China, Russia unveil life-size model of planned widebody jet at Zhuhai airshow


CR929

November 6, 2018

ZHUHAI, China (Reuters) – China and Russia on Tuesday unveiled a life-size model of a proposed wide-body long-haul jet at the opening of China’s largest airshow, giving public shape to their joint efforts to break into a market dominated by Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA).

The biennial Airshow China, being held in the coastal city of Zhuhai from Nov. 6-11, is traditionally an event for Beijing to parade its growing aviation prowess but comes as the country is dealing with a bruising trade war with the United States.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) showed off the model of the CR929’s cockpit and passenger cabin in a ceremony that was attended by senior executives from both state-owned planemakers.

“Our program is making progress and is on schedule,” said UAC President Yury Slyusar. “It is currently in the preliminary design phase and we are also in the supplier and equipment selection phase, which will finish by the end of 2019.”

The mockup, which was 22 meters long, 6.5 meters tall and 5.9 meters wide, showed a roomy interior with 9-abreast basic seating in economy class.

The cockpit contained dummy instruments, with actual systems yet to be chosen, including a sidestick similar to the flying control favored by Airbus over the traditional control column.

“It is more Airbus than Boeing,” a senior Western aerospace executive said.

UAC and COMAC announced they would cooperate on a widebody jet program in 2014 and they kick-started full-scale development of the program three years later by forming joint venture China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC).

To date, they have already sought proposals for the plane’s engine and landing gear.

Chen Yingchun, COMAC’s chief designer for the CR929 program, told reporters that CRAIC would seek supplier proposals from all over the world but declined to comment on whether current trade frictions with the United States would influence their choice.

The jet’s designers have previously said its fuselage would be designed and made by China while the wings would be designed by Russia. Beijing wants the single-aisle aircraft to eventually compete with the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787.

A senior COMAC executive said in June that the CR929 aims to make its maiden flight from 2023.

Reporting by Brenda Goh, Stella Qiu and Tim Hepher; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Source: Reuters “China, Russia unveil life-size model of planned widebody jet at Zhuhai airshow”

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

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China’s ‘Phantom’ AI Underwater Drone Warfare ‘against US’


Washington Free Beacon says in its report “China Reveals Plans for ‘Phantom’ Underwater Drone War Against U.S.” on November 2, “China’s military is preparing to wage autonomous underwater warfare against the United States, including the use of drone submarine attacks on American aircraft carriers, according to the official Chinese military newspaper.”

The report is based on People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily’s October 25 report, stating “Underwater offensive and defense operations constitute a major battle domain for the seizure of sea supremacy, and represent a major means of winning superiority in maritime operations.”

PLA Daily’s envisions AI unmanned underwater vehicles may conduct ‘phantom’ underwater drone warfare with networking of sensors planted around the world with satellites and quantum computers for collection and analysis of the vast data at sea.

Such underwater warfare network will not emerge in the near future due to its complexity, but the writer of Washington Free Beacon’s report regards the system as what China is developing to defeat the US. Why defeating the US? There is no war between China and US. PLA Daily has not said the weapon is developed to defeat the US in its report

Will there be war between China and the US in the near future? There is a trade war between them but their presidents are trying hard to end it in their summit at the end of November.

The US may fight China if China takes Taiwan by force but China regards armed solution as its last resort if Taiwan declares independence while the US has made clear it does not support Taiwan independence.

There are marine territorial disputes between China and its neighbors but no claimants want a military solution.

The US is not a party to the disputes, but the writer seems to want the US to be militarily involved. He alleges in the report, “The United Nations court has ruled the Chinese maritime claim is illegal” so that the US as world police shall fight a war to enforce the court’s ruling.

Yes, the International Arbitration Court at the Hague has had such a ruling, but as soon as it gave the ruling, the United Nation made public that the International Arbitration Court at the Hague is not a UN agency. There is no excuse for the US to launch a war for the ruling.

If the US had wanted a UN ruling, it should have told the Philippines to sue China at the International court under the United Nation. However, the US itself has refused the enforcement of the court’s verdicts with its power of veto at the UN Security Council.

The International Court may not rule in favor of the Philippines and China has the power of veto like the US. The US certainly would not have told the Philippines to sue nor would the Philippines have been willing to sue China at the International Court.

As the US has failed to help the Philippines enforce the Arbitration Court’s ruling, the Philippines is now seeking friendship with China and distancing itself from the US.

I don’t know why the writer and some US media are fond of pitting the US against China. We really do not know what enemy China will fight against in the future. Perhaps the enemy will be aliens from the space. If so China and the US will fight their common enemy together.

