Latest Snowden Leak Claims China’s Spies Stole Designs Of Australia’s New F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ; Info Related To B-52 Stealth Fighter, F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter, And Nuclear Submarine Designs
Swati Khandelwa, writing on the January 18, 2015 website, The Hacker News, says that “the latest Edward Snowden leaks revealed the industrial-scale, cyber-espionage operation by China, to learn the secret’s of Australia’s newest — front-line — fighter jet — the U.S. built F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).” The intelligence haul amounted to “as much as 50 terabytes of data,” about the design of Australia’s Lockheed Martin, F-35 JSF, and included details of the fighters radar system, engine schematics, “aft-deck heating contour maps, designs to cool exhaust gases; and, the method/techniques the jet uses to track targets.”
“Beijing likely used the stolen information to help design its “fifth generation fighters,” defense experts said. According to the Hacker News, these latest Snowden documents “confirm that Australian government was informed of the cyber espionage; and, aware of “the serious damage,” caused due to the breach relating to the development of the F-35 JSF.”
Mr. Khandelwal added that “the main data breach was believed to have taken place at the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin in 2007, before orders if the F-35 Lighting II [were] placed by Australia and Japan.” In June 2013, the Defense Department’s Acquisition’s Chief, Frank Kendall, told the U.S. Senate that he was “reasonably confident” that the F-35 data was now better protected.”
This latest batch of Snowden leaks “also reveal that the NSA was spying on Chinese espionage activities; including hacking into the computer of a senior Chinese military official; and, stole information about Chinese intelligence collection targets in the U.S. and other foreign governments. Also included in the breach, was information relating to the B-52 Stealth Bomber;, the F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter; nuclear submarine and naval air defense missile designs; and, tens of thousands of military personnel records,” according to the Hacker News.
China’s ‘Great Steal Ahead’ Is Both About Taiwan, And Countering The U.S. In The Pacific
Toshi Yoshihara, visiting Professor at the U.S. Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama, has written that “the Chinese watched with dismay, the ease with which U.S. forces raced across the desert,” and, defeated Saddam Hussein’s forces in the 1991 “Shock and Awe,” campaign of speed, precision, stealth, and special operations. After witnessing this demonstration of American war power, Beijing was determined to “modernize the country’s vast, but primitive military arsenal,” Professor Yoshihara said. But, rather than address their military shortcomings “all at once,” Professor Yoshihara said that Beijing “concentrated on obtaining “leap ahead,” technologies already in use in the United States.” Former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, called these technologies — “shashoujian” — translated variously as “assassin’s mace,” or :silver bullet.” Chinese intelligence concentrated on the latest U.S. stealth programs in aviation [including UAV’s], nuclear submarine and naval missile defense systems, long-range missiles, communications, and military/defense personnel records.”
A Credible Military Threat And, A More Expansive Reach In The Pacific
The result of this 15yr. effort, has been “the largest military buildup the world has witnessed since the end of the Cold War,” said Richard Fisher, a China specialist for the International Assessment and Strategy Center (IASC), a Virginia-based think tank. “China’s efforts amount to a worldwide “market intelligence program,” says former FBI analyst Paul Moore.
According to a November, 12, 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials claim that “the F-35’s most sensitive flight-control data was never lost — because it was stored off-line. And, there are limits to how much the Chinese might gain from thievery: the J-31 [China’s new stealth fighter] could still lack the materials and electronics necessary for reliably stealthy radar evasion, while its pilots receive inferior training; and, its inferior are engines are Russian made.”
But, it is clear that Beijing’s ‘Great Steal Ahead,” in the theft of highly classified research and development related to many of our top weapons systems — has paid big dividends for China. V/R, RCP