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posted by Fnord666 on Friday December 15 2017, @11:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the at-least-it's-in-the-air dept.

Has the People's Republic caught up?

The Chengdu J-20 marks the first entry of a multirole stealth fighter into China's armed forces. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), China views stealth technology as a core component in the transformation of its air force from "a predominantly territorial air force to one capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations." Designed for enhanced stealth and maneuverability, the J-20 has the potential to provide China with a variety of previously unavailable air combat options and enhance its capability to project power.

As an advanced multirole stealth fighter, it is speculated that the J-20 can fulfill both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army Navy (referred to as either Naval Aviation or the PLAN-AF). According to PLAAF Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, the J-20 will enhance the overall combat capability of China's air force. A 2016 report by the DOD states that the J-20 represents a critical step in China's efforts to develop "advanced aircraft to improve its regional power projection capabilities and to strengthen its ability to strike regional airbases and facilities." In 2014, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission described the J-20 as "more advanced than any other fighter currently deployed by Asia Pacific countries."


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  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @12:28PM (30 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @12:28PM (#610262) Journal
    Simply having a 'stealth fighter' is important to them for prestige/legitimacy at home, and also from a deterrence standpoint. Those are firm points.

    Now, will it work? Will it work as well as other 'stealth fighters?' Will it work well enough to succeed in combat missions that rely on it?

    At this point it's hard to say. They've poured a lot of resources into a modern military aviation industry and they've had some mixed results so far. This thing could turn out to be a dud or it could turn out to be as good or better than the competition. I lean towards thinking something closer to a dud is more likely, but I doubt it will be a total failure.

    Both of the main reasons for having it are served as long as it's not tested and shown to be a complete dud, btw, so it makes good sense for them to be developing this, even if it turns out to be little more than an expensive research project on the stealth side. If it can fly low and fast and release modern standoff ASMs any functioning stealth ability is gravy.
    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @01:47PM (14 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @01:47PM (#610273)

      At this particular juncture, any other military in the world would be idiotic to attempt to develop a force capable of opposition to the US carrier fleet.

      Developing existing technology, yes... proofs of concept, yes... looking for disruptive technological advantage, yes... but to field a force with sufficient technology and size/numbers to challenge three aircraft carrier groups? Economically idiotic.

      Almost as economically idiotic as the US maintaining a military capable of challenging two or three major opposing forces simultaneously.

      Standing down the world's military forces and joining together in some common goals could produce amazing positive results. I know that political viewpoint fell out of fashion ~45 years ago - maybe it's time to try it again?

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday December 15 2017, @02:04PM (5 children)

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday December 15 2017, @02:04PM (#610277) Journal

        According to the U.S. Navy, the carrier fleet (or other ships) are extremely vulnerable to relatively cheap missiles and drones. Which is why they are trying to deploy lasers on ships.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by zocalo on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (3 children)

          by zocalo (302) on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (#610319)
          And Zerg rushes; there was an exercise [cuttingedge.org] where the Red Team leader's strategy was to swarm a US Carrier group with small fast attack boats on a suicide charge and managed to "sink" a good chunk of the fleet before someone hit the pause button. And French submarines [theaviationist.com] - there also an incident near Okinawa [warhistoryonline.com] when a Chinese sub surfaced in the middle of carrier group performing air ops. And even random civilian shipping minding its own business (or incompetent officers/poor operational practice depending on which version you want to believe).

          The US Navy is good - very good - at what it does, but it's far from invincible or infallible.
          --
          UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:21PM (2 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:21PM (#610334)

            Purely strategic wargames that place two opponents with equal economic resources to start with and build differing types of forces to engage the enemy with consistently come out with Zerg rush as the win. Lots of fast, cheap little units, a mix of ground, sea and air win, with or without nukes in the conflict. Throw in nukes as an option and the vehicles that are just robust enough to reliably deliver a nuke are the game winners.

