China Develops Its Own Homegrown Servers Amid Cybersecurity Concerns

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A Chinese company has developed the country's first homegrown servers, built entirely out of domestic technologies including a processor from local chip maker Loongson Technology.


China's Dawning Information Industry, also known as Sugon, has developed a series of four servers using the Loongson 3B processor, the country's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

"Servers are crucial applications in a country's politics, economy, and information security. We must fully master all these technologies," Dawning's vice president Sha Chaoqun was quoted as saying.

The servers, including their operating systems, have all been developed from Chinese technology. The Loongson 3B processor inside them has eight cores made with a total of 1.1 billion transistors built using a 28-nanometer production process.

The Xinhua report quoted Li Guojie, a top computing researcher in the country, as saying the new servers would ensure that the security around China's military, financial and energy sectors would no longer be in foreign control.

Dawning was contacted on Friday, but an employee declined to offer more specifics about the servers. "We don't want to promote this product in the U.S. media," she said. "It involves propriety intellectual property rights, and Chinese government organizations."

News of the servers has just been among the ongoing developments in China for the country to build up its own homegrown technology. Work is being done on local mobile operating systems, supercomputing, and in chip making, with much of it government-backed. Earlier this year, China outlined a plan to make the country into a major player in the semiconductor industry.

But it also comes at a time when cyber security has become a major concern for the Chinese government, following revelations about the U.S. government's own secret surveillance programs. "Without cyber security there is no national security," declared China's Xi Jinping in March, as he announced plans to turn the country into an "Internet power."
 

Shanghai Shipyard To Build Second Chinese Designed Aircraft Carrier

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China will soon start building its second locally designed aircraft carrier in Shanghai, according to a Canadian report.

Chinese Internet, said Shanghai's Jiangnan Shipyard was preparing to start work on the carrier.

When completed, the carrier and another under construction in Dalian will give the PLA Navy two fully functioning, battle-ready aircraft carriers.

The recently completed Liaoning, the refitted former Soviet carrier Varyag, is classed as a training platform, not a full combat vessel, by the navy, since it went into service in September 2012.

Counter to many expectations, the new carrier about to be built at the Jiangnan Shipyard will use conventional, not nuclear power.


Military experts said China would not attempt a nuclear-powered carrier until a range of issues were resolved, such as the reliability of nuclear-powered engines, crew training and establishing a reliable home port for carrier maintenance.

According to the report, Chinese shipbuilding industry sources said the design for the second carrier had not been completed.

The  report countered earlier predictions by Western analysts that the new carrier would be nuclear-powered, like the planned Soviet Ulyanovsk-class carrier.

The Ulyanovsk was slated to be Moscow's first nuclear-powered supercarrier, with an 85,000-tonne displacement. But like the Varyag, the ship was never completed and the hull was scrapped in 1992.

India Grounds Its Sukhoi-30MKI Fleet

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India has grounded its entire Sukhoi-30MKI fleet after a recent crash because it doesn’t want to put its pilots in harm’s way.
The fighters have not flown for a week after a Su-30 MKI of the Indian Air Force crashed near Pune, raising questions about the safety record of the fighter.

With the IAF operating close to 200 twin-engine Su-30MKIs, the grounded planes represent almost a third of the country’s fighter fleet. India is due to get 72 more of these planes, each worth over Rs. 200 crore.

The IAF is down to 34 combat squadrons, as against an authorised strength of 44. Each squadron has up to 18 fighter planes.

An IAF official said safety checks with “special focus on ejection seats” were being conducted and flight operations would resume only after each plane was cleared. A highly-placed source said the pilots of the plane that crashed on October 14 near Pune had reported “automatic seat ejection.” One of the two pilots was involved in a previous Su-30MKI crash too.

Five Su-30 fighters have crashed during the last five years, setting off alarm bells in the IAF. The Su-30 fleet has been grounded at least twice in the past.

Russian Submarine Amur 1650 To Be Sold To China

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A new Russian submarine design called the Amur 1650 is going to be sold to China, with Vladimir Putin hoping that Russia’s economic recession may be averted partially by making deals with the Chinese

In a related report  the Russian military successfully tested a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from the Russian nuclear submarine the Vladimir Monomakh. The U.S. Navy believes that the newest of China’s nuclear submarines the Jin SSBN “would mark China’s first credible at-sea-second-strike nuclear capability.” There’s also talk of a Chinese supersonic submarine that could cross the pacific in less than 100 minutes.

Vladimir Putin has publicly stated that Russia’s nuclear weapons and the Russian submarine fleet will be given an overhaul in the next five to 10 years.

Russian Submarine Amur 1650
Russian Submarine Amur 1650

The Ukraine crisis has resulted in the Russian economy going from predictions of growth down to the possibility of a recession. Global investors pulled about $850 million out of the country in 2014, and the Russian economy increased by only 1.3 percent instead of the previously projected 3.9 percent. In addition to lower oil prices, economists believe sanctions by the European Union and the United States could cost Russia $100 to $200 billion a year. If tensions continue to escalate, the economic collateral damage may only become worse, which is why Vladimir Putin is granting limited access to raw materials and advanced weapons like their Russian submarine design.

Turkey Announced First 5 ATAK T129 Choppers Ready For Combat

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The Turkish General Staff has announced that the first five attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopters have been added to its arsenal during a presentation of the choppers to the press. 

 
ATAK T-129 choppers
ATAK T129 choppers


The first five choppers were presented to the public at the Land Forces Aviation Command located in Güvercinlik Military Airport in Ankara. Speaking to the press on Friday, Lt. Col. Aydın Lafçı said five ATAK T129 choppers were delivered to the General Staff after test flights were conducted by the Land Forces Command over the past four-and-a-half months. “Five choppers have been added to the arsenal of the General Staff. In the coming weeks, another four choppers will be added,” Lafçı said.

After a brief introduction of the specifications of the ATAK T129, there were demonstration flights, which received the thumbs up from spectators. The choppers, which will be stationed in Ankara, will take to the field to engage in fights against terrorists in the future.

India's Delayed FGFA Deal May Get The Focus During Putin’s India Visit

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India and Russia may finally settle on a number of delayed defense deals including the Fifth Generational Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India this December.Putin met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the BRICS summit in July where both leaders reportedly agreed that the $30 billion program to build 200 jets should move forward.In 2010, a preliminary design agreement was signed between India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau to jointly produce the FGFA for use by both countries.
However, a final agreement is still pending because the Indian Air Force hasn’t approved the design and workload between both companies is still under debate.
Sukhoi and India plan to sign another contract in the framework of the joint project for the construction of a fifth generation multipurpose combat jet, Alexander Klementyev, a Sukhoi deputy director general said.

“We hope the contract [for experimental design works] will be signed soon,” he was quoted as saying.


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