22:54 GMT02 August 2021
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    Stealth aircraft use the special geometry of their body shape to deflect radar signals but this damages the plane's aerodynamic performance. Stealth planes also use a special radar absorbing paint, which is expensive, short-lived and effective only in a limited frequency spectrum.

    Chinese scientists have developed a radical new type of stealth material that they claim makes a fighter jet less vulnerable to radar detection, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports.

    The newspaper cited Professor Luo Xiangang and his colleagues from the Institute of Optics and Electronics with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Chengdu as claiming that they created a mathematical model that describes the behaviour of electromagnetic waves when in contact with a metal surface spotted with microscopic patterns.

    This model helped them develop a membrane, also known as a meta surface, which is capable of absorbing radar waves in “the widest spectrum yet reported.”

    Chinese ground crew members inspect a J-20 stealth fighter in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province (File)
    © AP Photo / Color China Photo
    Chinese ground crew members inspect a J-20 stealth fighter in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province (File)

    During the test, the new technology allowed the researchers to cut a reflected radar signal which was measured between 10 and 30dB in a frequency range from 0.3 to 40 gigahertz.

    “This detection range is incredible. I have never heard of anyone even coming close to this performance. At present, absorbing technology with an effective range of between 4 and 18 GHz is considered very, very good,” an unnamed stealth technologist from Fudan University in Shanghai, who was not involved in the work, was cited by the SCMP as saying.

    He claimed that any fighter jet or warship equipped with this technology can “fool” all military radar systems currently in operation.



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