India-Srilanka tension over JF-17 Thunder Pakistan deal

Sri Lankan Government is facing mounting pressure from its powerful neighbour India over a defence deal Sri Lanka is to enter into with Pakistan. According to highly placed sources in the diplomatic circles, India has expressed its strong opposition to a deal the SL Government entered into with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to purchase 10 JF-17 combat aircraft.

The deal was entered into apparently when former Air Force Commander Jayalath Weerakkody was serving as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Pakistan.
It is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation 'JF-17' by Pakistan is short for 'Joint Fighter-17'

The JF-17 was primarily developed to meet the PAF's requirement for an affordable, modern, multi-role combat aircraft as a replacement for its large fleet of Dassault Mirage III/5 fighters, Nanchang A-5 bombers, and Chengdu F-7 interceptors, with a cost of US$ 500 million, divided equally between China and Pakistan. The aircraft was also intended to have export potential as a cost-effective and competitive alternative to more expensive Western fighters. The development of this aircraft was headed by Yang Wei (aircraft designer), who is considered China's 'ace designer'. Wei also designed the Chengdu J-20.

By 1989, because of economic sanctions by the US, Pakistan had abandoned Project Sabre II, a design study involving US aircraft manufacturer Grumman and China, and had decided to redesign and upgrade the Chengdu F-7. In the same year, China and Grumman started a new design study to develop the Super 7, another redesigned Chengdu F-7. Grumman left the project when sanctions were placed on China following the political fallout from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. After Grumman left the Chengdu Super 7 project, the Fighter China project was launched in 1991. In 1995, Pakistan and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for joint design and development of a new fighter and over the next few years worked out the project details. In June 1995, Mikoyan had joined the project to provide 'design support', this also involved the secondment of several engineers by CAC. (Source-Wikipedia)

According to sources, Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had personally expressed India's concerns on the deal to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Doval who telephoned both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had told them outright that New Delhi is against the deal.

He warned that Sri Lanka will have to face serious repercussions if Sri Lanka was to seal the deal with Pakistan.
Sri Lanka on the other hand had offered to purchase three naval ships from India. This, however, was not favoured by India and New Delhi was firm on its stance.
To give in, Sri Lankan Defence Ministry had asked for 10 JF-17 aircraft or a similar craft. India came up with a counter deal where it offered a credit line to SL Government to purchase combat aircraft. The condition is that the government could buy the aircraft from any country other than Pakistan.

China Buys 24 Advanced Russian Su-35 Flankers

China has signed a contract to buy 24 Sukhoi Su-35 multipurpose fighter jets from Russia, becoming the first foreign buyer of the advanced warplane, according to manufacturer Rostec. The deal, estimated to be worth $2 billion, is a significant boost to Russia’s arms exports.
The long negotiation on the Su-35 sale to China has been completed. We have signed a contract,” Sergey Chemezov, the head of the Russian state-owned high-tech giant Rostec, told Kommersant business daily.

Chemezov didn’t disclose the details of the deal, but Kommersant cited sources in the Russian arms industry as saying that China had purchased 24 Su-35s at a price of about $83 million each.
Su-35 Flanker

              Su-35 Flanker

The Su-35 (designated Flanker-E+, not to be confused with the Su-27M, which used to be called the same name before its discontinuation) is a long-range “4++ generation” fighter jet. It is armed with an internal 30mm cannon and has 12 hardpoints with a combined capacity of 8,000 kg, compatible with a wide range of unguided and guided missiles and bombs.

The Russian armed forces are the primary operator of the aircraft, with 36 series Su-35s currently in their possession and more to be produced. China first showed its interest in buying Su-35s in 2008 during the Airshow China international expo. Formal negotiations started in 2011.

According to Kommersant, the deal does not involve domestic production of Su-35s in China, a condition usually desired by Beijing due to its strategic goal of producing an entire range of the weapons it uses on its own territory.

Pakistan has Signed Contract With Third Party Xiaolong two-seater First Flight Next Year

The 14th Dubai International Air Show in the first two days, the aircraft industry under the Air Ratko card technology with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex hold "Fierce Dragon" fighter press conference. Conference site, China and Pakistan jointly to the international media on the latest progress of this fighter jointly developed by China and Pakistan, and to publish outside the models to develop a blueprint for the international market. Liu, deputy general manager of CATIC, Pakistan cards Ratko Commonwealth Air Vice-Admiral Arshad Malik attended the press conference, and make answers to questions from the media concern.

Major General Arshad Malik also said that since the "Fierce Dragon" fighter Pakistan Air Force equipment, the improvement and upgrading works have been none stop. Subsequent production of "Fierce Dragon" fighter will have air refueling capability, it will increase in the future as well as advanced data link electronic warfare capabilities, to mount new guided weapons. Referring to the "Fierce Dragon" two-seat combat trainer aircraft development schedule, the Major General Arshad Malik revealed , "Fierce Dragon" two-seat combat trainer is designed not only to meet pilot training and other tasks, with both machines with the same single-seat combat capability, kind, will realize its first flight next year, Pakistan Air Force plans to equip two-seat "Fierce Dragon."

China makes breakthrough in Li-Fi technology, with speed of 50 Gbps

Visible light communication (VLC) technology
Visible light communication (VLC) technology
A new Chinese breakthrough in visible light communication (VLC) technology may enable people to download a HD movie in around 0.3 second simply using the light of a lamp.

A test conducted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology confirmed that the real-time traffic rate of a Chinese VLC system had reached 50 gigabytes per second (Gbps), the ministry announced Friday.

