Chinese F-117 Full Size Replica – a Cause for Concern?

f 117 full size replica china  Chinese F-117 Full Size Replica – a Cause for Concern?(Image: Google Earth via GeoEye)

Previously we reported that Pakistan may have given China access to the stealth helicopter that crashed during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.  In that article we mentioned that the F-117 Stealth Fighter shot down during the Kosovo War may have found its way to Russia.  Interestingly, this 2010 Google Earth image shows the faint outline of an F-117 in the Chinese city of Luoyang, reportedly sitting outside the Electro-Optical Technology Development Center – an R&D centre for Chinese air-to-air missiles.

f 117 mock up china  Chinese F-117 Full Size Replica – a Cause for Concern?(Image: Google Earth via GeoEye)

Not surprisingly, the F-117 in the satellite photo is reportedly a full size replica.  China is believed to have developed several Stealth Fighter and SR-71 mock-ups (see here) over the years, in a bid to better understand U.S. stealth technology.  These images purportedly show the Blackbird attempt along with an F-22 Raptor.  But the authenticity of the images is in question because the F-22 certainly is not a full size replica built by China – it’s a direct mirror image of this legitimate American photo of the first operational Raptor in the paint shop.

china j 20  Chinese F-117 Full Size Replica – a Cause for Concern?(Image: Air Defense, cc-sa-3.0)

The F-117 in the satellite photo was reportedly spotted by the China Defense Forum and appears to be partially complete, perhaps missing its forward fuselage.  But the grainy image – with a fuselage that fades into the concrete as it nears the front – almost looks as if the wannabe Stealth Fighter is painted on the ground.  Either way, is this replica a cause for concern?  Probably not, since the F-117’s faceted stealth is decades old by modern standards.  China’s fifth generation Chengdu J-20 stealth prototype (above) is far more concerning.

U.S. Suspects Pakistan of Allowing China to Inspect Crashed Stealth Helicopter

stealth helicopter black hawk  U.S. Suspects Pakistan of Allowing China to Inspect Crashed Stealth Helicopter(Image: YouTube screenshot, via Aviation Explorer)

Pakistan may have allowed China to inspect the remains of a stealth helicopter that crashed during the raid on Osama bin Laden‘s compound in Abbottabad, it has been reported.  A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “We have reason to suspect China was given access but we cannot confirm it definitively.”  Pakistan condemned the allegations, calling them a “malicious campaign” by foreign news agencies against Pakistan’s security forces.  China, meanwhile, declined to comment.

downed US aircraft  U.S. Suspects Pakistan of Allowing China to Inspect Crashed Stealth Helicopter(Images: Marko M (left), cc-sa-3.0; U.S. Air Force, public domain)

If U.S. concerns are correct, it wouldn’t be the first time high-tech American weaponry had found its way into unfriendly hands.  Pakistan is believed to have allowed Chinese officials to examine its U.S.-built F-104 Starfighters at the height of the Vietnam War.  Meanwhile, an F-117 shot down during the Kosovo War reportedly found its way to Russia.  The canopy (above) is on display at the Museum of Aviation in Belgrade.  Since that time, a full size replica stealth fighter have reportedly surfaced in China, while the U.S. has operated a decades-long programme to exploit foreign military technology.