Monday, November 23, 2009

China’s Air Force to camouflage for stealth jets

Vice Commander of China’s Air Force He Wei-rong never thought that his high profile announcement, before China’s air force’s 60th anniversary, regarding China’s exploration on its fourth generation fighter would scare the world so much and cause a big trouble to China.

To deal with the potential aerial unbalance, according to Japanese media, Japan’s Ministry of Defence immediately decided to purchase 40 U.S. made F-35 as its next generation fighters, saying, “China’s aerial combat capability has been strong enough to reach Pacific waters and are keeping advantage in the region of North-east Asia.”

Upon the media, the other Asian countries including Australia and Singapore are inclining to replace their fighters with F-35s. If Japan completed its upgrade with F-35s, some Chinese military experts worried, South Korea would also follow the suit right after. By this trend, a Chinese military expert said, F-35 stealth fighters would surround China years later, and China’s existing air defensive systems would be nullified soon by the stealth pursuing waves.

And more, some Chinese military officers thought, to keep the aerial advantage over China, the United States would hurry its steps on developing the 6th generation fighter more advanced than existing F-22 and F-35, and maybe U.S. would also reactivate the F-22 production line to dilute the threat from China’s upcoming stealth fighters. Obviously, it is not a situation China is willing to see.

Under the pressure of upcoming arms race and to catch rivals easier, these days, Chinese air force had to announce through Chinese media that the Chinese fourth generation fighter mentioned by Chinese media before actually refers to a modified J-10 series fighter, but not the rumored J-14, which features stealth, supersonic cruise, and ultra-mobility.

To keep deterrence on possible attacks from enemies, Chinese military has been keeping non-transparency to the world for decades. This time, the responses from the world made Chinese air force recoil quickly, after its senior officer just announced the ambitious plan for the next generation stealth fighter. To have stealth jets and catch up rivals, Chinese Air Force has to camouflage itself further.