China is now only 20 years behind instead of 50, and they’ve already beat the Japanese who dropped out of the superpower race when they got crushed by the “lazy / weak” Americans. They’re about to overtake Russia as a nuclear power, and everybody agrees while the Russian plane is nice, they can’t afford to buy even one, let alone the 200 F-22s we’ve bought. The thing about being 20 years behind is that our current cutting edge fighters from the 1970s are 40 years old now, the Tomcat is retired and our F-15s are having their nose sections fall off, and the Super Hornet is just a 70,000 lb version of a 20,000 prototype designed in the mid-1960s. The Minuteman 3 is from 1970, Trident 2 since 1990.
Ironic thing is in Vietnam, the biggest threat was leftover MiG-17s (turbocharged MiG-15) from the previous generation of Korean war fighters that was having the ultra-advanced Mach 2 black-box-filled F-105 “Thud” for lunch, the “stealth fighter” of its day, not the latest MIGs and that was the reason for developing the teen-series F-14/15/16/18 fighters that we have now. By the time budget cutting is done, we just may have to do with replacing all our old fighters with Super Hornets as the 21st century Phantom II.
The Chinese economy is pretty much dependent on how much stuff the Americans buy from them, if we can’t afford F-22s, it will be a long time until the Chinese can afford a military even one third as powerful and advanced as ours, though they seem to be passed the 10 percent point some years ago.
Stay tuned, here are some pictures
Here is my favorite from www.top81.cn