Space to be the next frontier for China’s air force

Not only was this China’s fifth-generation fighter, but China’s fifth-generation fighter that is equal in technology and capability with its American counterpart. The sixth-generation will have surpassed American prowess — while America is suicidally inflicting itself with budget cuts, mothballing and technical problems of its latest generation.

What’s more, it makes you wonder what China’s doing under the radar with such a large ownership share of rare earths. It’s within the realm of possibility that the PLA could in the future begin to crank these (and future generation fighters) out like Twinkies, en masse.

When the wraps came off the J-31 stealth fighter at the Zhuhai air show yesterday, there was double cause for celebration for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. It not only marked the public debut of the country’s the fifth-generation stealth fighter, it represented the progress China has made in the 65 years since its air force first got off the ground.

The J-31 is just one of a series of fighter jets to roll off mainland military production lines in recent years. Despite the advances there remains one gaping hole in China’s winged military industrial complex – one that could stop it from realising the next mission set for it by the highest echelons of power.

Whatever their individual missions, the various jets fighters and aerial drones are building blocks for China’s aim to push the next frontier – space. Continue reading

UAVs, Stealth, Carriers, Amphibs: DoD Report Details China’s Weapons

WASHINGTON: The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.”

China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a special section headlined  ”Special Topic: Reconnaissance Satellites” in the annual Pentagon report to Congress about China’s military capabilities and intentions. (Note: that includes manned spacecraft and most of the satellites mentioned are weather, agriculture and related satellites — not advanced spy satellites.)

In another “special section,” this one about low observable technology, the Pentagon report lists weapons “demonstrated” last year: Continue reading