Divine Eagle: How much of a threat is China’s new high-flying drone to US air superiority?

Yesterday the press doubted China and Russia’s ability to pose a serious challenge. Today they’re 50-50. Tomorrow there’s likely to be no question.

 

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The US has led the way in the use of stealth aircraft in combat. Now the game could soon be up, as scientists in China and Russia are discovering ways to make the invisible visible. Mark Piesing reports

In May, grainy pictures emerged of a huge new twin-fuselage, high-altitude Chinese drone called the Divine Eagle. Those in the know instantly labelled it the “stealth-hunting drone”. Stealth technology is the equivalent of electronic camouflage for planes, making them hard for enemy radar to spot – but the Chinese drone is certainly big enough to carry the special radars developed to detect stealth aircraft. It’s able to fly high enough to detect them long before they can reach their targets. Its radar is rumoured to have been able to pick out an American stealth F-22 Raptor off the coast of South Korea almost 500km away. Continue reading

China’s passive radar can detect US stealth fighters: Russian expert

China’s DWL002 passive-detection system is capable of directing Chinese air defense systems against enemy stealth fighters, Vassily Kashin, a senior research fellow from the Moscow-based Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, told the Voice of Russia on Oct. 1. Continue reading

PLA to buy 700 stealth fighters, says Jane’s

The PLA Air Force and Navy Air Force are likely to purchase 700 new stealth fighters, said Edward Hunt, a senior defense consultant at IHS Aerospace, Defense & Security in an article written for the UK-based Jane’s Defence Weekly. Continue reading

Photos show second China stealth fighter prototype has test flight

For those who have kept tabs on Chinese military advancements throughout the years, we are starting to see that their capability is quite advanced. One shouldn’t be surprised if they’re now on par with us or ahead.

China has test flown a second model of a prototype stealth fighter, aviation experts said Thursday, in a sign of its aircraft industry’s growing sophistication.

Photos posted to the Internet Thursday showed the radar-avoiding aircraft airborne near the northeastern city of Shenyang with its landing gear still down. Two Chinese-made J-11 fighters accompanied it on the flight, which Chinese military enthusiast websites said took place Wednesday and lasted about 10 minutes. Continue reading