China Develops Its Own Homegrown Servers Amid Cybersecurity Concerns

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

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

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

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

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

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.

J-10B To Start Its Combat Service With PLAAF

China will begin to equip the PLA Air Force with J-10B, the upgraded version of J-10 and J-10A fighters designed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation, Moscow's Russian News Agency reported on Oct. 16.The J-10B fighter is equipped with active electronically scanned array radar (AESA), which its prodecessors do not. It also has new generation avionics, a diverterless supersonic inlet and an infra-red search and track sensor. On the new model, the vertical stabiliser and wings of the fighter are also modified. 10 J-10B fighters with serial numbers 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 107, 110, 120, 122, 201 have already been revealed on the internet.

China J-10B Fighter Jet
China J-10B Fighter Jet

China J-10B Fighter Jet
China J-10B Fighter Jet

Rafale Fighters India is Buying Can't Match Chinese Fighters

The French Rafale Fighter aircraft that India is planning to buy, in what is being billed as the largest defence purchase by the country - "will be swatted like mosquitos in an August night," says Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin.

Mr Kadadin also claimed that Sukhoi-27 -  aircraft manufactured in Russia that are supplied to China's People's Liberation Army (Air Force )- are far more capable and advanced than the Rafale fighters.

Incidentally, Russian-made MiG- 35, as well as US-made F-16s & F- 18, Swedish-made SAAB Gripin and French-made Rafale were the key competitors for the defence contract. After a long and detailed evaluation, the IAF had selected the French-made Rafale Fighter jets to replace its ageing and depleting fleet. The deal is likely to cost India a whopping $23 billion.

Going on to question India's strategic forays with the Unites States and the erstwhile 'Western Bloc', the Russian Ambassador said the US has "transferred zero technology to India".

He cited the BrahMos Missile, a supersonic cruise missile jointly developed and produced by India and Russia, the Sukhoi-30MKi that is now being licensed and produced in India, and the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant as examples of critical technology transferred by Russia to India.

Russia, historically, has been a key strategic partner of India and the main supplier of weapon systems. But, in the last decade, India has increasingly looked towards Israel and US to meet its defence requirements. The shift, no doubt, has peeved Russia.

Chinese Attack Helicopters Emerging From the Shadows

 Chinese Attack Helicopters
 Chinese Attack Helicopters
 Chinese Attack Helicopters
 Chinese Attack Helicopters     
 Chinese Attack Helicopters
 Chinese Attack Helicopters

China's Warships Perfect Fit For Russian Navy, Says Russia's National Defense Magazine

The August issue of Russia's National Defense Magazine has advised the country to buy warships from China to compensate for its own weakness in shipbuilding and to strengthen Russia's power in the Asia-Pacific region.

China's Type 054A frigate may be an ideal option for Russia, the report said.
With debate sparked by the suspension of a French delivery of two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to Russia, the need to bring in escort ships is all the more pressing. Even if Russia receives the two warships — the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol — and integrates them into the fleet in the following two years, the current deploy of warships is far less from sufficient, said the article.
Russia has few active battleships. There is only the Varyag missile cruiser and four Type-1155 destroyers for the country's large anti-submarine warships. These ships, all built during the Soviet era, are old, overused, and still engaged in cruising missions in the neighboring regions or anti-piracy campaigns off Africa. The rest include three Type-956 destroyers, which have been placed under long-term maintenance and are hardly functional, according to the report.
A Mistral-class amphibious assault ship needs three to four escort ships, while other warships, including two Project 955 Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, are also expected to enter service by the end of the year or early next year and will need escorts as well.
Russia is incapable in this stage of filling in its shortage of escort warships, despite the many ships that are being constructed at the country's shipywards, said the report. The delivery of two Project 20380 corvettes from the Almaz Design Bureau has been delayed indefinitely, as well as the Type 22350 escort being assembled by the Northern Design Bureau, due to issues related to funding and inadequate facility technology.
Ukraine, one of the few countries capable of producing combustion turbine engines, had been providing services to Russia before the sanction prohibiting the engine's export to the country. Other countries that could build combustion turbine engines include the US, the UK and China, said the report.
China's Type 054A frigate, codenamed Jiangkai II by NATO, is a perfect fit for the Russian navy for many reasons. First of all, the model was designed and built with help from Russia's leading shipmaker, the Northern Design Bureau in St Petersburg. Second, the ship is equipped with weapons and electronic facilities that are designed according to the specs of samples, allowing the parts to be interchanged conveniently. Third, the advanced war ship meets Russian's demands for powerful weapons, invisibility, adaptability and endurance. Finally, the Type 054A frigate worked well with Russian flotillas well during the Russia-China military drill in May, which shows its capability to work side-by-side with Russian ships.
The Type 054A frigate has a full displacement of 4,053 tonnes, is 134.1 meters long and 16 meters wide. The ship can reach a maximum speed at 27 kn. Its firearms include two sets of quadruple launchers for C-803 missiles, 32 vertical launching systems for HQ-16 missiles, one H/PJ26 stealthy 76mm dual purpose gun mount, two Type 730 seven-barrelled 30 mm Gatling gun close-in weapon systems, 2 x 3 324mm YU-7 ASW torpedo launchers, 2 x 6 Type 87 240mm anti-submarine rocket launchers, and can carry one Kamov Ka-28 "Helix" or Harbin Z-9C.
Russia has been a mentor to China as it builds up its national defense technology. Now that the Chinese student has outpaced the Russian teacher, "there is no shame" asking for assistance from China, the report said.

