Delivery of 10 Su-35s Boosts Chinese air force’s Capability


SCMP says in its report “Chinese military set for capability boost with delivery of Russian Su-35 fighter jets” today that Russian government has confirmed that it will deliver 10 Su-35s, the last batch of the 24 China bought from Russia according to schedule this year.

It says:

The Su-35 is powered by two AL-117S turbofan engines and fitted with thrust-vectoring nozzles enabling it to perform post-stall manoeuvres at low speeds.

The Su-35 also features a multifunctional radar capable of tracking up to 30 targets simultaneously – and purportedly able to engage with up to eight – as well as a newly integrated receiver for China’s Beidou satellite navigation system.

Long-range air-to-air missiles carried by the Su-35s could reach American aerial refuelling tankers in the Pacific.

Therefore, SCMP believes that the delivery of 10 Su-35s will boost Chinese military’s capability.

Summary by Chan Kai Yee of SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2160557/chinese-military-set-capability-boost-delivery-russian.

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Chinese Air Force Stresses Long-Range Capabilities


Lieutenant General Ding Laihang says China’s air force must boost its capacity for long-range missions. Photo: Handout

In its report “China’s new air force chief lays out long-range mission” today, Reuters says, “Speaking publicly for the first time since taking over as chief of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Lieutenant General Ding Laihang said the military wing had to be strong in attack and defence both in the air and in space, moving on from its previous focus on homeland defence, China National Radio reported.”

on April 14, 2014. In my book “Space Era Strategy: The Way China Beats The U.S.”, I point out that what Chinese air force will develop to obtain the integrated space and air capabilities for both attack and defense Chinese President Xi Jinping told it to obtain on April 14, 2014 when Xi visited the force’s headquarters.

I have some posts on China’s efforts in doing what I speculated especially in “China Making Smooth Progress in Developing Aerospace Bomber” on June 29, 2016, “Great Progress in China’s Development of Aerospace Bomber” on June 7, 2017 and “China Surpasses US in Development of Aerospace Aircraft” on June 10, 2017.

What then is China’s name in obtaining such capabilities, Reuters quotes Gen. Ding as saying, “The PLA must provide full, all-out and absolute protection to wherever our national interests extend,”

Now, Xi’s Silk Road economic belt and 21st century maritime Silk Road initiatives are indeed extend China’s national interests far and wide, China needs aerospace bombers that according to the description in my book can destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group in minutes. Such bombers will be able provide the protection that the PLA must provide according to Gen. Ding.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2109566/chinas-new-air-force-chief-lays-out-long-range-mission.


China’s J-20 stealth fighter joins the People’s Liberation Army air force


The J-20 stealth fighter at an air show in Zhuhai last November. Photo: Xinhua

State media highlights nation’s most advanced stealth fighter coming into operation

China’s latest stealth fighter, the ­J-20, is serving in the People’s Liberation Army air force, according to state media.

Military insiders said the appearance of J-20s in the air force was meant as a warning to Japan and South Korea, which are expected to buy US F-35 stealth fighters now that China has equally advanced warplanes.

Video footage aired by CCTV yesterday showed J-20 fighters alongside PLA Y-20 transport planes and H-6K bombers. The broadcast did not say how many ­J-20s were operational.

America’s F-35 fighter jet vs China’s J-20: which is better, cheaper, stealthier?(

The report said the new aircraft had joined joint drills with troops, rocket forces and the navy.

A source close to the PLA said the J-20s were all equipped with home-made WS-15 engines, but because the engine had not entered mass production, only a few J-20s were available for service.

“There are still a series of technical problems that need to be tackled [on the J-20], including the reliability of its WS-15 engines, [and the plane’s] control system, stealth coat and hull materials and infrared sensor,” said the source, who requested anonymity.

But with the US deploying a batch of F-35s in Japan in January, and South Korea planning to have 40 F-35s in 2018, “it’s urgent for China to show off its achievements as soon as possible”, the source said, adding that more ­J-20s would join the PLA this year.

