China Developing Long-Range Stealth Bomber

The First Aircraft Institute of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China has been designing the first generation long-range stealth bomber for the People's Liberation Army Air Force since 2008, the state-run China Aviation News reports.
Senior Colonel Wu Guohui from the National Defense University in Beijing told China Aviation News that the stealth bomber has two advantages over ballistic missiles. The first one is that ballistic missiles can only be fired once, while a stealth bomber can take off multiple times. The second is that ballistic missiles cannot return to base, as the stealth bomber can, if a mission is aborted.

Stealth Bomber
Stealth Bomber

As the United States has decided to invest US$1.2 billion a year to develop a new stealth bomber to replace its Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, Wu said that it is time for China to have its own stealth bomber. Conventional strategic bombers such as the B-2 and the Chinese Xian H-6 are both easy targets for enemy fighters and anti-aircraft missiles to attack. Russia is also designing its new-generation long-range bomber to compete with the United States and China.
Currently, the United States is the only nation in the world to have designed and operated a stealth bomber. Three types of long-range stealth bombers — the Lockheed A-12, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk and the B-2 — have been developed in the history of US military aviation. Today, the B-2 bomber is the only manned stealth bomber still in service. For this reason, China considers the development of a long-range stealth bomber as a breakthrough for the nation's aviation industry.
China is now the only country in the world except the United States and Russia to develop a medium-range or long-range stealth bomber. The Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation began conceptualizing the project more than a decade ago, according to the report. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China took over the project and continued the development of China's own stealth bomber.

India Grows Desperate Over Unreliable Russian Engines

Russian engineers knew they had some serious problems with the AL-31 family of engines that powered so many of the most modern (and exported) jet fighters. Introduced in the early 1980s to power the Su-27, a later version was used for the Su-30 in the 1990s. An even more improved version, called the AL-41, was developed for the Su-35 fifth generation fighters. But in early 2009 one of the two prototypes of the Su-35 cashed from what were later found to be "engineering defects" in one of the two AL-41 engines, which failed during takeoff. At least two Su-30s have been lost so far because of this problem.

Now India, the largest user of the Su-30, has gone public with demands that Russia do something about the high failure rate of AL-31s. India did not reveal the exact numbers of such failures (as that would reveal how low the reliability was of India’s Su-30s) but was emphatic that the failure rate was too high. The Su-30 has two engines and the loss of one in flight does not automatically result in a lost aircraft because the Su-30 can land on one engine. But that puts the Su-30 out of action for a week as the incident is investigated and a new engine installed. India pointed out that the loss of one engine in combat would often be fatal. India did reveal that it now rebuilds its AL-31s after 700 hours of use instead of the recommended 1,000. AL-31s are supposed to be good for 3,000 hours and that extra rebuild is expensive and takes time.


Indian pilots are understandably nervous about the safety of the many Russian warplanes they fly. The older MiG fighters are the most dangerous and nearly half have been lost to accidents, usually because of equipment failure. The more recent Su-30 models were believed to be a lot safer. Recent problems indicate this may not be the case, thus the very public demands for Russia to fix the problems. Air force leaders are under tremendous pressure to solve the problem. Pilot training has increased, especially on how to fly a Su-30 on one engine, as have efforts to increase maintenance and safety standards. But it’s all for nothing if Russia cannot fix basic design flaws.

China Confirms New Generation Long Range Missiles: Report

China has acknowledged the existence of a new intercontinental ballistic missile said to be capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads as far as the United States, state-run media reported Friday.

A government environmental monitoring centre in Shaanxi said on its website that a military facility in the province was developing Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) missiles, the Global Times reported.

The DF-41 is designed to have a range of 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles), according to a report by Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, putting it among the world's longest-range missiles.

It is "possibly capable of carrying multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles", the US Defense Department said in a report in June, referring to a payload of several nuclear warheads.

China's military is highly secretive, and the Global Times said it had not previously acknowledged the existence of the DF-41.

The original government web post appeared to have been deleted on Friday, but the newspaper posted a screengrab.

It also quoted a Chinese military analyst as saying: "As the US continues to strengthen its missile defence system, developing third generation nuclear weapons capable of carrying multiple warheads is the trend."

China's defence ministry in January responded to reports that it had tested a hypersonic missile delivery vehicle by saying that any military experiments were "not targeted at any country and at any specific goals".

It made the same response last December when asked about reports that it had tested the DF-41.

Chinese Microelectronics Will Replace U.S. Microelectronics In Russian Space

Russian rocket and space and defense enterprises plan to buy batches of electronic components from China worth some $1 billion in the next calendar year, the newspaper Izvestia reported on Wednesday.
"We are working with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation [CASIC]. The institutions comprising it have already provided us with several dozens of items that are either a direct alternative, or have slight alterations, of those elements that we cannot buy due to the sanctions imposed by the U.S.," a source close to Roscosmos told Izvestia.
The technical documentation is now being translated and the products are being tested to determine if they meet the stated characteristics in terms of susceptibility to temperatures, vibration and impact of heavy charged particles, the source said.
Russia plans to buy several billion dollars worth of such products from China in the next 2-2.5 years, until the Russia industry begins manufacturing electronic components of the necessary nominals in the space (radiation-resistant components) and military (for use in military systems) categories.
Representatives of 12 institutes developing and manufacturing electronic components in the CASIC structure will arrive in Moscow on August 18 to take part in a specialized seminar for Russian manufacturers, the source said. A similar seminar will later be conducted in St. Petersburg, the source said.

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