China’s Military part 6

China to Monitor South China Sea with Drones: China intends to monitor its disputed claims in the South China Sea with drones that are “especially stealthy,” reports IANS. The main reason behind this agenda is to keep tabs on exploitation of the oil and mineral rights in the region, along with monitoring possible military developments. The drones will be linked to the Chinese version of GPS. “Many of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea have much larger underwater portions than what is visible above water, making them harder to survey and map,” Li Yingcheng, general manager of China TopRS Technology Co. Ltd said. “In response to this challenge, China has designed drones to handle such complicated surveying, including the ZC-5B and Zc-10 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The ZC-5B has a maximum flight distance of 1,400 km, and can stay in the air for up to 30 consecutive hours,” Li was quoted as saying by Chinese media.

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Russia, China spend big on warplanes, spurring aerial arms race: For more than two decades, combat aircraft flown by the U.S. and its European allies have pretty much owned the sky. Now, Russia and China are spending lavishly on new weapons that could challenge that superiority, spurring a new arms race. “The most pressing challenge for the United States Air Force is the rise of peer competitors with advanced military capabilities rivaling our own,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told lawmakers in June, days before being confirmed in the job.

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Xi Jinping Reveals ‘USA Killer’ DF-41 ICBM will Become Operational Very Soon: Chinese president Xi Jinping let slip that China’s fearsome DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile — the world’s longest ranged ICBM — will be China’s Christmas gift to the USA. During a visit yesterday to the missile unit of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Forces (PLARF), Xi said the DF-41, which can reach out to 15,000 kilometers from China, “may be deployed this year.” The deployment of this missile much earlier than expected will place the entire continental United States within its range from mobile launchers fired in China. It will only take 30 minutes for the DF-41 flying at Mach 25 (31,000 km/h) and its nuclear warheads to reach the U.S. The DF-41 can carry from one to 10 nuclear warheads with yields ranging from 250 kilotons to one megaton. This missile is being called the “USA Killer” because it places all the U.S. at China’s mercy.

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China’s next stealth fighter the FC31 Gyrfalcon will continue to close the technology gap with the USA: China is working on a second prototype of its FC31 (aka J31) fighter. It is a smaller jet than the China’s J20. China should have 12 of the J20s built by 2017. The FC31 could begin deployment around 2022. The FC-31 Gyrfalcon is a twin-engine, mid-size fifth-generation jet fighter currently under development by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. New scaled models displayed at the Zhuhai Airshow revealed several planned differences from the first 31001 flying prototype. The differences include a stealthier cockpit, a next-generation helmet mounted sight, holographic cockpit displays, EOTS, aerodynamic revisions and more powerful engines. The 01 prototype powered by two indigenous WS-13E turbofan engines flew for the first time on July 1, 2016.

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China’s Shandong Aircraft Carrier will be Most Powerful PLAN Warship; will Probably have Lasers: China’s second aircraft carrier now building will become the most powerful warship in the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) because of its offensive airpower; the most sophisticated radar system in the fleet and laser weapons later on. The carrier “Shandong,” now known as “Type 002” is set for commissioning in 2020 after which is will become the flagship of the North Sea Fleet and the East Sea Fleet of the PLAN.

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The One Part of China’s Military That Everyone Forgets (At Their Peril): Of course, Beijing’s serious intention with respect to amphibious warfare was signaled clearly a decade ago when the Type 071 amphibious attack ship or landing platform/dock (LPD) was revealed. Now, China wields four of these 25,000 ton ships that each carries 500-800 hundred troops, as many as six medium helicopters, potentially more than 60 amphibious vehicles or up to four air-cushioned landing craft. The PLAN high command has demonstrated a certain confidence in the class by dispatching these ships “to the far seas,” including for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden as early as 2010. Insofar as this ship has been widely examined, we will focus on less widely discussed innovations in the force.

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China Will Use Steam Catapults on Shandong, its Second Aircraft Carrier: It’s now almost certain China’s second and third aircraft carriers will feature catapult-assisted take-offs but the type of catapult to be used — steam or electromagnetic — hasn’t been decided. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), however, seems to be leaning towards using steam catapults on Shandong, its second aircraft carrier. China now understands the main technologies of the steam-powered catapult, but what kind of catapult will be used on China’s second or third aircraft carrier isn’t clear, claims Li Jie, a leading researcher at the People’s Liberation Army Navy Naval Military Studies Research Institute.

