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China’s stealth fighter based on US nighthawk


London: The new stealth fighter developed by China is based on the technology used in the US-made Nighthawk jet which was shot down over Serbia during the 1999 Kosovo War, Croatia’s former military chief has said.

Admiral Davor Domazet-Loso, who was Croatia’s chief of staff during the Kosovo War said he believes that China has formulated the technology acquired by chinese spies from the wreckage of American F-117 Nighthawk, the world’s first stealth fighter which was undetectable by radar, according to the Telegraph.

The Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter was unveiled this month ahead of a visit to Beijing by the US defence secretary Robert Gates. The timing of its maiden flight was perceived as a deliberate attempt by China to showcase its military might.

“At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents criss-crossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers,” the admiral was quoted as saying. “We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies.”

The Nighthawk was the world’s first stealth fighter, planes that are almost invisible to radar and so able to operate over enemy territory with near impunity. At the time, the US claimed that the downing of one by a Serbian anti-aircraft missile was pure luck.

Under its former President Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia routinely shared captured NATO military equipment with China and Russia, the report said.

China’s relations with Russia were strained last year after Moscow accused Beijing of producing near identical versions of its Sukhoi Su-27 fighter and Su-33 naval fighter.