The F-35 fighter is the aircraft posing the greatest threat to China in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, Chinese military researchers have found. They conducted an analysis of the level of threat that different types of US military aircraft would pose to the Chinese army in the event of a conflict.
The analysis was carried out by a team from the National University of Defense Technology in Hefei, and its results were published in the Chinese-language journal “Modern Defense Technology”. On Thursday, they were described by the Hong Kong “South China Morning Post”. According to the journal, the affiliations of the authors of the analysis indicate their direct knowledge of Chinese military strategy, but due to the lack of knowledge of the data on which they were based, their conclusions should be approached with caution. The analysis is a scientific study, not an official document of the Chinese army.
The most dangerous American plane
Chinese researchers have tried to assess the level of threat posed by different types of US military aircraft in subsequent stages of a potential military confrontation and as they approach Chinese shores. The region of the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait was adopted as the theater of warfare.
Particular attention was paid to the two most technologically advanced American fighters of the fifth generation: the F-35 and the F-22. It pointed out that both would pose a “significant” threat to Chinese defense systems at all stages of a potential operation, but the F-35 would probably be the toughest adversary. “The F-35A poses a greater threat than the F-22A due to its more advanced avionics and multi-role capability,” it said.
The newspaper recalls that the F-22 is an air superiority fighter developed during the Cold War. It is faster than the F-35 and probably less detectable by radar (stealth technology), but has limited ground attack capabilities. In turn, the F-35 was designed as a multi-role fighter, so it is capable of performing versatile tasks, including air combat, ground attack and even intelligence gathering.
And it is this multi-role capability of the F-35 that would pose the greatest challenge for the Chinese armed forces. “Comparison of American jets by Chinese military scientists showed that the F-35 poses a greater threat in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait than the older F-22, which is still usually considered the most powerful fighter in the world,” summarized their conclusions in the “SCMP”.
Recommendations for the authorities in Beijing
Based on the analysis, the team of scientists also made recommendations for the Chinese military. It was recognized that China should use a two-pronged approach to countering the most dangerous fighters USA. “Given that the (F-35A) can be used both for intelligence gathering and as primary escort for attacking forces, both soft kill and hard kill defenses should be used,” it said.
In the category of soft measures, they indicated the need to use radar and electronic defense systems, e.g. interfering with aircraft systems. In the category of hard measures, the need for further development of i.a. Chinese fifth-generation J-20 fighters and HQ-9 long-range air defense systems.
South China Morning Post, tvn24.pl
Main photo source: dvidshub – Shane Cuomo