24 Mayıs 2010 Pazartesi
New Chinese fighter jet expected by 2018: U.S. intelligence
The date cited for the expected deployment is years ahead of previous Pentagon public forecasts and may be a sign that China's rapid military buildup is topping many experts' expectations.
"We're anticipating China to have a fifth-generation fighter ... operational right around 2018," Wayne Ulman of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center testified on Thursday to a congressionally mandated group that studies national security implications of U.S.-China economic ties.
"Fifth-generation" fighters feature cutting-edge capabilities, including shapes, materials and propulsion systems designed to make them look as small as a swallow on enemy radar screens.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates had said last year that China "is projected to have no fifth-generation aircraft by 2020" and only a "handful" by 2025.