Monday, October 06, 2014

China: learning how to shoot down US stealth fighters - Wendell Minnick

Wendell Minnick
Wendell Minnick
The  F-22 Raptor fighter based at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam is one of the largest threats for China´s security, its military find. So, the country it not only developing radar systems to see it, but want to learn to take it out of the air, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick at Defense News.

Wendell Minnick:
The DWL002 (radar system) is the product of inspiration from two other passive radars, said Vasiliy Kashin, a China military specialist at the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. In 2004, the US blocked the sale of the Czech VERA-E passive radars to China, but the “Chinese had an opportunity to closely inspect the systems.” When China could not buy the VERA-E, Kashin said, they bought Ukrainian Kolchuga passive surveillance radars. 
“As I understand, DWL002 is a development of the YLC20 radar, which, in turn, was mainly based on the VERA-E,” Kashin said. The Chinese YLC20 is a passive direction-finding and locating radar with a 600-kilometer range. 
Americans may have forgotten China’s intimacy with US stealth aircraft and the driving force to obtain anti-stealth technology. During the May 1999 bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, a US B-2 stealth bomber dropped five bombs on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May. In March, an F-117 stealth fighter was shot down during the war. Unconfirmed media reports suggest China was given part of the fuselage to study. In 2011, satellite imagery available on Google Earth revealed a full-scale mock-up of the then-retired F-117 at the Luoyang Optoelectro Technology Development Center (LOEC) in Henan Province. A former US military attaché based in Beijing during the 1990s said the mock-up is not a surprise. LOEC also has a mock-up of the B-2, F-35 and F-22, he said. Espionage has played an important part in China’s attempt to learn more about US stealth aircraft. In June, Su Bin, a Chinese citizen and the head of China-based Lode-Technology, was detained by Canadian authorities due to US government allegations that he provided China with classified data on the F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.
More at Defense News.

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