            Politically, historically it has been the capital ships, the awe inspiring carriers and submarines with enough firepower to devastate all the cities on a continent, that seem to carry the weight in negotiations and posturing. Nobody is impressed by a big standing army - the US thoroughly humiliated Saddam Hussein with a smaller but more technologically capable invading force. However, two guys on a skiff almost sunk the Cole, and since then the big battleships have been mothballed.

            Reality and politics have the tiniest intersections and overlaps.

            --
            John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
            • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday December 15 2017, @05:19PM (1 child)

              by Nerdfest (80) on Friday December 15 2017, @05:19PM (#610365)

              Ordering soldiers into a Zerg Rush in a real battle will turn out a bit differently than in exercises, for most, if not all military forces I'm betting.

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:42PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:42PM (#610395)

                Tell that to survivors of D-day. Cannon fodder rushes are a common thing.

                It might be harder these days as people are realizing that wars are about money and not right/wrong, but history shows that the tactic works out alright.

        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:05PM

          by driverless (4770) on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:05PM (#610963)

          According to the U.S. Navy, the carrier fleet (or other ships) are extremely vulnerable to relatively cheap missiles and drones. Which is why they are trying to deploy lasers on ships.

          Wouldn't it be cheaper to deploy lasers on sharks?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @02:31PM (7 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @02:31PM (#610293) Journal
        "At this particular juncture, any other military in the world would be idiotic to attempt to develop a force capable of opposition to the US carrier fleet."

        How do you figure that?

        "Developing existing technology, yes... proofs of concept, yes... looking for disruptive technological advantage, yes... but to field a force with sufficient technology and size/numbers to challenge three aircraft carrier groups? Economically idiotic."

        Err ok, that would make sense for most countries.

        But China has the trifecta to make the exception. They're big enough (economically) to absorb the cost. Domestic politics requires it. And it's vital to national security, precisely because someone keeps sending those carrier groups on provocative tours off the Chinese east coast.

        Chinese national defense policy is rooted in defending the center. China's center of mass stays close to the east coast. The vast, sparsely inhabited regions of Xinjian, Tibet, and inner mongolia, form a line of defense around that middle, from the southwest to the west to the north. At northeast, north Korea, not the best neighbor but still a fanatically militarized buffer state that wouldn't let anyone else just march through to attack. Due south, the mountains are an effective barrier for the most part, and relations with Vietnam, while not ideal, at least reassure them that, again, no outside army can just march in to strike that eastern seaboard where maybe 90% of the population lives.

        And to the southeast, the south china sea. This is considered no less vital to chinese security than the caribbean is to the US. Remember the cuba missile crisis?

        Make no mistake, the chinese are dead set on making their seaboard too dangerous for carriers to be risked there in the future, and they're going to keep these projects well funded until they feel they have that result. Even if there was a sudden revolution and they became a liberal democracy overnight, the new government would do the same damn thing. The Chinese will not accept foreigners flying/sailing 12 miles from their eastern seaboard with nukes on a regular basis without demanding their government act to stop it.

        Long range extremely accurate hypersonic missiles are likely a more important technology in that vein than the stealth I think, and those are already reality as well.

        "Standing down the world's military forces and joining together in some common goals could produce amazing positive results."

        Yeah good luck finding Ds and Rs to go along with that idea.

        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:35PM (6 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:35PM (#610345)

          On the one hand, you can sort of say "China will be China" and let them play in their little corner of the globe.

          On the other hand, if they think what they did to Tibet is O.K.? that's playing out Nazi Germany's game, but on a long-slow boil instead of blitzkreig. Keeping a credible force just off the coast seems like a good thing to prevent them from getting more expansionist ideas.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @09:16PM (5 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @09:16PM (#610472) Journal
            On the other hand, are the American people as a whole willing to spend the enormous amounts of blood and treasure that would go with stripping China of Tibet militarily?

            You know that's far from true. And half-measures do more harm than good I'm afraid.

            "Keeping a credible force just off the coast seems like a good thing to prevent them from getting more expansionist ideas."

            Actually it seems like exactly the opposite to that.

