A top Chinese military technology company shocked physicists around the world this week when it announced it had developed a new form of radar able to detect stealth planes 100km away.
The breakthrough relies on a ghostly phenomenon known as quantum entanglement, which Albert Einstein dubbed "spooky action at a distance".
China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), one of the "Top 10" military industry groups controlled directly by the central government, said on Sunday that the new radar system's entangled photons had detected targets 100km away in a recent field test.
That's five times the "potential range" of a laboratory prototype jointly developed by researchers from Canada, Germany, Britain and theUnited States last year.
America's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency has reportedly funded similar research and military suppliers such as Lockheed Martinare also developing quantum radar systems for combat purposes, according to media reports, but the progress of those military projects remains unknown.
In a statement posted on its website on Sunday, CETC said China's first "single-photon quantum radar system" had "important military application values" because it used entangled photons to identify objects "invisible" to conventional radar systems.
Nanjing University physicist Professor Ma Xiaosong, who has studied quantum radar, said he had "not seen anything like this in an open report".
"The effective range reported by the international research community falls far below 100km," he said.
A military radar researcher at a university in northwestern China said the actual range of the new radar could be even greater than that announced by CETC.Story here.
1. I submit to you that the US military was aware of developments around the world to detect stealth aircraft. That explains why we're seeing the F-35 touted as a sensor node and NOT as a penetrating aircraft. Everyone knows that mission is dead. So the default position is to push the F-35 as a system of systems and for the plane to "play quarterback". Its utter bullshit but that's the only card left in the deck for the fanboys to play.
2. The former CNO was right. Payloads are more important than ever. So is electronic attack/warfare. Jammers are back in fashion. The sooner the air branches of the US and our allies understand that, the sooner they can prepare for the coming big fight.
3. If the Chinese are posting this in the open press then we can assume one of two things. Either its all bullshit and propaganda or they're further along than they're telling us.
No matter how you slice it the dream that was the F-35 has turned into a nightmare. It took too long to develop and while they were trying to get it to work the rest of the world did not stand still. Is it any wonder that the USAF is already talking about an F-35 replacement?