China tracked U.S. F-22 Raptors over East China Sea, analyst says

Multiple Chinese newspapers reported that a fleet of F-22s had flown across the East China Sea.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  Feb. 22, 2016 at 11:30 AM
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HONG KONG, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- China's military said its latest radars can track U.S. stealth fighters, including the F-22 Raptor, the aircraft that recently flew across South Korea airspace at a time of rising tensions with the North.

China's People's Liberation Army said it had identified F-22s of unknown origin flying over the East China Sea, and in response deployed helicopters and a naval vessel, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported Monday.

Yin Zhuo, a former Chinese Navy officer and military expert, told China's CCTV that Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor cannot always evade radar detection.

China's response pushed the stealth fighters out of East China Sea airspace, Yin said, adding, "The F-22's capacity for evading radar can decrease if multiple radars at several bases are monitoring."

China has developed an upgraded version of the Chinese Phased Array Radar, and its KJ-2000 and KJ-500 airborne early warning and control systems can also be used in detection, Sputnik International reported.

Yin said that although the F-22 has outstanding stealth capabilities, because of its large size, multiple radar can track the aircraft from different directions.

Several Chinese newspapers reported Feb. 15 that a fleet of F-22s had flown across the East China Sea, and Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily News reported the unidentified flying objects were likely U.S. F-22 Raptors.

On Friday, China's populist tabloid Global Times reported various radars were being developed at an accelerated pace and will add to the military's detection capabilities that include the JY-26, with a surveillance range of 310 miles, and the long-range surveillance radar JY-27 VHF.

Chinese state media also reported Beijing was able to monitor the movement of U.S. F-22 Raptors across the Korean peninsula during a joint U.S.-South Korea military training exercise in 2013, using the JY-26 radar.

China's claims are credible, according to defense expert Dave Majundar.

"In fact – it's very possible that China can track the Raptor. Stealth is not a cloak of invisibility, after all. Stealth technology simply delays detection and tracking," Majundar wrote for the National Interest.

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