A war footing emerges in the South China Sea

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Navy personnel of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy take part in a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018. Picture taken April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

China’s recent deployment of nuclear-capable bombers, missiles and jamming devices has drastically shifted the contested area’s strategic calculus

China’s deployment of H-6k bombers to disputed land features in the South China Sea has provoked an uproar across the region and beyond while raising considerably the potential for armed conflict.

China’s bombers are capable of conducting nuclear strikes and have an operational range of more than 1,000 nautical miles. This places practically all other claimant states in the contested maritime area within their crosshairs. Continue reading

Short of War, China Now Controls South China Sea

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Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships and fighter jets take part in a military display in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

Tensions in the South China Sea are on the boil again amid new reports that China has deployed advanced missiles to land features in the disputed maritime area.

According to new reports, China has installed several Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and Anti-Cruise Ballistic Missiles (ACBMs) systems across the Paracel and Spratly island chains, parts of which are claimed by multiple regional states including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Weeks earlier, China also deployed electronic jamming equipment to the maritime area, giving it the ability to disrupt the command-and-control communications of rival states’ military assets operating in the South China Sea. Continue reading

Russia to treat US jets in Syria as ‘targets’ after America guns down first regime warplane

A Syrian jet (similar to the one pictured on 23 March 2017) was shot down by US forces on Sunday [Getty]

 

Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are also present as “targets” amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet.

The country’s defence ministry said it would track US-led coalition aircraft with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down.

A hotline set up between Russia and the US to prevent mid-air collisions will also be suspended. Continue reading

Chinese Missile Forces Pose Threat to U.S. in Future Conflict

ASPEN, Colo.—China’s advanced cruise and ballistic missiles pose a significant threat in future conflict with the United States, the chief of naval operations (CNO) warned last week.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the CNO, also said during a security conference Friday that China is building a second aircraft carrier that could be deployed in the not too distant future.

Asked what Chinese weapons systems he is most concerned about if the United States went to war with China, Greenert noted Beijing’s growing arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles.

“They have an extraordinary selection of cruise missiles, and a ballistic missile force that they developed,” Greenert told the Aspen Security Forum.

If the conflict were close to China, the missile forces would pose the most serious threat, he said.

“If it’s in their backyard, I’m a little worried about their ballistic missile [force] because of its reach,” Greenert said. Continue reading

Russian Deployment of Missile Defenses Hidden in Plain Sight

Despite its incessant propaganda against U.S. ballistic missile defense efforts, Russia is building a unified “aerospace defense” system aimed at intercepting U.S. ballistic missiles.

Russia is now pressing for a legally binding commitment by the U.S. that would limit our missiles defenses. Furthermore, Russia is demanding a veto on U.S. deployment decisions. Indeed, as General Nikolai Makarov stated, “The main condition for joint work [in the area of missile defense] should be the permanent participation of Russian experts in drafting the European missile defense architecture.”

Moreover, Russia’s effort to build an aerospace defense system began far before the 2002 U.S. decision to deploy very limited missile defenses. As Colonel-General Boris Cheltsov of the Academy of Military Sciences, Aerospace Defense Department Chief, revealed: “Back in 1994, the first Russian Federation’s Aerospace Defense project came about. In 2006, the Russian president [Putin] has approved the Conception for the Creation of the Aerospace Defense System.” As a result of the 2006 decision, according to Colonel-General Cheltsov, and after President Putin approved the Russian Federation Aerospace Defense Construction Blueprint 6, work began to be conducted on the development of a real-time data transmission system, on active antenna arrays and on fundamentally new detection, reconnaissance and weapon systems, including systems based upon “new physical principles.” Continue reading

Hamas, insurgents basing SAMs in Sinai for attacks on Israel

Islamic insurgents have deployed surface-to-air missiles in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula for  attacks on Israel, a report said.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Hamas has joined with Bedouin insurgents to establish Sinai as a venue for SAM attacks on Israeli civilian and military aircraft. In a report, the institute said the insurgency network was believed to have acquired a range of Russian-origin air defense systems.

“This flow of arms, which includes advanced Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 missiles capable of reaching the outskirts of Tel Aviv, has been supplemented by equipment smuggled from Libya, such as the fairly advanced Russian-made SA-14, SA-16, and SA-18 anti-aircraft missiles, which could pose a threat to Israeli aircraft and the Eilat airport,” the report, titled “Sinai: A New Front,” said.

Full article: Hamas, insurgents basing SAMs in Sinai for attacks on Israel (World Tribune)