U.S. Vice Admiral David Dorsett, director of naval intelligence, says China is still years away from being able to deploy a stealth fighter plane, despite the images of a seemingly operational prototype being leaked online.
The images were published today on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, which added that the photos appear to be of a Chinese J-20 stealth fighter prototype.
A U.S. intelligence official estimated in May that the J-20 could rival the F-22 Raptor within eight years.
The photos will probably serve to heighten concerns about China’s military ability.
Dorsett is not convinced, however.
“It’s still not clear to me when it’s going to become operational,” he said. “Developing a stealth capability with a prototype and then integrating that into a combat environment is going to take some time.”
Still, Dorsett admits that the U.S. has underestimated China’s abilities before.
“One of the things that is probably true, is we have been pretty consistent in underestimating the delivery … of Chinese technology and weapons systems,” Dorsett said. “They enter operational capability quicker than we frequently project.”
More in the video below.
- Photographs reveal secret J-20 Chinese stealth fighter (culturalhealth.blogspot.com)
- Is This China’s First Stealth Fighter? (wired.com)