The real-time speed is the highest obtained by China so far. In August 2014, media reported a group of Mexican scientists used similar technology to transmit data with speeds up to 10 Gbps.

IT expert and academic Wu Jiangxing said it will be possible to establish a huge VLC network based on the billions of bulbs and LED lighting facilities already around the globe.

"Every bulb can serve as a high-speed Internet access point (similar to a WIFI hotspot ) after VLC technology is widely applied in the future," said Wu, unable to give a specific time frame. "Imagine downloading several movies while you are waiting for a green light at a crossroad or surfing the Internet on planes and high-speed trains via the lights."

The technology is green and consumes far less energy and can secure information better than radio, which has loopholes such as signal disturbance, leaks and interception, according to the ministry.

Chinese Scientists Unveil New Stealth Material Breakthrough

A group of scientists from China may have created a stealth material that could make future fighter jets very difficult to detect by some of today’s most cutting-edge anti-stealth radar.

The researchers developed a new material they say can defeat microwave radar at ultrahigh frequencies, or UHF. Such material is usually too thick to be applied to aircraft like fighter jets, but this new material is thin enough for military aircraft, ships, and other equipment.

Today’s synthetic aperture radar use arrays of antennas directing microwave energy to essentially see through clouds and fog and provide an approximate sense of the object’s size, the so-called radar cross section. With radar absorbent material not all of the signal
bounces back to the receiver. A plane can look like a bird.

“Our proposed absorber is almost ten times thinner than conventional ones,” said Wenhua Xu, one of the team members from China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in a statement.

In their paper, published today in the Journal of Applied Physics, the team describes a material composed of semi-conducting diodes (varactors) and capacitors that have been soldered onto a printed circuit board. That layer is sitting under a layer of copper resistors and capacitors just .04 mm thick, which they called an “active frequency selective surface material” or AFSS. The AFSS layer can effectively be stretched to provide a lot of absorption but is thin enough to go onto an aircraft. The next layer is a thin metal honeycomb and final is a metal slab.

The good news: the material isn’t locked away in a lab but published openly, so it’s not going to surprise anyone.
Stealth is considered by many to be one of the key technologies that enabled U.S. military dominance throughout the last century, effectively neutralizing, or offsetting, technological gains made by rival nations and the Soviet empire.

America says China’s fifth-generation jet fighter J-31 stolen from its F-35

American experts have accused China of stealing the US design in its first indigenously developed fifth-generation fighter jet, which was displayed at Dubai Airshow on Sunday, raising doubts over the achievement of the country which has stolen a march over India in developing the aircraft.

US defence and strategic affairs experts alleged that the design of the FC-31 "Gyrfalcon" or J-31, which was showcased for the first time abroad according to a Chinese military run portal, was stolen from the US-made F-35 in April 2009 when Chinese hackers entered the networks of American defence equipment maker Lockheed Martin.

The FC-31's airframe is similar to that of the F-35. The FC-31 also has two internal weapons bays that can carry guided and unguided weapons, just like the F-35.

"The similarity includes the use of two tracking mirrors and a flat-facetted optical window, with bottom fuselage placement just aft the radar radome," IHS Jane's Defence Weekly said.

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is trying to sell FC-31 as an alternative to Lockheed Martin's F-35 joint strike fighter. Besides Chinese Air Force, Iran and Pakistan are understood to have shown some interest in this fighter jet.

AVIC officials present at the Dubai Airshow hailed the aircraft's "outstanding situational awareness" and said that the FC-31 is designed for "the demands of future battlefield environments".

Pakistan Orders 40 JF-17 Fighter Aircraft, Contract signed with Foreign Customer

he Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is expected to order 40 JF-17 Thunder light fighter aircraft made the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Aviation Industries Corporation of China (AVIC).

The order adds to the 60 aircraft already in PAF service, an AVIC statement said yesterday.

In addition, The AVIC –PAC partnership has signed a contract with a third party customer for the purchase of the JF-17 Thunder, AVIC Executive Vice President Liu Yu was quoted as saying in the statement.

However, the customer was not identified nor details of the sale revealed.

Liu Yu said JF-17 Thunder had demonstrated capabilities in air-to-air, air-to-surface combats and its great cost-effectiveness had received attention from the global aviation industry.
JF-17 Thunder
JF-17 Thunder

As China and Pakistan improve their ability and skills in co-developing JF-17 Thunder, the aircraft is becoming a “Blue Ocean product” with much market potentials as an ideal replacement for second-generation fighters in many countries’ air force.

AVIC and PAC anticipate a market for 300 JF-17 fighter aircraft in the near future.

Mi-35 Deliveries to Pakistan will begin in the year 2016

Director General of State Corporation Sergey Chemezov Rustech reported on the signed contract with Pakistan to supply Mi-35. Requests for Mi-28 helicopters from the Pakistani side were reported.

Delivery of Mi-35 in Pakistan will begin in the year 2016, told reporters on Monday the State Corporation Sergey Chemezov, General Director of Rustech International Airshow Dubai Airshow-2015.

Dubai Airshow is held from 1989 onwards, with the assistance of the Government and the Emirate of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and U.A.E. Defense Ministry. Its subject is the armament and military equipment of the AIR FORCE, air defence, space technology, civil aviation and technology. This year's air show takes place from 8 to 12 November.


Russia Says UAE in talks for Su-35

Rostec head Sergey Chemezov said at the Dubai airshow that his employees are currently engaged in negotiations with the UAE for the Su-35.

