China has developed a new stealth fighter, called the J-20, from parts of an American F-117 Nighthawk stealth bomber that had been shot down over Serbia during the Kosovo War.
Theories have rapidly emerged about espionage and how China had somehow managed to steal and copy other countries' secret technologies.
One of the more extraordinary claims was that it had gained invaluable information from parts of an American F-117 Nighthawk stealth bomber that was shot down over Serbia.
Accoding to the Daily Mail, the helmet, maps, communication equipment and other parts of the stealth fighter were kept on sale at the Aviation Museum, Belgrade.
Chinese, Japanese and Russian diplomats were among those who visited the museum and bought debris.
The display included the parts of the Stealth bomber is called 'Exhibits that fell from the sky' and it opened in December 1999. Over 2,000 foreign visitors came to see the exhibition, of which hundreds, bought small parts of the aircraft for 10 dollars each.
'At first glance this fighter has the potential to be a competitor to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, (most advanced stealth fighter jet ever built) and to be an efficient F-35 Lightning II killer,' said Richard Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
'We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies,' he said.
'The Chinese military industrial complex had well-established links to the Yugoslav military and it would be no surprise that they'd been given access to the remains of the F-117 by the Belgrade regime,' says Tim Ripley, a leading British defence analyst.
He sad: 'The Kosovo War offered the Chinese a great opportunity to collect raw data on the performance of the best and most advanced U.S. weapons.'
Alexander Neill, head of the Asia security programme at the Royal United Services Institute in Britain, said: 'It's very likely that they shared the technology they recovered from the F-117, and it's very plausible that parts of the F-117 got to China.'
The arrival of J-20 has made the Chinese the third nation after the U.S. and Russia to develop and test-fly a full-sized stealth fighter aircraft. (ANI)