First Look at the J-31, China’s Newest Stealth Jet
Though there's currently some discussion ongoing about the prototype's official designation, what's certain is that China's definitely working on yet another stealth jet. Supposedly built by Shenyang, a rival aerospace company of the J-20 designer Chengdu, the jet features the number 31001 blazoned across it. It's for this reason it's most likely the J-31, not the J-21, though it's definitely called what translates to the Falcon Eagle.Read on...
Reports of Stealth’s Death are Greatly ExaggeratedThe role of stealth aircraft has been a touchy subject ever since the F-117 Nighthawk was unveiled to the public in 1988. Stealth technology allows missions that might not have been possible before, but it also requires a huge investment and reliance on sometimes finicky technology. In his report with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments think tank, Barry Watts points out that stealth aircraft make up a relatively small fraction of the U.S. fighter and bomber fleets -- some 5.5%. With so small an investment, it begs the question of whether stealth aircraft can outpace the advances being made in detection technology. The threats against stealth aircraft are far more sophisticated than they were 13 years ago. Watts discusses the use of longer-wavelength radar systems that take advantage of UHF and VHF radars. Because these are longer wavelength systems, the radar cross section of even stealthy airplanes will appear much larger. There are many technical and logistical hurtles to overcome, but Watts postulates that fully digital active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) could soon be a real threat. One of the most intriguing anti-stealth technologies is the VERA-E, which from Watts' description sounds like a crowd sourcing approach to radar defense.Read on...