Russia is presenting its aircraft and air defense systems at the Dubai Airshow in the UAE.

“Su-35 presentation here [at the airshow] is very good, and we are currently engaged in negotiations with the [United Arab] Emirates about the delivery of these aircraft,” Chemezov told journalists.

Earlier in the day, head of Rostec's International Cooperation Department Viktor Kladov told RIA Novosti that the UAE expressed its interest in the aircraft, however the sides have not discussed the number of Su-35 that could be delivered to Abu Dhabi.

The Su-35 fighter (NATO reporting name Flanker-E) jet is an upgraded version of the Su-27 multirole fighter. In 2013, it was first introduced to a foreign audience in Paris.

MiG-29UPG Upgrade Programme Goes On

The MiG Corp. and Phazotron Corp. continue deliveries of knockdown kits to India for upgrading the entire fleet of Indian Air Force MiG-29 fighters under the contract signed on 7 March 2008 (MiG-29UPG programme). In all, 63 aircraft, including nine MiG-29UB twin-seat combat trainers, are subject to upgrade. They are to be given more up-to-date avionics, with their weapons suite to be beefed up with advanced missiles. In addition, airframe and powerplant improvements will extend the fighters' service life by far, and the aircraft will switch to on-condition maintenance. The fuel load will increase owing to a conformal spine fuel tank aft of the cockpit. At the same time, the fighters will get the mid-air refuelling capability.

Overall, the concept of upgrading the IAF MiG-29s corresponds to that of the MiG-29SMT that has been in service with the Russian Air Force since 2009 and mastered by Russian pilots. At the same time, there will be a high degree of avionics and weapons commonality with the MiG-29K/KUB carrierborne fighters that entered service with the Indian Navy on 19 February 2010. At the customer’s request, systems from various foreign manufacturers are integrated with the avionics suite of the upgraded MiG-29UPG (the so-called international avionics suite). Similar experience has been gained from the fulfilling of the Russian-Indian contracts for upgrade of the IAF's MiG-21bis to MiG-21UPG Bison standard and for development and manufacture of the Su-30MKI and MiG-29K/KUB fighters. The experience has showed itself to good advantage.

The upgraded MiG-29UPG's fire control system is wrapped around the advanced Phazotron-NIIR Zhuk-M2E slotted-array radar and OLS-UEM IRST with the laser, thermal-imager and TV capabilities from the Precise Instrument Systems Scientific and Production Corporation (NPK SPP). The same radar and IRST fit the MiG-29K/KUB. The cockpit management system is based on colour multifunction liquid-crystal displays. The international segment of the avionics suite includes a helmet-mounted target designator from Thales, an inertial/satellite navigation system from Sagem, an Indian electronic intelligence system and an Israeli electronic countermeasures system (the same gear equips the MiG-29K/KUB).

In addition to the conformal fuel cell behind the cockpit and the mid-air refuelling boom on the portside, visual differences between the MiG-29UPG and the baseline MiG-29 include the underwing chaff/flare dispensers from Bharat Electronics and advanced antennae of the defence aids suite under wign and in the root of the right fin.

The basic weapons carried by the MIG-29UPG are the same as those carried by the MiG-29SMT and MiG-29K/KUB. Unlike the weapons suite of production MiG-29s, they also include the RVV-AE medium-range active radar homing air-to-air missiles and such precision-guided air-to-surface weapons, as the Kh-29T general-purpose TV-homing missile, Kh-31A active radar homing antiship missile, Kh-31P passive radar homing antiradation missile, KAB-500Kr TV-homing bombs, etc.

The MiG-29 has been in IAF's inventory since 1987. Overall, 80 aircraft of the type had been delivered from the later 1980s to the mid-'90s, including about 70 MiG-29 singleseaters (version B, or MiG-29B) and 10 MiG-29UB twinseaters.

Pakistan-Russia Relationship – Closing in on Su-35 and Mi-35s Delivery

Pakistan-Russia relationship is set to grow with talks about delivery Mi-35M helicopters and Su-35 fighter jets continues. This comes from the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Earlier in this year, Moscow sent a draft contract to Islamabad regarding the delivery of four Mi-35M ‘Hind E’ combat helicopters and Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets. It would seem that the draft contract has been bumped up a level considering the talks being held, as we speak, regarding the delivery of said machines. These helicopters and fighter jets would become a valuable to addition to Pakistan’s growing air force.


Pak-Russia relationship have not always been one to be proud of, however, lately, the two countries are warming up to each other. In November 2014, Moscow and Islamabad were able to sign a landmark defense operation agreement. This agreement will allow exchange of information on political and military issues, extend cooperation between the two for promoting international security, intensify counter-terrorism and arms-control activities, strengthen collaboration between Pakistan and Russia on various fields including military, education, medicine, and hydrography, and increase cooperation on peacekeeping operations. While no actual deal was signed at this moment for trade of military equipment, this deal would provide the platform for Pak-Russia relationship to grow and enhance.
 Mi-35M Attack Helicopter
 Mi-35M Attack Helicopter
 As far as the deal of fighter jets and helicopters goes, the Russian deputy Foreign Minister was noted to have said:

I do not think that the contacts under discussion will cause jealousy on the part of any of the two sides.

