J-10A armed with bombs, rocket pods, air-to-air missiles


A J-10A from the Chengdu military region armed with two PL-8Bs, four PL-12s, two rocket pods and 250kg bombs.

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China’s national security law: New legislation ‘will cover space, the deep sea, polar regions’


China will add its assets and activities in space, the deep sea and polar regions to its pending national security law, state media has said – the latest changes to the sweeping and controversial draft legislation.




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China may be trying to hide its submarines in the South China Sea


For months, China’s visible construction of artificial islands and military facilities in the South China Sea has alarmed U.S. officials and many of China’s neighbors.

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The Russian Plane China Needs to Rule the South China Sea


Zachary Keck

Security, Asia

The Su-35 would greatly enhance China’s ability to project power in the South China Sea.

Russia appears intent on selling China its most advanced fighter jet by the end of the year, a move that will greatly enhance Beijing’s ability to project military power in the South China Sea.

Speaking to reporters at the Paris Air Show this week, Yuri Slyusar, chairman of United Aircraft Corp, a Russian civilian and military jet manufacturer, said his company is aiming to ink a deal with China to sell Beijing 24 Su-35 fighter jets.

“Our position is that we still believe that we will sign the contract to sell 24 aircraft this year,” Yuri said, according to multiple Western defense news outlets. He added that the decision would have to be approved by the “federal service on military cooperation.”

China and Russia have been in negotiations for years over the potential sale of the Su-35, which Moscow refers to as a 4++ generation multi-role fighter jet. The talks have bogged down over Russia’s fears that China will reverse engineer the plane in order to produce a domestically-built version, something that China has done with previous Russian aircraft like the Su-27.

There have also been reports that Moscow is concerned Beijing only wants to buy a small number of Su-35s in order to reverse engineer the jet’s NIIP Irbis-E passive electronically scanned array radar and 117S engine, which China could then use on domestically-produced planes.

As such, Russia has long held that China must purchase a large batch of the planes in any initial sale, so Moscow can receive enough financial compensation to make the deal worthwhile even if China steals the jet or its technology.

However, last year, as tensions between Russia and the West increased over Ukraine, Moscow softened its position. In November 2014, IHS Jane’s reported, citing Russian defense industry sources, that Moscow was only asking Beijing to purchase 24 Su-35s, not the 48 jets it had previously demanded.

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Russia to Ink Deal to Supply China with 24 Su-35 Fighter Jets


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PARIS — Russian aerospace giant United Aircraft Corp. plans to ink a deal this year to supply the Chinese military with two dozen Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter jets, an official said.

When asked for the status of the talks between the two countries on the sale, Yuri Slyusar, the head of the Moscow-maker of civilian and military aircraft confirmed the pending agreement this week at the Paris Air Show, held outside the city at the historic Le Bourget airfield. Sukhoi is a subsidiary of United Aircraft.

“The question should go to the federal service on military cooperation, not us,” he said during a briefing with reporters. “Our position is that we still believe that we will sign the contract to sell 24 aircraft this year.”

China recently conducted the first test flight of the J-11D, an upgraded version of the J-11B that’s based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-27. But the People’s Liberation Army Air Force still wants the twin-engine Su-35, reportedly to go up against Japan’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and India’s Su-30MKO and T-50 aircraft.

In information distributed at the show, United Aircraft said the Su-35 “4++” generation fighter is one of the company’s “top priority programs.”

Recent flight and weapons testing showed the Su-35 not only meets specifications, but also performs better than other fourth-generation fighters, including the U.S.-made F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft — even the new F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter, according to a fact-sheet. “Thus, it is a potent rival to the F-22A aircraft,” it states.

The Su-35 is being outfitted with new engines, avionics and other systems from Russia’s own fifth-generation fighter program, the T-50 PAK-FA.

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China’s Master Plan to Crush Japan in Battle


Kyle Mizokami

Security, Asia

Here’s how a Chinese war with Japan would unfold…

Recent tension between the China and Japan in the East China Sea has raised the possibility of armed conflict the two countries. The two historical antagonists have not fought since 1945, in part because China has been unable to project power beyond its borders.

Two decades of double digit defense budget increases for the People’s Liberation Army have sharply changed that. China now has more ships and planes than Japan, and appears to have a large, modern force in mind to challenge U.S. forces in the Western Pacific.

Although unlikely, the possibility of the second and third largest economies in the world slugging it out is a fearsome prospect. Even more so is the likelihood that the United States would be drawn into the conflict.

The decision to go to war

There are several reasons why China and Japan might go to war. A minor incident over the East China Sea might spiral out of control. China might decide to settle old scores, such as avenging its loss in the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War and losses during World War II. The Communist Party, facing domestic tensions, might start a war to rally the country.

