A Reflection of Growing Concern Among Washington China-Watchers?
Reports in the Hong Kong press over the last few days reveal alleged sightings of a replica of the Chinese J-20 so-called ‘stealth fighter’ at a US airbase in early December.
The mock-up of the J-20 MIGHTY DRAGON was apparently spotted at the home of the US Air Dominance Centre (ADC) in Savannah, GA. Intriguingly, official US sources are quoted in the Marine Corps Times newspaper as saying that legitimate orders have been issued to provide “full-scale, realistic aircraft and vehicle mock-ups for multiple Marine Corps bases.” China watchers believe this to be an indication as to just how seriously Washington is taking the potential Chinese threat, at a time that tensions are escalating on political, economic and military fronts.
Although no credible reason has been given for creating a replica of the J-20 as a ground training aid, the ADC has gone on record as saying that the Corps is “funding and directing the training objectives of this device,” and that the J-20 was selected for proof of concept development, with additional threat aircraft and vehicles to be developed in the future. Built by a contractor in LaGrange, the device spent a few days at ADC for evaluation of various spectra and signatures before shipping to a training location in North Carolina.
A report on the evolving Chinese threat submitted to Congress by DoD earlier this year stated that the Asian nation is closing the gap with the US and eroding its technological advantage with its new aircraft, among other military developments.