J-20 stealth fighter aircraft: China uses 'cyber theft' to bolster its military1 min read . Updated: 23 Aug 2021, 05:36 AM IST
- In 2007 Lockheed Martin had found that Chinese hackers had been stealing technical documents related to the F-35 program
BEIJING : The resemblance between Chinese J-20 fighter planes and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is "awfully similar".
Peter Suciu, writing in The National Interest, said that there is no denying that Beijing has taken it to heart especially where military hardware is involved. In the spring of 2019, the Pentagon accused China of using "cyber theft" and other methods to bolster its military.
In 2007 Lockheed Martin had found that Chinese hackers had been stealing technical documents related to the F-35 program, while a similar theft occurred when hackers working for Beijing breached a network of an Australian F-35 sub-contractor, the Asia Times reported.
Based on those breaches, it seems likely that the Chinese had acquired crucial information and technical data that has been utilised in the production of the J-20. Also, the J-20's development began in earnest only after the F-22 was unveiled, says Suciu.
This is evident in the J-20 "Mighty Dragon" fighter, which was almost certainly based on stolen designs from the United States Air Force's Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, reported The National Interest.
As Business Insider had previously reported, the appearance and profile of the aircraft are far from the only similarities between the two fifth-generation fighters.
Moreover, not only the Chinese fighter merely resembled the F-22, its sensor system too is close in design to the Lockheed Martin Electro-Optical Targeting System found on the Lightning II that suggests espionage played some role in the Mighty Dragon's development, says Suciu.
China's efforts to build a world-class military certainly have not come just from domestic research and development (R&D) efforts, but rather from stealing from foreign powers.
Even Russia has expressed frustration that China has so brazenly "borrowed" technological innovations as Beijing rolls out ever more advanced military hardware, reported The National Interest.
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