China, the US and Russia are all developing advanced weapons for military balance that will prevent wars between them. None of them has the redundant resources for overwhelming superiority as they all have their own people to take care of.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Washington Free Beacon’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://freebeacon.com/national-security/china-reveals-plans-phantom-underwater-drone-war-u-s/?utm_source=Freedom+Mail&utm_campaign=8ce0817d6d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_02_08_20_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5e6e0e9ea-8ce0817d6d-46069085.


China Waiting for Trump Pushing Iran, India, Turkey Into Its Arms


Reuters says in its report “Trump’s sanctions on Iran tested by oil-thirsty China, India” yesterday that in order to reimpose sanctions on Iran, the US wants Iran’s major oil customers to refrain from purchase of Iran’s oil.

Two of Iran’s five major oil customers India and Turkey have difficulties to obey. They fear rise of oil price due to reduction of world oil supply caused by the sanction.

Iran’s largest oil customer China, however, has geopolitical consideration. Since the US regards it as trade war enemy, it shall help Iran to counter US sanctions like that it has been doing for Russia. The core of China’s united front against the US is its alliance with the enemies of the United States.

True enough, on October 25, Reuters says in its report “Iran to boost oil supplies to China in October-November: Rosneft CEO”, “Iran plans to supply more than 20 million barrels of crude oil to the Chinese port of Dalian in the October-November period, up sharply from the usual monthly volumes of up to 3 million barrels, Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil major Rosneft, said on Thursday.”

China will pay Iran Renminbi for its oil due to US financial sanction so that Iran will buy much more goods from China. That will partially compensate China’s loss in US market due to US trade war with China.

Moreover, increase of oil purchase from Iran may reduce Russian oil supply to China so that Russia may sell more oil to Japan and South Korea that are also oil=thirsty. Both Japan and South Korea are US trade war targets and both of them want to expand their shares in China’s vast market.

If India and Turkey need Iranian oil, China certainly will not take all Iranian oil but will left some for them. It can even help India build pipelines to get oil and gas from Iran through Pakistan.

China- and Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has already taken in India and Pakistan. It may soon take in Iran as Iran is applying for SCO membership. Then SCO will be quite a large new cold war camp to counter the US with other Asian countries including Japan and South Korea as its peripherals.

Where is US camp of cold war? It even has difficulties in its relations with its European allies.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-oil/trumps-sanctions-on-iran-tested-by-oil-thirsty-china-india-idUSKCN1N30GW.


USA, China and Russia Military Jet Production and estimates for 2030


brian wang | October 24, 2018

The US got about fifty F-35s in 2017 and 26 F-18 Superhornets. In 2018 there will be seventy F-35s for the USA and about fourteen F-18s. The US is getting about 75 to 85 fighter jets every year.

In 2017 and 2018, the USA got other military aircraft
15 KC-46A refueling tankers
five E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is an airborne early warning
17 P8A anti-sub in 2017 and 7 in 2018
19 C-130J cargo aircraft in 2017 and 9 in 2018

In total, the US is getting about 130 military planes each year. This does not count helicopters.

Lockheed has delivered 310 F-35s by mid-2018 and expects to deliver another 91 in 2018 after meeting last year’s target of boosting deliveries to 66. Almost one-third of the F-35s go to allies of the United States.

Russia Military Jet Deliveries

In 2017, Russia received about 43 fighter jets.

16 Su-34s, an all-weather supersonic fighter-bomber;
10 Su-35s, a new version of the super-maneuverable Su-27 fighters;
17 Su-30SMs, a variant of the Su-30MKI produced by Irkut Corp with upgrades in radar, communications, friend-or-foe identification, ejection seats, etc.

Russia had about 14 other military aircraft delivered in 2017.

Russian builders Mikoyan, Sukhoi and other contractors only manufactured some 80 warplanes – but they have the capacity to build about 130 planes a year. Russia exports military jets to other countries.

China military jet delivery estimates

China-based military website Northern Defence said China may have received around 100 aircraft in 2017. About two-thirds were combat jets.

China is building more production lines and factories to build new J-31 and J-20 stealth fighters.

China will likely increase fighter jet production roughly matching its 5-10% military budget increases. China’s military budget will be about double in 2030. China would match US fighter jet production quantities around 2025.

China might shift to mostly stealth jet production sometime around 2030. China’s stealth jet production is highly uncertain as production is just starting. China does not announce production plans or force levels.

Estimates of 4th and 5th generation jets in 2025 and 2030

The US has more jet fighter deliveries than China and Russia combined and the US has far more fifth-generation stealth fighters.

China has about 700 4th generation fighters today and about 25 fifth generation fighters.
China could have 1100 4th generation fighters and about 60-120 fifth generation fighters in 2025.
China could have 1200-1600 4th generation fighters and 200-500 5th generation fighters in 2030.

