Monday, July 30, 2007

Electronic Border Shield being built in China

PLA Border Patrol Troops is building an advanced Integrated Border Surveillance System--"Border Information Integration System", which is now displayed in the 80th anniversary Exhibition in Beijing.

(user interface of BIIS)
The borderline of People's Republic of China, maybe the longest in the world and in the most complex geopolitical area. Even the huge PLA border troops, still can not deal with the numerous illegal aliens, drug pushers and even the penetrating Xinjiang minority armed anti-government militants. For those reason, China had been initial to research Chinese edition "America's Shield Initiative"(ASI)--BIIS since 2002 for getting a improved border monitoring.

The technological foundation of BIIS, is the national scale communication fiber network considerably invested by PLA. This network brings a possibility of building BIIS. Now the BIIS is distributed on Military district--sub district--border regiment three levels.

(Surveillance Cam on border)

The first user of BIIS is Xinjiang Military Zone which is under the Lanzhou Combat District. The reason is simple that Xinjiang Autonomous District is the area where PLA has the heaviest patrol duties for the longest borderline sharing with several countries. The demonstrated system in the exhibition showed that the BIIS is a kind of platform integrated with information management, remote sensing, electronic warning, cam monitoring, satellite positioning and patrolling unit monitoring.

Along the borderline, microwave warning and High-voltage pulse warning system are installed. When inducting illegal intruders, the warning signal will be transferred to backward station to highlight the related location. And inland staff will switch the correspondent cam to watch the activities in sensitive directions.

(Position Displaying of BIIS)

Satellite positioning technology is also applied in BIIS to monitor the frontline patrol units. By China's "Compass-1" Guidance constellation, the system can display the real-time location and patrolling routing line of active people and vehicles.

(Message Sending Interface)

The operation system of BIIS also provides multi-ways of information sharing, including sending information to the "Compass-1" terminals used by patrolling units, mobile phone Short messages and intranet messenger

(BIIS used for marine near Fujian Province)

At present, the BIIS system has covered several military districts in Xinjiang, inner Mongolia and Yunnan province, where the most of China's land border are. Furthermore, BIIS is operational in marine near Fujian Province. In Tibet, China has not built such kind of system, because the rigorous condition there is a great challenge to modern surveillance technologies, fortunately, same to foreign intruders.

Technically, China's BIIS is lacking of infrared/night vision surveillance system to guarding active objects and is not multiplex in electronic detecting methods. In different commanding levels, the information integration is needed to be improved, because the commanding headquarter in levels can not simultaneously receive the monitoring information when facing the emergence accidents.

Systemically, the hermetic of PLA makes a truth that the BIIS is based on an exclusive computer network, the result is that BIIS has no possibility to share information with civilian public organizations, like local authorities, police departments and customs.

In coming future, China certainly will use new technologies to enhance the performance of BIIS. If the border troops can be separated from PLA system and open the BIIS network, China will have a brighter future to construct a revolutionary border surveillance system.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

PLA highly shows Type 093 Sub and PLZ-05 SPH

June 16, "Expo of National Defense and Armed Forces Achievements since New China's Foundation" was held in Beijing "Chinese People Revolutionary military Museum". Several home-made military equipments unveiled in public. Especially, Type 093 attack nuclear submarine and Type 05 self-propelled howitzer can be impressively found in the expo.
Type 093 nuclear-powered submarine is exposed by a photo of its surface sailing state. The photo has no explanation of the sub's designation name but a unclear comment: "New Type Nuclear Submarine", because China never open the fresh weapon's exact model. The distinguished appearance comparing with Type 091 sub, however, tells that the boat in the photo is the legendary Type 093 attack nuclear submarine.

The most notable change in Type 093 submarine is the disappearance of controlling plane on sub's sail. Previously an unconfirmed blurred image of Type 093 submarine on Internet also corroborates the change. If the Type 093 sub uses "bow diving planes" like U.S. navy Virginia class submarines, the main reason is Type 093 has a smaller "conning tower" with no space for rudder steering gear. PLA navy has known the fact that a decreased sized sub sail can reduce the noise and resistance force when in underwater maneuver.