In any event, in our scenario China has decided it is time to settle the Japan issue. The Party orders the People’s Liberation Army to inflict a humiliating blow on Japan that will drive it into a position of neutrality. Furthermore, a victory would drive a wedge between the United States and Japan, ending the alliance and driving American forces back to Guam.

Plan of attack

Ironically, China has not seriously prepared for war with Japan. However China has built up the capability to conduct an air and naval blockade of Taiwan, seeking to “degrade Taiwan’s defenses, neutralize Taiwan’s leadership, or break the public’s will to fight.” As the PLA’s abilities increase, these plans can scale towards larger, more distant country—like Japan.

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China’s latest hypersonic vehicle test seen as ‘nuclear deterrent’ amid US interference


The defence ministry on Friday confirmed it had tested a supersonic nuclear delivery vehicle in a move the United States has called an “extreme manoeuvre” amid tensions in the South China Sea.

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China’s lone aircraft carrier conducts drills as sea disputes fester


China’s sole aircraft carrier conducted exercises on Friday, the navy said without specifying its location, amid escalating disputes over maritime territory with some of China’s Asian neighbours.

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China’s YJ-18 Supersonic Anti-Ship Cruise Missile: America’s Nightmare?


Lyle J. Goldstein

Security, Asia

A new challenge emerges for the U.S. Navy. TNI presents one of the first in-depth looks at this deadly weapon.

Entering the Second World War, the United States dramatically underestimated the effectiveness of certain Japanese naval systems and operations.  The tendency to look askance at Japanese naval prowess during the interwar period obviously impacted the failure to anticipate the Pearl Harbor attack.  But it is less widely understood that U.S. intelligence similarly underestimated the strength of Japan’s primary naval fighter aircraft (the Zero), the dramatic effectiveness of its long-range torpedoes, nor its dedication to mastering difficult, but essential operations such as night combat.  Remarkably, these problems in assessment occurred despite a plethora of openly available information regarding Japanese naval development during that time.

There are many reasons, of course, that contemporary China’s maritime ascendancy is starkly different from that of Imperial Japan almost a century ago.  In particular, there is hardly a shred of evidence (reef reclamation included) to suggest that Beijing is inclined to undertake a rampage of conquest similar to Japan’s effort to bring the whole of the Asia-Pacific to heel from 1931 to 1942.  Still, the complex maritime disputes in the Western Pacific require that American strategists keep a close eye on the evolving military balance.  In that spirit, this installment of the Dragon Eye series turns once again to focus a bright light on one of the newest elements of China’s missile arsenal: the YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM).

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3 Lethal Russian Weapons of War China Needs to Buy


Kyle Mizokami

Security, Asia

China’s defense industry has come a long way, but it could still use a little help from its friend.

Times have changed. Russia, China’s exclusive arms supplier for more than twenty years, is now rumored to be interested in Chinese arms. The visitation of a Chinese naval task force to the Black Sea, including a modern Type 054A frigate, has sparked rumors Russia may buy a batch of the frigates to stave off a ship shortfall.

Such a sale, even if it does come off, may turn out to be a fluke of history. For all of China’s extensive efforts to build an all-encompassing domestic arms industry, there are still blind spots in her weapons production capabilities.

Mother Russia’s industry and design bureaus still crank out plenty of weapons China desires. From tanks to submarines, Russia is still a leader in weapons technology… and still the only one that will sell to China.

The sale of Russian weapons to China has always been a win-win for the two countries. China receives some of the newest and most advanced weapons systems in the world, without the cost and hassle of research and development. Russia in turn gets much-needed hard currency. As long as Russia has something to sell, this relationship won’t change any time soon.

Here’s three weapons China should purchase from Russia.

Armata class of heavy combat vehicles

For perhaps the first time in history, China has secure land borders. Large ground forces, backed up by air and naval forces, effectively deter virtually every other state in the world from picking a fight with the People’s Liberation Army.

Ironically, this has meant the PLA — compared to the other armed services — has benefitted the least from Chinese research and development. China’s main battle tank, the Type 99, is still a derivative of the old Soviet T-72 main battle tank, with a design that stretches back to the mid-1980s.

The adoption of the Armata family of heavy combat vehicles would transform the PLA. The T-14 Armata main battle tank is a clean break from the T-72/80/90 series of main battle tanks, using a new, longer hull. Incorporating a 125-millimeter main gun and remotely operated 7.62-millimeter machine gun, the unmanned turret is controlled by a three man crew. Active and passive protection systems, as well as a new modular armor system, incorporates the latest Russian technology.

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