China, Thailand Decide to Conduct First Joint Aerial Drills in November

J-11 fighter jet

 

The drills are expected to deepen military cooperation between the air forces of the two countries, as well as strengthen logistical communications and mutual trust within the two armies.

 China and Thailand will conduct joint air force exercises for the first time in November, China’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement Wednesday.

“The Air Forces of China and Thailand will hold first joint exercises Falcon Strike-2015 on November 12-30,” the ministry stated on its website.

The exercises will be held at the Korat Air Base in Thailand.The exercises are intended to deepen military cooperation between the air forces of the two countries, as well as strengthen logistical communications and mutual trust within the two armies, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry.

The two countries agreed to strengthen military ties in September.

Thai Minister of Defense Prawit Wongsuwon said on September 4 that his country attaches great importance to the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

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Saudi Arabia Eyes Russian S-400 Missile Defense Systems – Rostec Head

An S-400 Triumph / SA-21 Growler medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile system

 

According to the head of Russia’s state technologies corporation Rostec, Saudi Arabia is interested in acquiring Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems.

DUBAI. Saudi Arabia is interested in acquiring Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems, but so far only China has signed a contract for their deliveries, the head of Russia’s state technologies corporation Rostec said Monday.“There are many who want this, including Saudi Arabia, but so far no one has signed a contract except China,” Sergei Chemezev said at the Dubai Airshow-2015.

Russia plans supplies of rocket engines to China — deputy PM

© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Fadeichev

HARBIN /China/, October 12. /TASS/. Russia will prepare documents on rocket engines supplies to China by the visit of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, due in December, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at the second Russia-China EXPO on Monday.

“As for the space sphere, we have first of all two projects, on which we hope to draft agreements by Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to China in mid-December,” he said. “Those will be agreements on supplies of Russian rocket engines and on reverse supplies of microelectronics from China, which we need, including for the space apparatuses.”

EXPO’s organising committee said earlier “the total number of participants will be about 10,000 people, among them about 4,000 from Russia. They represent 103 countries and regions. This figure includes 129 government, trade, economic and diplomatic delegations from 41 countries and regions across the globe.”

The second China-Russia Expo will be held in Harbin between October 12 and 16. The Russian delegation will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. The exhibition will be attended by representatives of Russia’s regions that are actively developing economic ties with China.

China Reveals Air-to-Air Missile for Its Fifth-Generation Fighter Jet

The PL-10 could be used on fighters like the J-11, or the J-20 pictured.

 

Rumors about China’s latest PL-10 short-range air-to-air missile have been circling for the last two years. Speaking during a Chinese television interview, the missile’s chief designer revealed that the missile is nearly complete, and offered new key details.

Designed by the Luoyang Electro-Optical Research Institute (LEOC), images of the fifth-generation PL-10 first surfaced in 2013. Carried onboard the J-20 fighter, the missiles have also been seen on the J-11, a copy of the Russian Su-27.

Based purely on those photos, experts were able to confirm that the PL-10 utilizes thrust vectoring. Its large fins also likely give the missile high rates of maneuverability, and it may feature a helmet-mounted display sighting system.

Speaking on a Chinese television broadcast last month, Liang Xiaogeng was able to provide more concrete details.

Weighing in at nearly 200 pounds, the 10-foot PL-10 features “world-class” capabilities. After being in development for the past seven years, the missile has a range of 12 miles.

According to Liang, the missile also includes “multi-element imaging infrared seeker with anti-jamming capabilities” and off-boresight attacks.

So far, the PL-10 has already been successfully test-fired 30 times.

This isn’t Liang’s first rodeo. He’s also worked on LEOC’s PL-9C, an infrared/helmet-sighted air-to-air missile, and served as chief designer for the medium-range PL-12.

Liang’s interview came only days before the September 3 military parade in Beijing highlighted the Chinese military’s latest developments. With over 500 units of military hardware and 200 aircraft, the event showed off a number of previously classified ballistic and cruise missiles.

“Much of the weaponry on display – all of it said to be in service in the People’s Liberation Army – will be new, the product of a military modernization drive aimed at ensuring that China can never again be attacked with impunity or overrun by foreign invaders,” retired US Ambassador Chas W. Freeman told Sputnik.

The advanced PL-10s, equipped onboard the maneuverable J-11s, could be a highly effective combination.

Sukhoi PAK FA versus Chengdu J-20: Which Fighter Has the Bigger Punch?

A T-50 fighter performs demonstration flight during the International Aerospace Salon (MAKS 2015) in Zhukovsky near Moscow

 

The US magazine The National Interest, which takes much interest in comparing countries’ military hardware, has chosen a new pair of war machines to compare: Russia’s Sukhoi PAK-FA and China’s Chengdu J-20.

Though both aircraft are positioned as air superiority fighters, the magazine’s defense analyst doubts that the J-20 could be called as such.

“Overall, the J-20 could be the more useful machine if it was used as a strike aircraft,” the article says.

Chengdu J-20 fighter
Chengdu J-20 fighter

The analysis goes further, that if Russia was predicting for whatever reason in a conflict with China, the war would most likely take place on Russia’s territory rather than in China, specifically in Russia’s Far East.

Test flight of T-50, fifth generation fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi OKB
Test flight of T-50, fifth generation fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi OKB

“Range will be an important factor. While there is no specific information available about the range performance of either the J-20 or PAK-FA, given the size of the Chinese aircraft, one suspects it has longer legs. It probably also has a much greater payload.”

The Sukhoi PAK FA, also known as the T-50, had originally listed a maximum speed of 1,520 mph (2,446 kmph),  or March 2.35, which was then reduced to March 2.1, and, ultimately, to March 2 (1,330 mph, or 2,140 kmph at sea level). Its cruising speed would be 1,120 mph (1,802 kmph).