            There's no evidence they harbor any expansionist ideas, outside of those buffer zones on each side. Again, the Chinese mindset is (and has been for many centuries) based around defend the center. They civilize and fortify the near outside into buffer zones in order to create a separation from the rest of the world, not to bring it closer. Historically and in todays national psychology, they're homebodies, highly motivated to keep control of what is very close to them precisely because they don't want to have to control what's further away.

            So, no, I'm afraid if that's the idea behind the carrier exercises then they're quite counterproductive. The effect they're having is to make chinese paranoid about attack, and pushing them to become more aggressive as a response.

            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @11:05PM (4 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:05PM (#610532)

              35 years of one-child policy and their population still grew by ~40% during that time... sooner or later the center won't be able to hold all the Chinese people.

              Personally, I'm in favor of unilateral disarmament, but there's the unfortunate side effect that military disarmament would lead to accelerated space travel, and anyone capable of getting a modest amount of delta-V capability to an asteroid has something bigger than Tsar Bomba at their disposal...

              --
              John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:55PM (3 children)

                by Arik (4543) on Sunday December 17 2017, @11:55PM (#611161) Journal
                "35 years of one-child policy and their population still grew by ~40% during that time... sooner or later the center won't be able to hold all the Chinese people. "

                That's later, that's very very later.

                In the meantime, the large majority of China is sparsely inhabited. Even as the total population has grown over that 35 year period, the rural areas have nonetheless been partly depopulated. The population is crowding into the center. Two of the most important tier1 cities, Guangzhou and Shanghai, are east coast cities, as is Hong Kong of course. The population growth is heavily concentrated right there on the south-eastern seaboard.

                Take a look at http://multimedia.scmp.com/2016/cities/ scroll down to the map.
                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday December 18 2017, @02:01AM (2 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday December 18 2017, @02:01AM (#611214)

                  Even when people live in cities, they still consume resources that require land to produce. As lifestyles "westernize" they'll demand more foods that take more land to produce. That depopulated rural countryside may go into mechanized farming, but the land and sea can only produce so much. When they are net-importing food, they may get nervous about that.

                  --
                  John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
                  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Monday December 18 2017, @02:42AM (1 child)

                    by Arik (4543) on Monday December 18 2017, @02:42AM (#611240) Journal
                    Oh, that's definitely a looming issue. They already import food, btw.

                    But that's only set to expand. There is virtually no mechanized agriculture. Worse yet, the farms are predominantly worked by the elderly. The typical site in agricultural areas is grandparents working the field while babysitting their grandkids. The parents are gone to the city and the kids will join them when they are old enough to start school.

                    http://www.worldstopexports.com/rice-imports-by-country/

                    Chinese rice imports rose almost 41% just between 2012 and 2016.

                    And most of that rice is imported by ship, into one of those southeast seaboard port cities.

                    Just one more reason they are absolutely going to spend whatever they have to spend to make that body of water too dangerous for intruders.
                    --
                    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday December 18 2017, @12:53PM

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday December 18 2017, @12:53PM (#611362)

                      I wouldn't be surprised at a move to annex those food sources at some point in the future - especially after domestic production gets straightened out and still can't meet demand. Meanwhile, the ability to prevent naval blockade would seem to be a solid requirement for their military.

                      --
                      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 15 2017, @02:07PM (12 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @02:07PM (#610279) Homepage Journal

      China and it's military are an enigma.

      China is different than us, in that, they have millenia of history. It's army can trace it's history and/or heritage back five thousand years. It's been up, it's been down, but it has a hell of a lot of heritage to draw upon.

      China's Navy? Not so much. It's all new. China HAD a seafaring capability, and they abandoned it. History would have been so very different, if they hadn't scrapped their navy in the 1400's. Today - they lack a real naval tradition such as we inherited from England.

      Air? They're new at that as well.

      China has impressive numbers, and impressive technology, on paper. But their air and sea power is untested. Put to the test, they may very well kick our asses all around the world. Or, they may prove to be complete duds. Any guess ranging anywhere in that spectrum is equally valid.

