This post has two links that offer information about China’s new J-20 “Dragon” warplane which is built with stealth features like the USA’s F-22 Raptor, but has size and configurations which puzzle western warplanners. What is very clear is that China is building these warplanes for a much earlier deployment than western warplanners had anticipated. Originally thought not to be deployable until 2017-2019, the first link notes that the J-20’s development is “moving along much faster than anyone had expected.” Indeed, the first two prototypes were already being flown over a year ago.
The first link offers a basic description and a variety of photos of this new “secret” Chinese warplane. The second link, from the authoritative Aviation Week magazine, offers a more technical description of the warplane’s known and possible features. What is known is that while the J-20 “carries more fuel and weapons than Lockheed’s [F-22] fighter,” the J-20 does not yet have an engine that matches the F-22 raptor. However, that does not mean that one is not being rushed into development. The prototype J-20s may be using an off-the-shelf Russian engine simply to conduct airframe, aeronautics and basic weaponry compatibility tests on the prototypes. The actual engine intended for use on the J-20 is likely being built deep underground in Chinese military facilities that no western satellite will ever see. The last photo in the first link shows Chinese warplanes taxiing into underground hangars built deep into mountainsides for protection against the USA’s “bunker-buster” bombs. The Chinese will, no doubt, be masters of deception as advised in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War book, and will surely realize that western satellites and recon efforts have located the “known” entrances of Chinese warplanes into some underground hangars. The Chinese warplanners know that the entrances known to western warplanners will be obliterated in any major war. I think it is certain that the Chinese have already burrowed out many alternate, camouflaged exits from their underground air bases that can be opened up very quickly from alternate runways located inside the mountains in the event a major war breaks out. No doubt the Chinese have built massive blast doors which can be closed quickly in wartime to seal off the known entrances to their underground air bases which will be hit by bunker-busters in any major war.
The links express confusion on the part of western analysts regarding what the J-20’s mission might be. One analyst is cited guessing the J-20 may be used to “threaten intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance assets and tankers, by using stealth and speed to defeat their escorts.” Western analysts are puzzled that the J-20 seems too big to be a true fighter aircraft and that its weapons bays seem too small to contain “most standoff air-to-surface weapons.” Since western military analysts are puzzled by the J-20’s design features, allow me to add my opinion about the J-20’s true mission and what some of its futuristic and unanticipated weapons may actually be.
To begin with, China (which is reported to be intensively developing nanotechnology weapons) may have reduced the size of its air-to-surface missiles so they do not need to be as big as today’s versions of such weapons. Let’s assume the J-20 can travel at Mach 3 or better once it is fitted with its optimum engines. If the J-20 is traveling that fast, any missiles it is carrying are already traveling at that speed at the time they are launched. How big do the missiles need to be to travel toward their intended targets at lethal range?
What follows is what I think may be the actual mission of the J-20. It is already known that China is deploying “area-denial” weaponry (ballistic missiles, supersonic cruise missiles, new torpedoes, etc.) that are designed specifically to sink US aircraft carriers. US aircraft carrier battle groups may already be attacked by Chinese land-based ballistic missiles and sea-launched cruise missiles (from surface ships or submarines). If the J-20 also launches salvoes of air-launched cruise missiles at carriers, China will have a “triad” of attacking weaponry which would be fired simultaneously at all possible US carriers as soon as any major war began (which Ezekiel 38-39 warn is certain to occur when the Gog-Magog alliance attacks unsuspecting western nations at the very end of this age). US carriers better have unpublicized, highly-advanced defensive weaponry in order to ensure their survival. However, I think the Chinese have a much broader mission for the ultimate J-20 warplanes than simply attacking aircraft carriers.
US warplanners tend to think within our geographic perspectives when we try to guess the intentions of new Chinese weapons systems. The USA is protected by vast oceans. China is not. China is ringed not only by island nations (Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines), but it is also ringed by island chains from the Kuriles north of Japan to the Bonins, Marianas (which includes the major US base at Guam), and Palaus between Japan and Indonesia. The South China Sea, over which China has recently tried to assert full sovereignty, is ringed by nations and landmasses and is entered by such narrow passageways as the Straits of Malacca. Nations frightened by China’s militarism (the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and even Vietnam) ring the South China Sea. If a major war erupts, the USA, allied to these nations as well as India, Australia, Japan, etc. are highly likely to be able to shut down all shipping traffic to China from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Chinese warplanners would like to have a weapons system which would also deny these shipping lanes to China’s enemies. The J-20 would be an excellent weapon to fly to each strategic maritime gateway and drop sea mines into the waterways and harbor approaches of China’s enemies. I’ll bet the J-20’s weapons bays were constructed to handle numerous sea mines on each mission.
It could get much more nefarious. Generals and admirals are famous for beginning each new war with the thinking limits of the previous war. For example, World War I generals were very slow to grasp that tanks and machine guns had made cavalry and infantry charges obsolete (see the recent movie, Warhorse, to demonstrate this point). In World War II, admirals on both sides were slow to grasp how completely aircraft carriers had made battleships obsolete and the atomic bomb made it clear that iron bombs were obsolete for ultimate strategic (not tactical) purposes. World War III will also, doubtless, see both sides unleash weapons that the other side will not have anticipated.
