Chinese TV tries to pass ‘Top Gun’ footage off as real drill?

The newly unveiled J-20 stealth fighter has sparked fears that China is closing the technological gap with the United States. New footage, however, suggests they are firmly stuck in the 1980s.

China Central Television (CCTV) recently aired footage of a J-10 fighter (a predecessor to the J-20) allegedly destroying another aircraft during a training flight. But many viewers noticed something fishy — the images seemed eerily familiar.

Closer inspection revealed an uncanny similarity to a scene from the film "Top Gun," the 1986 Tom Cruise blockbuster.

See for yourself in The Wall Street Journal video below or check out a frame by frame comparison here.

The footage was removed from CCTV's website as news of the alleged fraud spread online.

The news comes amid debate over the future of Canada's own air force. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives recently launched a campaign to defend the multibillion-dollar purchase of F-35 joint strike fighter jets, which come equipped with stealth technology.

The F-35 fighter has become the most-expensive weapons program in history, prompting some to describe it as a "white elephant." Competition from China continues to be one of the primary arguments for development of the F-35, so perhaps this week's gaffe will prompt analysts to re-evaluate the magnitude of the threat.