Forbes’ article “Building The Air Force We Need To Meet Chinese And Russian Threats” begins by saying, “In January, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released its unclassified assessment of China’s military capabilities, with the telling subtitle: ‘Modernizing a Force to Fight and Win.’ As DIA director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley explained: ‘China is building a robust, lethal force with capabilities spanning the air, maritime, space and information domains which will enable China to impose its will in the region.’ He went on to emphasize: ‘…the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] is on the verge of fielding some of the most modern weapons systems in the world. In some areas, it already leads the world.’”
The writer of the article blames former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for ceasing production of stealth fighter F-22 as he predicted that China would not have any stealth fighter jet by 2020 but why did he no change his mind to regard China’s military development as a “threat” when China tested its J-20 stealth fighter for the first time when he visited China in 2011? Because he was arrogant and did not believe that China would succeed in satisfactorily developing J-20 by 2020.
Now, Pentagon has changed its mind and begun to take China’s military development seriously. However, the US lacks funds to substantially increase its military budget. With much smaller budget, China is still able to catch up with and surpass the US. What if it substantially increase its budget? China has lots of funds to do so.
How can the US stop its own decline and China’s rise?
Think about that.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Forbes’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.forbes.com/sites/davedeptula/2019/02/11/building-the-air-force-we-need/amp/.
Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report yesterday that according to various foreign media’s analyses, China is developing a new carrier-based fighter jet to replace J-15 that the Liaoning uses.
According to SCMP’s report on July 5 Lieutenant General Zhang Honghe, deputy head of the PLA Air Force, told SCMP that China is developing a “new carrier-based fighter to replace the J-15” but no details have been given.
Chinese military expert Li Jie believes that FC-31, the second type of stealth fighter jet China is developing, is the right stealth fighter jet to replace J-15. It is smaller and lighter with weapons hidden inside.
However, there have always been various different opinions. Some speculate that a carrier-based version of J-20 will be developed for China’s future fleets of aircraft carrier. J-20 is more powerful than FC-31 (J-31) to deal with US F-35 and F-22. It will enable China’s carrier fleets to be a real blue sea navy.
Source: mil.huanqiu.com “China developing new type of carrier-based fighter jet? Expert: J-31 will hopefully replace J-15” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese, full text of which can be viewed at http://mil.huanqiu.com/world/2018-07/12430514.html
Reuters Staff February 9, 2018
BEIJING (Reuters) – China has put into combat service its new generation J-20 stealth fighter, a warplane it hopes will narrow the military gap with the United States, the Chinese air force said on Friday, making it operationally ready.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing a sweeping modernization of the country’s armed forces, the largest in the world, including anti-satellite missiles and advanced submarines, seeking to project power far from its shores.
In a short statement, the air force said the J-20 had been commissioned into combat units.
The J-20 will further raise the air force’s combat abilities and help the air force better carry out its “sacred mission” to defend the country’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, the air force said.
State media said early last year that the aircraft had entered service. The aircraft was shown in public for the first time in late 2016 at the Zhuhai airshow and was first glimpsed by Chinese planespotters in 2010.
However, questions remain whether the new Chinese fighter can match the radar-evading properties of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air-to-air combat jet, or the latest strike jet in the U.S. arsenal, Lockheed’s F-35. The F-22, developed for the U.S. Air Force, is the J-20’s closest lookalike.
China showed off another stealth fighter it is developing, the J-31, at the Zhuhai airshow in 2014, a show of muscle that coincided with a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama for an Asia-Pacific summit.
China hopes the J-31, still in development, will compete with the U.S.-made F-35 stealth aircraft in the international market, according to state media reports.
China’s air force is taking an increasingly active role in power projection, with exercises over both the disputed South and East China Seas and near to self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Neil Fullick
Source: Reuters “China says new stealth fighter put into combat service”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Popular Science describes China’s major progress in aircraft carrier technology in its article “China’s making major progress with its aircraft carrier tech: Say hello to China’s first catapult-equipped carrier.” The article is mainly based on what have been seen at China’s test site of steam and electromagnetic catapults, display of models in China’s Military Museum and information from Chinese military fans’ posts.
The article provides a fan-made computer-generated image of China’s second homegrown aircraft carrier and speculates that the carrier will have a displacement of 70,000 tons and powered with China-designed and made 170-230-megawatt CGT-60F heavy duty, F-class gas turbine to provide adequate power for huge steam catapults.
Such description, though speculation, may be true as without catapult, the carrier has no protection from its own fixed-wing AEW&C aircrafts at high sea. China must have a blue-sea aircraft carrier if it wants to have a blue sea navy.
The article describes China’s new J-15B, J-15T and even J-31 carrier-based aircrafts, which are based on the test flights already seen. When the carrier is operating at high sea far away from Chinese coast, it has no protection from China’s stealth J-20s. It certainly must have its own stealth fighter jets to counter others’.
J-31 may be as good as F-35, but J-20 is absolutely superior so that the model of China’s third homegrown carrier carries J-20s heavy stealth fighter jets. If so, the carrier must be a nuclear one with a displacement of 90,000 tons. Such a carrier may be commissioned by 2030
This blogger has no doubt that China is capable of obtaining such technologies, but believes that aircraft carrier is too expensive to build and maintain. To dominate the sea, China had better use its resources in building aerospace bombers and super quiet and fast attack nuclear submarines. China has the technology of super submarines and may have already begun building some. It will test flight manned aerospace aircrafts by 2030. Shall China build such expensive aircraft carrier?