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Army Warns that Future War with Russia or China Would Be ‘Extremely Lethal and Fast’: China is a growing threat as well, if not one that can project force globally yet. Together, these two powers are mustering conventionally massive militaries that are increasingly technological — and forcing the Pentagon to contemplate and prepare for “violence on the scale that the U.S. Army has not seen since Korea,” said Maj. Gen. William Hix, Anderson’s deputy. “A conventional conflict in the near future will be extremely lethal and fast. And we will not own the stopwatch.”

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China’s Largest Surface Warship Takes Shape: In the Jiangnan Changxing shipyards, one of China’s largest shipyards, the next generation of Chinese warships is taking shape. The first Type 055 destroyer began construction in 2015 and is expected to have a full displacement of over 14,000 tons. This would make it the largest non-capital surface warship built in Asia since the World War II era Imperial Japanese Tone class cruisers. The Type 055 will be launched in late 2017 or early 2018, making it not just one of the most powerful warships in Asia, but the world.New photos from the Chinese Internet show a number of interesting developments. The bow (forward) and stern (rear) sections of the Type 055 are already completed; construction begins by building sections of the hull, and then those sections are assembled, like Ikea furniture, in a drydock. The bow section shows a highly hydrodynamic hull, optimized for high speed performance, with stealth characteristics such as angular gunwales (the top edge of the hull sides) and an apparently enclosed deck. The stern, which will have the modules for the Type 055’s helicopter twin hangar attached later, has at least four portals for current and potential future sensors and weapons like towed array sonar, variable depth sonar, towed torpedo decoys and active torpedo defenses. This indicates the Type 055 will have a formidable organic anti-submarine capability, perhaps with historic Chinese vulnerabilities to enemy submarines designed in mind.

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Star Wars Reboot: US Sets Stage for Space-Based Arms Race With Russia, China: Russia and China will be able to incapacitate any American satellite in orbit by 2025, which is why Washington should use force to protect its orbital assets, according to US Air Force General Nina Armagno. In May 2016, the Washington Post quoted Pentagon officials as saying that Russia and China have been developing the ability to attack the United States in space.

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China to Start Construction on 1st Type 075 LHD Amphibious Assault Ship for PLAN Soon: China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) is said to have been awarded the contract and will therefore act as prime contractor. CSSC is one of the two largest shipbuilding conglomerates in China (the other being the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation – CSIC). CSSC is one of the top 10 defence groups in China, consists of various ship yards, equipment manufacturers, research institutes and shipbuilding related companies, some of the well known shipbuilders in China such as Jiangnan Shipyard and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding are currently owned by CSSC. The Type 075 LHD is expected to have a displacement of 36,000 tons. In comparison, a Mistral-class LHD displaces 21,000 tons full load, the Juan Carlos LHD 26,000 tons and the Wasp-class 40,500 tons. Type 075 LHD should be able to deploy and accomodate up to 30x helicopters (Z-8, Z-9, Z-18, Ka-28, Ka-31) with 6x helicopter spots on the flight deck and the main elevator located at the stern. For self protection, the LHD is set to be fitted with 2x H/PJ-11 eleven-barreled 30mm CIWS and 2x HQ-10 short range SAM launchers.

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Poly Technologies integrates coastal defence systems: China’s Poly Technologies has developed a complete coastal defence system that ties together a variety of command and control systems, sensors, land-based air defence and other weapon systems to engage off-shore surface targets at short-, medium- and long-ranges. The sensor elements can include radar, satellites, aircraft, electro-optical systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to provide real time target information as well as battle damage assessment. Air defence elements include short-range systems such as twin 35 mm towed anti-aircraft guns (AAG), the FN-16 man portable surface to-air missile (SAM) and the vehicle-mounted FB-6A, which features eight missiles in the ready-to-launch position.

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Chinese Coast Guard Ships Can Rapidly Convert into Navy Vessels: What makes this particular cutter somewhat remarkable is that it is confirmed to be an MLE version of the Type 054 frigate of the PLA Navy. That class of warship has earned high marks with naval analysts as it wields a potent array of weapons and sensors. According to conventional Western interpretations, the CCG has developed the requisite tonnage, range, communications and organization to show the flag, push around fishermen from neighboring countries, and to employ any and all means to intimidate maritime law enforcement (MLE) vessels from other states as well. Now, Beijing is set to further sharpen that spear. A new cutter, hull number 46301, will shortly be commissioned into the CCG. What makes this particular cutter somewhat remarkable is that it is confirmed to be an MLE version of the Type 054 frigate of the PLA Navy. That class of warship has earned high marks with naval analysts as it wields a potent array of weapons and sensors. Moreover, it has seemed to prove its reliability as the primary workhorse of the PLAN in its now two dozen forays to the Gulf of Aden on counter-piracy patrols [8].