Besides, the positions of Type 093's sail, rescue buoy and bow antenna is changed. And these changes can be compared with the displayed Type 091A model and other previous photos. Actually, the photo gives a sense that the sail's position is backward than before. And this design also needs bow-diving-plane configuration for greater controlling efficient.

But in the picture, the sub's "conning tower" is even looked to be higher and larger than before. So another possibility is that the photographing angle can not shot the sail dive planes.

A widely sited conclusion is that Type 093 project is assisted by Russian Rubin Central Design Bureau or it has heavy Russian influence. Western analyzers often compare Type 093 with Russian Victor-III nuclear-power attack submarine. Now the Photo clarifies that the Chinese Type 093 has its own characters and its shape-design is close to Royal Navy Trafalgar Class submarine.

Another "VIP" in expo is PLZ-05 155mm self-propelled howitzer. PLZ-05 SPH has a enlarged turret which installed on PLZ-45 full-track chassis. PLZ-05 is a exportation designation of NORINCO in the year of 2002. Most technologies of PLA-05 are from PLZ-04 SPH for PLA Army Artillery. It has been known that PLZ-05's barrel length is 52 caliber and PLZ-04 SPH has a 54 caliber length barrel.

The PLZ-05 displayed on the museum has a commander panoramic periscope on the top of turret and a gunner day/night direct fire sight parallel fitted on gun barrel. Indeed, PLZ-04 SPH is a milestone in PLA Army artillery Digitalization.

Furthermore, the outdoor display in museum also includes JH-7A fighter, Type 99G, New Amphibious Vehicle, DF-25 ballistic missile and other Land& air Warfare System.

China Media unveils one Han class Submarine's out of commission

July 3rd,Qingdao local media said that a retired nuclear submarine was going to be exhibited in Qingdao Naval Museum. It means that the type 091 nuclear submarine (NATO called as "Han" class) starts to quit its service in PLA Navy 33 years later and to be replaced by Type 093 submarine.

The report did not say the detail information of the retired submarine. But it is usually believed that the first one is Type 091 SSN-401 submarine, which is called as "Long March No.1" in China. Several years before, some western analyzers have judged that the SSN-401 and SSN-402 submarines have been no longer operational in duty because of technological malfunction and reactor radiation pollution. However PLA never admitted it and the secret-keeping fog on the nuclear submarine fleet close its door to all foreign and domestic civilian news media.

Except the No.401 submarine, the SSN-402 submarine (serviced in 1980) and SSN-403(serviced in 1984) have been operational in PLA navy for over 20 years. The newest one, SSN-405, is over 17 years. Since the years of 2000, the main players in exercises are usually SSN-404 and SSN-405.

There is an unconfirmed event that a Type 091 nuclear submarine collided with a Russian Victor-III nuclear submarine (K-234). According to the service time, SSN-401 and SSN-402 may be the sufferer involved in the accident. Actually after entering 21st century, PLA intentionally decreased the size of the original huge number on submarine superstructure to cover the exact active status of Type 091 nuclear submarine.

Now it can be asserted that SSN 401 has been retired from PLA navy, because 33-year service time is not completely unacceptable. USS Los Angeles SSN-688 is still active for 31 years since its commission in 13 November 1976. Since the SSN-401 has been playing a valuable testing platform of PLA, SSN-402 has possibility of being out.

The limited number of PLA navy nuclear submarine kept a special position of Type 091 submarine. In PLA navy, Type 091 was called as “Strategic” Attack Nuclear submarine. In fact, type 091 submarines often carry strategic tasks, like breaking through the second island chain to show PLA’s power in high seas or executing deterrent to U.S. carrier striking group, although the real aftermath is unclear.
Considering PLA Navy’s strategic position in western pacific, the nuclear submarine amount needs to be expanded. So the total retirement of Han class family can not be seen in next 6-8 years.

