CHINA claims it has a radical new ‘quantum’ radar capable of detecting stealth fighters at great distances. Does this mean our ultra-expensive new F-35 is obsolete, even before we get it?
The RAAF’s first F-35’s will be making their debut Australian appearance at the Avalon air show this week. It’s not a combat-capable aircraft, yet, though the first partially operational US squadron of the type was deployed to Japan earlier this year.
But Beijing state media has boasted its scientists have successfully tested a new type of radar capable of defeating stealth technology at ranges out to 100km.
With a single stroke, such a capability would render the $US1 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program obsolete. This includes Australia’s $17 billion investment in some 72 examples of the controversial aircraft.
Existing radars cast beams of radio waves into the sky, with sensors detecting reflections from aircraft or ships. The whole point of stealth technology is to minimise such reflections.
But what if the beam was something other than a radio wave?
What if Albert Einstein’s mysterious “spooky action at a distance” could be harnessed?
[...]The implications of such quantum radar are enormous.
If true, it could negate the effectiveness of the single aircraft in which all the West’s defence hopes lay — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This controversial aircraft is 10 years overdue and billions of dollars over budget.
And this is all due to its complete reliance on an ability to fly unseen.
What if it was visible?
It carriers fewer weapons, flies slower and is less manoeuvrable than its predecessors. But all this was justified on the basis that its design was optimised to be invisible to radar.
Take that invisibility away and the F-35 looks much less capable than its counterparts.