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Zhuhai 2016: China unveils anti-ship missiles: China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASC) is offering the submarine-launched CM-708UNB Sea Eagle ASM. It provides not just People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) submarines, but now foreign buyers, with a stealthy capability to strike naval vessels and inshore targets within a 290km range. CASC is also offering the supersonic CM-302 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM), the export variant of the YJ-12. It is advertised as being able to hit both ships and inshore targets at a range of 290km. The missile approaches the target on an ‘ultra-low altitude, sea-skimming’ path, and it is ‘highly manoeuvrable’ in the terminal phase. It carries a 250kg warhead and has a ‘high hit probability of 0.9’.

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Russia and China are Developing Some Very Powerful Weapons That Can ‘Kill’ Satellites: In stark contrast, Russia and China now are actively developing ground-based, airborne and co-orbital ASATs. In May 2013, China launched a high altitude research rocket that reached Medium Earth Orbit, and demonstrated the means to attack satellites in Geosynchronous Orbit, thus bringing critical US communications and navigation satellites into range. Technologies like electronic warfare and microwave weapons open up the prospect of non-kinetic ASATs which can disable a target satellite by jamming or overloading its electronic systems, without physically destroying it.

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China Claims Its New Anti-Stealth Radars Can Detect the F-22: China showed off two anti-stealth radars at Zhuhai. The first, the JY-27A 3-D long-range surveillance/guidance radar, is a Very High Frequency (VHF) radar that, according to Shephard Media, is the Chinese military’s first active-phased array radar. VHF radars, with their longer wavelengths, are more likely to detect stealth aircraft, and it’s been known that China has been working on them for some time now. Phased-array radars, unlike traditional “dish” radars, are flat panels composed of hundreds of smaller transmit/receive panels. While traditional radars are like turning on a flashlight in a dark room—everyone can see where the beam of light is coming from—phased array radars are more difficult to detect. They’re also less susceptible to jamming.

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The new exoskeletons, tanks and ATVs that China will bring to a future battle: The Ground Gear of the Zhuhai Airshow: VT-5 light tank is one of the few dedicated post Cold War light tanks in the world and perhaps the most notable new military vehicle at Zhuhai 2016; The VT-5 is the export version of the new ZTQ light tank used by the PLA in mountainous areas like Tibet. Built by Norinco, the tank weighs between 33-36 tons (depending on adding additional protection like side armor), has a sophisticated digital fire and control system has a 105mm cannon suitable for dealing with most Cold War era main battle tanks. The VT-5 could be very popular with militaries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia looking for a modern light tank with a light operational footprint. The China South Industries CS/AA5 armored fighting vehicle (AFV) has an unmanned turret with a 40mm autocannon, which is larger than other Chinese autocannon. The 40mm autocannon, which uses telescoped ammunition to reduce cartridge volume in order shrink autocannon parts, has an armored piercing sabot and high explosive ammunition. The increase in Chinese AFV ammo (at least for export) follows a wider global trend of increasing ammunition size (see the US Stryker AFV’s upgunning to 30mm cannons) to deal with more lethal conventional threats.

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US panel on China concerned by Beijing’s growing military might, urges Congress to investigate: A US commission on bilateral relations with China has warned that the country’s fast-growing military may pose a threat to US security, while urging Congress to assess whether America’s involvement in the region diminishes its own military capabilities. “The military capabilities China is developing will expand or improve the ability of the People’s Liberation Army to conduct a range of externally focused operations [and] strengthen China’s traditional war-fighting capabilities against weaker neighbors. Given its enhanced strategic lift capability, strengthened employment of special operations forces, increasing capabilities of surface vessels and aircraft, and more frequent and sophisticated experience operating abroad, China may also be more inclined to use force to protect its interests. “China’s pursuit of expeditionary capabilities, coupled with the aggressive trends that have been displayed in both the East and South China seas, are compounding existing concerns about China’s rise among US allies and partners in the greater Asia,” states a lengthy annual report from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was submitted to the US Congress on Wednesday. After detailing the spheres in which China has been improving its capabilities, the report recommends that the Defense Department look more closely into the “gains and risks” to the US resulting from its participation in the fate of the region.

