China confirms use of mature stealth testing technology

Global Times
Li Jiayao

China can comprehensively test the stealth capability of its aircraft and apply the mature technology to the design and manufacture of naval vessels, a military expert said Tuesday in response to a report in a technical review magazine.

Shenyang Aircraft Corporation successfully conducted a Radar Cross-Section (RCS) test for aircraft, according to the official WeChat social media account of Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Chinese periodical on national defense industries and technologies.

This is the first time China has openly released information confirming its use of the RCS testing technology on stealth fighters.

Tuesday's report included a photo of a fighter jet like the J-11 and a research team from the corporation based in Northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Military analysts said the article proved that Chinese stealth capability has massively improved, with multiple Chinese military industrial research institutes able to maturely apply the technology into their production of more sophisticated weapons including ships and tanks.

RCS is a measure of how detectable an object is by radar. A larger RCS index indicates that an object is more easily detected by radar.

According to the report, China long ago gained the technology and applied it to the design and manufacture of China's most advanced fifth generation stealth fighter, the J-20.

"The J-20 is built by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, and Shenyang Aircraft Corporation is also conducting research and development of another China-made stealth fighter, the FC-31, so the technology is very basic and essential," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"If the RCS test can be used maturely, that means fourth-generation fighter jets including the J-11 and J-16 that form the main body of the Chinese air force and are produced by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, can also improve their stealth capabilities."

The RCS index largely depends on the object's size, configuration and materials.

Although the older fighter jets in commission cannot change their aerodynamic configuration, they can reduce their index with a stealth coating, Song noted.

"This means that apart from the J-20, some other aircraft in the Chinese air force also have stealth capability," he said.

Only a few countries in the world have stealth testing capability: the US, Russia and a few EU members can conduct the test, according to the report.

The technology can also be used for navy vessels and armored ground vehicles.



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