Navy Concerned About Chinese Anti-Ship Missiles. New Chinese Stealth Aircraft? Not So Much

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized
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From the Wall Street Journal regarding the just revealed Chinese stealth aircraft known as the J-20:

“One of the things that is probably true, is we have been pretty consistent in underestimating the delivery … of Chinese technology and weapons systems,” Adm. Dorsett said. “They enter operational capability quicker than we frequently project.”

Adm. Dorsett is the deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance.  And yes, quicker by about a ten years from the SecDef’s estimate:

In a May 2010 speech, he said: "Is it a dire threat that by 2020 the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?"

China’s space capabilities have made similar spectacular leaps in progress.  Ah, but back to the air issue:

…Dorsett would not immediately say if he thought the pictures of the J-20 were authentic and said it was not clear when the plane would be operational. Under further questioning, he said that the plane could be years away from being operational.

He expressed less doubt however, on China’s advances in anti-ship missile technology. Beijing’s new weapons have increased the probability that they could fire a salvo of missiles and hit a moving target, like an aircraft carrier.

Shocking that the Navy would consider the anti-ship threat more credible (which it really is, but still…) than the J-20.

Still, airpower is important enough for all the services to have their own air forces.  With space-enabled Chinese anti-ship missiles making U.S. naval forces operate further off shore, long-range U.S. power projection (new stealthy longer-range bombers or long-range — think up to and including intercontinental distances — conventional strike) will become increasingly important.

Could the Chinese have let the J-20 cat out of the bag to coincide with Gates’ trip?  And does the intelligence community — from which Gates came — ever worry about being cumulatively sent away?

  1. […] It was the Soviet Union which created and trained the North Korean Army.  In 1990 during the period of glasnost, Moscow confirmed that it was Stalin who had personally approved the plan to attack the South, an invasion which began on the night of 24/25 June 1950.  The Korean War, launched with Moscow’s support and covert participation, ended in 1953 leaving the country permanently partitioned.  Ever since then there has been an almost constant propaganda war replete with border incidents and punctuated by occasional acts of war.  Most spectacularly, in 1983, for example, North Korean agents in Burma murdered 17 members of a visiting South Korean delegation, including four Cabinet ministers.  The directives were thought to have come directly For more on this topic you can read:… […]

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