Category Archives: China

Is this China’s new Long Range Strike stealth aircraft?

The following image, found by Chinese military aviation expert Andreas Rupprecht, shows the shape of what could be a future Chinese stealth bomber plane.

True or false? A model plane or just the base of a future radar evading attack plane?

Hard to say.

For sure, the shape of this alleged LRS (long range strike) stealth aircraft is intriguing and shows input from several existing U.S. planes, including the F-117 Nighthawk and the YF-23.  Furthermore, some of Beijing’s works were leaked in the form scale models during local exhibitions hence, even if unlikely, it is not completely impossible that the one depicted in the photographs and artwork above is the Chinese answer to the Russian sixth-generation pilotless strategic bomber based on the PAK-DA or the American X-51, Falcon HTV-2 and other hypersonic development programs on which U.S.’s perspective strike capability will be based.

China is working a lot on stealth planes.

Last month, few hours before the U.S. Navy launched the the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator off the deck of an aircraft carrier for the first time, images of China’s first weaponized stealth drone emerged from the Chinese Internet.

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Communist version of “Planes” features Chinese fighter downing U.S. F-22 Raptor

The following video is extremely funny.

Basically, it is an animated cartoon that features several very well known aircraft (including the B-2, the KC-10, the A-10 and many more ones) in a what can be considered the Chinese version of Planes, the upcoming spin-off of Pixar’s Cars animated movie.

Even if you can’t understand much of it (unless you speak Mandarin), you may get the general sense of the scenes and see how the story ends: with the downing of the two F-22 Raptor fighter jets escorting the B-52 Stratofortress bomber by a Chengdu J-10.

chinese planes 2

Obviously, the aircraft don’t wear any distinguishing markings or national roundings; however, not only the aircraft type, but even the American Eagle sported by the two Raptors leave no room for mistakes.

Chinese plane

Anyway, relax, it is just a funny cartoon.

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New photo shows that China has really copied the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone

The following image, grabbed by Chinese forums, is circulating on the Internet.

RQ-170 copy

Image source:

It allegedly shows a series of brand new UAVs (unamanned aerial vehicles) one of those resembles the famous Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, one of those was captured in Iran in 2011.

Last Februrary, Iran released footage that proves it has, if not literally decoded, at least accessed some of the data stored inside the U.S. stealthy RQ-170 drone captured in December 2011.

Previously, in Aug. 2012, The Aviationist published an article titled: Chinese delegation currently in Iran to copy the U.S. stealthy RQ-170 drone captured in 2011 about the news that a group of 17 Chinese expert had visited Iran not only to inspect, but also to collect and bring back to China some key components of the U.S. RQ-170 drone captured by Iran in December 2011.

That article ended with the following text:

“As already explained when commenting Iran’s claims that they had decoded the stealthy drone, while the internal memories were (probably) automatically erased as a consequence of the loss of control procedure and data will never been recovered, the circuitry, lenses, sensors have probably survived the mysterious crash landing.

Therefore they can be evaluated and tested.

And copied, one of the tasks China does better.

If the above image is genuine, China has already cloned the stealthy drone the U.S. lost (almost intact) in Iran.

Last week Iranian officials claimed they are ready to fly their own RQ-170 copy as well.

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Satellite images show Chinese fighter jets deployed to base in Tibet

The following Google Earth screenshots were taken by The Aviationist reader Nicolae Sinu.

They show the airfield in Tibet where five Chinese J-11 fighter jets (indigenous Su-27 Flankers) appear to be based.

6 J11

The base is a part of Chinese strategy of widening China’s power in the Indian region and it is considered to be a response to the Indian air bases of Chabua and Tezpur in Assam region.

5 J11s.small

Image credit: Google Earth

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China deploys Su-27 fighter jets to Tibet

The Chinese have recently created a Su-27 airbase in Tibet, as CNN-IBN reports. It was made official just recently as several of these planes were spotted in Gonkar airbase last winter.

China Su-27

Image credit: People’s Daily Online

Lack of infrastructure and high altitude (about 11,500 feet above the Sea Level) are claimed to be limiting factor for the operationability of the Flankers.

Altitude is said not only to affect the planes, but also the pilots who have to get used to lack of oxygen at that altitude, just like Himalayan climbers do.

It is claimed by CNN that enough infrastructure has been created for the fighters. It has been built for several years in secrecy and that’s why India, that is located in a close vicinity, feels endangered.

The base is a part of Chinese strategy of widening China’s power in the Indian region.  The base is considered to be a response to the Indian air bases of Chabua and Tezpur in Assam region. These bases are home for Indian Su-30MKI‘s capable of hitting targets in Tibet and China.

On the flipside, the Indian territories that are within the operational range of the Chinese fighters are located between  Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh regions.

Image Credit: Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Air Force, US DoD

When it comes to airports located quite high the Lukla airport in Nepal is one of the most famous ones. This airport is a base for climbers who are planning Mt. Everest expeditions. Nevertheless it is not located as high as the Chinese base (about 9,400 feet).

Here’s a bit scary video showing a landing at Lukla airport:

And another one, showing how the airport works from another perspective:

The runway ends with an almost vertical surface of the mountain, therefore it is one-way runway, without touch and go or go around options.

Nevertheless, despite being dangerous, the second video shows that it is quite busy.

Coming back to the Su-27s, the Chinese fighters stationed in the region are a part of established Nash equillibrium, as both India and China are in possession of nuclear armament: the recontextualization of Cold War political scheme is still present within the global political landscape.

Jacek Siminski for The Aviationist

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