China SAC is researching anti-stealth UAV

One Blog on Chinese Internet one week before appeared an article written by an employee from the Technological Institute of AVIC I Aviation R&D Center. The content is a text record of a visiting in Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC). Now the article has been forced to be deleted just because several hidden projects were uncovered by the online text.

From the blog resource, it can be discovered that SAC is busy on the carrier-borne fighter technologies developing, designing the 5th generation fighter and even jointly developing strategic “anti-stealth” UAV, other than the manufacturing of J-8F/G and J-11 fighter.

SAC now is still improving the J-8II fighter. At present, J-8B/C/H have equipped with PL-11 air missile (a Russian missile copy, range from 20 to 22 km) to archive the look down/shoot down ability. SAC has produced J-8F with new air avionics to attack two objects simultaneously with PL-12 active radar missile (55 km). J-8G, an anti-radar variant, can perform a “wild weasel” task with YJ-91 active anti-radar missile. And JZ-8, the newest one of J-8 family, is modified with optical-electronic reconnaissance pods and surface-air datalink.

The blog said that the J-11B project is initiated in June 2002 and SAC is developing carrier-borne fighter J-15 from J-11B. But the design and production of landing hook, tail centrum shortening and folding wing are technical difficulties blocking J-15’s came out.

“Snowy Owl”, is a China’s fifth generation fighter project name firstly known by outside world. SAC’s fifth generation fighter is not beyond some analyzers’ prediction, such as triplane configuration with canard, low observation (RCS <0.3 square meter), Supersonic cruise and super mobility.

In SAC, the choice of foreplane arouses a drastic dispute. Some points sited the foreplane’s compromise to fighter stealth, which is summarized by U.S. After its research, SAC however accepted the eclectic stealth performance affected by canard configuration, because PLA Air Force has no necessary to keep a global air striking ability like U.S. Air Force.

SAC admitted the superiority of U.S F-22 and F-35, so it is carrying a Sino-Russia joint-project: “Supernal Hawk” strategic high Altitude and Long Endurance (HAE) Anti-Stealth UAV. The so-called anti-stealth UAV actually is an air-based bistatic radar warning system. “Supernal Hawk” UAV will probably coordinate with PLA “KJ-2000” AWACS or establish a warning network by 2-3 UAVs. The typical deployment method is to place one UAV forward on the high altitude above the west pacific to supervise the directions of Japan and Guam. The UAV can hold the height advantage to search F-22 or F-35. The location information of objects will passively transferred to rear AWACS or other UAV and then guide missile attack.

The handicaps of the project however are aeronautic design, long endurance turbofan engine and sensor. So SAC plans to get Russian’s engine technologies and aircraft design experience to satisfy large-scale Drone’s HAE performance. And the sensor of UAV will presumably be china-made large Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar with conformal Antenna.

In 2006 Zhuhai Airshow, SAC demonstrated a concept combat UAV model named “Dark Sword”. Now it has been clear that China is fairly active on UAV research area where the Chinese Aviation Industries can greatly reduce technology gap with western countries.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Details have emerged of China’s next generation J-11B fighter

This article published in Jane's Defense Weekly

Details have emerged of China’s next generation J-11B heavy air superiority fighter aircraft, a further development of Sukhoi’s Su-27SK (Chinese designation J-11) that ended production in 2004 ahead of its planned run.

Shenyang Aviation Corporation (SAC) assembled 95 J-11 fighters from imported Russian components, although the original project had called for 200 aircraft, and it is likely production was stopped in anticipation of the improved J-11B.

Although based on the Su-27SK, the latest incarnation has substantial improvements including a reduced radar cross-section (RCS), strengthened airframe and an improved fire control radar as well as new flight control system, glass cockpit and engine.

The improvements are planned to nake the aircraft to a fourth generation platform; the Yanliang Flight Test Center currently has three J-11B under testing (No 521, No 523 and No 524).