The US has about 450 fifth generation fighters today (F-22 and F-35s).
The US air force has about 1500 F-16s and F15s. The Navy has about 800 F-18s and the Marines have about 260 F-18s.
The US will have about 1000 fifth generation fighters in 2025 and about 1500 by 2030.

Russia will probably have about 1000-1200 4th generation fighters in 2030.

Source: nextbigfuture.com “USA, China and Russia Military Jet Production and estimates for 2030”

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


The Navy’s Next Attack Submarine Will Be Big, Expensive


Getty ImagesPaul Hennessy

The service will transition back from multi-mission subs to more capable, deeper diving hunter-killers.

By Kyle Mizokami

Oct 23, 2018

The U.S. Navy is designing a big, powerful attack submarine to fight the wars of the future. The new class will be considerably larger and more capable than the current Virginia class, with an emphasis on undersea combat. The new sub, SSN(X) will be a quiet, deep diving, heavily armed submarine meant to take on all comers in the mid 21st century.

Traditionally, the U.S. Navy’s nuclear attack submarine (SSN) fleet was given the mission of chasing down enemy surface fleets and attack submarines. This hunter-killer role required a submarine to locate enemy ships, stalk them, and then unleash a deadly ambush with missiles and torpedoes. This necessitated nuclear propulsion, a deep diving capability, powerful sonar, and long range guided weapons. This resulted in today’s Seawolf class. The three Seawolf submarines weigh 9,138 tons submerged, practically fly underwater at 35 knots, are equipped with eight torpedo tubes, and can dive to 2,000 feet.

Attack submarine USS Topeka taking on torpedoes at Guam.
U.S. Navy

The U.S. built only three Seawolf submarines from the late 1990s to early 2000s. Although the most advanced submarines ever built, the implosion of the Soviet Navy at the end of the Cold War effectively left them without an adversary. The projected cost was $33 billion for just 12 submarines. The Navy truncated the program to just 3 subs, each of which cost $4.4 billion each, and turned its attention to developing the smaller, more versatile, more affordable Virginia class. The Virginia boats have just four torpedo tubes and are limited to a depth of just 800 feet, but they are better suited to supporting a broader mission set, including intelligence collection and deploying Navy SEALs.

USNI News reports that the Navy is in the conceptual stages of a true successor to the Seawolf class, SSN(X). The rise of the Chinese Navy and the slow return of Russia’s submarine forces mean that the Navy must prepare for clashes with numerous and technologically advanced enemy fleets.

Kazan, an improved Yasen-class nuclear powered cruise missile submarine, March 2017.
Getty ImagesAlexander Ryumin

Like the Seawolf class, SSN(X) will be large and a deep diver. Diving depth is particularly important given Russia’s new apocalypse torpedo, Poseidon, has a claimed operating depth of 3,128 feet. Designed to vaporize coastal cities and military facilities with up to a 100 megaton warhead, an incoming Poseidon torpedo would have to be stopped at all costs. In addition, Russia’s new Yasen-class cruise missile submarines have an estimated maximum depth of 2,000 feet.

According to USNI News the submarine will also shift back to torpedoes as its primary armament. While the Virginia class has fewer torpedo tubes and carries Tomahawk cruise missiles for striking targets on land, SSN(X) will mount more torpedoes and torpedo tubes for attacking ships above and below the waves. The new sub could also incorporate unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) for missions such as baiting enemy ships into a trap or providing terminal guidance for guided torpedoes while SSN(X) sneaks away.

SSN(X) will likely begin construction in the 2030s, after the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines are completed. The Congressional Budget Office estimates each submarine will cost $5.5 billion.

Source: USNI News

This Blog’s Source: Popular Mechanics “The Navy’s Next Attack Submarine Will Be Big, Expensive”

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


Why today’s troops fear a new war is coming soon


By: Leo Shane III  October 16

WASHINGTON — Nearly half of all current military troops believe the United States will be drawn into a major war soon, a jarring rise in anxiety among service members worried about global instability in general and Russia and China in particular, according to a new Military Times poll of active-duty troops.

About 46 percent of troops who responded to the anonymous survey of currently serving Military Times readers said they believe the U.S. will be drawn into a new war within the next year. That’s a jarring increase from only about 5 percent who said the same thing in a similar poll conducted in September 2017.

Another 50 percent think the country will not end up in a major conflict during the next year. But that number is falling, down from more than two-thirds of those surveyed last fall who said a war was unlikely.

The fears of war come as President Donald Trump in the last year has repeatedly emphasized improving military readiness in the face of growing threats from foreign adversaries, both loosely affiliated terrorist groups and traditional major power rivals. At the same time, top Pentagon officials have spoken publicly about the need to prepare for a conflict against a “near-peer” adversary.

