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Chinese Quantum Physicists Develop Ultra-Powerful, Anti-Stealth Military Radar
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Chinese Quantum Physicists Develop Ultra-Powerful, Anti-Stealth Military Radar

by Giulio PriscoOctober 3, 2016

A top Chinese military technology company announced the development and preliminary testing of a new form of radar able to detect stealth planes 100km away, South China Morning Post recently reported.

The state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), one of the top Chinese military industry groups controlled directly by the central government, develops and deploys key hardware components, software, and information systems for military and civilian applications. Since March 2016, the CETC is also tasked with technical support to counter-terrorism.

According to a statement published on the CETC website, the new radar developed by engineers at CETC’s Intelligent Perception Technology Laboratory is China’s first “single-photon quantum radar system” and uses entangled photons to identify objects invisible to conventional radar systems, which has important military applications.

Quantum entanglement, the “spooky action at a distance” that baffled Einstein but was later recognized as a key feature of quantum systems, results in correlations between remote particles that, in some cases, can be exploited for remote sensing. Given the military applications of the projects, it’s not surprising that the CETC scientists have not disclosed detailed information. However, quantum radars studies have been published in the open scientific literature. See American Physical Society’s “Focus: Quantum Mechanics Could Improve Radar” for an overview.

Beyond Science Fiction

Military radarThe popular online magazine Daily Galaxy described the Chinese quantum physics breakthrough as “Beyond Science Fiction.” DARPA has reportedly funded similar research and military suppliers such as Lockheed Martin are also developing quantum radar systems for combat purposes, according to media reports, but the progress of those military projects remains unknown.

“The effective range reported by the international research community falls far below 100km,” said Prof. Ma Xiaosong, a Nanjing University physicist, adding that he had “not seen anything like this in an open report.” Another Chinese military radar researcher hinted that the actual range of the new radar could be even greater than the 100km announced by CETC.

Besides the range, the key feature of the new radar is its ability to detect stealth planes. Other possible applications include small, highly mobile and sensitive radar systems able to survive combat and evade enemy countermeasures.

A Completely New Area of Research

According to CETC, the field testing of the new radar opens up a “completely new area of research.” Lockheed Martin was granted a patent in 2008 for a “Radar systems and methods using entangled quantum particles” able to “visualize useful target details through background and/or camouflaging clutter, through plasma shrouds around hypersonic air vehicles, through the layers of concealment hiding underground facilities, IEDs, mines, and other threats.”

Popular Mechanics notes that, since the 2008 patent, Lockheed Martin has been “silent on the subject of quantum radars.”

Given what a technological leap such a system would be, it’s quite possible the research has gone ‘black’ – highly classified and subject to a high level of secrecy.

Another possibility is that research in the US might not have advanced much. Of course, the Chinese results could be over-hyped. Popular Mechanics warns that the fact that the quantum radar breakthrough has been first reported by state-owned media is suspicious, but that can be also interpreted as an indication of the interest of the Chinese government in next-generation quantum technologies.

SCMP notes that CETC collaborated with quantum scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China, where many quantum technology breakthroughs have been achieved, including the world’s longest quantum key distribution network for secured communication and the development of the world’s first quantum satellite recently covered by Hacked.

In fact, it appears that China is engaging in a government-supported, well-funded quantum technology development effort ranging from unbreakable encrypted communication networks to combat support operations. Next-generation quantum technologies with military applications may arrive sooner than we think: policy makers and military planners in the West should bear in mind that China is striving to achieve quantum supremacy.

Images from iStock and Wikimedia Commons.


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  • Manju

    Since I am unable to build stealth planes I’ll create a news that I developed a radar that could track stealth planes. Atleast that will make my adversaries with stealth think before attacking. That’s China in short for you.

