China Prepares To Dominate South Pacific With Week Of Electronic Warfare Drills

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While the Trump administration unveiling another round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion – for which China’s Commerce Ministry is planning “countermeasures,” Beijing quietly began conducting military drills at five bases for electronic warfare, cybersecurity, reconnaissance and tactical strikes at five training bases, reports the South China Morning Post.

Over 50 combat units consisting of around 2,100 officers are taking part in the war games, which includes airborne troops, special forces and electronic warfare experts from the Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western and Central command theatres, according to official accounts over social media. Continue reading

Start your engines … is China getting ready to mass-produce hypersonic vehicles?

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A screen capture from a video of a hypersonic vehicle using the combined cycle engine under development at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Source: CCTV

 

Plans are on the drawing board in China for an engine plant that could power low-cost planes or spacecraft capable of travelling five times faster than the speed of sound

China is drawing up plans for an aerospace engine plant that would pave the way for the mass production of “hypersonic” planes or spacecraft capable of travelling at more than five times the speed of sound, boosting the country’s competitiveness in defence, space, business and other sectors, according to scientists familiar with the project.

The plant that would be built in Hefei, in China’s eastern Anhui province, could give the country an edge over the United States and Russia in the race to achieve large-scale applications of hypersonic technology, the scientists said.

Hefei deputy mayor Wang Wensong led a delegation to the Institute of Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing last month to discuss the project’s roll-out, according to a statement on the institute’s website.  Continue reading

China tests new spy drones in near space ‘death zone’

China launches a drone into near space – at an altitude of 25km. Photo: Yang Yanchu, Academy of Optoelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

 

High-altitude unmanned vehicles tasked with military intelligence gathering can fit inside a shoebox and cost just a few hundred yuan

High-altitude spy drones could help China dominate “near space” – a region of the Earth’s atmosphere that is at the heart of a modern-day space race.

Near space, which begins at about 20km above sea level, has until now been regarded a “death zone” for drones – thin air at this altitude makes it hard to generate lift, while extremely low temperatures mean electronic components like batteries are prone to fail.

However, a new type of Chinese-developed drone that is undergoing testing appears to have overcome such difficulties, marking a significant step towards China’s ambitions of exploiting near space for purposes of military intelligence.

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China Prepares for Anti-Satellite Missile Test

DN-3 test contrails

DN-3 missile spotted preparing for launch

China is preparing to conduct a flight test of a new missile capable of destroying satellites in space, one of Beijing’s most potent asymmetric warfare weapons.

Test preparations for the Dong Neng-3 anti-satellite missile were detected at a military facility in central China, according to Pentagon officials familiar with reports of the impending test. Continue reading

Is China’s latest space mission a step towards PLA tracking of nuclear submarines?

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The cold atomic clock that has been placed into orbit aboard the Tiangong-2 space laboratory. Photo: Chinese Academy of Sciences

 

Chinese scientists are working on a space-based device that could track gravitational ripples produced by submerged submarines

Chinese astronauts have played many roles in space, including teacher, mechanic and tourist.

But all the science classes, repair missions and spacewalk flag-waving have tended to obscure the fact that they are, first and foremost, members of the People’s Liberation Army.

China’s manned space programme has so far given its astronauts few opportunities to fulfil [sic] military roles, but that will all change when its space station is completed in the next six years.

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China’s successful new rocket launch signals breakthroughs in nation’s space weaponry: military experts

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A Long March 7 rocket, China’s new model carrier rocket, blasts off in Hainan province on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

It was just one launch, but the successful maiden flight of a new-generation carrier rocket on Saturday pointed to a multitude of breakthroughs in Chinese space weaponry, according to military experts.

The Long March-7 lifted off from Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in the mainland’s southern-most Hainan province, carrying 13.5 tonnes of cargo – 90 per cent of which was taken up by the rocket’s special non-toxic fuel designed for multiple launch vehicles, plus wind-resistance devices, a re-entry capsule, a number of small satellites and other equipment.

For Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong, there were telling details in the Xinhua photos taken of the bullet-shaped re-entry module soon after it landed in the Badain Jaran Desert, in Inner Mongolia.

“The so-called re-entry capsule looks similar to China’s hypersonic glide vehicle DF-ZF,” Wong said. Continue reading

China Tests its Largest Airship

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This concept art shows China’s 18,000 cubic meter Yuanmeng airship 20km above the ground (and for some reason, off the coast of the Mid Atlantic U.S.). One of the highest flying airships, the Yuanmeng can provide wide area surveillance and communications capability.

 

On October 13, 2015, China started the 24 hour test flight of its largest airship yet in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. The Yuanmeng has a volume of 18,000 cubic meters, length of 75 meters and 22 meters height. It will fly to 20,000 meters to test its control systems and near space flight performance. With solar panels installed on its top, the Yuanmeng will be one of the largest solar powered airships in existence, using solar power to drive its rotors will save additional weight in order to increase payload. Solar power also gives it a total flight endurance of six months. The Yuanmeng’s 5-7 ton payload of data relays, datalinks, cameras and other sensors would also be powered by the sun. Continue reading

Taiwan defense ministry assesses chance of PLA invasion

In its 2015 report on China’s military power, the ministry assessed that China might invade Taiwan in some critical situations, which could include a declaration of formal independence or moves by the country toward de jure independence. Other scenarios also include massive civil unrest, Taiwan obtaining nuclear weapons, or foreign troops being deployed in Taiwan. Continue reading

Satellite Imagery: China Staging Mock Invasion of Taiwan?

China Develops Fourth-Generation Nuclear Sub

China completed the development of its fourth-generation nuclear submarine, media reports said late last week. At a recent meeting in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, Tan Zuojun, vice governor of Liaoning Province and former general manager of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, said that development of China’s fourth-generation nuclear submarines and other high-tech weapons had been completed. Continue reading

PLA holds 3-month long exercises

The People’s Liberation Army launched large-scale exercises that will last for three months and involve multiple branches and military regions on Friday, reports our Chinese-language sister newspaper Want Daily.

The move is a response to the joint military exercise held by the United States, India and Japan off Japan’s southern coast from July 25 to 30, according to Agence France-Presse. Continue reading