China denies stealing US stealth technology

Posted By: Pti
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K J M Varma

Beijing, Jan 25 (PTI) China today denied that its stealthfighter J-20 was developed with stolen US technology, claimingthat its was a masterpiece of its technological innovation,shortly after an Indian-American was jailed for 32 years by anAmerican court for leaking military secrets to Beijing.

Chinese defence officials and military analysts insistedthat the country''s J-20 stealth fighter jet, which was testflown this month, is a result of of the country''s own efforts,state-run Global Times reported today.

"It''s not the first time foreign media has smeared newlyunveiled Chinese military technologies. It''s meaningless torespond to such a speculation," an unnamed official of theChinese Ministry of National told the daily.

The remarks came a day after Indian-American NoshirGowadia, a former B-2 stealth bomber engineer, was sentencedby a US federal judge to 32 years of imprisonment for sellingmilitary secrets to China. He was convicted of helping Chinadesign its stealth cruise missile.

Besides, a Croatian admiral, who served during the KosovoWar, had alleged that China formulated the technology for itsJ-20 jet from a F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter that was shotdown over Serbia in 1999.

China had test flown J-20 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province,earlier this month during the visit of US Defence SecretaryRobert Gates.

Xu Yongling, one of China''s top test pilots, saidthat the J-20 possesses an advanced supersonic cruise abilityand powerful air mobility that are technological breakthroughsfor the country.

"Different from previous fighters such as the J-7 andJ-8, which drew on the merits of aircraft from othercountries, the J-20 is a masterpiece of China''s technologicalinnovation," Xu claimed, comparing the stealth jet to the USAir Force''s F-22 Raptor and Russia''s Sukhoi T-50.

Xu said it would have been impossible for China toglean technology from the US'' F-117, whose stealth technologylags far behind fourth-generation fighters and was regarded as"outdated" even at the time when it was reportedly shot down.

And as for the radiation-absorbent, exterior coatingtechnology adopted by the F-117, Xu said it would be hard tocopy that technology from the wreckage due to its complicatedproduction process.

Wang Yanan, an associate editor in chief at AerospaceKnowledge magazine, said that the F-117 could hardly haveinspired the development of the J-20, due to the designdifferences between the two generations of fighters. He addedthat it is worthless to take an interest in obsoletetechnology for developing more state-of-art technologies. PTIKJV SAZ KIM

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