The most significant change for the aircraft is improved stealth; the changes are planned to bring the RCS from the 15 sqm of the Su-27 to under 5 sqm and possible as low as 3 sqm.

The change is not to the dynamic shape of the aircraft but involves the modification of the air intake lip with a radar wave shield and the installation of radar absorbing materials on the intake interior. In addition the RCS will be reduced with Chinese made signature reduction paint.

The strengthening of the airframe, a key aspect since the life expectancy of the aircraft has been criticised by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, has been achieved through wind-tunnel tests of weapons carriage.

Additionally, the empty weight of the aircraft has been reduced by about 700 kg through the use of composite materials.

It is believed a further 10,000 hours has been added to the life of the aircraft compared with the Su-27SK.

The radar installed on the J-11B is believed to be more powerful than the Type 1473 installed on the J-10; it is estimated to be able to track 20 targets and simultaneously lock onto six targets.

J-11B will incorporate a quadruply-redundant digital fly-by-wire flight control system with mechanical back-up. Additionally, the aircraft has a fully glass cockpit but there are two variants - a reflecting head-up display (HUD) with four multi-function displays (MFDs) and a holographic HUD with three MFDs.

It is likely the former cockpit is for ground attack and the latter for air combat. The new cockpits integrate fire control radar, electro-optic countermeasure pods and infra-red search and track.

The improved radar and cockpit have allowed for the integration of newer weapons such as the CATIC PL-12 active radar-guided air-to-air missile.

The J-11 AL-31F engine will be replaced with the WS10A turbofan, providing longer lifespan and reduced fuel consumption.

Beyond J-12, China has plans for a carrier borne J-13, unlikely to be realised before 2015; the J-14, which is planned as a competitor to Lockheed Martin’s F-22, on the distant horizon at 2018; a two-seat J-11BS (2009); a naval J-11J (2010) and two-seat J-11JS (2011); and an improved J-13G and a navalised J-13J (2017).

More aircraft and unmanned combat aerial vehicles are being considered for even further in the future but new aircraft types will need to rise above the financial, political and industrial challenges that are likely to plague the programmes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Crash unleashes the Electronic Variants of China’s Y-8

an old article but still worthy of reading, hehe.

2006 June 3, China government unusually declared that a "military transport plane" crashed in east China's Anhui province. 24 hours later, Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed deep condolences over the death of 40 people in the crash. From some Chinese sources, it can be discovered that the so-called "transport plane" was probably an AEW (Airborne Early Warning) plane based on Y-8 transport plane airframe. Now, China has been developing a great electronic warfare plane family from Y-8. The crash accident just shows the tip of the iceberg.

Y-8 AEW with Array-Phased Antenna

The bad luck one in the crash tragedy is Y-8 AEW with Array-Phased Antenna and here was defined as Y-8 AEW 1. Shanxi Aircraft Industry (SAI) provided two Y-8 AEW 1 planes with different airframes. One is yellow color painting airframe (detailed description below), the other is Y-8F-200 (blue-white painting). According to resources, The Array phased antenna on the yellow one has three parts: convex dome under the nose, cube dome installed above the top fuselage and cone-shaped dome on the tail. Besides, a thin cylinder antenna is seen on the nose tip for electronic data gathering and a satellite antenna on the vertical tip for communication. Comparing with original Y-8F-200, the yellow Y-8 AEW’s propeller turns to be JL-4 6-blade which is going to be used in Y-9 transport aircraft. The Y-8F-200 AEW is different in nose shape, propeller blade number, and cargo ramp/door with its brother.

Y-8 AEW with Rotational Antenna

Y-8 AEW with Rotational Antenna here is named as Y-8 AEW 2. Y-8 AEW 2 appeared in May 2006. The Y-8 AEW 2 radar looks like having a rotational antenna, like A-50 and E-3, bigger than E-2’s. The aircraft nose was shorter and improved from usual glass-fared nose, seems like Y-8F400 or Y-8-X, however, the engine are not changed. A canoe shaped dome like E-8’s array-phased antenna and is located between the front and rear landing gears. The tips of horizontal tail were separately added small vertical tails, which obviously for the flight stability after the installation of new radar antenna.

