Monday, December 26, 2011

U.S. worried about China will copy the technology of stealth UAV RQ-170

The loss of a U.S. RQ-170 stealth drone over eastern Iran has led to speculation that the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will eventually find its way into Chinese hands. Access to the drone could allow China to use reverse engineering to incorporate key technologies into its own indigenous aerospace systems and to develop countermeasures that would make it harder for U.S. stealth UAVs and aircraft to operate near China. Iran has significant political, military, and financial incentives to provide such access, reversing the usual flow of technology from China to Iran.

U.S. RQ 170 stealth drone

    Although some Iranian officials to boast, but Iran does not have a separate copy crack and UAV RQ-170 advanced technology. So let China access to the Iranian UAV can bring benefits such as greater access to China to Iran and the future of military technology to obtain counter-UAV technology opportunities, and China will also Iran's nuclear program with the West confrontation to provide diplomatic support.

    Since the early 1980s, China and Iran has maintained a close relationship between the arms trade. China is Iran's military hardware, including fighter (F-7), fast attack patrol boats, anti-ship cruise missiles and ballistic missile programs in Iran guidance technology used. 2000-2010 a decade of official arms trade declined over the previous decade, but China is still important to continue to help Iran's weapons programs. According to the semi-official Iranian news agency reported that the nature of Mai Heer, Chinese and Russian officials have proposed a look at the request of UAV RQ-170.

RQ 170 stealth drone structural parameters

    Philip Sanders and I recently completed a study of the U.S. National Defense University report. Report reviewed the development of China's military aviation industry history, and lists a large number of examples to prove that exposure to adverse foreign aircraft design and copy parts is how to help China improve its technological capabilities of aviation. After the Sino-Soviet split in 1960, China has the means to use reverse engineering techniques to fill vacancies and improve the old Soviet design. Restricted by third-party access to the U.S. aircraft and aviation technology, but also for China provides opportunities for the use of reverse engineering. A frequently cited example is China's close relationship with Pakistan with access to the F-16 fighters.

    Past two decades, China's military aviation industry of cutting-edge aerospace technology base and manufacturing capacity of the system are rapidly increasing, which has greatly enhanced China may crack and copy the UAV RQ-170 used in technology. For example, China's Jian-10 multirole fighters to use to provide high strength and low weight of the alloy and composite materials. Replication by reverse Russia's Su-27 fighters, the Chinese developed their own fourth-generation fighter F-11B, with particular emphasis on the localization of the system. First test flight in January of this year's stealth fighter F -20 available, then that China has the ability to stealth technology incorporated into the design of new models.

    China has also invested a great deal of efforts to develop and apply their own UAV capability. Even if China has not deployed armed UAVs in development also shows the number of late model, this ability will in the near future become an integral part of the Chinese air force. Development of UAV systems in line with China to strengthen the army, "information technology" in order to further understand the situation demands, but also it adds another level of remote control to aim and attack capabilities, so as to enhance China's military into the outlying areas to prevent capacity.

    RQ-170 will make contact with the Chinese engineers have the opportunity to study the UAV detection systems, control systems, communications systems, and its stealth materials and design elements. This UAV can also make contact with the Chinese engineers to further understand the binding mode of the subsystem and its workings as a whole. Even if China's aviation industry can not create a kind of reverse engineering, domestic version of the RQ-170, Chinese engineers are likely to go to school from the RQ-170 enough things work out for the RQ-170 and similar systems of more advanced means of counter- and means of defense. China has a lot of effort to study ways to restrain the U.S. stealth technology, to improve air defense capabilities. Thus, exposure to RQ-170 will help China to understand how the United States advanced UAV operation to design a new approach to combat their weaknesses to be exploited.

    But even if the loss of the RQ-170 over Iran was due to a technical malfunction, Chinese access to the drone may eventually help produce countermeasures and improved air defenses that make it harder for the United States to operate stealthy UAVs over hostile territory. Iran would be a prime customer for such systems; a Chinese commitment to sell UAVs and countermeasures might be part of Iran’s price tag for access to the RQ-170.


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