China's New Plasma Stealth Tech: The Future of Fighter Jet Camouflage?
New Chinese air force J-20 stealth fighter jets attached to the People’s Liberation Army, Air Force perform during an air show in Changchun, Jilin province. Yang Pan/China Ministry of Defense

China’s New Plasma Stealth Tech: The Future of Fighter Jet Camouflage?

Radar operators, beware – China may soon have invisible fighter jets able to fool your screens! Scientists there now claim an advanced plasma stealth device that can ‘cloak’ specific areas of an aircraft from conventional radar.

According to military experts, China’s new plasma technology uses charged gas clouds around planes to absorb radar beams without altering aircraft design much. Older versions bathed the whole jet in plasma to stay incognito – not ideal for delicate precision hardware underneath!

So how does this novel device work? Well, operators activate electron beams that ionize nearby air molecules into radio-gobbling plasma, concealing key giveaways like the cockpit or nose cone dome. The rest of the jet remains unaltered, radar-wise.

Pretty clever, huh? Best part is the system engages quickly, letting pilots duck in and out of the radar-dampening plasma cloak as needed during a mission. One minute your next-gen Chengdu fighter registers clear as day…the next *poof* – gone, vanished into an ionized cloud!

Of course it’s not FULL invisibility – even plasma bends light a bit. But radars see only fuzzy blobs of charged particles where your jet hides, nothing resembling an aircraft. And no pesky alterations needed for aerodynamic designs like standard stealth tech requires!

Chinese scientist Tan Chang has tested two types already, using radioisotopes and electricity to cook up dense plasmas. Both passed flight tests with atmospheric aplomb. And Chang’s electron beam method proved even more efficient – generating maximum cloaking with minimal power.

With easy adjustability and lighter weight, China plans to implement the devices soon. So radar crews near disputed territories may need to look sharp! That seeming UFO blur zipping along may be a plasma-cloaked J-20 fighter skirting your screens on purpose!