Chinese cyber spies have reportedly obtained top-secret information on major weapons systems in the US, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The Washington Post says a confidential report prepared for the Pentagon reveals the designs for more than two dozen weapons systems were compromised.
They include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which Australia is buying from the US, the Osprey aircraft, and a new US Navy combat ship, according to the Post.
The Post has also cited the advanced Patriot missile system, the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile defence system and the Black Hawk helicopter as being among the systems hacked.
It is not clear when the hacking occurred.
The Post says the breaches were part of a broad Chinese campaign of espionage against US defence contractors and government agencies.
If the reports are true, there are serious implications.
The Chinese military would have an advantage against those weapons in the field by being able to work out ways of disrupting, corrupting or diverting them.