A frightening new report shows the extent to which the Chinese have compromised our country’s most advanced weapons systems during their ongoing cyber espionage attacks against the U.S.
The Washington Post obtained a confidential portion of the Defense Department’s Defense Science Board report showing that “Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships.”
Some of these systems, the Post reported, include:
[T]he advanced Patriot missile system, known as PAC-3; an Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD; and the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.
Also identified in the report are vital combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, which is designed to patrol waters close to shore.
Also on the list is the most expensive weapons system ever built — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is on track to cost about $1.4 trillion.
While the DOD report didn’t exactly say the Chinese were stealing this information, top military officials and advisors are well aware of the “rampant cybertheft” attacks by the Chinese, the article said.
“That’s staggering,” Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, told the Post. “These are all very critical weapons systems, critical to our national security. When I hear this in totality, it’s breathtaking.”
The Obama administration has been vocal about the cyber espionage attacks coming from China, but more will have to be done to protect the intellectual property and security secrets of the U.S. as China looks to build and expand its own military and weapons systems.