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

Chinese army steps up drills in southeast that experts say are targeted at Taiwan, US

China’s defence ministry says the army has stepped up drills in the southeast coast to build its ability to handle security threats.

The comment came after the 31st Group Army, affiliated with the newly founded Eastern Theatre Command, conducted a landing exercise on the Fujian coast on Monday.

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Hypersonic gliders could breach THAAD defenses

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Last week Beijing conducted the seventh successful test of its DF-ZF glide vehicle designed to defeat US missile defenses.

 

Both Russia and China have recently successfully tested their offset hypersonic gliders, capable of breaching the American THAAD system (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), which it plans to deploy in South Korea; the test comes as a “warning to the US,” according to Chinese military experts.

“The hypersonic tests by China and Russia are aimed at causing a threat to the US, which plans to set up a missile defense system in South Korea,” the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper writes, quoting Professor He Qisong, a defense policy specialist at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

His comment refers to the recent successful tests by the two countries of their offset Hypersonic Gliders. Continue reading

China, Russia increase joint drills as they deepen defence ties to contain US, their mutual foe

China and Russia will increase military exercises to strengthen security and defence cooperation amid growing tensions in the ­disputed South China Sea.

Russian Defence Minister ­Sergey Shoigu unveiled the plan at a meeting with his visiting ­Chinese counterpart Chang ­Wanquan on Wednesday, Tass news agency reported.

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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