Perhaps, as Chinese economy keeps on growing at 7% p.a., China will grow rich enough to afford all such advanced weapons.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Popular Science’s article, full text of which can be found at http://www.popsci.com/china-aircraft-carrier-technology#page-3
In its report “FIRST AIRCRAFT ENGINE ASSEMBLED IN CHINA USING MOTOR SICH TECHNOLOGY COULD BE SHOWN BY LATE 2017 – KUBIV” on May 23, open4business.com.ua says Ukraine and China will set up a joint venture between its PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia) and China’s Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co. Ltd. to use Ukrainian technology to produce aircraft engines.
China can make advanced fighter jets but cannot equip them with advanced Chinese or imported aircraft engines. It has an urgent need to import engine technology but no one is willing to provide until Ukraine is willing to provide now.
Ukraine on the other hand needs funds to improve its aircraft engine technology. The report says that China will provide US$250 million for PJSC Motor Sich’s modernization.
Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report “Ukrainian first prime minister visit a mystic place: Perhaps very good for Chinese aircraft engine industry” on May 23 that after attending the One Belt One Road summit, Ukrainian First Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv visited a Chinese private aircraft engine producer in Chongqing, China and reached agreement with China for the establishment of an aircraft engine joint venture to provide China with Ukrainian aircraft engine technology.
Ukraine has helped China build aircraft carriers and world largest air-cushioned landing crafts, but refused to provide China with its aircraft engine technology in spite of China’s repeated requests. The establishment of the aircraft engine joint venture means the further strengthening of the strategic relations between Ukraine and China so that Ukraine is now willing to provide China with the best of its military technology.
China has allocated 100 billion yuan (USD160 billion) for development of advanced aircraft engines to meet its urgent need for advanced aircraft engines to equip its stealth fighters J-20 and J-31. The joint venture will greatly facilitate China’s achievement of that goal.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on open4business.com.ua and mil.huanqiu.com’s reports. Mil.huanqiu.com’s report is in Chinese and a summary translation of it is given in the post. Full text of it in Chinese can be viewed at http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-05/10717781.html while that of open4business.com.ua’s report is reblogged below:
FIRST AIRCRAFT ENGINE ASSEMBLED IN CHINA USING MOTOR SICH TECHNOLOGY COULD BE SHOWN BY LATE 2017 – KUBIV
23 May , 2017
KYIV. May 23 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The first aircraft engine assembled in China under Ukrainian technologies within the framework of strategic partnership between PJSC Motor Sich (Zaporizhia) and China’s Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co. Ltd. could be demonstrated by late 2017, Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv has said.
During a briefing held in Kyiv and dedicated to the results of a recent visit of the Ukrainian delegation to China to participate in a high-level dialogue within the framework of the “One Belt. One Road” forum, the deputy premier highlighted the agreements achieved on Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation in the aircraft engine industry, saying the creation of aircraft engines production in Chongqing under Ukrainian technologies is “one of the priorities of the government.”
“Skyrizon and Motor Sich will create a joint venture for production of aircraft engines using Ukrainian technologies in China’s Chongqing. We want in 2017 to show the first engine that will be assembled at this plant,” Kubiv said.
He also welcomed the plans of the Chinese side envisaged by the cooperation program to invest $250 million in the modernization of Motor Sich, noting that the implementation of the program of Ukrainian-Chinese strategic cooperation in the field of aircraft engine building will strengthen the positions and influence of the Ukrainian aviation industry in the world market.
According to LLM75 of cjdby.net, a few days ago, China conducted another test flight of its second improved prototype of FC-31 (J-31) stealth fighter jet it has been developing. The website has provided the above two photos of the test flight. However, so far there has been no news about its future for export or deployment at home.
Source: huanqiu.com “One more test flight of the greatly improved version of FC31 fighter jet” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
According to National Interest’s article by Dave Majumdar on February 10, 2017, a report of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) commissioned by US Navy says that the US has to develop a new stealth manned fighter to contend for air superiority with China’s J-20.
The article says, “The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter—which are not dedicated air superiority fighters—would not be suitable to defeat advanced adversary air defenses or enemy aircraft such as the Chengdu J-20 or other Chinese fifth-generation warplanes. ‘In contrast to today’s multimission strike-fighters, such as the F-35C, the design of these aircraft would need to focus mostly on the fighter mission rather than strike, so that they would have the speed, endurance, maneuverability, and air-to-air sensor capability needed for counter-air operations,’ the report states.”
That is only natural because when the US began developing F-35, no other country has stealth fighter to contend for air supremacy with F-35, therefore there is much more emphasis on F-35’s capabilities in penetrating enemy air defense to attack enemy targets on land or at sea.
Now, China has developed J-20 specially for grabbing air supremacy from US stealth fighters. The US finds it in a poor position and is in dire need for some fighters to deal with J-20. Sad for US Navy. No worry, US Navy can ask Congress for lots of funds to develop new stealth fighters for air superiority.
The problem is that China is also spending a lot in developing fighter jets superior to US ones and so is Russia. The US has to conduct arms race in earnest with both Russia and China.
Usually, at least one of the two countries competing with the US may develop something better than US ones. If it is China, US will lose the arms race. However, if it is Russia, the US will also lose to China as Russia is willing to sell and China can afford the purchase of Russia’s best fighter jets as proved by its purchase of Russia’s so far the best fighter jet Su-35.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on National Interest’s article, full text of which can be viewed at http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-navy-needs-new-fighter-russia-china-are-blame-19409.