Saturday, 1 January 2011
China's stealth fighter - my former students at work?
Several blurry photos have emerged showing what appears to be a Chinese stealth fighter, something which US defence experts had not expected to see this soon. Whilst these photos are of dubious provenance, I can't help but think of a conversation I had with one of my students at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics back in 2003 when I had just arrived in Mainland China for the first time.
Sitting down in a tea shop with some students I knew, I asked them about their research projects. One of them baldly replied that their research was in the field of reverse engineering stealth technology from the US-built F-117 and B2 stealth aircraft. Fearing that the student might be putting them self in trouble by telling me this, I changed the subject, so I never learned how the samples on which the reverse engineering was conducted were obtained. However, it's hard to believe they could have been obtained without some kind of espionage, although it is also possible that samples were bought from the Yugoslavs after they shot down a F-117 during the Kosovo conflict.
At any rate, it is strange to think that I may have shared a pot of tea with the people who developed China's newest wonder-weapon.
(Picture taken from TieXue.net)
Posted by Gilman Grundy at 10:23