He was referring to India and Pakistan. Military cooperation between Pakistan and Russia will not impact Moscow’s relationship with New Delhi. He also mentioned that Pak-Russia relationship is improving in other sectors such as energy. As far as India being jealous or concerned goes, India has frequently been involved in military purchases with Russia including 20 Mi-35s not so long ago. In comparison, four attack helicopters of the same kind, should not be an issue. However, it the deal has significance when it comes to creating ties with countries other than China. The deal involving Su-35s and Mi-35s is a major one, and hopefully just a stepping stone to greater deals between Islamabad and Moscow.

Pakistan Will Get Weapons According To Demand: Russian official

Russian official have said to Local Newspaper that Pakistan will get the weapons according to Pakistan's demand. 

Russian Weapons
Russian Weapons

India is Banking on Russia's S-400 Missile to Thwart China Threat

India's defence sector is likely to get a major boost with New Delhi close to finalizing a deal for the world's most advanced anti-ballistic missile system – the S-400 - during Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's visit to Russia

Mr Parrikar, who is scheduled to leave for Moscow on Saturday, in an interview to ITAR-TASS expressed hope to finalise the deal by the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Moscow in December.

The S-400 is designed to protect key installations such as nuclear reactors, government installations and big cities and can intercept enemy missile more than 400 kilometres away.

The S-400 Triumf is capable of countering all air attack weapons, including tactical and strategic aircraft, ballistic missiles and hypersonic targets such as the US F-35 fighter jet.
S-400 Triumf
S-400 Triumf 

The S-400 can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously with as many as 72 missiles at altitudes of five meters to 30 km.

The cost of the acquisition and the number of S-400 systems India will acquire is not known at this stage.

Parrikar's visit comes as the government's Defence Acquisition Council cleared defence projects worth more than Rs. 15,000 crores.

Rumours of Chinese Development of J-18 Heavy Fighter Bomber

J-18 strike fighter
J-18 strike fighter

J-18 strike fighter
J-18 strike fighter

It was rumored that a new heavy fighter bomber (J-18) based on J-16 is being developed at 601/SAC since early 2010s. It features a widened twin-seat cockpit similar to Russian Su-34 and adjustable leading edge vortex controllers similar to Russian T-50. First flight was rumored to have taken place on October 27, 2015 but this has not been confirmed."

Pakistan has Built low-yield Nuclear Weapons to Counter Indian Aggression

Pakistan has made low-yield nuclear weapons in response to India’s actions under its cold-start doctrine, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhary told a news briefing here on Tuesday.

This is the first concrete explanation from a senior Pakistani official on how Islamabad plans to deal with India’s so called cold-start doctrine, now re-named the pro-active strategy.

It is also a rare explanation of Pakistan’s decision to make tactical nuclear weapons to deal with the possible threat of Indian aggression.

Briefing the Pakistani media on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington, Chaudhary also said that Pakistan would not sign any nuclear deal with the United States during the visit.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reaffirmed that Pakistan’s national interests will be prioritised during his upcoming visit to the United States (US).

The premier was speaking to media personnel in London, en route the US.

“We will protect the national interests of Pakistan during my meetings with US leadership,” said the prime minister.

While responding to a question on recent reports in US media regarding Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, and plans to limit it, the premier said: “We should not forget who the prime minister was in 1999 when we became a nuclear power.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also stated that concrete evidence regarding India’s sponsoring of terrorism has been forwarded to relevant people and organisations, and expressed hope that Pakistan’s concerns would be addressed.

The premier will arrive in the US on Tuesday and will likely be asked to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, days after Washington said it was delaying its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama last week reversed a pledge to pull troops out as he admitted Afghan forces were not ready to stand alone against the resurgent Taliban, who briefly captured a key northern city this month.

The US sees Pakistan as one of the few sources of influence over the extremists, and analysts say Washington will use the four-day trip to urge Sharif to keep pushing for a new round of talks.

Yesterday, the Foreign Office had clarified that no “deal” is being discussed between Pakistan and the United States.

Comac C919 takes shape in Shanghai

Final assembly work on the Comac C919 has kicked into high gear, with assembly of the first prototype airframe almost complete.

Pictures released to Flightglobal show an almost complete airframe joined from nose through to the tail. Wing-to-body join has also been done, with the vertical and horizontal stabilisers already attached to the aircraft's tail.

The aircraft is still resting on struts, although the main landing gear and forward landing gear appear to have been installed. The aircraft's wingtip devices have also yet to be installed. No other aircraft are pictured in the final assembly centre area.

A Comac spokesman tells Flightglobal that no systems have been installed on the aircraft.

Over the last six months the Chinese aircraft manufacturer has been taking delivery of the jet's major structures, with final assembly work officially started last September.
Comac C919
Comac C919
 Comac has publicly stated end-2015 as the aircraft's first flight target, and the spokesman says the goal remains to strive towards that timeline.

He adds however that major works such as the installation of the avionics, flight control and hydraulics systems still remain to be done. The various systems also have to be integrated and tested.

Tests are however ongoing at full-swing on the C919 iron bird test rig, with more than 50 test engineers and technicians involved.

J-20 and More Thoughts On 5th generation Projects

Most recently, a 7th prototype of J-20 project (No. 2016) appeared and made its maiden flight on September 18th. It’s been 9 months since the last prototype had come out, so this new prototype is a sign that the program has not hit any major stumbling block and was just going through the next iteration in its development. As a refresher, 2 prototypes (No. 2001 and No. 2002) came out and flew in 2011. They were probably the demonstrators of this program. Over 2 and half years later, the 3rd J-20 prototype (No. 2011) came out and was followed by 3 more prototypes (No. 2012, 2013 and 2015). They had some major redesign and changes compared to the demonstrators. So they should be considered the first pre-production prototypes and were probably produced in the same batch. CAC and CFTE have been testing them since that time. I expect that more J-20 prototypes will be coming out in the next few months, since they seem to be building them in batches on this and past CAC project. Compared to the last batch of J-20s, the most noticeable changes have been on the DSI bump and the engine nacelle. The DSI bump looks to be a little larger and people have speculated that some EW equipment may be installed inside. From the relatively few changes between the batches, one can surmise that the J-20 design is more or less frozen.