      I have little doubt that China could kick our asses in a land war. They have the numbers, they have the knowhow, they have everything they need. But no one knows how they'll stand against the west at sea, or in the air. It's all conjecture at this point.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday December 15 2017, @02:21PM (11 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @02:21PM (#610288) Journal

        But no one knows how they'll stand against the west at sea, or in the air.

        Nobody's going to be able to touch mainland China by sea in 5 years time - their artificial islands in South China Sea won't move from there, but it will be a lot harder to destroy than an aircraft carrier.
         

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 15 2017, @02:44PM (9 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @02:44PM (#610297) Homepage Journal

          Hmmmm - depends on a lot of things, including the willingness to use nukes. Those islands aren't all that very stable - they can be swept away. A single tac nuke for each island, and that barrier is gone.

          But, only a bunch of suicidal fools would want to invade mainland China. How many nations would it take to assemble an army as large as China's? And, since the Chinese would have all of the home field advantages, an army as large as China's would still be at a disadvantage.

          --
          Let's go Brandon!
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @03:02PM (8 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @03:02PM (#610304) Journal
            Nuke their base and they'll nuke one of yours.

            You really want to trade Guam for some reef with a weather station and a landing strip?
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 15 2017, @03:41PM (7 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @03:41PM (#610317) Homepage Journal

              Not "base", but "bases". Oh yeah - Sun Tzu, remember? The Chinese aren't really into pyrrhic victories. They aren't into all-out war. They may be willing to sacrifice a few divisions, but the introduction of a few tac nukes WITHOUT hitting the homeland would convince them to back down. Unless, of course, they should elect/appoint their own version of Trump. MCGA, anyone? I'm as sure as is possible to be sure that the destruction of those islands would convince the Chinese to fall back, and test their conventional arms. In that case, we would see just how good their navy and air forces are.

              Now, if we were so utterly stupid as to send a nuke into any part of mainland China, all bets are off.

              --
              Let's go Brandon!
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday December 15 2017, @10:52PM (2 children)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @10:52PM (#610525) Journal

                Unless, of course, they should elect/appoint their own version of Trump. MCGA, anyone?

                Don't underestimate Chairman Xi, he's very well into MCGA, without the media excesses of Trump.
                When he says "South China Sea is traditionally Chinese" [wikipedia.org] what do you think it means?

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 15 2017, @11:16PM (1 child)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @11:16PM (#610538) Homepage Journal

                  I think he means that China had the premier world power naval force in the 1400's, and he wants to bring those days back. And, he is working hard to enforce his view.

                  --
                  Let's go Brandon!
                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday December 15 2017, @11:34PM

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @11:34PM (#610547) Journal

                    So... MCGA?

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
              • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday December 15 2017, @11:48PM (3 children)

                by bob_super (1357) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:48PM (#610553)

                > the introduction of a few tac nukes WITHOUT hitting the homeland would convince them to back down.

                It's not like that areas has any neighbors who might take offense at getting irradiated in your little war games.
                The nukes are forever staying in the box. Period.

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:11AM (2 children)

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:11AM (#610592) Homepage Journal

                  That's a pretty big assumption there . . .

                  --
                  Let's go Brandon!
                  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:23AM (1 child)

                    by bob_super (1357) on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:23AM (#610595)

                    I must have watched too much propaganda about being the good guys.

                    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:34AM

                      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 16 2017, @07:34AM (#610646) Homepage Journal

                      Little bit of sarcasm?

                      Many of us have been warning the partisans on both sides about giving war powers to the president, about passing laws they won't like when the other side is in power. Times change. People don't change as much as some of us wish, but the names and faces change. The D's are squawking about The Orange One today. The time may come when this country looks back on Trump as the last of the benevolent presidents. I mean, the D's may come up with a fifty year winning streak - imagine how much damage they can do in that time!

                      --
                      Let's go Brandon!
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:39PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:39PM (#610348)

          Tzar Bomba makes silly little islands look silly.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday December 15 2017, @02:16PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @02:16PM (#610286) Journal

      In a nutshell: drone rush.

