Did the J-20 steal a 2D thrust vector control nozzle from the F-22?

WASHINGTON, US — The US apparently has a problem with data leaks and Chinese spies. At least that’s exactly what the Americans claim. These claims come at a time when China’s J-20 stealth fighter is gaining more and more technological speed.

Thrust vectoring engine: J-20 performs strong maneuvers at low speed
Photo credit: ADN

The J-20 is a project for a new Chinese fighter from 2008. In the beginning, let’s face it, it doesn’t start promisingly at all. But in recent years, technologically, this fighter has advanced at a breakneck speed. Beijing wants the J-20 to be to the Chinese what the F-22 Raptor is to the Americans. However, there are claims that the J-20 stole a lot from its American competitor.

China’s J-20 came into the focus of American news when local military experts gave an interview to Fox News just recently. They say the Pentagon and Washington seriously need to make changes to protect military development. Mr. James Anderson says it is because of “spy activity” that Washington knows “how advanced the J-20 is”. Mr. Anderson is not a random person – he is a former deputy secretary of defense for strategy at the US Department of Defense.

China showed a two-seater stealth J-20 in combat camouflage
Photo credit: South China Morning Post

According to Mr. Anderson, there is currently no “comparison field” between the J-20 and F-22, as there are many unknowns, especially with the Chinese fighter. But according to the Americans, the Chinese have done a very good job using what was stolen from the US.

2D Thrust Vector Control Nozzle

The participation of military experts in TV interviews is not accidental right now. In recent weeks, information has been coming out of China that the J-20 will feature a new 2D Thrust Vector Control nozzle. It is currently being developed, military experts say. There are already claims that this development was also stolen from the US, but these are still in the realm of speculation and hearsay. But the 2D nozzle is important to China because if it succeeds, the J-20 can close the gap between it and the F-22. And that won’t go down well in Washington.

The J-20 flew for the first time in 2011 – four years after the decision made in Beijing for a new fighter. Technologically developed and tested over the next six years, in 2017 the Chinese Dragon officially entered service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force. For the past few years, Washington has argued that the J-20 is not “Chinese know-how” but a sinister copy of the US Raptor.

F-22 Raptor has a suitability and cyber survivability issue
Photo credit: Pixabay

Although it is difficult to prove, the US claims that a large database of terabytes of data was stolen from China, especially regarding the development of the American stealth fighter F-35. Data on the radar, the engine, the types of modules used in the design, including the method of cooling gases used, leading and trailing edge treatments, and contour maps for the rear deck heating. So not only the F-22 Raptor is a victim. Washington also says that the Raptor’s stealth technology was stolen to develop that of the J-20.

Stealing a book is an elegant crime

Before China stole what it needed to develop a modern fighter jet, Beijing spent decades searching for the answer to a new Chinese fighter jet, according to US analysts. The claims of F-22 theft have actually varied since 2015 when the Associated Press first reported that some of the J-20’s technology had come from the US.

As early as 2015, comparisons between the J-20 and F-22 began, with the root of these comparisons being military experts in the USA. until then, China has been tight-lipped about what exactly it is developing and has refrained from making public comments about the new stealth fighter and its possible rivalry with the F-22.

Of course, the US is angry, but that doesn’t mean China is sweating the blame. There is a saying: “Stealing a book is an elegant crime”. According to Mr. James Hess, a professor at the School of Security and Global Studies of the American Public University System [APUS], it is time to accept the fact that there are “cultural differences” between nations.

US sends F-22s to Crete for joint missions with Greek Air Force
Photo credit: Pixabay

For example, says the professor, there is a mentality in China that knowledge theft is not seen as a type of crime, but as access to knowledge. This is in complete contrast to the proverb we wrote about above. “It’s seen as a good thing, that it’s a positive thing you’re doing,” the professor added.

China’s success in intellectual theft may prove to be deeply rooted in the American community for years. Analysts say there are a variety of techniques to achieve this. From the “traps” for academics, engineers, and professors, to hacker attacks on institutions hiding their secrets. Stealing someone else’s secrets certainly saves the Chinese money and time.

J-20 vs F-22

All, these analyses, comments, and opinions do not come by chance. Today, experts claim that the J-20A is so upgraded that it outperforms the F-22. Especially when it is claimed that this excellence will be achieved precisely in 2023.

China is approaching the F-22 fleet in numbers with its J-20. The US once wanted to build more than 700 F-22s but settled on 186.

Thrust vectoring engine: J-20 performs strong maneuvers at low speed
Photo credit: eng.chinamil.com.cn

Today, according to some, China already has 150 units built. Others believe China has about 200 J-20 fighters. In the background of all this, the whole military production and competition between China and the US J-20 and F-22 or F-35 are not as far away as it was years ago. Figuratively speaking – these two fighters are only miles apart.


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