Chinese military experts disputed that China obtained secret U.S. technology to develop its new stealth fighter, saying the country relied on homegrown innovation to produce a plane that has drawn new international attention to its military advances.
Speculation that China obtained U.S. stealth technology has been circulating since aviation experts noted that the J-20 stealth-fighter prototype looked like a larger version of the U.S. F-22 Raptor, currently the world’s only fully operational stealth fighter. The twin-engine J-20 made its first public test flight two weeks ago during a visit to China by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
On Sunday, the Associated Press quoted Balkan military officials saying China likely learned some of its stealth technology from pieces its agents obtained of the wreckage of a U.S. F-117 shot down by a Serbian antiaircraft missile during the 1999 Kosovo war. The F-117 Nighthawk was the first U.S. stealth fighter.