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Man Tries Smuggling Plastic For Chinese Military

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:05 pm

Carbon fiber, that is. I think the article is correct in wondering how good the new Chinese fighters can be if they do not have materials for fuselages.

But federal prosecutors allege Zhang was the mastermind behind the plot to illegally export $4 million worth of the military-grade material. Prosecutors also allege Zhang told undercover agents the material would be used for an upcoming Oct. 5 test flight of a “new Chinese fighter jet.” If convicted, Zhang faces up to 20 years in prison.
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RE: Man Tries Smuggling Plastic For Chinese Military

Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:42 pm

"Later that month, on July 17, the two buyers received an email from a Chinese email account about the carbon fiber. The email’s author “stated that he found an end user for the carbon fiber, and that it was needed for a test flight of a new Chinese fighter jet.”

The complaint doesn’t state whether the author was Zhang. But the next day, Zhang and John Doe spoke over the phone and talked about difficulties getting carbon fiber from Japan, and Doe mentioned he found a new seller in America. A second undercover agent then contacted Zhang, who told the agent the carbon fiber was for a “fighter plane,” and arranged to travel to the U.S. earlier in September, where he was arrested".

If this is true, which IMO is a big if, then manufacturing times are VERY quick.

If they were taking delivery of raw material in September, and it was to be fabricated, fitted and tested in time for a 5th October test flight then I doubt that this would be feasible.

Perhaps someone with experience of the F35/Typhoon/Rafale/Gripen could comment.

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