      They need to be decent and many more than the enemy can shot down before being destroyed.
      I have a feeling China's capability to produce heaps of J-20-ies is higher than US's to produce F35 choke luxury machines.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Arik on Friday December 15 2017, @02:58PM

        by Arik (4543) on Friday December 15 2017, @02:58PM (#610300) Journal
        Of course, they won't cost anywhere near as much and they'll be able to produce them more quickly.

        They'll be able to fly them from land bases, in their own territory, rather than relying on carrier decks.

        And of course guided missiles are effectively a kind of 'drone.' They're quite a bit harder to shoot down than the rc quadcopter kind, or even the raptor/predator kind, especially the hypersonic kind of course.

        Cold-war era carrier tactics featured missile defense prominently, and carriers are quite good at it. The expected attack would have been a salvo of sea-skimming missiles, staying at low altitude to avoid detection as long as possible, at maybe 500mph(~800kph). You have a whole bunch of radar systems and short range defense systems all linked together to deal with those, to pick them up as early as possible and feed that target info around to all the different weapons that might be able to hit them as early as possible. And you can count on having a few seconds, long enough to launch some interceptor missiles and then fire a bunch of short range guns at the missiles that are left afterwards, before anything hits.

        Modern anti-ship weapons don't do that. They are fired at extremely long range and first fly into the stratosphere to escape drag. They can then dive relatively straight towards their target, to arrive at maximum speed (~mach10) or they can dive more steeply and pull out to a traditional sea-skimming approach, arriving ~mach5 in that case. Either way it's extremely difficult to intercept a target moving that quickly, either with a missile or a gun.

        Mach 10 is well over 7500mph(~12000kmh.)

        This sort of missile doesn't even need a warhead to be effective as an antiship weapon. Kinetic energy alone would have no trouble shredding the hull.

        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Friday December 15 2017, @01:54PM (9 children)

    by looorg (578) on Friday December 15 2017, @01:54PM (#610274)

    Did they design it themselves or did they steal the design plans from Lockheed? The planes look suspiciously similar if one look at the comparison images between say F22, T50 and the J20. Perhaps there is just one way of doing it but that seems doubtful.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @02:08PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @02:08PM (#610281)

      We should sell them some F35s or let them steal the plans.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @02:24PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @02:24PM (#610290)

        Well, the Chinese may be smarter than the Canadians or Ozzies.

        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday December 15 2017, @11:33PM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:33PM (#610545) Journal

          Hey, that was politicians being politicians.
          Most Canadians or Australians who even know what a military plane looks like think buying those was a mistake.

          --
          “I've learned from experience that asking politely never works unless you have the upper hand.” Daisuke Aramaki, GIS:SAC
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 15 2017, @02:13PM (3 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @02:13PM (#610283) Homepage Journal

      They have stolen, bought, and reverse engineered as much or more from the Russians, than they have stolen from us. But, why steal it, when so much of our stuff has been for sale, anyway? Clinton made it more or less kosher to sell military tech to China. "Most favored trading partner", remember?

      http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/11/world/clinton-approves-technology-transfer-to-china.html [nytimes.com]

      https://capitalresearch.org/article/flashback-bill-clinton-gave-china-missile-technology/ [capitalresearch.org]

      Bill Clinton was a treasonous bastard, in addition to all his other faults.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 15 2017, @02:17PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @02:17PM (#610287) Homepage Journal

        This article is more to the point than those linked to above:
        https://news.usni.org/2015/10/27/chinas-military-built-with-cloned-weapons [usni.org]

        The fact that the Chinese commonly refer to today’s imitation products as “Shanzhai” indicates that they recognize the dubious nature of the current practice. The term “Shanzhai” translates to “mountain stronghold” and was originally applied to pirate factories producing counterfeit goods in remote areas beyond the reach of regulatory control.

        The copycat business is no longer restricted to outlying lawless regions. It has entered the mainstream and been embraced by government officials who seem content to allow other nations to develop products and technology which they can then acquire legitimately through licensing or illegitimately through counterfeiting and espionage. This approach allows China to stay competitive on the world stage while saving them the time and money it would cost to develop their own products.