China Tests Fired Its New DF-31B ICBM

China conducted the first launch test of its new DF-31B road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of targeting the North American continent, at the Wuzhai test facility in the central China,US Media Reported.
The United States is monitoring China's military modernization, said Cynthia O Smith, spokeswoman for the Pentagon. She did not give any details regarding the Chinese missile test. Non-government military experts said that the missile tested on Sept. 25 has likely been modified for increased range or improved performance. It may even be a multi-warhead version of the DF-31.


                       DF-31B ICBM

While the details of this missile still remains secret, it is known that the DF-31B is a mobile missile variant designed specifically for travel on rugged terrain or other difficult road conditions, according to a Chinese military website. As well, it is considered a greater strategic threat because tracking and targeting it in a conflict is very difficult. It can be hidden in garages or caves to avoid detection by satellites and other sensors, said the report.
The Second Artillery Corps, China's strategic missile force, is estimated to have 40 DF-31s and DF-31As. The DF-41 is expected to carry multiple nuclear warheads.

China's Airborne Radar System (AWACS) is Most Advanced Radar System in the World

Hong Kong military commentator Leung Guo-liang says China's airborne early warning and control system is the world's most advanced radar system.
Leung, deputy editor of Hong Kong's China-leaning magazine the Mirror, said the radar's role in large-scale air battles has become increasingly important for coordinating aircraft.
Wang Xiaomo, one of the developers behind China's airborne early warning and control system, said the country has achieved nine breakthroughs in the development of the system that put it ahead of the United States. China's KJ-2000 early warning and control system is a multi-functional and sophisticated radar that has the longest and widest range in the world, Wang said.
The Washington-based Jamestown Foundation was cited as saying China's early warning and control system with its Active Phased Array Radar is one generation ahead of the Boeing E-3C Sentry of the US, the most advanced of its kind in the US, with its rotating radar dome.
Although the US development of Passive Phased Array Radar has matured and been used on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, China has been focusing on developing the more advance Active Phased Array Radar from the beginning and sought to take advantage of its earlier entry to the sector.
The state-run China News Service admitted that the Active Phased Array Radar has already been installed on the American fifth-generation F-22 stealth fighter jet, but said that it does not qualify as an airborne early warning and control system, because the aircraft which houses it is too fragile for purpose. The KJ-2000 plane may not be able to monitor 400 targets and guides attacks to 100 of them like the Boeing E-3C but the Chinese aircraft has updated its electronics.
The KJ-2000 was a Russian-made military transport plane and is able to land on battle grounds, however, the US aircraft was remodeled from a passenger airplane. It has a more fragile body which can be affected by poor weather and can only carry out missions outside of battle grounds, which limits its early-warning and control capabilities.

US Navy Commissions New Amphibious Assault Ship, USS America (LHA-6)

The U.S. Navy's newest amphibious assault ship, the USS America, is being commissioned into service Saturday in San Francisco, Calif.

The ship is equipped with a fuel-efficient hybrid electric propulsion system and additional aviation spaces, including an enlarged hangar deck, realigned and expanded aviation maintenance facilities and increased space for aircraft parts, support equipment and aviation fuel.

USS America (LHA-6)
USS America (LHA-6)

"The USS America provides a flexible, multi-mission platform with capabilities that span the range of military operations -- from forward deployed crisis response to forcible entry operations, the Navy said. "The ship also provides forward presence and power projection as an integral part of joint, inter-agency and multinational maritime expeditionary forces."
The ship was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries. It's 844 feet long, 106 feet in the beam and has a speed of more than 22 knots.

It is used to carry U.S. Marine Corps troops and equipment, including aircraft.

China's Carriers May Carry Modified J-20 Stealth Fighter

China is likely to complete the construction of its second and third aircraft carriers with the ability to carry J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighters, although a carrier-friendly model may need to be designed first, reports the PLA-run China National Defense News.
China's domestic aircraft carriers will look very similar to the Liaoning, the country's first aircraft carrier bought from Ukraine and refitted. They are most likely to be equipped with a ski-jump ramp, said Admiral Jonathan W Greenert, the US chief of naval operations. The displacement of each vessel will be somewhere between 65,000 and 70,000 tons.

