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  • China Test Flies Stealth Fighter

    Hours before Secretary of Defense Robert Gates landed in China, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) staged a test flight of its new stealth fighter, possibly termed the J-20.

    In some quarters, it is being argued that this flight was deliberately scheduled to upstage the American visit. In the mystery that is Chinese politics, it is almost impossible to say whether this is actually the case or not; it is certainly just as possible that this was the result of bureaucratic scheduling.

    What is very clear, however, is that the Chinese stealth fighter program is farther along than was generally recognized. When the first pictures of the Chinese fighter debuted last week, many pooh-poohed them as “merely” taxiing tests. Moreover, it is useful to consider that this fighter resembles the American F-22. Which begs the question: What preceded this aircraft? Was there a Chinese version of the F-117, the very first operational stealth fighter, which provided essential lessons in everything from tactics to manufacturing to logistical support for the current generation of American stealth aircraft?

    More importantly, the test flight of the J-20 underscores the conclusions from the leaked DIA report, now over a year old, that the situation in the air over the Taiwan Straits is steadily shifting against Taiwan. While the US debates whether to sell F-16C/Ds to Taiwan, China’s air force is rapidly modernizing beyond that level.

    Of course, it will take time for the Chinese to fully field the J-20. It is likely that the system has not reached large-scale production, much less initial operational capability (IOC). There is still time for the US to take corrective measures to hedge against these Chinese capabilities, both in its own arsenals and in what it provides Taiwan.

    Whether intentional or not, the test flight of the J-20 should serve as a reminder to both Taipei and Washington of the evolving situation in the air. This flight was as much a test of Taiwan resolve and US commitment as of a new airframe.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to China Test Flies Stealth Fighter

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    2. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Just to think, China's military can do all it does in just under $100 billion. The US DoD needs $700 billion. Moreover, they have many times more soldiers than we do. However, they also do not have a massive overpaid federal workforce that they need to carry as we do.

      On top of all that, somewhere around a third to a half of their military budget is paid for by the interest payments we pay them on their part of our National Debt!

      Hmmmmmm.

      We had better start taking cues from China on how to operate and fund our military and defense systems before (1) they own us and (2) we are blindsided by their military might.

      We are on the waning days of the American empire. According to some, the last chapters of our story are being written. We need to get our house in order NOW! We have spent all that we can – now we need to be even smarter than the Chinese are if we are to have a prayer on staying a country.

      We talk about the need for a necessary billion dollar missile defense system. We do need it. Every day I go to work, off in the distance, I see a massive building complex the DoD is having constructed in Alexandria, VA at the Mark Center. It is likely that the cost of this complex is approaching that billion dollar level. It was never bid out to the open market. It was ordered to be constructed by the current property owner, who is making a massive amount of money off this deal. The DoD will be buying the property after it is completed. In true government fashion, the building is way over budget and way over schedule and as of late, way undersized.

      Traffic in the area is already seized and with the lack of wisdom of the DoD the locals will now have to suffer the addition of over 15,000 DoD federal employees and military personnel that will further congest the area. The DoD eventually recognized the traffic problem by reducing the parking garage size to 4,000 cars, with hopes that people will car pool and the rest would ride on one of those many white DoD busses. Smart people would have simply moved the building out of the area as the citizenry demanded. As a result, not too many people who will work for the DoD in that Building want to work there – people are already quitting their DoD jobs to find something more convenient. None of them wants to waste over an hour of their lives just getting into and out of the area. Also in true federal government fashion, to accommodate the traffic problems they will be allowing people to work at home (which defies the original need for such a huge edifice to begin with!) They put this building as far away from metro stations as they could. It is nearly smack dab in the middle of 5 metro station of which none are within walking distance. There will need to be a massive fleet of DoD busses traveling to and from each metro station to the building adding to the congestion. Congress members are starting to show their displeasure with the time it will take to get from Capitol Hill to the new building (over an hour – one way – mid day!).

      The DoD in its efforts to spend at all cost or using the “money is not a factor” mentality made this building a beaming example of lush federal spending. It is LEED compliant which means the DoD spent a mint on environmental factors which will take decades to pay off with energy savings. The building has vast open spaces that cost tremendously to build with absolutely no practical use at all. This office building will be the best of the best in the greater DC area beating out corporate office buildings in luxury. This building represents why we do not have a missile defense system. The money was spent here. Renting out building space from the private sector was far too below the high-end desires of the upper brass at the DoD. The insatiable desire of the federal government to spend money they do not have on luxury office space was far more important to the DoD.