Y-8 for electronic counter-measures (ECM)

Y-8 for electronic counter-measures (ECM) uses a traditional Y-8C airframe. Between the nose gear and main gear, a large canoe shaped structure can be found. This structure is similar to the domes installed on Y-8 AEW 2 and former PLA’s Tu-154M/D electronic intelligence aircraft (the one registered number B-4138). The B-4138 Tu-154M/D was equipped a SAR under the canoe dome. However, the devices in Y-8 AEW 2 and Y-8 ECM are still unknown. Besides those outside characters, you can found several blade antennas on the position of cargo door.

Y-8 with electronic intelligence (ELINT) system

A columned antenna dome , which is larger than normal Y-8C, is under ELINT Y-8’s nose, which looks like a copyist of EP-3E’s OE -319 “Big Eye” surveillance radar. It is said that the project of ELINT Y-8 has a surreptitious relation with the EB-3’s forced landing on Lingshui Airport, Hainan Province. It is interesting that a closely similar antenna with yellow color Y-8 AEW 1 is also seen on ELINT Y-8’s nose. And their function perhaps same to gathering information. On the root of vertical tail, there is satellite communication antenna. Just atop on cockpit, there is another antenna dome which is perhaps a datalink device. In order to keep a better condition for the crew and devices, the cargo door was sealed. Now there are 2 ELINT Y-8 (No. 9352 and 9361) in PLA Navy Northern Fleet.

Y-8 with C3I (Communications, Command, Control and Intelligence) system

The C3I Y-8 has a great improved Y-8C airframe and the varieties include: a thinner and longer fuselage, sealed cargo door, a large satellite antenna on the back, some blade antenna for electronic intelligence reconnaissance. The C3I Y-8 probably completed its trial flight test in July or October 2004 and now is still in testing in CFTE.

Y-8 with Battlefield Surveillance System

This type of Y-8 is disclosed with Y-8 AEW 1 at same time just because of an unintentionally revealed video of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s Visiting on Shanxi Aircraft Industry. Jane’s has reported Shanxi Aircraft Industry is developing a Y-8 outfitted with two large electronic array on both sides just behind the cockpit. Jane’s reported that the arrays have possible functions such as ECM, battle signal surveillance and SAR missions. The tip of vertical tail has similar cylinder antenna dome with Y-8 AEW 1. Jane’s said this Y-8 use new empennage and Y-8F600 nose structure. Actually, the new fuselage is a new platform for special purposes. April 15, 2005, Shanxi Aircraft Industry declared a new significant project called as “The Third Type Platform” had been finished. SAI said that the new platform “provide high performance airframe to produce special purposing aircraft and leads a brighter future of Y-8 family.” Now it can be judged that newest Y-8 AEW-1 and Y-8 with Battle Surveillance System use this new platform.

Y-8 for marine guarding (Y-8J)

Y-8J’s project code name was “515” and it is a beginning of PLA navy to have a primary Early Warning ability. Y-8J’s most remarkable character is its big nose, where purchased British electronics manufacturer Racal’s Skymaster Radar is installed. Skymaster Radar provides air and naval surveillance in 360 degrees in azimuth. The radar also let PLA Navy have capability to detect small target and operate anti-submarine watch. Some resources even said that it can provide middle-term guidance for anti-ship missiles. PLA imported about 8 Skymaster Radars and the number of Y-8J is limited. Besides, the performance of Skymaster now can not match today’s demand. Most of Y-8Js are in PLA Northern Fleet naval aviation Independence First Regiment (Laiyang Airport, Yantai, Shandong Province).

