Does the Chi-com stealth fighter mark the end of U.S. military air dominance?
Daryl 2011/01/19 19:13:19
"The era of dog fights was supposed to be over. In future wars, American pilots no longer would have to make like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, maneuvering for that kill shot against enemy aircraft. Instead, the nearly radar-invisible Boeing F-22 Raptor, first produced in 2005, would allow American pilots to shoot down an enemy jet from 50 miles away, before the opposing pilot could see even a speck on his screen. But that dream of the easy score was dashed this month, after China introduced its own stealth fighter jet, the J-20.
The test flight of the new aircraft came just as Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing to discuss resuming military ties. No one had told Gates the test was planned and he was surprised by what appeared to be a thinly-veiled message about the future balance of power. Hu said that the timing was a coincidence, and that he himself didn’t know the test flight was scheduled. He will get a chance to elaborate when he meets with President Obama in Washington this week. But Bonnie Glaser, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic International Studies told NEWSWEEK: “I don’t buy it. It’s not plausible to me that a new weapons system could be test-flown without Hu's knowledge. The Chinese are sending a signal that they…are still concerned about U.S. power in the region.”
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