Chinese military websites showed pictures last December of J-20s with serial numbers indicating that at least three types of the stealth jets had joined the air force since last year.

The J-20 made a two-minute public debut at the opening of ­Airshow China in Zhuhai in Guangdong province on November 1, flying over the show each day after taking off from an airfield in nearby Foshan.

Visitors were not permitted to view the aircraft on the ground, sparking speculation that the home-made aircraft was falling behind its production schedule.

The doubts were countered by air force chief General Ma Xiaotian one day after the jet’s maiden flight. Ma said development of the J-20 fighter jet would be sped up and it would be put into operation in the air force soon.

That claim was countered by air force chief General Ma Xiaotian one day after the jet’s maiden flight. Ma said development of the J-20 would be sped up and that it would be put into operation in the air force soon.

Designers of the J-20 claim the fighter represents a “big leap forward in terms of the capabilities of the PLA”.

The aircraft has a longer range, more internal fuel capacity and a larger weapons capacity than the US F-22 and F-35 fighters, the designers say.

Can you differentiate China’s J-20 and J-31 fighter jets? Taiwan’s defence minister and air force chief can’t(

Western military experts said the shape of the J-20 copies the US F-22, but that many of the internal details of the aircraft remain a mystery.

Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong said China’s J-20 still had a long way to go to catch up to the F-22 and ­F-35, with engine development still the core problem.

“Not only the J-20 but China’s Y-20 transport plane are facing the same problem, that the WS-18 is still not in mass production,” Wong said.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: New stealth fighter now serving with PLA air force

Source: SCMP “China’s J-20 stealth fighter joins the People’s Liberation Army air force”

Note: This is SCMP’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China air force holds drills in Western Pacific for second time this month


A Chinese J-11 fighter jet is seen flying near a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon about 215 km (135 miles) east of China's Hainan Island in this U.S. Department of Defense handout photo taken August 19, 2014.  REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout

A Chinese J-11 fighter jet is seen flying near a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon about 215 km (135 miles) east of China’s Hainan Island in this U.S. Department of Defense handout photo taken August 19, 2014. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout

China’s air force said on Sunday it had flown more than 40 bombers and other fighter planes through a strait between Japanese islands on their way to drills in the Western Pacific.

Regular long range drills in the Western Pacific and patrols over the East China Sea air defense identification zone were for the Air Force to protect China’s sovereignty and national security, China’s air force spokesman Shen Jinke said, according to a statement posted on the Ministry of Defence website.

China drew condemnation from Japan and the United States in 2013 when it imposed an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities.

The patrols were to “carefully monitor and judge the foreign military aircraft that enter the anti-aircraft defense zone, to take measures to respond to different threats in the sky and to protect national airspace,” the statement said.

Aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army did the exercises after flying over the Miyako Strait, a body of water between Japan’s islands of Miyako and Okinawa, the air force statement said.

This comes as China has been increasingly asserting itself in territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas.

China’s ties with Japan have been strained by a longstanding territorial dispute over a string of islets in the East China Sea, known in China as the Diaoyu and in Japan as the Senkaku.

The two countries have also clashed over what China sees as Japan’s refusal to take responsibility for its wartime past.

China’s navy has often used the Miyako Strait, a key strategic route for the military, as a pathway from eastern China to the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier this month, Chinese bombers, fighters and early warning and aerial refueling aircraft flew through the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan and the Philippines to exercises in the Western Pacific.

(Reporting by Sue-Lin Wong; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: Reuters “China air force holds drills in Western Pacific for second time this month”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China Solved Difficult Pneumatic Problems for Hypersonic Flying Vehicles


Deng Xiaogang, China's top wind tunnel expert

Deng Xiaogang, China’s top wind tunnel expert

Wind tunnel test is most important for a flying vehicle. Without such test, it is impossible to develop a successful advanced aircraft such as large airliner, fighter jet or other warplanes. It is certainly indispensable for whatever hypersonic flying vehicle whether without or with engine such as a scramjet.