Y-8X Marine Patrol plane

Y-8X was the oldest electronic reconnaissance and search airplane in Y-8 family. From the type name, Y-8X is easily confounded with Y-8-X, SAI’s new transportation aircraft project in 2002. In 1984, first Y-8X entered service in PLA Naval Aviation. Y-8X inherit main frame of prototype Y-8 and was equipped with new electronic devices. Y-8X have a purchased AN/APS-504 search radar below the nose and the radar dome later become a typical feature of most Y-8 electronic variants. In the rear part of middle fuselage, 2 photo reconnaissance pods were on both sides. On the cargo door, there are infrared camera, infrared submarine searching instrument and sonobuoy launcher. Near the tail of Y-8X, a vertical photographing pod was installed. And the tail gun was modified to a chamber for sonar operator. From March to June in 1986, A Y-8X flow 5 sorties to South China Sea and got significant information. Now there are 4 Y-8X (No. 9261, 9271, 9281 and 9291) in PLA Naval Aviation Forces.

079 Y-8 Radar Testing Platform

079 Y-8 Radar and Electronic Devices Testing Platform was developed by CFTE in the middle of 1990s and was successfully finished its trial flight test in August 1999. The 079 Y-8 uses Y-8C’s body and expands the nose space for radar system. At beginning, 079 Y-8 had a cylinder dome on its nose, which made it be twin with Y-8J. In 2004, some new photos perhaps taken in manchuria showed that 079 Y-8 change the nose to a cone-shape dome for the China’s J-11B’s Type 1473 fire control radar testing. One of these photos also displayed the 079 Y-8 had one 6-blade FWJ-6C Turbine propeller, which will be used in Y-8F600 and Y-9.

Congratulation! The 5000th JL-8 Jet Trainer came out

The JL-8 Jet Trainer's manufacturer is Hongdu Aircraft Corporation, which is under AVIC-II. The exportation designation name of JL-8 is K-8. It has been known that the K-8 has been exported to some developing countries in africa and south Asia, such as Sri Lanka, Zambia, Egypt, Zimbabwe. Besides, Hongdu Aircraft Corporation also sold a manufacturing line to Egypt. K-8 Trainer is one of the few profitable exporting projects in China military Industries. Hongdu's next "Earning Machine" is L-15 Advanced Jet Trainer, a competitor to Hawk and K-50 Golden Eagle.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

China’s newest nonlinear of sight weapon system

In 4th CPEX (China Police Expo) held in Beijing, Chinese companies just opened two kinds of nonlinear of sight tactic weapon systems: HD66 and CF06, which are based on QSZ92 9 mm pistol and co-developed by Chongqing Changfeng Machinery Co Ltd and Shanghai Sea Shield Technologies Company.

The HD66 weapon system including: QSZ92 9 mm pistol, fire module, double safety part, CCD module, video processing module, Ocular displaying module, illuminating module (including a video cam, a Laser dazzle sight and a Infrared illuminating spotlight), weapon correction system, radio signal transmitting/receiving module and supply power. Most of CF66 system is same with HD66’s, but CF66 uses red-dot-sight, reflector and daylight/night sight for shooting. Mr. Qing Shangsheng, the chief designer of HD66 and CF06 systems, explained that the CF66 is just applicable in some extremely cold areas where the electronic parts, e.g CCD, can not work.

Chinese weapon makers may notice the striking similitude between their nonlinear of sight tactic weapon system and Israel CornerShot. Chinese designer insisted that HD66 and CF66 are totally designed without outside assistants and their performance is better than CornerShot:

·HD 66 has an improved pistol mounting method than Cornershot’s 2 pressing plates to provide a higher shooting accuracy. Cornershot’s mount adapter has 2 pressing plates to clamp weapon and it needs time to correct after reload weapon. And HD 66 mount stock has slot joint with pistol’s detent and locks the pistol by positioning pin.

·HD 66 has a better man-machine interface, such as people can search the object in proper eye alignment with the Ocular displaying scope and cheek pad.

·Software weapon correction to replace mechanical aimpoint adjustment.

