Military Part 5

J-20 and PAK FA: Chinese Air Force Wants Closer Ties With Russian Colleagues


  • Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Aviadarts competition in China on Sunday, Major-General Ma Xiaotian, commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, signaled his country’s readiness to comprehensively develop relations with the Russian Aerospace Forces. The Aviadarts contest is part of the 2017 International Army Games which are held between July 29 and August 12. Taking part in Aviadarts are crews of fighter jets, bombers, reconnaissance planes, fighter bombers and transport aircraft as well as attack and transport helicopters.

Come see China’s new hexacopters and self-detonating drones

July 31, 2017

  • As part of its celebration of the People’s Liberation Army, the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution in Beijing is showing off a range of exciting exhibitions, offering a peek into the PLA’s new self-propelled artillery, cruise missiles, ballistic missile launchers, and—perhaps most notably—tactical unmanned aerial systems. First up, there’s official confirmation that the CH-901 “kamikaze” loitering attack munitions (a short-ranged mini-drone) is in use by the PLA. First publicly displayed at the DSA 2016 arms fair, CH-901 is a 20-pound, fixed-wing drone with a flight speed range of 9 to 90 miles per hour. It’s got a 1.2-mile-range electro optical camera for reconnaissance (it can be recovered this way) and/or it can crash into enemy targets, detonating its warhead. It is comparable to the American Aerovironment “Switchblade” used by Special Operations. At the Military Museum, a 4X4 armored fighting vehicle (AFV) is armed with a pop-up hatch that carries eight CH-901 pneumatically launch tubes. The launcher also has four launch tubes for a smaller fixed-wing reconnaissance UAV. The CH-901 launcher is likely to be used by lighter units like Special Operations, or amphibious and airborne troops, which cannot always count on conventional air and artillery support.

Open For Business in Africa: China Launches First Naval Base in Djibouti


  • China celebrated the 90th birthday of its People’s Liberation Army on August 1 by officially introducing a naval logistics base in Djibouti, between the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

China Demonstrates New DF-31AG Intercontinental Ballistic Missile for First Time


  • China demonstrated at the military parade, marking the 90th anniversary of founding the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on Sunday its new DF-31AG intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, local media reported. DF-31AG is an intercontinental ballistic missile with a reported range of more than 10,000 kilometers (more than 6,200 miles).

China ready to strengthen defence cooperation with Kenya

Jul 28, 2017

  • China will work together with Kenyan defence forces and the defence ministry to develop cooperation in defence in a deep way, defence attaché at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya Qiu Yi said on Thursday. The defence attache made the remarks during an event to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). He said that military cooperation remains a critical component of the blossoming Sino-Kenya friendship.

Greek and Chinese Navy Conduct Joint Training Exercise in Saronic Gulf

Jul 27, 2017

  • Hellenic Navy units and ships of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Naval Task Group (TG) 150 took part in a joint training exercise in the Saronic Gulf, concluding the Chinese task group’s visit to Greece, the Greek Navy announced on Thursday. Taking part in the exercise were the Hellenic Navy frigate “Navarinon” and its on-board helicopter (S70 Aegean Hawk), the missile boat “Troupakis” and an Unorthodox Warfare element, as well as the three war ships making up the TG 150. These included the Type 054A frigate PLANS Jingzhou (FFG-532), the Type 052C destroyer PLANS Changchun (DDG-150) and the Type 903A replenishment ship PLANS Chaohu (AOR-890).

Chinese Navy Expands Submarine Detection Testing in the South China Sea


  • The Chinese navy will conduct a massive experiment with underwater drones equipped with “real-time data transmission technology,” in hopes of building up Beijing’s capacity to detect hostile submarines in the South China Sea. Twelve undersea “gliders” positioned in undisclosed locations in the South China Sea will transmit data back to control centers, SCMP noted. The unmanned sea drones will cruise around for a month to gather data on water temperature, salinity, cleanliness, oxygen levels and sea current velocity, a Chinese Academy of Sciences official told the Post.