        An industry in which Chinese cloning has excelled to a disconcerting degree is the manufacture of weapon systems. China’s expanding military and growing assertiveness has been bolstered by weapons cloned from the arsenals of other countries. Bleeding edge U.S. aircraft including the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) have Chinese counterparts that are remarkably similar. Some of the technology used in these designs was almost certainly acquired through a vigorous Chinese cyber spying campaign.

        It is not only American weapon designs and technology that have been stolen and replicated by the Chinese. Russia has at times served as China’s unwitting research and development department. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia was in need of money and held a fire sale of its state of the art Sukhoi Su-27 fighter. China bought two dozen of the fighters but later negotiated for a license to assemble additional planes domestically using key components imported from Russia. Within a few years China claimed that the fighter no longer met their needs and canceled the contract. To the fury of the Russians, the Chinese soon debuted the indigenously built and equipped Shenyang J-11B fighter that looks identical to the Su-27.

        --
        Let's go Brandon!
        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday December 15 2017, @11:35PM

          by MostCynical (2589) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:35PM (#610548) Journal

          "Bleeding edge"? "Bleeding" money, "edge" of reason.

          --
          “I've learned from experience that asking politely never works unless you have the upper hand.” Daisuke Aramaki, GIS:SAC
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:26PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:26PM (#610339)

        Slick Willie presided over some good times - as is our supreme Orange with the Russian wife and business partners.

        The best leadership would make treason irrelevant. Not that either of those clowns even approach worthiness of a nomination for "best leader."

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Friday December 15 2017, @09:11PM (1 child)

      by RamiK (1813) on Friday December 15 2017, @09:11PM (#610468)

      Did they design it themselves or did they steal the design plans from Lockheed?

      Looking at those Sovietesque canards and exposed jets, I'd say it's pretty obvious the Chengdu J-20 is a domestic Chinese design. I guess you could call it a fighter-mafia F-22 depending on the energy maneuverability charts... :)

      The planes look suspiciously similar if one look at the comparison images between say F22, T50 and the J20.

      Not to me: https://i1.wp.com/fightersweep.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/size-chart.jpg [wp.com]

      Perhaps there is just one way of doing it but that seems doubtful.

      Depending on the role, there are probably just one or two ways that work and a whole bunch of ways that might work but aren't worth it. Again, depends on your air-doctrine of choice. Personally I lean towards the extremes: Lots of drones and lots of dumb fighters. Everything in-between is trash. But hey, I don't have the math to prove it so it's just intuition.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday December 15 2017, @11:56PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:56PM (#610556)

        The real answer is cheap light drones designating targets for cheap heavy drones carrying lots and lots of fast stealthy missiles.
        Or peace ... Whichever.

  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Friday December 15 2017, @02:27PM (8 children)

    by Aiwendil (531) on Friday December 15 2017, @02:27PM (#610292) Journal

    It actually doesn't matter - stealth is too expensive to be fielded in significant numbers, the tradeoffs in airframes makes them vulnerable if targeted, and once beaten you'll only have a subpar and overly expensive flying target sign.
    And unless they have a very good range they will be kinda out of luck once the defense takes out their support (basic rule of warfare - take out lines of supplies as soon as you can).

    The main reason to have stealth planes is PR and developing better tech to beat it - take a look at IRST and AESA-radars to see just what stealth is up against.

    Stealth however is great if attacking a technologically inferior opponent, or after you've taken out the radars and AA - but at that point you get a lot more bang for the buck to just use conventional planes instead.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @03:48PM (#610320)

      And unless they have a very good range they will be kinda out of luck once the defense takes out their support

      The offense you mean? They don't need good range or carriers for defense.

      Whereas the USA needs carrier groups for "defense" thousands of miles half way around the world... The USA is like someone many blocks away who plonks a sentry gun in your next-door neighbor's backyard for "defense". And accuses you of being hostile when you fly drones near that gun...

      Yeah China has been involved in "regime change" but not as much as the USA and mostly to _adjacent_ countries.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:32PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:32PM (#610343)

        The US is no angel, I'm hard pressed to decide which was worse: Tibet or Hawaii. I lean toward Tibet because the heavy-duty atrocities were more recent.