Indeed, there have already been speculations that the first production J-20s will come out next year to be tested and evaluated by FTTC. While I think that is certainly possible, I think it is also best to tamper one’s expectations and expect some problems along the way. Every 5th generation projects so far have experienced some bumps along the way. The PAK-FA project had fire on one of its prototypes and still has not flown a new prototype since. IAF have continually complained recent years about the technology and progress of PAK-FA. The F-22 and F-35 projects are far more open, so there were many reports of issues along the way. One would expect J-20 to encounter similar issues along the way even if those reports only come out in the rumour mills of Chinese military forums.

With everything that we can see, I think that CAC has been doing a great job with the J-20 project. At this point, I already consider J-20 project to be ahead of PAK-FA in both the design and timelines. In terms of design and technology, J-20 looks to be better configured for stealth from most profiles vs PAK-FA. The next generation AESA radar and the rest of electronic suite are already been deployed J-10B/C and J-16 compared to lack of such Russians platforms. Even the next generation missiles (like PL-10 and PL-15) seem to be further along in development and deployment than similar Russian systems. PAK-FA only seems to be using a more advanced engine at this phase of testing. Considering that the Russians started to research on 5th gen fighter jet in the 80s and first flew PAK-FA a year earlier than J-20, this does not speak very well of Russia’s aerospace industry.

J-20 project
J-20 project

For the past year or two, I’ve read numerous articles coming out of India that complained about the technology, cost and lack of their work share in the PAK-FA project. Since then, there was a fire on one of the PAK-FA prototypes when they were giving a flight demonstration to Indian delegation and have not shown a new prototype since. There have also been numerous online posts about the build problems and quality issues with those prototypes. Now most recently, I’ve also seen a report where India is thinking of pulling out participation in the development of PAK-FA and just buying them straight out of Russia. They probably realized Russia was unwilling to share its most sensitive secrets so they needed to devote more of their R&D resources on their domestic project MCA. At the same time, it also appears that some in IAF is favouring for purchase of more Rafael and less PAK-FA. There are numerous components of PAK-FA project like stealth and propulsion, which are not up to par with the standard established by F-22. If the leap in technology over Rafael is not big, then it makes all the sense to buy the more of the mature platform. Of course, that could also create a disastrous scenario for IAF if J-20 and FC-31 turn out to be much better than Rafael.

China's Super Weapons: Beware the J-20 and J-31 Stealth Fighters

People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has lagged behind the aerial programs of other world powers such as the United States. Now, the PRC has set its sights on producing indigenously designed “fifth generation” fighter jets comparable to the US F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. Many U.S. officials and pilots suspect that the Chinese have been usinghacked U.S. technology to aid their indigenous development programs. The PRC is also leveraging additive manufacturing technology (better known as 3D-printing) in order to increase speed and efficiency in manufacturing aircrafts and compete with the U.S. The J-20 Black Eagle could be fully operational by 2018, and a second model, the J-31 Gyrfalcon, by 2020. If true, China’s new generation of fighters could have a substantial impact on its ability to either defend what it considers to be sovereign airspace, or to mount an aerial offensive in a wartime scenario, particularly against Taiwan (ROC).

Recent Advances in the PLAAF

Between 1990 and 1992 the PRC purchased 24 Su-27 Flankers from Russia and slightly modified the design to become the J-11 Flanker B+. In response, the U.S. sold 150 F-16 Fighting Falcons to Taiwan. The acquisition of fourth generation Su-27s allowed China’s Air Force to enter modernity, and they have become progressively more capable ever since. In 2010, half of the PLAAF fleet still consisted of jets modeled after 1950s and 1960s Soviet MiG-19 Farmers and MiG-21 Fishbeds, but China’s ability to project air power has increased significantly within the past 5 years. Recently, the PRC and Russia have nearly completed a deal to transfer 24 Russian Su-35 Super Flankers, a potent “generation 4++” fighter, to the Chinese, in addition to China’s scheduled integration of fifth generation technology.

Currently the PLAAF relies on the J-11 as its primary fighter. However, this model is largely unproven. This aircraft is perhaps most recognized as the fighter variant involved in an August 2014 incident in which a single J-11 intercepted a USN P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft 135 miles east of Hainan Island. Twice the J-11 came within 50 yards of the U.S. aircraft. The aggressive maneuvering by the Chinese pilot was an example of the PLAAF making it clear that U.S. surveillance is not appreciated within the airspace over its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Fifth Generation Capabilities

Since 2008 the PRC has worked to design and manufacture fifth generation concepts, both for its own use and to sell on a global scale. Two companies in China have worked on designs: the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (J-20) and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (J-31). Both are subsidiaries of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). It is likely that the J-20 and J-31 will complement one another when integrated into the PLAAF’s arsenal. The J-20 is closer to becoming operational, with an inaugural test flight in 2011; it is expected to reach initial operating capability (IOC) by 2018. Because both jets are still in prototype stage, their exact capabilities are not certain. However, it is speculated that the J-20 will provide a long-range strike system capable of reaching anywhere in the Western Pacific region, and incorporate a stealth design; the first of its kind in the PRC. In a conflict, the J-20 would likely be deployed in air-to-air combat with the mission of limiting the enemy’s radar coverage and strike range. The J-31 could be a potent complement to the J-20, similar to the planned U.S. partnership of the F-22 and F-35. While the J-20 is expected to possess superior dogfighting abilities, the J-31 will be “the perfect fighter for the PLA to carry out anti-access area-denial (A2AD) strategies in the Western Pacific”. The J-20 is slightly faster, with a maximum speed of Mach 2.5compared to Mach 2 for the J-31. Both sport a combat radius of approximately 2000km (1242 miles).

