Thursday, February 08, 2007

China has a brand new fighter jet

International Herald Tribune:

BEIJING: For more than two decades, China has labored to build its first state-of-the-art jet fighter as part of the country's drive to become a leading military power.

In December, it appeared to have closed in on that ambition when it revealed, in an unusual blaze of publicity, that its new fighter, the J-10, had entered service in the air force.

Footage of the new aircraft firing missiles and refueling in flight was shown on state-controlled television, and Chinese defense magazines have published lengthy reports with photographs of the single-engine fighter.


The introduction of modern aircraft, missiles, submarines and warships over the past decade, along with the increased professionalism of its service personnel, means that China is rapidly gaining the military muscle to match its growing economic clout.

And, according to Chinese and foreign military analysts, its domestic defense industries are steadily mastering key technologies needed to reduce the military's heavy dependence on Russian weapons.

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