China: fighter jets to get new low observable coatings to give PLA warplanes combat advantage
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force Aircraft will to be painted with “low observable” coatings and standardised markings that will make them harder to detect.
The move aims to guarantee to Chinese military aircraft a strategic advantage in operations near Taiwan and in the East and South China seas.
The decision comes two years after the Chinese navy used a dark grey low-visibility coating instead of blue-grey on its J-16 strike fighter, according to a local military magazine.
PLA said the new guidelines would be gradually implemented this year.
The move aimed to give Chinese warplanes a combat advantage as they “will be less likely to be detected by both the naked eye and military radar”.
“The coating that’s used on China’s first stealth fighter jet, the J-20, is more advanced than they used on the Lockheed Martin F-22s, but it’s not yet at the level of the F-35s,” an anonymous source told Chinese media.
In the meanwhile, the US Armed Forces have reportedly intensified operations around Taiwan, both in the air and at sea in the past week to demonstrated that Washington is continuing to monitoring the region, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
US Navy (USN) P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft was reported flying near Taiwan’s southern airspace Tuesday, marking the fourth time in March a US aircrafts had been spotted operating in the South China Sea, according to local media.
The other three occurrences happened on March 25 by an EP-3E ARIES II reconnaissance aircraft, on March 26 by a B-52 Stratofortress bomber and a KC-135 tanker, and on March 27 by a B-52 bomber and an RC-135U reconnaissance aircraft (read more).