A week doesn’t go by in the news without a scary story about Chinese technology and some seemingly aggressive action enacted by the nation. As a rising power in a somewhat exotic location that many Americans and Westerners know little about, it’s natural for policy-makers and people to have concerns. A potential war could cost millions of lives, and it behoves people to be aware of the dangers. Yet there are differences between legitimate concern and fear-mongering. The scary story this week revolves around photos of the Dark Sword Fighter Jet. The specs do present a concern, but there are still numerous unanswered questions that undermine the wild claims of analysts.

Justin Bronk, an air combat expert at the Royal United Services Institute, analyzed the plane and suggests it is designed for fast, supersonic flight as opposed to maximized stealth and has F-22-style vertical stabilizers. “Something like this could transit to areas very fast, and, if produced in large numbers without having to train pilots, could at the very least soak up missiles from US fighters, and at the very best be an effective fighter by itself,” said Bronk. “If you can produce lots of them, quantity has a quality all its own.” This analysis sounds scary and has produced headlines about “nightmares,” but there are problems with it.

Bronk acknowledges that these planes would have little combat staying power. Instead, he believes they would essentially be there to absorb American missiles by relying on large numbers to make up for their high rate of disposal. But there is no word on how much these cost. Unmanned supersonic fighting planes sound as though they would be incredibly expensive, especially when they are designed to “soak up” American cruise missiles in large numbers.

When developing defenses against missiles and low-cost technology like drones, the Army specifically stated their goal was to avoid using multi-million-dollar cruise missiles. Americans have developed several short-range technologies such as rail guns, lasers, a close-in Phalanx weapon system, and re-purposed artillery. The lasers cost one dollar per shot to use, yet we are supposed to believe that the Chinese are developing expensive, unmanned, hyper-sonic planes to absorb the impact of comparatively lower cost missiles and drones.

Moreover, the Chinese are having a difficult time developing a jet engine that can maintain the sustained burn of jet fighters. Reports indicate that the troubles started in 2015 when the original engine exploded. As a result, China’s most advanced fighter still uses the engine used in China’s older fighters, such as the J-10 and J-11, which entered service almost 20 years ago. This produces many problems for the J-20 and will likely cause these unmanned jets to burn incredible amounts of fuel to reach hyper-sonic speeds, while limiting their top speed and payload. These only limit the utility and/or enhance the cost of the Dark Sword.

Americans should always be diligent and train as much as they can. But they should also critically assess enemy capabilities without giving in to fear-mongering. The new Dark Sword fighter has some great capabilities on paper. Combined with swarms of drones and hyper-sonic missiles, it represents an object of interest. But there are likely significant technical and strategic flaws that limit its use in the near future.