      This building will be causing the American people who live in that small area problems for decades to come. The DoD will have to cough up more hundreds of millions of dollars to build highway ramps and bridge spans to get from the 4,000 car garage to I-395 (which is also beyond capacity). Moreover, perhaps they will have to start providing subsidies to DoD employees to live within walking distance of the area to eliminate more congestion. This decision was made without the kind of foresight and mission critical thinking that we need from the Department of Defense. It was a decision made out of greed for luxuries by the federal workforce. Gone are the days of frugality that went into building the Pentagon. The federal government only wants the very best now.

      Could the DoD have built a standard plain building on the outskirts of Alexandra – outside the beltway – or how about the cash strapped Springfield? Yes – they could have. Better yet, could they have bought one or more of the hundreds of vacant buildings in the area? Yes! Either way would have been the right thing to do. It would have cost far less. In addition, it would have put a far less burden on the American people in cost and traffic congestion. I am not sure what was behind that poor decision (was it a slight of hand deal?) but never-the-less, it is done and we will be paying for that for years to come, sadly more so by the citizens already suffering with the current paralyzing congestion near the Mark Center. Where we have massive and beautiful monuments that mark the success and heroism of our nation’s founders, this grotesque building will be the monument of federal waste and massive spending. Spending that prevented us from being able to protect ourselves against our enemies. It is fitting that they placed it adjacent to I-395 for all of the hundreds of thousands of overpaid federal workers who pass by can marvel at the representation of waste they are all part of.

    3. Jeff, Marietta GA says:

      What may not be apparent to the reader is that as Chengdu is testing their new aircraft, the F-22 program is this month busily laying off its engineering talent and experience, and is issuing stop work orders on F-22 modernization, as the last of our 130 combat coded F-22s are coming off the line. Unless one has a vested interest in killing competition to keep the OSD-led F-35 program sold, it makes little sense to shut down a program which has delivered the past sixty jets on-cost, and with a rep for perfect zero defect quality – the only a/a platform which could challenge the Chinese J-20 and Russian PAK-FA. I feel rather like I'm living in the 1930s, watching as the German and Japanese empires eye their neighbors speculatively and test fly their newest fighters, while we sit contemplating our navels bewailing our economy, and blaming the other party. This next time around, we won't have the time or the industry to rearm in the face of a new conflict, as we've sent so much American industry off shore. In the face of the willingness of the world to challenge us militarily, killing the F-22 and its modernization to meet emerging threats like these cements American retreat from global power and influence. American retreat – God help us all.

    4. Ron, Clarksville,Ga says:

      Jeff, so eloquently stated, thanks for letting us know another of the major, stupid, misguided, and dangerous decisions our current moranic administration has portrayed on the unsuspecting American people.

      I pray everyday that the Obama administration will not make more stupid, leftist decisions to deterioate our defenses, to the point where we cannot recover and will all be speaking a different language and eating a lot of rice, or worse, in a prison camp.

    5. Lowell Bain, Sanibel says:

      Retired.

      Ignore the Chinese stealth aircraft as well as N Korea prep at our peril. After all the media would have us continue to believe that political correctness and cultural sensitivity is more important than military preparedness and strength.

      Keep smiling and bowing and we could see a repeat of history.

    6. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      Something stinks in Washington, We need a good man who has knowledge of Military and it's needs. We cannot defend our country with outdated and unsafe weapons and vehicles, including aircraft. BHO has no military trainig and a great distain for the military, I believe that Joint chiefs are honorable men but who is listening to them, this is one aspect we need transparency on, if the joint chiefs are being ignored by POTUS then we need to know, our total defense is at stake and our enimies know it.

    7. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      You must remember the Americans who designed the superior tanks were turned down, leading to superior German Tanks. Later on the Russians benefitted from the same rejections of American designs. You can't solve a mystery like this without realizing the Obama Administration wasn't really composed of loyal opposition. Remember the Soviets had better intel into our secrets than we did! It's true. No kidding, if you know our government is controlled by Cold War Communist infiltrators, suddenly everything makes sense! Strangling our Economy Obama is strangling our National Defense! Strangling our Liberty! I can see why they'd stop the successful F-22! These Democrats don't want a stronger Nation. Progressives hate free enterprise.

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    9. Richard, Dhaka says:

      No mention about the timing for testing J-20. China is capable to make it and show her capability. It is only time factor that super power will change its location. You check how the chinese economy is moving. So it is the time for US to do all humanitarian correct measure.

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