When asked about specific countries, troops said Russia and China were among their top concerns. The poll showed a big increase in the number of troops who identify those two countries as significant or major threats: About 71 percent of troops said Russia was a significant threat, up 18 points from last year’s survey. And 69 percent of troops said China poses a significant threat, up 24 points from last year.

Some top Pentagon officials have voiced similar views. Last year, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told Marines that he thought there was a “big-ass fight” on the horizon.

“I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,” Neller told Marines in Norway.

Cyber-terrorism topped the list of threats to U.S. security in the Military Times poll. Nearly 89 percent of those surveyed listed it as a significant threat, with more than half of those calling it a major concern.

And many troops worry the U.S. is not fully prepared for cyber warfare. One-third of service members said they disapprove of the country’s current policies on combating cyber terrorism. Only about 13 percent said they strongly back government and military efforts underway.

Foreign terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group were seen as less of a threat than domestic terrorist groups. About 57 percent of troops see U.S.-based Islamic extremists as a significant threat, compared to 49 percent for other domestic terrorist groups and 48 percent for foreign ones. Last year, more than 59 percent of troops said Al Qaeda and ISIS posed significant threats.

The biggest decrease shown in this year’s poll was North Korea, which was seen as a significant threat by more than 72 percent of troops one year ago, but in this year’s poll only 46 percent described the country that way.

In the last year, U.S. posture toward North Korea has also seen a dramatic shift. Trump moved from mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on social media last fall — calling him “Little Rocket Man” — to publicly proclaiming his respect for the controversial dictator, following a peace summit between the two in June.

Even with U.S. forces still deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan — or perhaps because of it — those countries were seen as a significant threat by less than 13 percent of the armed forces. That’s well behind Iran (41 percent), Syria (24 percent) and Saudi Arabia (18 percent).

Similar to past polls, those conflict zones were also seen as a lesser threat to U.S. national security than white nationalists (35 percent, up slightly from a year ago) and immigration (23 percent, steady from a year ago).

“It has never been this bad”

One of the Military Times poll respondents, an Army recruiter with more than 18 years of service, said Trump’s handling of the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons looked risky at times, but overall the soldier approves of how Trump is going “toe-to-toe” in negotiations.

“It was kind of scary, but he had the guts to go over there and stand up for what a lot of Americans are believing in,” the recruiter, who asked not to be identified by name, told Military Times in a telephone interview.

Some services members believe that President Trump is contributing to the instability and fears. One soldier, a female Army sergeant first class based in Hawaii who asked to remain anonymous, said she’s has seen junior enlisted soldier opt to not re-enlist due to fears that a major war could erupt soon, and that Trump has made the chances of such a war more likely.

“I feel it has never been this bad and with this many adversaries, because of the way he [Trump] chooses to do business,” she told Military Times in a telephone interview.

She is afraid of a “constant conflict” occurring soon, of endless deployments and fighting.

“With the way we’re growing our force, I tell my soldiers the reason we are growing the force is because we need you, and we’re going to fight,” she said.

Troops voiced overwhelming support for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the retired Marine Corps general, and hope that he will curtail some of the president’s riskiest impulses.

“I think that it is a scary thing when I hear some of the stuff on the news and how stuff is being handled. I do think we have an excellent secretary of defense who kind of keeps us on an even keel as much as he can,” said an enlisted sailor based in California who asked for anonymity. “But it is scary to think about what could happen, just from somebody saying the wrong thing.”

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jay Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot at Fort Drum, New York, said he doesn’t think China or Russia wants war any more than the United States does, and that will help temper tensions.

“No one is seeking the peer-on-peer war,” he said.

Our methodology

Between Sept. 20 and Oct. 2, Military Times, in collaboration with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, conducted a voluntary, confidential online survey of U.S. service members. The survey included 19 questions on service members’ opinion(s) related to the current political climate, policy and national security in the United States.

The survey received 829 responses from active-duty troops. The IVMF used standard methodology to estimate the weights for each individual observation of the survey sample. The margin of error for most questions was roughly 2 percent.

The survey audience was 89 percent male and 11 percent female and had an average age of about 31 years old. The respondents identified themselves as 76 percent white, 13 percent Hispanic, 9 percent African American, 5 percent Asian and 6 percent other ethnicities. Respondents were able to select more than one race.

Military Times editor George Altman and staff writers Shawn Snow, Kyle Rempfer, Geoff Ziezulewicz and Steve Losey contributed to this report.

Source: Military Times “Why today’s troops fear a new war is coming soon”

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, Russia and North Korea eye adjustment of U.N. sanctions in talks


October 10, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – China, Russia and North Korea believe it is necessary to consider adjusting U.N. sanctions against North Korea at an appropriate time, China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

It issued the statement with the three parties’ positions on its website after they held talks in Moscow on Tuesday.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Source: Reuters “China, Russia and North Korea eye adjustment of U.N. sanctions in talks”

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