Deng Xiaogang is China’s scientist who has always been in the forefront of the science and technology for top wind tunnels. He has made key contributions in China’s development of hypersonic flying vehicles.

He is in charge of the development of high precision numerical tunnel for China’s aircrafts and hypersonic flying vehicles. For such tunnel, the research team under his leadership has solved the very difficult pneumatic issues by the development of the derivative calculation principle for symmetrical conservation network, hypersonic aerodynamic numerical simulation software platform, etc.

Source: PLA Daily “China Has Solved Key Pneumatic Problems for Advanced Fighers, Hypersonic Flying Vehicle” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China’s Y-20 transport aircraft may enter service in 2016


A fifth prototype of the Xian Aircraft Corporation Y-20 heavy transport with bort number 789 reportedly flew on 6 February 2016. Source: Chinese Internet

A fifth prototype of the Xian Aircraft Corporation Y-20 heavy transport with bort number 789 reportedly flew on 6 February 2016. Source: Chinese Internet

The appearance on Chinese military webpages of the fifth prototype of the Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) Y-20 heavy strategic transport aircraft has prompted suggests that it could enter People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) service as early as this year.

Reportedly flown for the first time on 6 February 2016, the fifth prototype carries the bort number 789. It follows soon after the fourth prototype, with bort number 788, which was seen on Chinese web pages on 23 January 2016. Other known prototypes carry identification numbers 781, 783, and 785.

The appearance of the latest Y-20 prototype prompted commentary by Chinese experts. In a 27 January Xinhua article former Chinese test pilot Xu Yongling reported that Chinese aviation industry officials had stated that the Y-20 “completed development” at the end of 2015. Xu, who participated in the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation J-10 fighter test programme, suggested that the Y-20 could enter service in 2016.

A fourth Y-20 prototype with bort number 788 appeared in January 2016, when there were also suggestions in the Chinese media that the PLA Navy Air Force might acquire the Y-20. (Chinese Internet)

A fourth Y-20 prototype with bort number 788 appeared in January 2016, when there were also suggestions in the Chinese media that the PLA Navy Air Force might acquire the Y-20. (Chinese Internet)

In a 26 January article for People’s Daily , professor at the PLAAF Command College Chen Hong noted that the payload for the Y-20 was “60 tons”: greater than that of the Russian Ilyushin Il-76MD, the current production version of which is credited with a 52-tonne payload by IHS Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft .

Chen also noted that the Y-20 could be developed into airborne early warning, electronic warfare/jamming, and tanker variants.

An earlier People’s Daily article from 22 January noted that the Y-20 could also eventually equip the PLA Navy Air Force (PLANAF). With the possible addition of the Y-20, the PLANAF could become the leading air service to support and defend China’s growing island outposts in the South China Sea.


China Will Begin Commissioning of Y-20 Large Transport Aircraft Soon


Y-20 no. 785 large transport

Y-20 no. 785 large transport

Recent emergence of China’s Y-20 nos. 785 and 788 closely in a roll has made experts believe that China will soon begin commissioning of its Y-20 large transport aircrafts to double its air military capabilities.

If so, China will become the fourth country in the world able to make 200-ton class military transport aircraft.

Based on the gray coating of the new Y-20s, foreign military analysts believe Y-20’s performance satisfies the needs for its service in Chinese air force.

In its New Year greeting on December 31, 2015, AVIC senior management says that in 2015 AVIC successfully completed the various jobs of the research and development of a large transport aircraft. That certainly means that finalization check of Y-20 has begun and Y-20 may be formally commissioned in 2016.

Source: mil.qianlong.com “Emergence of Y-20 nos. 785 and 788 makes experts believe Y-20 will soon be commissioned to double the combat capabilities of Chinese air force” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)