The device has the potential to be a “game changer” for the People’s Liberation Army, scientists told the Hong-Kong based news outlet, since the radar might be able to spot the US’ F-22 Raptors and beleaguered F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
Terahertz radiation can theoretically see through the “composite materials” that help hide stealthy jets, SCMP reports. The F-22 fleet’s new $40 million paint job might be for naught after all.
“The radar-absorbent coatings on the F-35 will look as thin and transparent as stockings if [the Chinese radar] is as powerful as they claim,” a technical executive told the Post. The reported power of the radars is “more than a million times higher” than other terahertz machines — dubbed T-rays — that have tried to measure the physical specifications of stealth coatings on F-35s, the executive added.
The instrument was designed at the China Academy of Engineering Physics.
A terahertz ray device is still far from actual military use. Researcher Qi Jiaran of the Harbin Institute of Technology said “there is still a long way to go” before a T-ray radar could be equipped onto a surveillance plane or satellite.
The Japanese Defense Ministry is also actively developing new radar systems to pinpoint the locations of stealth Russian Su-57s and Chinese J-20 fighters, Sputnik reported August 17.