U.S. officials believe that the J-31 will immediately match or exceed the capabilities of U.S. fourth generation fighters such as the F-15 Strike Eagle and F/A-18 Super Hornet, and could possibly even compete with the F-22 or F-35. But this would largely depend on several factors including the quality of Chinese pilots, the quantity of fighters produced, and the reliability of radar and other equipment on board. In late 2014, AVIC President Lin Zhouming made an even bolder prediction, saying, “When [the J-31] takes to the sky, it could definitely take down the F-35. It's a certainty.” Even if neither of the Chinese fighter jets is entirely up to par with U.S. fifth-gens, they still could drastically change the dynamic of both a conflict with the U.S. or a scenario such as an invasion of Taiwan.

Saudi Arabia Set to Buy Four Lockheed Martin Freedom-Class Variants in $11.25B Deal

Four Lockheed Martin Freedom-class ship variants are set to form the backbone of the Royal Saudi Navy’s Eastern Fleet as part of a $11.25 billion foreign military sales case presented to Congress on Monday.

The ships and the subsequent systems, weapons and munitions are the centerpiece of the long awaited Saudi Naval Expansion Program II (SNEP II) — the estimated $20 billon program to refresh the aging U.S.-built Saudi fleet operating in the Persian Gulf, according to a State Department notification issued on Tuesday morning.

“This acquisition will enhance the stability and maritime security in the sea areas around the Arabian Peninsula and support strategic objectives of the United States,” read the notification. “The proposed sale will provide Saudi Arabia with an increased ability to meet current and future maritime threats from enemy weapon systems. The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships will provide protection-in- depth for critical industrial infrastructure and for the sea lines of communication.”
Lockheed Martin Freedom-Class
Lockheed Martin Freedom-Class

Unlike the Freedom Flight 0 Littoral Combat Ships, the Saudi ships do not appear to have the modular mission package ability and will be rather a more traditional multi-mission model.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to provide the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with four multi-mission surface combatants (MMSC), based on the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship,” read a Lockheed Martin statement provided to USNI News.
“We look forward to working with both navies in developing a low-risk, cost effective approach that delivers value back to the customers.”

Lockheed as presented several sizes of the Freedom for foreign sales and is yet unclear what the final tonnage of the Saudi variant will be.

Russian Salut Continues To Upgrade AL-31F

According to the Salut Gas Turbine Research and Production Centre’s Director General Vladislav Masalov, the company manufactured about a hundred AL-31F turbofans in several variants in 2011. Over 75% of them, in the AL-31FN version in the first place, were exported. The rest were made for the Russian Defence Ministry. To fit the aircraft in service with the Russian Air Force, the company has for several years supplied AL-31F Series 42 engines upgraded by the in-house design bureau and known as AL-31F-M1.

The AL-31F-M1 passed its official trials in 2006 and has been ordered by the Defence Ministry since 2007 to equip Sukhoi Su-27SM fighters. Last year, Salut shipped another batch of engines of the type, which were used for fitting the Su-27SM(3) fighters delivered to RusAF under the contract signed in 2009. A decision in principle was taken to fit the RusAF-ordered Sukhoi Su-34 bombers with Salut-built AL-31F Series 42s. Unlike the baseline AL-31F, the upgraded engine has an advanced enlarged-diameter fan (924 mm) and an automatic control system with a digital integrated governor, which has increased the thrust up to 13,500 kgf and extended the service life.

AL-31FN for J-10

The next stage of the Salut-conducted upgrade is to become the AL-31F-M2 engine, which thrust in special mode will increase to 14,500 kgf and the service life to 3,000 h or more.

Early this year, Salut hosted a meeting of the scientific and technical board attended by personnel of the Sukhoi design bureau, Lyulka scientific and technical centre (an affiliate of NPO Saturn JSC), United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation. The board met to consider the results produced by the development work on upgrade the second-stage AL-31F (AL-31F-M2). All work pertinent to the second stage of the engine’s upgrade is on schedule. To date, the engine has completed its special bench tests in Central Institute of Aviation Motors thermal vacuum chamber, which have proven the feasibility of a static thrust of 14,500 kgf and the manufacturer’s performance ratings. The upgraded engine has a 9% increase in thrust in flight modes over the AL-31F-M1.

“The upgrade of the AL-31F engine does not involve modifying its dimensions and is aimed at retaining the feasibility of re-engining the whole of the Su-27 aircraft fleet without extra modifications to the airframe or engine nacelles”, Salut General Designer Gennady Skirdov said.

Russia Reportedly Looking To Remove Itself From Internet

Russia has reportedly run tests to see if it can remove itself from the World Wide Web to stem the flow of information to and from foreign countries, according to a top industry official.

Experts told the UK Daily Telegraph the tests were run to prepare for an information blackout in case of a potential domestic political crisis. The attempt to cut Russia from the Internet has stoked fears about the Kremlin stripping Internet freedoms from its citizens.

