China Unveiling Next-Generation Stealth Bomber

To answer the question at the end of the article, and citing documented proof here, the Chinese are not catching up with the United States. China is now either on par or ahead of the United States in terms of military technology. The only factor not yet in play is deployment.

 

 

Earlier this month, the magazine cover for Chinese aerospace magazine Aviation Knowledge highlighted an artist’s rendition of the next-generation strategic stealth bomber Xian H-20, which Beijing is currently developing.

According to The Diplomat, a small number of English-language newspapers in the region have commented on this secret stealth bomber, “speculating whether its presence on the cover of Aviation Knowledge may indicate some subtle official Chinese military backing.” Development of the stealth bomber was officially confirmed in 2016, although limited details have been provided since. 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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US Needs 400 New Nuclear ICBMs to Deter ‘Crazy World’: General

 

NATIONAL Harbor, Md. — “We are in a crazy world” of proliferating nuclear threats that will persist for generations to come and require the U.S. to invest $80 billion to $100 billion in new ICBMs to deter adversaries, Air Force Gen. Robin Rand said Monday.

“There are bad characters around the world” who “need to know we’re ready,” Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said during a strategic deterrence panel at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber convention. Continue reading

US Air Force to deploy five Global Hawk UAVs to Japan

The USAF plans to deploy five units of the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV (seen here) to Japan from May to October 2017. (USAF)

 

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to deploy five Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and approximately 105 personnel, currently based at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, to Yokota Air Base in Japan from May to October 2017. Continue reading

First Iranian fighter jets over Syria alongside Russian bombers

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A series of videos apparently leaked by the Russian Defense Ministry reveal the presence of Iranian F-14 and MiG -29 fighters in Syrian skies for the first time. They were shown by “The Aviationist,” Italian magazine, escorting heavy Russian bombers, including the Tupolev TU-160, the heaviest, fastest and most destructive bomber ever built, on missions no more than 150 km from Israel’s northern border. Continue reading

US Air Force Will Soon Unveil Next Super Bomber to Replace Cold War Machines

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Washington:  The US Air Force is getting ready to announce the winner of a multibillion-dollar contract to build a new generation of long-distance bombers that will replace aging, Cold War machines.

Dubbed the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) program, the Air Force will in the coming weeks award the mega-contract to either Northrop Grumman or a team made up of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The program envisions the creation of between 80 and 100 strategic bombers to replace America’s fleet of B-52s and B-1s. Almost everything about it is classified, save for the cost of each plane, which was set at $550 million per unit in 2010 dollars. Continue reading

Newest U.S. Stealth Fighter ‘10 Years Behind’ Older Jets

‘New’ plane, old parts.

 

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America’s $400 billion, top-of-the-line aircraft can’t see the battlefield all that well. Which means it’s actually worse than its predecessors at fighting today’s wars.

When the Pentagon’s nearly $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter finally enters service next year after nearly two decades in development, it won’t be able to support troops on the ground the way older planes can today. Its sensors won’t be able to see the battlefield as well; and what video the F-35 does capture, it won’t be able to transmit to infantrymen in real time.

Versions of the new single-engine stealth fighter are set to replace almost every type of fighter in the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps inventory—including aircraft specifically designed to support ground troops like the A-10 Warthog. That will leave troops in a lurch when the F-35 eventually becomes the only game in town.

“The F-35 will, in my opinion, be 10 years behind legacy fighters when it achieves [initial operational capability],” said one Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program. “When the F-35 achieves [initial operational capability], it will not have the weapons or sensor capability, with respect to the CAS [close air support] mission set, that legacy multi-role fighters had by the mid-2000s.”

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US defense industry over-reliant on rare earth from China

Rare earth elements from China are being used to build weapons systems sold to the US Department of Defense, according to American geologist Victoria Bruce in an article written for Truthout, a nonprofit news organization based in the United States.