        --
        John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:20PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:20PM (#610386)

          How about the USA "wonderful work" in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria?

          See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Schneider#Assassination [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:23AM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday December 16 2017, @02:23AM (#610596)

            Meh, those might be considered "Police" actions... not the greatest thing when you're on the receiving end, but at the end of the day the oppressors go home and you get to put the pieces back together. The Hawaiians, Native Americans and Tibetans are now occupied and slowly fading away.

            Also, I'd say the US in Vietnam and Korea, and the Russians in Afghanistan were far worse than the recent US Middle East / North Africa campaigns, just due to duration - although W did sink US in deeper than a wise man (like his father) would have in Iraq.

            It's all bad, but sometimes the "Police" actions can improve life in the aftermath, sometimes.

            --
            John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 15 2017, @06:22PM (#610387)

          The US is no angel

          Lot closer to devil: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Friday December 15 2017, @05:40PM

        by Aiwendil (531) on Friday December 15 2017, @05:40PM (#610369) Journal

        No, I mean defence. If you come in with stealth-planes and find all your nice little air-refuelling planes and AA-supression units having started new career as fireballs you are out of luck on surviving/completing the return - especially if you are the only radar-interfering object still in the air (that moves differently from clouds at that altitude)

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 15 2017, @04:29PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 15 2017, @04:29PM (#610341)

      All depends on the mission, and most mission profiling is about political considerations.

      If a stealth plane can pass a sensitive area unnoticed, that can be a huge advantage.

      They're not going to win a massive head-to-head confrontation, but for selective projection of force they give more flexibility.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:03AM

        by bob_super (1357) on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:03AM (#610559)

        Enter the F-22, which doesn't have enough range to pick a fight in Tehran or most of Russia or China, and needs a nice slow big refueling tanker.
        Best-performing useless plane in the world. Meanwhile, the F-15s (all but one) were pretty happy bombing Libya when requested.

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday December 15 2017, @09:25PM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 15 2017, @09:25PM (#610479) Journal

    I was expecting somebody to joke that Chinese stealth fighters have the fundamental disadvantage that they're made in China. Either people are taking Chinese capabilities seriously now, as they should, or the level of discourse on SN has increased. Either way, it's a good thing.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday December 15 2017, @11:44PM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:44PM (#610552) Journal

      More that the "West" has made such a great mess of the newest planes and ships, there is no reason to think the Chinese couldn't match it.
      "Equal" can mean "equally crap"

      --
      “I've learned from experience that asking politely never works unless you have the upper hand.” Daisuke Aramaki, GIS:SAC
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday December 15 2017, @09:30PM (8 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Friday December 15 2017, @09:30PM (#610482) Journal

    Looking at this thread I see far too much complacency. I don't think people understand the US has gotten corrupt and rotten and mismanaged internally over the last 40-50 years.

    China plays its cards very close to its chest. Remember they are also over 4,000 years old in one form or another; if you think American exceptionalism is a thing, try and imagine the Chinese equivalent...and theirs actually has some serious, long-term historical credentials to back it up. These are the people who invented gunpowder, remember, and I suspect if a certain emperor hadn't forbidden overseas voyages way back when we'd all be speaking courtly Mandarin now (as it is I'm trying to learn...).

    The US feels like a dying empire, very much like the Soviets or, perhaps more topically, the Romans did. The ruling class has gotten self-absorbed, decadent, inbred, and out of touch with reality. I have no doubt China could win easily in any war by hitting a few brittle pain points and making the entire country collapse from within.

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday December 15 2017, @11:50PM

      by MostCynical (2589) on Friday December 15 2017, @11:50PM (#610554) Journal

      You mean like refusing to supply clothes, cars, plastic, toys, furniture, etc etc?
      http://www.universalcargo.com/top-10-import-goods-from-china-with-pics/ [universalcargo.com]

      At the moment, they are making too much money from trade with the US:
      https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/china-mongolia-taiwan/peoples-republic-china [ustr.gov]

      --
      “I've learned from experience that asking politely never works unless you have the upper hand.” Daisuke Aramaki, GIS:SAC
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 16 2017, @12:25AM (#610565)

      The ruling class has gotten self-absorbed, decadent, inbred, and out of touch with reality.

