Breakthroughs in radar cross-section tests are helping the Chinese military add new stealth features to old warplanes.
A Chinese magazine on defense technologies has spelled out information about recent radar cross-section (RCS) tests for new warplanes conducted by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC).
RCS is a measure of how detectable an object is by radar: A larger RCS indicates that an object is more easily detected. The RCS index largely depends on the object’s size, configuration and materials.
Integral to the development of radar stealth technology, particularly in applications involving aircraft and ballistic missiles, RCS data of current military aircraft are highly classified.
It’s said that only a handful of countries have the capabilities for stealth tests, such as the United States, Russia and a few European Union members.
Ordnance Industry Science Technology, a Chinese periodical on national defense industries and technologies, recently reported on its WeChat page that the Shenyang subsidiary of the powerful state-owned industrial-defense conglomerate had been making headway in testing new, state-of-the-art stealth features designed for the next-generation warplanes, which could potentially “supplant” the current stealth materials and coating on J-20 fighters, now the ace of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Air Force.
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Posts that appeared on a forum administered by People’s Daily this week also claimed that China had been testing the stealth capabilities of its aircraft as well as destroyers, submarines and even tanks.