Chinese naval fleet arrives in Greece for friendly visit

July 24, 2017

  • A Chinese naval fleet arrived on Sunday at Piraeus port for a four-day friendly visit to Greece, conveying a message of friendship and cooperation. Missile destroyer Changchun, missile frigate Jingzhou and supply vessel Chaohu docked at Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, receiving a warm welcome by Greek and Chinese officials, and more than 1,000 Chinese living in Greece, as the Philharmonic band of the Municipality of Piraeus performed.

China’s Nuclear Bomber: Creating Credible ‘Triad’ and Boosting PLAAF Strategic Role


  • PLAAF Commander Ma Xiaotian foreshadowed this development in fall 2016 when he publicly confirmed China’s development of a “next-generation, long-range strike bomber” (China Daily, September 2, 2016). General Ma did not reveal any details related to the new strategic bomber, but subsequent Chinese commentary suggests it will be called the H-20, and that it will have both conventional and nuclear deterrence and strike missions. According to a February 2017 article that appeared in China Youth Daily and was published in English the next day on China Military Online, China’s new strategic bomber is likely to feature characteristics that include “good stealth performance,” very long range, a larger bomb load than China’s current bomber, the H-6K, nuclear and conventional strike capabilities, and “strong electronic combat capability” (China Military Online, February 17).Additionally, the H-20 should be “capable of large-capacity data fusion and transmission,” so that it will be able to “serve as a C4ISR node and interact with large sensor platforms like UAV, early warning aircraft and strategic reconnaissance aircraft to share information and target data.” Although the authors are unclear about many of the details, including the potential targets the new bomber might hold at risk, its range, and other requirements, they underscore the importance of it having nuclear and conventional strike capability. With respect to “nuclear-conventional integration,” the authors write, “The new-generation long-range bomber will have both nuclear and regular strike capability to hit the enemy’s key links and systemic weaknesses” (China Military Online, February 17). The authors of the China Youth Daily article do not specify what type or types of munitions the new bomber will carry. Nor do they say anything about the possibility of adding nuclear strike capabilities for the PLAAF’s H-6K bombers, which China used to conduct long-range patrols around Taiwan and in the South China Sea last year and are currently the PLAAF’s most advanced bombers. Of note, however, according to the May 2017 worldwide threat assessment the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency presented to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, China is pursuing not only air-launched cruise missiles for its aircraft but also “two, new air-launched ballistic missiles, one of which may include a nuclear payload.” [3]

New Study Warns Aircraft Carriers May Be Obsolete (Thanks to Russia and China)

July 14, 2017

  • Inexpensive Russian and Chinese weapons, such as cyberwar and antiship missiles, threaten the West’s reliance on expensive arms such as aircraft carriers. “China and Russia appear to have focused many (but not all) their efforts on being able to put at risk the key Western assets that are large, few in number and expensive,” reads a recent study by the Royal United Services Institute, a British military think tank.

China’s Military Enters Japan and Taiwan Air Zones, Says ‘Get Used to It’


  • Beijing fired back Friday against Japanese complaints regarding Chinese warplanes flying between two of its islands in the Asia Pacific, telling Tokyo that such aircraft may become a common sight. A fleet of six Chinese Xian-H6 twin-engine bombers flew Thursday between Japan’s Miyako Island and Okinawa Island in the Miyako Strait, sparking a response from the Japanese Defense Ministry, which called the incident “unusual.” While the ministry noted there was no breach of Japan’s sovereign air space, the proximity of the bombers prompted Japan to scramble its own fighters. The Chinese Defense Ministry dismissed the concerns of its Japanese counterpart, calling the actions of its aircraft “legal and legitimate,” and suggested that further maneuvers were in store, according to Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun,

Canadian warships shadowed by Chinese navy in South China Sea

July 14, 2017

  • ABOARD HMCS WINNIPEG IN THE EAST CHINA SEA — For the first time that Canadian sailors can remember, Chinese warships have shadowed ships from the Royal Canadian Navy. “Whenever we are near an American ship the Chinese are there,” said the Winnipeg’s coxswain (or senior enlisted sailor), Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Sylvain Jacquemot. “There is not an American ship in the South China Sea that does not get shadowed by a Chinese ship.