According to Bruce, participants at the meeting were outraged to discover that various top US weapon systems including Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter, Raytheon’s ground-to-air missile system, Boeing’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system, Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk, and General Atomics’ MQ-1 Predator would not work at all without China-sourced rare earth materials. After learning this fact, a number of the participants promised to take action. Continue reading

Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies

Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry.

Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board. Continue reading

White House Hack Attack

What good is a nuclear deterrent when it’s compromised? The “MAD” concept has been effectively thrown out the window. What’s more is the American public is 99.9% unaware of the grave danger this puts them in, let alone it happened at all. Sadly, the only “football” most are concerned about is the one that gets tossed around on Monday nights.

Hackers linked to China’s government broke into one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.

One official said the cyber breach was one of Beijing’s most brazen cyber attacks against the United States and highlights a failure of the Obama administration to press China on its persistent cyber attacks.

U.S. officials familiar with reports of the White House hacking incident said it took place earlier this month and involved unidentified hackers, believed to have used computer servers in China, who accessed the computer network used by the White House Military Office (WHMO), the president’s military office in charge of some of the government’s most sensitive communications, including strategic nuclear commands. The office also arranges presidential communications and travel, and inter-government teleconferences involving senior policy and intelligence officials.

“This is the most sensitive office in the U.S. government,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the work of the office. “A compromise there would cause grave strategic damage to the United States.”

Security officials are investigating the breach and have not yet determined the damage that may have been caused by the hacking incident, the officials said.

Despite the administration national security official’s assertion, one defense official said there is fairly solid intelligence linking the penetration of the WHMO network to China, and there are concerns that the attackers were able to breach the classified network.

Details of the cyber attack and the potential damage it may have caused remain closely held within the U.S. government.

However, because the military office handles strategic nuclear and presidential communications, officials said the attack was likely the work of Chinese military cyber warfare specialists under the direction of a unit called the 4th Department of General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, or 4PLA.

It is not clear how such a high-security network could be penetrated. Such classified computer systems are protected by multiple levels of security and are among the most “hardened” systems against digital attack.

However, classified computer systems were compromised in the past using several methods. They include the insertion of malicious code through a contaminated compact flash drive; a breach by a trusted insider, as in the case of the thousands of classified documents leaked to the anti-secrecy web site Wikileaks; and through compromised security encryption used for remote access to secured networks, as occurred with the recent compromise involving the security firm RSA and several major defense contractors.

According to the former official, the secrets held within the WHMO include data on the so-called “nuclear football,” the nuclear command and control suitcase used by the president to be in constant communication with strategic nuclear forces commanders for launching nuclear missiles or bombers.

The office also is in charge of sensitive continuity-of-government operations in wartime or crises.

The former official said if China were to obtain details of this sensitive information, it could use it during a future conflict to intercept presidential communications, locate the president for targeting purposes, or disrupt strategic command and control by the president to U.S. forces in both the United States and abroad.

Former McAffee cyber threat researcher Dmitri Alperovitch said he was unaware of the incident, but noted: “I can tell you that the Chinese have an aggressive goal to infiltrate all levels of U.S. government and private sector networks.”

The White House network would be the crown jewel of that campaign so it is hardly surprising that they would try their hardest to compromise it,” said Alperovictch, now with the firm Crowdstrike.

Last week the senior intelligence officer for the U.S. Cyber Command said Chinese cyber attacks and cyber-espionage against Pentagon computers are a constant security problem.

“Their level of effort against the Department of Defense is constant” and efforts to steal economic secrets are increasing, Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, Cyber Command director of intelligence, told Reuters after a security conference.

“It’s continuing apace,” Cox said of Chinese cyber-espionage. “In fact, I’d say it’s still accelerating.”

The office is also in charge of the White House Communications Agency, which handles all presidential telephone, radio, and digital communications, as well as airlift operations through both fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft.

It also operates the presidential retreat at Camp David and the White House Transportation Agency.