J-20 stealth fighter

J-20 stealth fighter

The PLA Navy is planning to form two composite air hangar decks, with 50 fighters for each carrier. However, the design of the Chengdu J-20 is currently too large to be deployed aboard the Liaoning, according to the report. Domestic carrier versions will have to be larger to accommodate them, putting them at an estimated 80,000 tons. Furthermore, they may use a steam catapult or electromagnetic aircraft launch system.

The current J-20 prototype lacks the design specs necessary to take off from a carrier. The length of the first domestically built aircraft carrier may be be longer than the Liaoning by an estimated 20 meters but a new version of the J-20 will have to be designed in any case to be more like the more compact J-15. China's new carrier wing may come equipped with 25 J-15Bs and 25 J-20s.

China's Naval Modernization: The Implications of Seapower

This month, the heads of the world’s navies and coast guards converged on the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, for the International Seapower Symposium (ISS). ISS assembles distinguished international naval leaders to enhance common bonds of friendship and to discuss challenges and opportunities, this time under the theme of “Global Solutions to Common Maritime Challenges.” This was the 21st iteration of ISS, which was first held in 1969. It was the first with Chinese attendance. 

After years of invitations that Beijing did not accept, coupled with last year’s cancellation of the event due to sequestration, the head of China’s navy, Adm. Wu Shengli, led a nine-officer delegation. Participants in the plenary and regional breakout sessions no doubt wondered who exactly Wu is, what mandate he has, what sort of navy he leads, where it is heading and how it will be interacting with the U.S. Navy. This article addresses these timely questions.

Leading China’s Rapid Naval Modernization

The son of a former vice governor of Zhejiang province, Wu is one of China’s “princelings.” According to a report by Cheng Li, director of the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center, Wu “formed a client relationship with Jiang Zemin in the late 1980s, when Jiang was party secretary in Shanghai and Wu was the deputy chief-of-staff of the Shanghai Base of the East China Sea Fleet.”

Wu joined the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1964 at the age of 19, when he was admitted to the PLA Institute of Surveying and Mapping in Xian. Since graduating from the institute in 1968, he has enjoyed a meteoric rise, attaining the rank of rear admiral in 1994, vice admiral in 2003 and admiral on June 20, 2007. Wu also serves on the PLA Central Military Commission (CMC), China’s highest military decision-making body. In his capacity as a high-ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member, Wu has been a full member of the CCP Central Committee since 2007, serving on the 17th and 18th Committees.

As PLAN Commander since August 2006, Wu has arguably had the opportunity to leave the greatest mark on the service since Adm. Liu Huaqing used the position to place the PLAN on a stable modern trajectory from 1980-1988. That Wu was retained in October 2012 when all other service-grade military leaders of his age were forced to retire suggests both the Chinese leadership’s prioritization of naval modernization and its particular confidence in the admiral. 

Subsequently, Wu’s position has been greatly facilitated by support from Xi Jinping, who when he assumed all three offices of Chinese executive leadership in 2012 was not only determined to further China’s maritime interests and capabilities but also unusually well-placed to do so. Having served as a provincial secretary in Zhejiang, Xi knew about the Wu family’s service to the CCP. Xi may also feel a particular affinity to Wu, as they are both princelings comfortable with wielding power vigorously and determined to further bold programmatic reforms. This leadership combination provides a powerful surge for Chinese naval development.

Indian LCA Tejas,Needs a Lot More time Before It Can Protects the Indian Skies

The Indian Air Force's (IAF) Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) - Tejas, which has been in the making since 1983 and is expected to join the force by March, 2015, still suffers from some teething problems.

Some of the modifications that IAF has to make on the Tejas include pushing back the cockpit panels by few centimeters to prevent the toes of an ejecting pilot from getting entangled with instruments and aides and adding another 60 centimetres in length to the aircraft body to allow easy access and replacements of critical circuitry.

Apart from these critical changes, the IAF and State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are in the process of shaving off about 550 kilograms from the aircraft, making it lighter and adding more power to it.

Senior Defence Ministry officials told NDTV that the LCA Mark-I is still somewhat far from being given any operational duty. The aircraft is expected to replace the Russian-made MiG-21 aircrafts which have already been decommissioned.

"There are several changes that are being carried out," senior IAF officials told NDTV.

On Wednesday, the first of the aircraft, built to series production, completed a 25-minute-long sortie. The Tejas LCA is expected to cost the Indian exchequer Rs 50,000 crore.

Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Arup Raha told reporters today, "I think things will be fall in place. The first limited series production of LCA has already flown based on IOC II (Initial operational clearance). We are sure that teething problems of LCA will get over soon."

Drawing attention to the depleting fighter fleet of the IAF, Air Marshal Raha said that "the draw down has to be prevented by quick induction by induction of LCA and MMRCA." The "draw down" that Air Marshal Raha refers to is the phasing out of legacy planes like the MiG 21.

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