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Is This China’s First Stealth Fighter?


They could be the products of a Chinese government misinformation campaign. They could be clever Photoshop jobs by Chinese aviation fanboys. Or, they could be the real thing: the first hard evidence of the long-rumored Chengdu J-20, China’s first stealth-fighter prototype.

The above photo and several others surfaced over the Christmas weekend on Chinese internet forums, catching the eye of Aviation Week fighter guru Bill Sweetman. A noted skeptic in the sometimes enthusiastic world of fast-jet journalism, Sweetman stressed that the pics might be fakes.

Fantastical Photoshop art is a hallmark of Chinese military-themed websites. See the giant, flying “heli-carrier” or the submarine flattop — both creations of over-excited Chinese Photoshoppers.

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