Nations all over the globe want stealth aircraft in their arsenal, partly because the jets can collect intelligence virtually undetected by radar, but also in case a surprise attack is ever needed. However, China says they now have the technology to detect these previously undetectable planes. If true, this is news no one wants to hear.
China North Industries Group Corporation, the largest arms manufacturer in the nation, has allegedly created a “game changer” known as “Quantum” that can detect aircraft that were once thought to be airborne ghosts, such as the F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.
According to Popular Mechanics, the Quantum radar system is a complex and equation-based system that can be placed on satellites or planes to detect the subatomic particles of stealth aircraft.
Most nations are still using the traditional radio wave system, but CNBC reported that in a recent field test, the Quantum radar was able to identify a target from over 100 km away.
Many have voiced skepticism about these reported findings as 100 km would be over five times further than anything the US, Canada or Germany have been able to record. Scientists from around the globe thought this technology was not yet feasible.
A military radar researcher at a university in northwestern China thinks that the recorded range was more than likely tuned down. “The figure in declassified documents is usually a tuned-down version of the real [performance],” the unnamed researcher said.
Lockheed Martin, the company that manufactures the costly F-35 stealth jet, claims that they are working on similar technology, but no one knows just how far they have progressed, according to the Daily Mail.
This could be a good sign for the F-35’s lifespan if Lockheed Martin can find a way around China’s new radar technology.
Apparently, China is not worried about upgrading their stealth plane arsenal. Instead, they want to make the entire idea of a stealth plane obsolete. Once it can be detected, it is no longer viable as an invisible threat.