      Inbreeding is not the only way to explain idiocy.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:57AM (5 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 17 2017, @08:57AM (#610921) Homepage Journal

      Wow. You seem almost - aware! But, the Soviet isn't exactly a dead empire. You should read 'Make the Tigers Fight: Soviet Strategy in Asia' by James Perry. It's a short little essay which contains a lot of information. It is probably published elsewhere, but you can find it in 'Riding the Red Horse', edited by Tom Kratman and Vox Day. I know, I know - those are hated names on the left side of America's partisan politics. All the same, Perry should convince you that the Soviet wasn't crazy, stupid, and certianly isn't dead. China has had far greater shakeups, than the end of the Soviet experiment. That empire has experienced a transition, nothing more. And, the US still doesn't have a clue about either Russia, or China.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday December 18 2017, @05:58AM (4 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday December 18 2017, @05:58AM (#611286) Journal

        You are never going to win the insult war, Runaway. Far too many of your recent posts sound like you're one slap across the face away from going postal and the entire site can see it. You can't even touch me from where you're sitting, and the world knows it. You also vastly underestimate me, and, it seems, virtually everyone else you interact with on this site.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday December 18 2017, @11:44AM (3 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 18 2017, @11:44AM (#611340) Homepage Journal

          Uhhhhh - WTF does any of that have to do with my post? To paraphrase my post - You seem to have a much better idea what's what with current events than the average numbnuts Joe Sixpack. But, your view of Russia and/or the Soviet is skewed. Get the essay. Read it. If it doesn't change your mind about anything, at least you'll get an idea how you should be looking at Russia. It's far more complicated than any of the assholes in the White House have let on for the past - ohhhhh - 80 years. They've been playing us like fish, DESPITE going bankrupt while doing it! But, maybe we shouldn't feel to bad for being suckers on a fishhook - Russia played China, Korea, and Vietnam. China finally wised up, Korea and Vietnam never did. There are other tigers in Asia and Africa, especially the Mideast, but none of those have been played like we have.

          Never going to win the insult war? Fuck - get over yourself, girl.

          --
          Let's go Brandon!
          • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday December 19 2017, @04:43AM (2 children)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday December 19 2017, @04:43AM (#611706) Journal

            Do you truly think I don't know what kind of game Russia is playing? I'm someone who can think like an utter bastard (bastette?), routinely beat adults three to five times my age at chess when I was 8, and have a hobby of reading historical fiction. They're doing a much older, more subtle, and more varied version of what on the battlefield is known as "asymmetric warfare," to put it extremely simply. I am told the kiddies refer to this as "4-dimensional chess," though that's only part of it.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday December 19 2017, @04:55AM (1 child)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 19 2017, @04:55AM (#611711) Homepage Journal

              Bragging on your accomplishments doesn't address the issue at hand. And - FYI, there are some number of people in gubbermint who are as smart or smarter than you, and they still don't seem to have a clue what Russia is doing, or has done. Additionally - you have already made a statement alluding to the death and/or destruction of the Soviet, which seemed to indicate that you were NOT aware how Russia has played all of us chumps.

              Now, for the real kicker: What if, Russia's top dogs were in collusion with our own top dogs, all along? Talk about sons of bitches, huh?

              --
              Let's go Brandon!
              • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday December 19 2017, @09:51PM

                by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday December 19 2017, @09:51PM (#611989) Journal

                OF COURSE they were and are! Our current president, as a friend said, has Putin's dick so far up his ass he can floss with the guy's foreskin. This means it is not a new arrangement; it means since before the USSR fell a type of economic and cultural infiltration was going on. We see this with the Chinese buying out large chunks of real estate as well. If Marx was right about one thing, it's that a greedy shortsighted capitalist (which, I would argue, is therefore a poor capitalist...) would sell you the rope you can hang him with.

                --
                I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
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