China is working on a secret "space bomber" to compete with America's Boeing X-37 reusable unmanned spacecraft.
Sources say people who reported UFO sightings on March 13 in the Chinese cities of Chongqing, Kunming, Chengdu, Wuhan, Changsha, Zhaoqing and Haikou actually saw a top secret rocket being tested by the government. This coincides with an announcement on the website of China's National Space Science Center the same evening which declared that scientists had successfully conducted a high-altitude scientific exploration test.
Various reports claim that China upped its space program following the successful launch of the US X-37B reusable unmanned spacecraft in December last year. Sources say China has been developing a mysterious space shuttle codenamed "Shenlong," meaning "Divine Dragon" in Chinese, a stealth space bomber that will significantly boost the country's space warfare capabilities.
Chinese military websites began "leaking" alleged photos of the Shenlong project in 2007, with a spacecraft appearing to be suspended from a Xian H-6 strategic bomber. In January 2011, a television station in northwest China's Shaanxi province reported the successful test of an aerosphere vehicle. However, precise details of the Shenlong have remained secret, with most online reports about the project deleted by censors.
Last June, media in central China's Hubei province said that the Shenlong is similar in purpose to the X-37B in that it is an unmanned spacecraft, and claimed that the country's scientists have achieved four major technological breakthroughs on the project in the last two years.
|China's First Aircraft Carrier Liaoning|
A carrier-borne aviation force has been formally established as part of the PLA Navy, military sources said on Friday.
The forming of the force, approved by the country's Central Military Commission, demonstrates that the development of China's aircraft carriers has entered a new phase, the sources said.
The force comprises carrier-borne fighter jets, jet trainers and ship-borne helicopters that operate anti-submarine, rescue and vigilance tasks.
The sources said the carrier-borne force is vital to the strike force of China's aircraft carrier and a vanguard in transforming its navy. It will also play a key role in developing aircraft carrier groups and building a strong navy.
Wu Shengli, a member of the military commission and commander of the PLA Navy, attended the forming event on Friday.
The sources said the personnel of the force are more elite than the aviation forces within the PLA. To be able to fly fighter jets, the pilots should have flown at least five types of aircraft and their flight time must exceed 1,000 hours.
|Chinese Stealth Drone Lijian|
Following the release of internet photos of the Lijian, China's first stealth combat drone, Peng Tinghua, a military analyst, stressed on his mircroblog that this unmanned aerial vehicle will be able to attack all potential targets within the Western Pacific region.
The Lijian is China's response to the push of most advanced countries to roll out unmanned aerial vehicles. The design of the aircraft relied heavily on Northrop Grumman's Dassault-designed X-47B, by the looks of the official photos released by the PLA Daily, the Hong Kong-based Wenweipo said.
Peng stated that the range of the Lijian is about 8,000km, according to China Aviation News. It is not able to compare with the Global Hawk, another unmanned aerial vehicle designed by Northrop Grumman with a range of 14,001 kilometers, but the Lijian is still able to attack all potential target within the Western Pacific with a combat radius of 4,000 kilometers. "Since it will not be necessary for China to attack any targets within Europe or the continental United States," said Peng, "the Lijian will be enough for us to face potential threats over the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea and Western Pacific."
|Lijian (sharp_sword) chinese stealth drone|
A newly designed Chinese stealth drone is ready for its first flight test after completing its taxi test last December at an unknown airfield in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, reports Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese.
Designed jointly by the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group and Shenyang Aviation Corporation, the Lijian ("sharp sword") is China's first stealth drone and the third in the world after the X-47 designed by Northrop Grumman of the United States and France's Dassault nEUROn. The Lijian program was launched in 2009 and the drone's ground test was conducted on Dec. 13 last year.
China Aviation News reports that the Lijian is now ready for flight testing. The drone is set to be used by the PLA Air Force and Navy Air Force for combat missions, and also for tracking and reconnaissance purposes.
Chinese official media and several major chinese defence websites confirmed days ago that China is in the process of developing a stealth strategic bomber - Named as"Red B2".
Alongwith the successful development of Y-20, China has accumulated all the in-house technologies, including engines, for Red B2. The finance is not a problem and the timing is ripe.
The consensus on the mil fora seems to be that it would be slightly smaller than B2, aiming mainly to cover Guan, Hawaii to the East (or the US East Coast in case it's a bigger version), Darwin(AUS) in the South, Diego Garcia / entire India in the S West, Western Asia/Eastern Africa in the West.
Now its time to wait and see which will have its maiden flight first this time, PAKDA or China's "Red B2".