Andrei Semerikov, general director of Russian Internet provider Er Telecom, told the newspaper it was ordered by the ministry of communications and Russia’s national Internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, to block traffic to foreign communications channels by using DPI, a traffic control system.

The goal was to see if Russia’s Internet could continue to function even though it was cut off from the global Internet.

Russian officials denied any experiment took place. A spokesman for Roskomnadzor told The Telegraph “there was not such experiment.” Another spokesman told Russian newspaper RBK that Semerikov’s comments were taken out of context.

However, RBK reported that a similar test to cut Russia from the World Wide Web was conducted last July. The FSB, Russia’s defense ministry and interior ministry collaborated with the country’s telephone operator to see if a national intranet made up of certain Russian domain names could survive if cut off from other parts of the web.

Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly ordered the test to assess the country’s Internet capabilities should Western sanctions cut off the country from the Internet. The test resulted in a move to build a backup infrastructure to ensure the Internet could continue to operate.

Andrei Soldatov, an expert in Russian security services, told the UK Daily Telegraph the tests are a “pretext” and said the government is getting ready for the possibility of shutting down the flow of information from the outside world.

Concept of F-15J Stealth Fighter

F-15J Stealth Fighter
F-15J Stealth Fighter

F-15J Stealth Fighter
F-15J Stealth Fighter

The concept of stealth fighter F-15J for the Japanese Air Force. The aircraft features many advanced technologies and systems including semi- stealth capability, conformal fuel tanks, and enclosed weapons pods.

China May Deliver 300 of Type 99 Main Battle Tank to Pakistan

According to reports, china may deliver a total of 300 of Type 99 Main Battle Tank to Pakistan. Pakistan is already testing the Type 99 Main Battle Tank given the unsatisfactory performance of the VT-4 and Oplot-M. VT-4 is the export variant of the MBT-3000, while the Oplot-M is a Ukranian Tank. Pakistan is looking to upgrade its inventory of tanks in order to satisfy the needs of the armed forces from 2017 to 2025. After the successful testing of Type 99 Main Battle Tank, it will be decided which tanks will to acquire.

Defense experts have welcomed this new development with open arms. The Type 99 Main Battle Tank would serve as a cheap and ideal replacement for Pakistan Army’s fleets of T80UD, Al-Zarrar, Type 85, Type 69, and Type 59 MBTs. The fleets under Pakistan Army as of right now are quite old and can’t possibly create with a modern line of tanks in huge numbers. Type 99 Main Battle Tank was fielded by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It is a third-generation tank and a Chinese variant of the Russia T-72 MBT. Type 99 Main Battle Tank incorporates the autoloader, hull, the main gun and armor from the T-72 Russian MBT. If the deal between Pakistan and China on this front goes through, the Type 99 Main Battle Tank should also serve as an ideal opponent to the Indian T-90MS.

Rafale Most Expensive Acquisition- LCA Cheapest in Combat Category

Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Indian air force that there weren't enough funds to expand the Rafale acquisition and that it must induct an improved version of the indigenous Tejas-Mark 1A.

"The IAF (air force) needs to have a minimum number of aircraft at all times. The LCA is our best option at this stage, given our resource constraints," the defense official said.

"The Rafale is our most expensive acquisition. The LCA is our cheapest in the combat category."

Modi pushes 'obsolete' made-in-India plane on reluctant military

NEW DELHI: India's government has turned down its military's request to expand the acquisition of 36 fighter planes from Dassault Aviation SAto plug vital gaps, officials said, nudging it to accept an indigenous combat plane 32 years in the making.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision, in line with his Make-in-India policy to encourage domestic industry, is a blow for not only the French manufacturerbut also others circling over the Indian military aviation market worth billions of dollars.

The push for India's struggling Tejas light combat aircraft(LCA) also comes at a time when the Indian Air Force(IAF) is at its weakest operational strength since the 1962 war against China, which is causing anxiety within military circles.

Since it took over last year, the Modiadministration has repeatedly said its overriding goal is to cut off the military's addiction to foreign arms which has made it the world's top importer.

The air force wanted the government to clear an additional 44 Rafale medium multirole aircraft on top of the 36 that Modiannounced during a visit to Paris this year that are to be bought off-the-shelf to meet its urgent requirements.

But a defense ministry official said that Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Indian air force that there weren't enough funds to expand the Rafale acquisition and that it must induct an improved version of the indigenous Tejas-Mark 1A.

"The IAF (air force) needs to have a minimum number of aircraft at all times. The LCA is our best option at this stage, given our resource constraints," the defense official said.

"The Rafale is our most expensive acquisition. The LCA is our cheapest in the combat category."

India's air force says its requires 45 fighter squadrons to counter a "two-front collusive threat" from Pakistan and China. But it only has 35 active fighter squadrons, parliament's defense committee said in a report in April citing a presentation by a top air force officer.

