China’s stealth aircraft ‘Taiwan Oolong hide and seek’ is over… US provides tracking equipment

On August 23, the US government announced that it had decided to sell $500 million worth of ‘infrared search and track equipment ( IRST )’ for F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. The day after this announcement, China sent a large number of fighter jets, fighter-bombers, early warning aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles to the Taiwan Strait in a show of force. Spokespeople from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense also took a strong tone and demanded the cancellation of arms sales to the United States. The reason China reacted so sensitively is because the IRST installed on the F-16 can detect the Chinese stealth fighter J-20 . China has frequently dispatched the J-20 to the Taiwan Strait, and has repeatedly released footage of the J-20 overlooking Taiwan Island. It is a cognitive war tactic aimed at breaking the morale of Taiwan’s air force by highlighting the fact that Taiwan’s air defense radar cannot detect the J-20 . Taiwan’s Air Force deployed 64 of the latest F-16V, an improved version of the older F-16 A/B, in November last year . These fighters are IRST

If equipped, it can detect J-20 or small unmanned aerial vehicles, and in case of emergency, it is also possible to attack with mid-range air-to-air missiles. It is no longer easy for the J-20 to play hide and seek by mocking Taiwan’s air defense network like it is now .

“Lockheed Martin is likely to sell the latest 

IRST21 model”
The US State Department and the Department of Defense briefly announced on this day that they had submitted a plan to sell IRST for F-16 fighter jets worth $500 million to Congress, but did not disclose the specific model or number. On the other hand, Taiwan Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Sun Li-fang said, “ The IRST approved for sale by the United States is the latest model developed for the F-16V Block 70,” adding, “In a situation where China frequently sends air force planes and unmanned aerial vehicles to Taiwan’s air defense identification zone to pose military threats, “This defensive weapon will become the basis for regional stability.” There is speculation in China that the IRST model sold in the United States will be Lockheed Martin’s latest model, IRST21 . The U.S. Air Force is said to have succeeded in a test in 2021 of capturing a target with this tracking equipment and attacking it with the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile. It is said to be included in the F-35 , F-22 , and F-18 . It is said that it has a networking function, so it is possible to exchange target information with other nearby fighters or escort aircraft.

J-20 Long-distance detection and attack capability
Fighter aircraft primarily use radar to detect and track targets in the air, sea, and land. However, when radar waves are fired, the location of friendly fighters is also exposed to the opponent. Unlike radar, IRST passively collects infrared signals coming from the outside. Since it does not emit signals on its own, it can hide the fact that it is being tracked. Also, unlike radar, it is said to be unaffected by electronic warfare interference.

Stealth aircraft hide their location by minimizing the area of ​​the aircraft exposed to radar. However, heat coming from engine exhaust, etc. cannot be completely removed. The IRST is equipment that detects opposing fighters through engine exhaust heat , etc토토사이트. The IRST21 , which the United States is expected to provide to Taiwan , has a detection range of 70 to 80 km and is said to be able to detect the J-20 from a long distance and attack it with an air-to-air missile.

“Stealth aircraft will be outnumbered”
In fact, the United States has been reluctant to sell the latest fighter jets and equipment to Taiwan out of concern for China. Since the difference in military power is so large, rather than engaging in a head-on confrontation, it has been recommended to stockpile large quantities of asymmetric weapons, such as anti-ship missiles, which are useful for preventing Chinese troops from landing on Taiwan. The fact that the United States changed its position to supply IRST appears to be an intention to make the most of Taiwan’s air force in case of emergency .

This arms sale is the 11th since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. In the past, we sold weapons once every 1-2 years, but now we provide weapons 3-4 times a year. We believe that China’s invasion of Taiwan is approaching and we are ramping up our response.

Taiwan is in the process of upgrading its existing fleet of 140 old F-16s to the latest model. If up to 66 of the latest F-16Vs arrive by 2026, we will have more than 200 F-16 fighters. Jiang Yanting, former deputy commander of Taiwan’s Air Force, said, “If we lose air superiority, it will be difficult to prevent the Chinese military from landing on Taiwan. With the sale of this IRST, we will be able to strengthen Taiwan’s air defense capabilities while reducing its inferiority to Chinese stealth fighters.”

Chinese state media also acknowledged that “ 

J-20 could be captured”
China was furious. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a briefing on August 24, “We strongly oppose arms sales to Taiwan,” and “China will take firm measures.”

Global Times, the English version of the Global Times, quoted a Chinese expert and said, “Even if the F-16V , a 4.5 generation fighter , is equipped with the latest IRST , it cannot be a match for the J-20 , a 5 generation stealth fighter,” adding, “If a collision occurs, the F-16V He raised his voice, saying, “ The 16V will be destroyed before it even takes off.” At the same time, he said, “Stealth aircraft can reduce infrared emissions, but they cannot completely eliminate them,” and “ IRST captures these heat signals to track targets.” Unusually, it was acknowledged that the J-20 could be captured by IRST .

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