F-117A Nighthawk in China?

I was checking out Sean Lawson, Ph.D.’s blog and found an interesting link to IMINT & Analysis – “Open source military analysis, strategic thinking, and Google Earth imagery interpretation.”

I really enjoy open source intelligence and all things military, so you know I just had to investigate. And here is what caught my eye immediately:

The image above, captured in March of 2010, depicts an F-117A mockup. Normally, a mockup of the F-117A wouldn’t be a very big deal, but this one is in the middle of Luoyang, China. First spotted by the intrepid members of the China Defense Forum, the mockup appears to be partially completed, apparently missing the forward fuselage.

Now what would an F-117A Stealth Fighter be doing in China? According to the article, the F-117A mockup is sitting at the Electro-Optical Technology Development Center in Luoyang, China. Apparently the center does R&D for Chinese air-to-air missiles.

Check out the IMINT & Analysis site for more information.

The picture above is from Google Earth. You can still see the stealth fighter  at coordinates 34.662363′ Lat, 112.429356′ Long.

13 thoughts on “F-117A Nighthawk in China?”

  1. On a more serious note, they’re probably trying to build a stealth fight/bomber fleet the same way they’re trying to build their 5th gen Mig fighter fleet: by stealing an reverse engineering it…

    1. You know I am really getting kinda fed up with that. The Russians copy our space shuttle, and the F-22, now China might be trying to copy the F-117.

      Is nothing sacred anymore?

      I know, we should make a new fighter and stick a washing machine on the back, just bolt the dang thing on and say it’s a new “cyber weapon” platform. Leak it out see how long it takes for Russia and China to copy it!

  2. Russians copy F-22? F-22 is basically smooth F-15. F-15 is basically smaller MiG-25.Shuttle? Shaping is the most useless and simpliest thing in shuttle. Materials and overall delivery system are way more important and it is different for Buran. This “copy” happened to be superior. How about F-35 designers bying Yak-141 engine tech?

    1. Eeeeeh, come one, look at pictures of them side by side. Or better yet look at the American and Russian space shuttle side by side. Both are almost direct copies, the biggest difference being the engines.

      As for the F-35, the engine design is like the Russian Yak-141 and German VJ 101D/E, compared to other STOL engines, but it uses the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem which is a creature all it’s own.

      I guess my point is Russia has some great engineers, I would rather see something “new” than just a copy. Just look at the KA-50 attack copter with co-axial rotors. Very unique and very intimidating looking.

  3. The F117a that crashed in Yugoslavia in ’99 was never returned to the US. Rumor has it the jet was tracked into China. The photo could be the actual aircraft. China has since come out with their own version of a stealth. Figures!

    1. The pilot was returned. Human life should be priority fot all normal people. It is also interesting how you are using full names and bullshit code names when presenting your “reverse engineered alien technology” military power, but when they end up in a dirt, then it’s just some f117 that failed. Anyway, Lockid Martin F-117 night hawk with AF 82 806 HO marks developed in New Mexico, didn’t just crash by itself. It was gunned down on a fourth day of Nato bombing of Yugoslavia (Serbia) in March 1999, by modified, out-dated Russian surface to air system S-125 Neva. This stealth plane multi billion project was abandoned soon after, and F117 night hawk was never seen on the sky again. Unofficially, the remaining of this same plane was given as a present to China (whose embassy was accidentally bombed few days after), and ironically reversed engineered in this place. The most interesting part of this story is that the Neva system, mentioned above, was operated by a Serbian baker. Funny but no super hero or code names were given to this baker, who again after all this, just bakes bread at his small bakery.

      1. I enjoyed this comment, I really did. I honestly didn’t know Colonel Dani became a baker, and apparently he and the pilot that was shot down have actually become friends. That is very cool.
        The pilot wasn’t returned, he was actually rescued by US Special Forces 6 hours after being shot down.
        According to Colonel Dani’s own testimony, his SAM battery was able to detect the F-117 when the bomb bay doors were opened, modifying it’s radar signature. It is also recorded that they used a proximity fuse on the missile to take down the aircraft. Nothing shocking, but pretty ingenious. The F-117 program wasn’t canceled until years later, last plane officially retired in 2008, even though there are still a few F-117’s still flying today. The F-117 was phased out by the arrival of the F-22, which is a much better plane. Even though the F-117 still looks futuristic. Lastly, the Chinese Embassy wasn’t bombed until 2 months after the F117 was shot down, and it wasn’t an accident, it was registered as an active target when it reportedly was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. At least, that is the story. 😉

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