Did China steal US F-35 fighter jet design to make J-20, FC-31?

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 08:34 PM(IST)

China has long been accused of stealing US defence technology and its weaponry is derided as “copycats” of US equivalents, but the allegation rarely extends beyond superficial supposition.

India's tactical role over 'secrecy of their locations'

The role of India's missiles in this strategic game of neutralising China's airbases cannot be underestimated as the report says Indian aircraft could most likely reach Tibetan airspace equipped with nuclear gravity bombs with estimated two squadrons of Jaguar IS and one squadron of Mirage 2000H fighters, totalling around 51 aircraft, are assessed to be tasked with nuclear missions.

Also, India's tactical role over "secrecy of their locations" cannot be discounted giving Chinese military analysts cause for concern as to the true intention and nature of India's offensive and defensive capabilities.

(Photograph:AFP)

J-20 origins under lens

As J-20s begin to fill squadrons in the People’s Liberation Army and a generalized fear of Chinese firms as dishonest international players is increasingly propagated by Western powers, the attacks on the J-20s origins have only increased.

Source: Sputnik

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'Beijing has long stolen foreign technology'

On Saturday, the foreign policy publication "The National Interest" published a piece forwarding the idea once more, reviving a Task & Purpose article from August 2018 and calling it “an outrage,” stating unequivocally the “key point” was that “Beijing has long stolen foreign technology and used it to reverse-engineer its own weapons.”

Source: Sputnik 

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Harbin’s Z-20 helicopter: Copyhawk

Similar allegations have been made against Harbin’s Z-20 helicopter, derided as a “copyhawk” ripoff of the UH-60 Black Hawk chopper it will replace.

As Sputnik reported, this is also a superficial judgment, as the helicopter differs significantly from Sikorsky’s in its engines, fly-by-wire controls, avionics and other features.

Likewise, Shenyang’s “Sharp Sword” carrier-based drone is said to be a stolen design from Boeing since the Chinese UAV and Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray both utilize a flying wing shape and fly from carriers.

Source: Sputnik

(Photograph:AFP)

Big proof

So what’s the big proof that the J-20 “is the F-35”? Well for one, the J-20 sports a sensor system that “looks awfully similar” to the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) sensor.

What’s that similarity? Well, as Task & Purpose is forced to concede, the two systems “are not identical,” but they are both mounted in similar places under the nose of the aircraft.

That’s different from Russia’s Su-57, in which Sukhoi put an infrared tracking system on the top of instead of underneath the nose.

Source: Sputnik

(Photograph:AFP)

Lockheed Martin and Tata to produce F-21 in India

The F-21 addresses the Indian Air Force’s unique requirements and integrates India into the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem with the world’s pre-eminent defence company. Lockheed Martin and Tata would produce the F-21 in India, for India, it says.

"F-21 production in India supports thousands of US supplier jobs, including hundreds of US-based Lockheed Martin engineering, program management, sustainment and customer support positions," the company says.

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Superficial similarities

Superficial similarities between aircraft are as old as the flying machines themselves, making identifying the decade in which a jet was designed a fairly easy task in most cases.

Planes built today don’t look like postwar jets, even though in some cases those planes themselves remain in service.

Source: Sputnik 

(Photograph:AFP)

Shenyang J-15 heavily based on Sukhoi Su-33 prototype

That’s not to say Beijing hasn’t reverse-engineered a plane before, though: Shenyang’s J-15 is heavily based on a Sukhoi Su-33 prototype bought from Ukraine, the T-10K-3, itself a version of the Su-27 modified for carrier use. The J-15 fills the same role for the PLA Navy today.

However, this is an example of legal technology transfer, which the white paper acknowledges is incredibly important to the Chinese economy and highly encouraged.

Source: Sputnik

(Photograph:AFP)

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