While America has stopped production of its stealth fighter, China prepares to challenge U.S. air supremacy in the Western Pacific with its own.
China is on another Long March, one it hopes will lead to military supremacy over the U.S. at least in the Western Pacific. It is deploying a carrier-killing mobile missile, the Dong Feng 21D, and is expected to launch its first aircraft carrier this year, the refurbished ex-Soviet carrier Varyag. China is also conducting preflight tests on a fifth-generation stealth fighter expected to challenge the best the U.S. has to offer.
Photographs reportedly showing China’s J-20 undergoing high-speed taxi tests at the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute in western China have appeared, first on unofficial Chinese and foreign defense-related websites. Such tests are the last stage before actual flight tests.
[...]China’s stealth fighter appears to have “the potential to be a competitor with the F-22 (Raptor) and to be decisively superior to the F-35,” according to Richard Fisher, a Chinese military expert with the International Strategy and Assessment Center in Washington. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the designated replacement for the Raptor, has had its troubles. The general in charge of the program was fired amid concerns of spiraling costs and program delays.
It was felt we couldn’t afford both an F-22 dedicated to air superiority and the F-35, even though the latter is vastly inferior in air-to-air combat and ground defense penetration. The Raptor is perhaps the only plane that could evade sophisticated surface-to-air missile defense systems such as Russia’s S-300 and S-400.
“Only the F-22 can survive in airspace defended by increasingly capable surface-to-air missiles,” declares Air Force Association President Mike Dunn. The F-22 can fly 300 to 400 mph faster and two miles higher than the F-35. The F-35 is cheaper, but you get what you pay for. And it’s still under development. The F-22 is operational now, when we need it.
[...]During recent military exercises with South Korea, the F-22 was conspicuous by its absence. Deploying a squadron of F-22s to Osan Air Base in South Korea would send a powerful “keep off the grass” message to Beijing and Pyongyang. So why haven’t we done it? Why haven’t we sent the world’s most advanced combat aircraft into any potential combat zone?
Perhaps because letting the F-22 Raptor prove its worth would be a visible reminder of the stupidity of building only 187 of them in a world where the Russians and Chinese are building their own stealth fighters, and thugocracies like Iran and North Korea go nuclear. It would be a reminder that the once-feared arsenal of democracy needs some serious retooling.
Let me be clear. The F-35 is overpriced junk. We should immediately resume, and even max out, production of the F-22 Raptor. That’s what Obama would be doing if he cared a whit about national security, and didn’t have his head stuck in the sand. We need more F-22s, and we need them yesterday and we need them deployed to South Korea and Japan yesterday.
It doesn’t help that we are firing Admirals for making insensitive training videos, either. We are the laughingstock of the world because of Obama’s weakness, incompetence and cowardice. Our enemies are laughing at us, and growing bolder.