Report: China Testing Stealth Fighter

J-20-ChinaChina may be close to completing its first stealth fighter.

The Wall Street Journal has posted photographs of what it says is a prototype of a J-20 stealth fighter, the first for China, which has been building up its military defense the past several years. The photographs first appeared on unofficial Chinese websites and some foreign defense-related portals. The photographs show a J-20 appearing to make a taxi test.

The appearance of the J-20, which some experts believe is a mock-up rather than a full-working prototype, comes a few days before U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visits Beijing. Gates’ visit is part of President Barack Obama’s administration’s attempt to improve U.S.-China defense ties.

China has not confirmed whether the photographs are authentic. However, a U.S. Navy official told Reuters the photograph is no cause for concern as China is years away from having a fully working stealth fighter that could rival the United States’ F-22 Raptor, currently the only aircraft that can evade detection by radar and infrared sensor.