A PAK FA T-50 fighter jet
A PAK FA T-50 fighter jet

Its listed ferry range is 3,400 miles (5,471kmph), and it has an operational service ceiling of 65,000 feet (19,812 meters).

According to the data available on the J-20, it can climb at a rate of 304m/s. Its maximum speed is 2,100km/h. The range and service ceiling are 3,400km and 18,000m respectively.

These metrics favor Russia’s fighter.

Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA
Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA

While both are positioned as stealth planes, “it’s hard to say what would happen if the two were to meet head on in an aerial battle,” The National Interest states. “There has never been an instance where two stealth aircraft have met in an air-to-air encounter. “

The Chinese Stealth Fighter, Chengdu J-20
The Chinese Stealth Fighter, Chengdu J-20

“If the J-20 and PAK-FA prove to be genuinely stealthy, an aerial engagement might devolve into a within visual range dogfight.”

In such case, it says, “the J-20, which is powered by engines intended for the Sukhoi Su-27, is at a huge disadvantage”.

“Compared to the PAK-FA, the J-20 is underpowered and wouldn’t have the energy addition to keep up. Moreover, the PAK-FA has three-dimensional thrust vectoring for outstanding low speed handling. That means the Russian aircraft probably has the edge in turn rate, turn radius and high angle of attack performance.”“But if both sides have high off-boresight missiles and helmet-mounted cueing systems, with a little luck, the J-20 might get a lucky shot—however, the PAK-FA probably still has the edge.”

China Reveals Fourth-Generation Combat Stealth Helicopter in Development

WZ-10 helicopter

 

Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) has confirmed it has started the development of a fourth-generation attack helicopter with “stealth capability”; it will “feature supreme maneuverability in complicated environments, outstanding survivability and joint operational ability” and is set to enter the service by 2020.

The state-owned defense contractor has disclosed the information in a media brochure distributed to domestic journalists taking part in the Third China Helicopter Expo, which opened on Wednesday in Tianjin, according to the country’s China Daily newspaper.

The company has not revealed any further details. However, the aircraft is supposed to have “stealth capability and will reshape the combat patterns of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) ground force, the newspaper quotes Lin Zuoming, AVIC’s chairman, on the sidelines of the expo.

Harbin Z-19 at the China Helicopter Exposition
Harbin Z-19 at the China Helicopter Exposition

“It is a trend that the ground force will become increasingly dependent on helicopters because they have better strike capability and mobility than armored vehicles, and can transport supplies to frontier troops in a timely manner,” he reportedly said.

The new helicopter will also feature supreme maneuverability in complicated environments, outstanding survivability and joint operational ability, according to Wu Ximing, chief helicopter designer at the state-owned defense contractor.

AVIC is also currently working on a medium-lift utility helicopter, which made its debut flight in December 2013.

Z-9WA helicopter
Z-9WA helicopter

Called by aviation observers the Z-20, the utility helicopter is supposed to ease a longtime shortage of such aircraft in the Chinese ground force and Navy.

Chinese designers are also developing ultrafast helicopters that can achieve a speed of 700 km/h, according to AVIC.

China now has the second-generation WZ-9, and third-generation WZ-10 and WZ-19, in its combat helicopter fleet. Their major tasks are anti-tank warfare and air support missions for infantry troops, as well as air-to-air combat.

Sino-Russian Cooperation Helps Advance China’s Naval Power

From left: The destroyers Shenyang and Taizhou that have arrived in Vladivostok together with five other Chinese warships for the second stage of the Naval Cooperation 2015 exercise

 

Russian military technology has considerably added to the development of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) surface warfare capabilities – including long-range precision strikes, publication The Diplomat wrote.

Chinese naval vessels are becoming more capable of defending themselves against US air strikes and long-range missile attacks, according to a new report published by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), The Diplomat reported.

The Russian-made and Russian-derived air defense technologies now allow PLAN surface warfare ships to get out from underneath the PLA’s land-based air-defense umbrella and to progressively operate further away from Chinese shores.

In addition, new Chinese/Russian-derived ASCM systems along with long-range sensors can now intimidate medium-sized naval US surface ships and even strike US military installations as far as Guam and Okinawa.

“While China has been increasingly manufacturing many of its own weapon systems domestically, real questions remain about the level of innovation in China’s defense industry. Often what is described as ‘innovative’ by the Chinese is actually a relatively incremental improvement on foreign (and in many cases Russian) technology,” the report published by CSIS explains.

Although China has shown growing independence from Russia in the development of cruise missiles, the most advanced ASCM missiles in the Chinese Navy’s arsenal are still Russian-made or Russian-derived.

Examples are the SS-N-22 Sunburn, the SS-N-27B Klub (Sizzler), the Kh-31 Krypton, the Kh-59MK Kingbolt, the YJ-12, and the YJ-18 as well as the CX-1. “Russian ASCMs also exhibit superior speed and penetrating capability when compared with their Chinese counterparts,” according to the study.According to CSIS, other Russian-made or Russian-derived surface surveillance/tracking, air surveillance, air defense, and fire control systems include the SA-N-7 Gadfly, the SA-N-12 Shtil (Grizzly), the SA-N-20 Fort, the HHQ-9, the HHQ-16, the Top Plate (Fregat MAE-3), the Front Dome (Orekh) and the Tomb Stone.

However, China is closing the gap with Russia in advanced radar technology. New radar systems, such as the Type 346 Dragon Eye installed on the Luyang I– and II–class destroyers, and the Type 382 phased-array radar system installed on the Jiangkai II frigate, are quite advanced in comparison with Russian radar systems.

While China is rapidly catching up with Russian military technology, there are still many areas where Beijing could benefit from future Sino-Russian technology cooperation, particularly in the field of anti-submarine warfare (ASW).