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China is testing a new long-range, air-to-air missile that could thwart U.S. plans for air warfare: In November 2016, a Chinese J-16 strike fighter test-fired a gigantic hypersonic missile, successfully destroying the target drone at a very long range. Looking at takeoff photos, we estimate the missile is about 28 percent of the length of the J-16, which measures 22 meters (about 72 feet). The puts the missile at about 19 feet, and roughly 13 inches in diameter. The missile appears to have four tailfins. Reports are that the size would put into the category of a very long range air to air missile (VLRAAM) with ranges exceeding 300 km (roughly 186 miles), likely max out between 250 and 310 miles. (As a point of comparison, the smaller 13.8-foot, 15-inch-diameter Russian R-37 missile has a 249-mile range).This is a big deal: this missile would easily outrange any American (or other NATO) air-to-air missile. Additionally, the VLRAAM’s powerful rocket engine will push it to Mach 6 speeds, which will increase the no escape zone (NEZ), that is the area where a target cannot outrun the missile, against even supersonic targets like stealth fighters.

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Chinese navy ships to be deployed at Gwadar: Pak navy official: China would deploy its naval ships along with Pakistan Navy to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port, a navy official said. The move would open up a new and cheaper cargo route for transporting oil to China as well as export of Chinese goods to the Middle East and Africa.

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China says to boost military ties with strategic Djibouti: China will boost military ties with Djibouti, strategically located in the Horn of Africa, state media quoted a senior Chinese army officer as saying during a visit to a country where China is building its first overseas naval base.

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Air Force: Hypersonic Missiles From China, Russia Pose Growing Danger to U.S.: The United States is vulnerable to future attack by hypersonic missiles from China and Russia and is falling behind in the technology race to develop both defensive and offensive high-speed maneuvering arms, according to a new Air Force study. “The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says. “These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defense constructs and weapon capabilities.” The unclassified summary of the report, "A Threat to America's Global Vigilance, Reach, and Power: High-Speed, Maneuvering Weapons," was produced by a blue-ribbon panel of experts for Air Force Studies Board at the National Academies of Science. The summary was made public earlier this month.

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The Chinese acoustics research that might help shield submarines from sonar: Chinese scientists are developing a technique they hope will be able to make submarines invisible to sonar detection under the sea. If successful, it would ultimately involve covering subs with special rings made of aluminium alloys. The researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan in Hubei province experimented with rings about 14 cm across and with periodically etched grooves. They found that sound waves were guided around the rings rather than bouncing back, which would allow them to be traced by sonar detectors.

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China Has Built the Biggest and Baddest Conventional Submarine in the World: In 2010, China’s first—and only, so far—Qing-class submarine sailed out to sea following nearly six years of construction. Displacing 6,628 tons submerged and measuring exactly the length of a football field at one hundred yards long (ninety-two meters), it is by most accounts the largest diesel submarine ever built. That China would even consider developing such a large diesel submarine is due to the advent of Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems, which encompass a variety of technologies that allow engines and generators onboard a submarine to operate while consuming little or no oxygen. AIP systems can be even quieter than the reactors onboard nuclear submarines, and can efficiently propel the ship electrically for weeks, albeit only at slower speeds.

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China installs weapons systems on artificial islands: U.S. think tank: China appears to have installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank reported, citing new satellite imagery. “Among other things, they would be the last line of defense against cruise missiles launched by the United States or others against these soon-to-be-operational air bases.” “They keep saying they are not militarizing, but they could deploy fighter jets and surface-to-air missiles tomorrow if they wanted to,” he said. “Now they have all the infrastructure in place for these interlocking rings of defense and power projection.”The report said the installations would likely back up a defensive umbrella provided by a future deployment of mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) platforms like the HQ-9 system deployed to Woody Island in the Paracel Islands, farther to the north in the South China Sea.

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Navy Needs More Ships to Counter China, Russia: The U.S. Navy needs a much larger fleet to defend America’s interests while countering China’s growing capabilities and a resurgent Russia, according to a new assessment released by the service. The Navy should have a fleet of 355 ships to counter potential adversaries of the United States, according to the 2016 Force Structure Assessment, a study begun in January to evaluate the long-term defense security requirements for future naval forces. “To continue to protect America and defend our strategic interests around the world, all while continuing the counter terrorism fight and appropriately competing with a growing China and resurgent Russia, our Navy must continue to grow,” Mabus said in a statement Friday. “All of the analysis done to date, inside and outside of the Navy, recognizes, as we have for nearly the last eight years, the need for a larger fleet.”

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the above cites:

  • Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein

  • Maj. Gen. William Hix

  • US Air Force General Nina Armagno

  • US-China Economic and Security Review Commission

  • Air Force Studies Board at the National Academies of Science

  • 2016 Force Structure Assessment

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