to correctly identify what is causing it. The Congressional Budget Office hires a lot of really smart people to do nothing but identify the causes of the budget problems, and publishes a nifty report on it [cbo.gov] about every 2 years. Please go read it. Put aside any moralistic preconceptions you may have about which parts of the budget are good or bad. Look at it purely from an accounting standpoint - which parts are decreasing and which parts are ballooning out of control? The parts that are ballooning out of control are what we need to address to fix the problem, the parts that are decreasing are a much lower priority.

      • by copponex (13876)

        About half of the discretionary budget is spent on the military.

        http://www.warresisters.org/files/FY2011piechart.pdf [warresisters.org]

        The reason the United States is dying is because we aren't collecting enough taxes to pay for our infrastructure. [deptofnumbers.com] We started two wars and then dropped taxes. That shit doesn't work.

        When our way of life actually was in danger during WII, we immediately raised taxes to pay for the cost of saving our country, and those rates lasted throughout the 50s, which was one of our best economic periods in

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wait, what? The U.S. is in decline because people think that we're overspending on the military? That doesn't jibe w/ the numbers I've seen. [wikipedia.org]

        Medicare & Medicaid expenditures are big -- as big as defense. But you seem to suggest that they either dwarf defense spending, or are less important than defense spending ("The U.S. is in decline because..."). One of those points is factually incorrect, and the other, I suppose, depends upon your income, age, and sadly your political leaning.

        My particular perspecti

      • No, what is killing the budget is NOT social programs. It is flowing our jobs elsewhere while dropping taxes. We used to collect taxes on corporations, but not so much anymore. Likewise, we used to collect taxes on nearly the entire spectrum, in a progressive fashion.

        Basically, it is not that we are spending. It is that we have not been taxing enough and the interest on the accumulated debt is crushing us.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Using WW2 spending as the mean is deceptive to say the least.

  • Anyone else think China's progress on this is a result of stolen intellectual property?

  • Powered by a sand cast copy of a 1972 Honda mini-bike engine.
  • So will this be a new toy with which to violate Japanese airspace, and have the Japanese in a tizzy? Then Japan could waste more resources on buying F-22's and fancy radars, which will benefit US but leave the Japanese fuming that they are paying the price for the standoff between two powers.

  • Air combat has been pretty much dominated by missiles because of radar and heat locked missiles. If the missiles can't lock in, will that mean the return of the dogfight with dumb bullets instead of missiles?
  • by snsh (968808) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:31PM (#34770670)
    Next time there's a rally in Tiananmen Square, the world won't see an iconic image of a protester standing in front of a row of tanks. The protester will instead be standing in front a stealth fighter jet, but the stealth fighter jet will be invisible to cameras, making the photo uninteresting.
  • by Stele (9443) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:55PM (#34770940) Homepage

    I went by Walmart but they didn't have any in stock.

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @06:58PM (#34770996)

    I thought the F-22 was built in China. Everything else is.

    Heh, we're not only funding our own military, we're funding theirs too, indirectly.

  • by Invisible Now (525401) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @07:10PM (#34771140)

    ... to validate a combat-worthy modern fighter.

    A nation that puts plastic in its baby food to fake protein levels has quality control issues that will fail a phony fighter at fifty thousand feet. Remember the failure of the counterfeit aerospace bolts it ships to the west.

    You can't overcome the demanding laws of physics by proclamation, family privilege, or deceit. Consequently, China's reverse-engineered Russian fighter engines don't match up. (And Russia has refused to sell them it's F22 class power plants because they're tired of getting ripped off. )

    Don't even get me started on mastering the voodoo of stealth...

    In short, we'll see what they have when it's super-cruising at altitude with working combat systems: Not when its taxi-ing at seal level.

  • by demonbug (309515) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @08:01PM (#34771676) Journal

    Are they looking at different photos than what were published? The side-view photo certainly doesn't appear to be a high-speed test. Hard to tell with all the grain, but I would expect some blurring of the background and/or jet exhaust if it was traveling at high speed, but you see neither in those two photos. For all I can tell it could be a mockup sitting still on the tarmac. Not to say the Chinese haven't conducted high-speed tests of it, I just disagree with the claim that these photos show any evidence of it.

    Other [guardian.co.uk] Photos [aviationweek.com] seem to have the same issues - that might be some heat waving in the Guardian photo, but tough to tell.

    Claiming that this could be a prototype fighter that challenges the F-22 based on these photos is just ridiculous, and one would think a writer for Jane's would know better. It is quite possible, as China has really made no secret of the fact that they are pursuing aviation technology very aggressively (and I do seem to recall reports of large portions of engineering data for the F-22 being stolen a while back. My mistake - apparently it was the F-35 [wsj.com]), and no doubt they are working on bringing their high-tech fabrication technology up to speed. But there is a very big jump between putting together a stealthy-looking mockup (all that can really be determined from the photos) and producing an effective combat system, from airframe to FCS to weapons systems and avionics. Like I said, I don't doubt that this is their goal, and I don't doubt that they will be fully capable of it within a relatively short time, but a couple of photos really doesn't prove (or even really suggest) much of anything.

  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @08:30PM (#34771940)

    Rumor has it the canopy from the Chinese fighter will fit an F22 without modification but ranks lower in crash safety tests.

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