  • Top secret clearence

    In August 15, 2016 China launch a quantum communication satellite using Pan Jian Wei study of quantum physics. The satellite is called Micius( a 5 BC philosopher that opposes offensive weapons) China layed a quantum communication fiber optic underground line from Beijing to Shanghai. I think China has quantum radar because it is a short development from quantum communication to quantum radar. The stealth F-22 moved from Japan to Guam hopefully out of quantum radar range. China spent 10 billion dollars for quantum physics . The US spent 200 million per year for quantum physic and we still do not have it. China has a 4 trillion dollars surplus and owns 1 trillion dollars or more in US treasury bonds.We could use some of it to build our infrastructures.The US has a 14 trillion dollars debt because the rich do not pay taxes (see Donald Trump taxes).The stealth J-20 and the stealth J-31 was shown in 2011 to US Defense Secretary Gates.On September 18, 2015 a airplane flew at mach 6 speed and landed.I think the stealth airplane used two Wang Zhengou turbo scram jet engine (see Popular Science article about him and turbo-scram jet engine) and Shou-En Zhu grapheme air frame similar to C919 air frame.China is developing these and lot more weapons to safe guard their trade which is threaten by the Pivot to Asia in the Malacca straits and the South China Seas.China has 1,000 mobile WU-14 supersonic missiles( DF-41 with MIVR) hidden in 3,000 miles of nuclear resistant tunnels with multiple exit built for possible attack by the former Soviet Union.There were 10 supersonic test of the DF-41 in 2015.On September 3,2015 16 DF-41 and 16 DF-31A was shown in the victory parade.The US Congress Recently authorized 170 million dollars for supersonic study.It is better to have China invest and build our infrastructures.I do not think China will attack the structures and Chinese people that might build them.

    • sky

      All that you have mentioned the U.S already have it and China is trying to catch up. The J 20 and J 31 are Chinese copies of the F 35 and F22. China had to hack U.S. computers to have an idea on how do it. Another drawback is China cannot design and produce jet engines yet. China is 50 years behind the U.S. in technology and copying and imitating won’t do her much good.

      • Knowles222

        They can design and produce jet engines, they just haven’t achieve the same power output as jet engines the West and Russia can produce.

        An imitating and copying can drastically speed up a country development, it was by copying the British technology that leak out that many countries were able to undergo their industrial revolutions.

        But that also doesn’t mean they haven’t got a team of people who have a knack for working with and understanding of Quantum physics and are advancing the field faster than their Western rivals.

      • Top secret clearence

        On September !8,2015, an airplane flew several hours at mach 6 speed and landed.I think it used two Wang Zhengou turbo-scram jet engines(see Popular Science article about him and turbo-scram jet engine) and Shou-En Zhu low cost grapheme air frame like C919 air frame.China has spent 12 billion dollars to developed the WS-10A,WS-15 and turbo-scram jet engine.China high speed rail was a copy of three countries designed.Since then,China has built 12,000 miles of high speed tracks and a engine that goes 500 km per hour.I do not under estimate other people designed .(like the zero used in Pearl Harbor ) China has the largest and fastest computer in the world.Why don t we used the Quantum Communication to secure our banks? China has spent 10 billion dollars to developed Quantum Physics.The US has spent 200 million dollars a year and we still do not have it.China has 4 trillion dollars surplus and 1 trillion dollars or more in US treasury bonds.We could use the money to buy our infrastructure.The US is in debt for 14 trillion dollars because the rich(like Donald Trump) do not pay taxes.

      • Potthai Lang

        Yes…yes….whatever China has/developed is copied from American.

        Are Americans so stupid don’t even know how to safe guard what they invented ?

  • Dux

    They probably do this frequently, but you’ll never hear about it as long as it remains undetected.

    • Potthai Lang

      If you are so useless unable to safe guard your property or invention, can you blame others ? What’s is wrong with copying ? God says we can’t copy ?
      There are many even don’t have the ability to copy even you give them your products. That’s why their gdp per capital is at par 4th world standard.

  • Top secret clearence

    James Dale Davidson (advisor to 4 US presidents) said the day of reckoning is coming,we can not keep printing worthless money.China holds one trillion dollars or more in US treasury bonds.China has 4 trillion dollars surplus and spent 10 billion dollars for each project to defend it self.The US is in 14 trillion debt because the rich (like Donald Trump) do not pay taxes. The US is spending 200 million dollars or less for quantum physics and supersonic missiles which we do not have.We build obsolete 14 billion dollars aircraft carrier that could be sunk by a swarm of low cost supersonic YJ-18 attacking 15 feet above sea level and several WU-14 supersonic DF-21A or DF-26.Instead of economic collapsed and war,we should use the money China has to build up our infrastructure.

  • Potthai Lang

    That’s Indian’s mindset. Their thinking is very colorful but always fail to deliver physical products. Just ignore him and let them enjoy gdp per capital of less than US$2000.