Meet KJ-600, the aircraft that could help China’s navy rival America’s

July 12, 2017

  • China’s aircraft carriers are getting plenty of press lately. China’s shiny new carrier, Liaoning, visited Hong Kong last week, and the nation launched the Type 001A aircraft carrier in the spring. AEW&C aircraft like America’s E-2 Hawkeye are a essential for a fully capable carrier air wing. They provide the ability to detect incoming threats and manage complex operations. Without them, an air wing will remain comparatively limited in its capability to undertake complex operations. The challenge for China now is that its AEW&C aircraft are too heavy and slow to operate off of ski ramp-equipped carriers. It’s one big way China’s navy lags behind America’s.

China’s well-crafted counterspace strategy

July 10, 2017

  • China’s counterspace strategy is based on taking advantage of not only its own strengths but also the weaknesses of its potential adversaries. Such a strategy can reinforce the United States’ inertia in following essentially the same national security space strategy since the dawn of the space age that can only deal with traditional threats. Thereby, China can use a new threat to achieve its ultimate goal of deterring U.S. military intervention in the Asia-Pacific theater and can accomplish this without firing a shot.

China sends troops to open first overseas military base in Djibouti

July 11, 2017

  • Ships carrying personnel for China’s first overseas military base, in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, have set sail to begin setting up the facility, as China’s rapidly modernizing military extends its global reach. Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worry in India that it would become another of China’s “string of pearls” of military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

China’s warships shadow U.S. in South China Sea

July 10, 2017

  • Chinese naval vessels with missiles that outgun U.S. Navy ships have regularly followed American vessels in the South China Sea since October of 2015. Coupled with the militarization of islands in the region, this practice makes U.S. freedom of navigation operations increasingly dangerous. “Chinese warships now have supersonic long-range anti-ship cruise missiles such as the YJ-18 that can outrange U.S. antiship missiles,” writes Forbes. China has ratcheted up the pressure on American Pacific operations over the last few years, deploying aircraft and naval vessels to project power in the region.

China Explores Electromagnetic Carrier Launch System

July 6, 2017

  • A recently released photo on the Chinese Internet has furthered speculation that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has begun trials of an electromagnetic (EM) catapult launch system, known as electromagnetic aircraft launching system (EMALS) in the West. It was previously rumored that China had successfully constructed its first EMALS in November 2016, but there were no official reports or pictures at the time. The photo shows a prototype Shenyang J-15T “Flying Shark” with nose gear designed for catapult-assisted takeoff but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) operations. The nose gear also features a front and rear holding rod that is similar to the American EMALS launch rail. The J-15 airframe is derived from Russia’s Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-borne fighter.

Using buoys, China builds tsunami monitoring network in South China Sea

July 05, 2017

  • The Manila Trench is associated with frequent earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean. Because of this, China has deployed two sets of tsunami detection buoys along the Trench for the first time, marking the completion of the country’s tsunami monitoring buoys network in South China Sea, Science and Technology Daily reported on July 5. The buoys are equipped with new technology, which has significantly improved their accuracy. They can detect as little as 5 millimeters in sea level rise caused by tsunamis. Once there is a tsunami earthquake, the subtle fluctuations are detected and that data is sent via satellites to the South China Sea branch of the China’s State Oceanic Administration and the National Tsunami Early Warning Center.

The top engineer with the key to China’s dream of having the world’s most powerful navy

05 July, 2017

  • Top naval engineer Ma Weiming, who has led work on a hi-tech launch system for future Chinese aircraft carriers and a quieter propulsion system for China’s nuclear submarines, has been nominated for the People’s Liberation Army’s top military award. Dubbed the father of China’s electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS), Rear Admiral Ma describes himself as a “teacher without any dreams”. He is one of 17 nominees for 10 Order of August 1 awards to be presented by President Xi Jinping on August 1, the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Red Army, the PLA’s precursor.

Why Chinese submarines could soon be quieter than US ones

04 July, 2017

  • In a recent interview with China Central Television, Rear Admiral Ma Weiming, a leading Chinese naval engineer, showed a component of a new Integrated Electrical Propulsion System (IEPS) for naval warships in a laboratory. He said the system, which turns all the engine’s output into electricity, and a rim-driven pump-jet had been fitted to the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s newest nuclear submarines. “This is one of our work team’s first world-leading projects, which has been used on [China’s] next-generation nuclear submarines,” Ma said in May. “[Our technology] is now way ahead of the United States, which has also been developing similar technology.”