China’s Shenlong space plane is part of growing space warfare program: Gertz

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Illustration of China’s Shenlong ‘Divine Dragon’ space plane

 

China’s military space program is getting a boost from a recent reorganization within the People’s Liberation Army.

A Chinese military expert disclosed earlier this month that a Chinese space plane known as the Shenlong will likely be deployed with the newly formed Strategic Support Force, the PLA’s new high-technology warfare unit. Continue reading

China’s Copycat Jet Raises Questions About F-35

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Did the Chinese theft of data on the US fighter jet and other weapons shrink the Pentagon’s technical superiority?

China’s twin-engine design bears a striking resemblance to the single-jet F-35. Still, the Joint Strike Fighter is expected to fly slightly farther and carry a heavier load of weapons, according to the data, which was first reported by Jane’s.

Military experts say that while the J-31 looks like, and may even fly like, the F-35, it’s what’s under the hood and embedded in the skin that really matters. The U.S. has the better computer software, unique sensors and other hardware, stealth coating, and engines technology—all critical attributes that make fifth-generation aircraft different than the military jets of last century. Continue reading

US Navy’s 6th Generation Fighter Jets Will Be Slow and Unstealthy

The U.S. Navy’s next generation air superiority fighter will not be “super-duper fast” or employ much in the way of stealth, a senior navy official announced on Wednesday.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the Navy’s top officer, divulged some details about the Navy’s so-called Next Generation Air Dominance F/A-XX fighter jet during a speech at an industry conference. Continue reading

Get Ready, America: Russia Wants a New Stealthy, Long-Range Bomber

There is little concrete information about the new Russian bomber—but a stealthy long-range penetrating strike aircraft is not cheap. The Pentagon’s secretive new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program is aiming to develop an aircraft that will cost roughly $550 million per jet. Developmental costs for the American aircraft—which will supposedly rely on “mature” technologies–are likely to be in $50 billion range. While the Russia PAK-DA is not likely to be nearly as expensive, it is going to cost tens of billions of dollars at a time when Russia’s resource-based economy is collapsing into what could be a prolonged recession. Unlike the Soviet Union—which had a more or less full-service, if dysfunctional, economy—modern Russia is little more than a glorified petro-state. There are very real questions as to whether Russia can afford to complete the development of the PAK-DA.

Nonetheless, Russia’s Tupolev design bureau appears to be moving full steam ahead with the development of the new aircraft. Mikhail Pogosyan, head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)—a state enterprise that includes Tupolev—told RIA Novosti, a state-run Russian new agency (now known internationally as Sputnik International), earlier in the year that development of the PAK-DA had started in earnest in 2014. Pogosyan said that preliminary design work for the new aircraft was completed in April 2014 and some components are already being fabricated. Continue reading

Russia to acquire cutting-edge tracking system by late 2013 – report

From the state-run Soviet propaganda website, Russia Today:

A global surveillance intelligence system being finalized in Russia will track down anything that flies, sails or drives from thousands of kilometers away, a Defense Ministry source says. The system allegedly detects all known stealth technology.

­The Multi Intelligence Information System (MIIS) promises to be more effective than existing airborne, space and radar reconnaissance combined, a source in the Defense Ministry informed Izvestia daily.

The tech specs of the program are most likely to stay top secret for years to come, but the source explained that modus operandi of the system is locating and tracking man-made objects and mechanisms which use waves of a different nature while operating.

“Every civilian or military object, be it airborne or on the ground, uses various systems emitting radio waves. It could be radar stations, communication systems, navigation GPS and GLONASS complexes, radio altimeters etc. Aircrafts have thermal and other sorts of wave emissions. The principles of physics cannot be escaped, even by American stealth B2 and F22 military aircraft. The task of MIIS is to spot such emissions, get exact coordinates and track the movement,” the source shared. Continue reading