“To assure proper coordination and integration, the WHMO also includes support elements such as operations; policy, plans, and requirements; administration, information resource management; financial management and comptroller; WHMO counsel; and security,” the website states.

“Together, WHMO entities provide essential service to the president and help maintain the continuity of the presidency.”

A report by the defense contractor Northrop Grumman made public by the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in March stated that China’s military has made targeting of U.S. command and control networks in cyber warfare a priority.

Chinese capabilities in computer network operations have advanced sufficiently to pose genuine risk to U.S. military operations in the event of a conflict,” the report said.

“PLA analysts consistently identify logistics and C4ISR infrastructure as U.S. strategic centers of gravity suggesting that PLA commanders will almost certainly attempt to target these system with both electronic countermeasures weapons and network attack and exploitation tools, likely in advance of actual combat to delay U.S. entry or degrade capabilities in a conflict,” the report said.

C4ISR is military jargon for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

Little is known within the U.S. intelligence community about Chinese strategic cyber warfare programs.

However, recent military writings have disclosed some aspects of the program, which is believed to be one of Beijing’s most closely guarded military secrets, along with satellite weapons, laser arms, and other high-technology military capabilities, such as the DF-21 ballistic missile modified to attack aircraft carriers at sea.

A Chinese military paper from March stated that China is seeking “cyber dominance” as part of its efforts to build up revolutionary military capabilities.

“In peacetime, the cyber combat elements may remain in a ‘dormant’ state; in wartime, they may be activated to harass and attack the network command, management, communications, and intelligence systems of the other countries’ armed forces,” wrote Liu Wangxin in the official newspaper of the Chinese military on March 6.

“While great importance is attached continuously to wartime actions, it is also necessary to pay special attention to non-wartime actions,” he said. “For example, demonstrate the presence of the cyber military power through cyber reconnaissance, cyber deployment, and cyber protection activities.”

Full article: White House Hack Attack (Washington Free Beacon)

‘Paralysis warfare’: China’s cyber focus is to cripple U.S. infrastructure

China’s cyber warfare capabilities have become sophisticated enough to easily cripple key elements of the U.S. national defense infrastructure in a pre-emptive attack, according to a new report.

The bipartisan congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission released an analysis on March 8 titled “Occupying the Information High Ground: Chinese Capabilities for Computer Network Operations and Cyber Espionage.” The 136-page report details China’s spectacular advances in cyber warfare capabilities specifically targeting the U.S. military.

The Chinese call this type of preemptive cyber attack “paralysis warfare,” say the report’s authors, Bryan Krekel, Patton Adams and George Bakos, information security experts for Northrop Grumman.

“Unlike traditional air or ballistic missile strikes, network attack and exploitation in particular can be initiated prior to the start of traditional hostilities without being a de-facto cassus belli and if done properly, can be implanted with little or no attribution back to China,” the report states.

Full article: ‘Paralysis warfare’: China’s cyber focus is to cripple U.S. infrastructure (World Tribune)

The Coming China Cyberwar

China’s Military Is Prepared to Wage Large-Scale Cyberwarfare Attacks Against U.S. Military, Civilian Networks

China’s military has developed highly sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities that would be used to cripple computer networks at the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Transportation Command that would direct American forces to defend Taiwan in a future conflict, according to a congressional report.

The cyber attacks would begin weeks before actual hostilities, as cyber warriors associated with two units of the People’s Liberation Army secretly penetrate networks and plant sleeper software that can destroy both hardware and software needed for moving and commanding troops and forces across the Pacific, according to a new report by the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

“Chinese capabilities in computer network operations have advanced sufficiently to pose genuine risk to U.S. military operations in the event of a conflict,” the report states.

The 136-page report, “Occupying the Information High Ground,” was produced by Northrop Grumman for the commission. It will be released Thursday and is based on Chinese military writings, Chinese government statements, and public analysis of recent Chinese intrusions into public and private computer systems.

Full article: The Coming China Cyberwar (Washington Free Beacon)