Previously, I have posted about possible usages of the hush-hush, new Chinese nanotechnology weaponry being developed. I’d like to offer a possible new nanotechnology threat that the Chinese may be developing concerning sea mines, but first lets consider the subject of sea mines. Old fashioned sea mines were generally acoustic or magnetic mines which were exploded by proximity fuses when a mine detected a nearby ship (either from the sound of its propellers, impact with the mine, or detecting the magnetic field of a ship’s hull). I can think of at least two new kinds of sea mines which the Chinese might deploy. The first option is a new class of digitally-programmed mines which could easily be placed in sea lanes by the J-20. It would be a variation of the acoustic mine. China’s Navy could record the acoustic propeller signal of each Chinese military and civilian ship and program them into the digital memory of each mine deposited in the sea. These mines would be “fire and forget” systems with internal IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) programming which, once deployed, need no further communication from the Chinese navy to reveal their presence anywhere. They could simply detect any ship’s propeller signature which is not distinctly “Chinese” and “migrate” toward it in order to detonate and sink that ship. One variation of this type of possible mine would be that it could have a small, non-metallic antenna which could “surface” and receive digital updates from Chinese landbases or from aerial J-20s serving as aerial AWACS systems for maneuverable Chinese sea-mines. These mines could be programmed with the propeller signals of all known US, NATO, and Indian carriers and allied Aegis naval ships so that they would default to attack those propeller signatures and not expend themselves on unimportant targets. These mines could even be deposited in the oceans long before a war began by far-flying J-20s (which have large fuel capacities, remember) and activated by remote signals once a war began. Indeed, such mines could be deployed unobstrusively by China’s submarines or its vast fleet of merchant ships all over the world’s oceans prior to any war and activated by remote signals when a future war begins. Indeed, the nanobots could be unobtrusively deployed by China’s merchant fleets all over the world’s oceans years before a war and the J-20s could place the explosive sea mines (programmed to receive information from prepositioned nanobots) later in strategic waterways just before a war began.
Now let’s consider a theoretical, futuristic sea mine system utilizing sophisticated nanotechnology. Consider how God has designed a shark to sense incredibly minute traces of blood in the oceans in order to locate injured prey fish. The shark is an amazingly-designed predatory creature. Its predation/sensory systems are a tribute to a Creator’s exquisite intelligent design, not the accidents of a mindless evolutionary process. As the third link shows, the shark can locate prey by at least three methods: sensing blood, hearing prey and detecting minute electromagnetic fields. The shark’s detection systems are so sensitve it can not only detect blood at one part per million in ocean water, but it can also detect its directional vector. Its sense of hearing is believed to detect the vibrations of injured prey “many miles away” (a swimmer frolicking in the water could be detected as wounded prey in the water by a shark) and a shark’s ability to detect a weak electronmagnetic field is incredible. Do you seriously think these incredible organic systems evolved by accident?
Why do I mention this? Because mankind is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), and is able to devise and implement pretty much anything it imagines if God simply steps back and allows it to happen (Genesis 11:6). The “latter days” or our era is a time when God is going to do exactly that (Matthew 24:37 combined with Genesis 11:6, Daniel 12:4) I think the Chinese (and perhaps other nations as well) are devising “intelligent” sea mines which can detect and approach targeted ships much the same way as a shark detects its prey (acoustically, via vibrations from propellers or via electromagnetic detection). Here is where nanotechnology could make sea mines an awesomely destructive weapons system. Nanobots could be sown by the tens of millions across vast stretches of the oceans or concentrated in narrow passageways which could detect approaching ships by their propellor vibrations, magnetic fields, etc. The nanobots would each have a limited ability to transmit the information detected to other “friendly” nanobots in the region. The millions of dispersed nanobots would operate much like individual neurons in a neural network. They would transmit their information to other nearby nanobots and eventually their interconnected signals would reach the explosive sea mines which would be programmed to interpret the minute signals coming from the nanobots. The sea mines would also discern the approach vector of the approaching ship by the intensity of the nanobot signals from each direction just like a shark detects its prey by directional location of the blood signals in the water. The explosive sea mine would then maneuver itself to intercept the approaching ship and determine if it had a “friendly”or “hostile” signature via its internal IFF system and make a “decision” whether to attack it based on its internal programming about the approaching ship’s likely threat level. Tens of millions of invisible and virtually undetectable nanobots could be sown in the world’s oceans, harbors and waterways as an information-gathering system which would exist solely to trasmit information about passing ships to “intelligent” and maneuverable sea mines programmed to receive and interpret the information coming from the nanobots. These millions of nanobots would spread via the ocean’s natural currents and would be everywhere within years.
If I, a mere layman, can visualize this kind of weapons system, can you imagine what can be visualized by the think-tank experts of various nations who are utilizing nanotechnology applications for every imaginable military usage? No wonder Jesus Christ prophesied that he would have to cut short the prophesied timetables of “days” to intervene earlier than expected or biblically-scheduled in order to save mankind from self-destruction (Matthew 24:22). Matthew 25’s parable of the ten virgins carries the same message: that Jesus Christ will return much earlier than any of his latter-day followers expect. I don’t expect him for a while based on prophetic timetables, but I would love to be surprised by his very early return.