China may have conducted test flight of world's fastest aircraft

China may have recently conducted a successful test of the fastest hypersonic aircraft in the world, reports Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao.
According to a report released Friday on the official website of state-owned aerospace and defense giant Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), one of its test flight centers has completed an initial test flight on an unspecified high-altitude, super-fast aircraft with a "unique flying style."
Though the report was deleted shortly after, military analysts believe it is likely that China is developing a new hypersonic aircraft that can travel at five times the speed of sound.
US SR-71 Blackbird strategic Reconnaissance Aircraft
US SR-71 Blackbird strategic Reconnaissance Aircraft
The Shanghai-based Guancha Syndicate said that while the AVIC report did not divulge the model of the plane or what missions it can carry out, it is clear from reading between the lines that the aircraft is a hypersonic demonstrator that can travel at record speeds. This means an aircraft that can travel faster than Mach 5, or 6,125 kilometers per hour.
From the descriptions, it does not appear to be a WU-14 hypersonic glide vehicle but rather a new large-sized reconnaissance jet that can that can reach hypersonic speeds on its own, Guancha added.
Hong Kong's Phoenix Television also said that the AVIC report referred to "test pilots," but since the term can also be used to describe drone pilots, it is impossible to confirm at this stage whether the aircraft is manned or unmanned.

China may launch Type 001A carrier on Mao's birthday

China is ready to launch its first domestically built aircraft carrier, known as the Type 001A, on Dec. 26 to mark the 122th birthday of Mao Zedong, according to Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao on Sept. 24.
President Xi Jinping reportedly visited the Dalian Shipyard to inspect the progress of work on the carrier in August. The shipyard had previously overseen the retrofitting of the Varyag, China's first aircraft carrier purchased as a hulk from Ukraine and finally commissioned in 2012 as the Liaoning.
Noting that it took only two years and eight months for the US to complete the USS John C Stennis, its seventh Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, Ming Pao predicted that China will be able to complete the construction of the Type 001A in a similar time. The John C Stennis was commissioned in 1995.
Type 001A aircraft carrier
Type 001A aircraft carrier 

Moreover, unlike the John C Stennis, the Type 001A is only a conventionally powered carrier rather than a nuclear-powered carrier and is much smaller than the supercarriers of the US Navy.
Ming Pao also pointed out that China has a tradition of launching new warships at the end of a year to celebrate Chairman Mao's birthday. In 1970, it was the day that China launched its first nuclear-powered submarine, the Changzhen-I. Three out of China's four Han-class Type 091 submarines were also launched on Dec. 26.

China's Updated J-31 Unveiled, Expected to Hit Global Market in 5 yrs

China has unveiled an updated version of the J-31 "Gyrfalcon" fighter jet, which is expected to be marketed internationally within the next five years, reports the Beijing-based Sina Military Network.
An updated model of the J-31 — a single-seat, twin-engine, fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation — was recently on display at the 16th China Aviation Expo in Beijing from Sept. 16-19.
With a redesigned tail, the J-31's aerodynamic and stealth capabilities are said to have already surpassed most traditional fighter jets and will soon have an upgraded avionics system. Its current Russian-made RD-93 engine is also expected to be upgraded with a new version of the Chinese-made WS-13 engine in the future.

The J-31 reportedly reaches a max speed of Mach 1.8 and a combat radius of 2,000 kilometers, essentially satisfying the requirements of a carrier-based jet. In addition, the aircraft is said to have been designed for high survivability, low vulnerability to radar detection and low infrared radiation, and possesses excellent electronic countermeasures. The stealth fighter also has powerful target detection and external information gathering functionality, meaning it will have strong air combat capabilities can attack both land and sea targets.
The development of the J-31 has been extremely fast as it is based on mature technology, Sina Military said, noting that there have been allegations that China stole technology from America's F-35 Lightning fighter jet to design the aircraft.
The J-31 is expected to complete test flights within the next five years and be promoted on the international market shortly thereafter. By 2024, China could market the J-31 as a replacement for the current JF-17 Block II multirole combat aircraft it jointly developed with Pakistan.

Can Chinese Operating System (OS) replace Microsoft Windows?

A first look at the Chinese operating system the government wants to replace Windows
Microsoft Windows is the dominant operating system in China, but the government is trying to encourage homegrown replacements. The most popular one is called NeoKylin. We gave it a whirl to see how the hottest China-made OS looks and feels.

NeoKylin is developed by China Standard Software, based in Shanghai. Behold the login screen.

NeoKylin has long been part of the Chinese government’s hopes that a successful domestic OS would emerge. This has been driven by Microsoft dropping support for Windows XP—still widely used in China—and the government’s push to limit dependence on foreign technology, primarily for security reasons.

Now NeoKylin is starting to be considered a legitimate option even for users outside the government. Workers in the entire city of Siping switched to it. Over 40% of commercial PCs sold by Dell in China are running NeoKylin, the company says.

“The NeoKylin OS is available on Dell Latitude commercial laptops, Dell OptiPlex commercial desktops, andDellPrecision workstations,” a spokesperson for Dell in China told Quartz. The Dell China website advertises several models shipping with NeoKylin, like this Latitude:

NeoKylin is offered with Dell Latitude laptops in China.(Dell China)

So what’s it like to use? We downloaded and installed the latest “community version” of NeoKylin 6.0, previously available on China Standard Software’s website.

This community version is not identical to what is shipping with Dell computers, said Cui Wenzhe, a spokesperson for China Standard Software. But “the basic code is the same,” he said, and the differences he mentioned are minor, like improvements to the interface and extra drivers that help the OS interact with Dell’s hardware.

It is an XP replacement, alright. It looks nearly identical to Microsoft’s venerable OS.

Su-34 Fullback: Russia's Hottest Bomber

 Su-34 Fullback

               Su-34 Fullback

The Su-34 is a state-of-the-art Russian fighter bomber, developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in the mid-1980s.

The two-seat Su-34 is primarily designed to destroy a variety of ground and naval targets. It is capable of performing solo and group missions in daytime and at night, under favorable and adverse weather conditions and in a hostile environment.

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