·The signal transmitting/receiving system can help to organize 4 people’s coordinated attack to provide a greater firepower.

·Ocular displaying scope has more combat concealment consideration than Cornershot’s LCD display, which possibly exposes the shooter by the screen glisten.

hoooooooo, Chinese people's Cornershot!!!!!!!!
But who can tell me how to insert a data table in the post?

Tomorrow continue...

NORINCO's New Type 90-II ARV

Now PLA Army's new MBT and tracked vehicles are turning to be heavier and more complex. So NORINCO recently released its newest Type 90-II ARV (armored recovery vehicle) for the PLA army and international military engineering vehicle market.

The type 90-II ARV is based on Type 90-II tank chassis and equipped with professional recovery facilities and repairing tools. Type 90-II ARV power system is distinguished with other ARV vehicles. Besides the 882KW motor, Type 90-II ARV has an independent 118kw accessorial power. So the main motor can be shut down during the recovery operation, which is played by accessorial power. Type 90-II ARV even can be recovered by itself and has a longer life than other competitors.

Type 90-II ARV performance and specifications:

Max towing capacity: 50 tons in off-road condition
Max recovery winch capacity: 82 tons
Boom crane capacity: 25 tons (booming tank turret under 15 tons)
Digging capacity: 125 cubic meter/hour
Transportation capacity: 1.5 tons in short distance

Crew number: 5
Combat weight: 48 tons
Dimensions: Length: 8.33m; Width: 3.4 m; Height: 2.4 m
Max speed: 69.2 km/h
Max range: 500 km
Engine: 1200 hp
NBC protection: limited
Defense armament: One 12.7 mm antiaircraft machine gun, smoke grenade launcher

mmmmmm....add photos later

Stirling Engine used in PLA newest conventional Submarine

(other news story used by Jane's Defense Weekly in May, possibly)
In March 2007, Science & Technology Daily, One of China official newspapers, publish a news story, which showed that China has used Stirling Engine as AIP power for PLA navy newest Type 039A conventional Submarines.

The background of “Science & Technology Daily” showed that it has deep relations with China governmental Sci & Tech organizations, including the COSTIND (commission of science technology and industry for national defense). Type 039A is the so-called “Yuan” class submarine named by western countries.

The news story unleashed that the Project of Stirling Engine AIP is run by No.711 research institute under CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation). And in 2007 the of project successfully won the first class prize of State Science and Technology Advancement Award (J-10 Fighter is given the special award).

The father of Chinese edition Stirling Engine is Dr. Jin Donghan (金东寒). In China, He is the first people with Doctor degree in Stirling engine research area. And the research on kinds of AIP powers for conventional submarines can be traced to early 1980s.

To fulfill the strategies of “liberating Taiwan” and “Breaking through the US-Japan Blanking off”, PLA navy needs powerful submarine fleets to fight against submarine and anti-submarine forces of US and Japan. However, lots of aged conventional submarines can not realize those tasks.

PLA admitted that the stealth level is very important in judging a submarine’s performance. Of course China can not stand a full-nuclear submarine force like U.S navy, so PLA has always been focusing on AIP powers, such as Closed Cycle Diesel AIP, Stirling Engine AIP and Fuel Cell AIP. Besides, Huang Xuhua, the designer of “Han” class nuclear submarine, even believed that the mini nuclear reactor is the best choice.

Some other resources likely proved that some pre-research activities have begun in those areas since 1980s. After almost 15 years, PLA navy has made rational selection: the nuclear reactor is expensive; fuel cell’s safety is unstable and it is an unpractical goal to China’s technologies; the CCD AIP’s disadvantage is higher noise.

For 10 years (from 1991 to 2000), No.711 Research Institute has made the most excellent achievements. In 1998, Jin Donghan and his team made China’s first theoretic demonstrating Stirling Engine, which power is 75KW. Unlike ROK and Australia, China has solved related technological and engineering difficulties in Stirling Engine. In 2002, Jin Donghan’s team worked out an engineering demonstrator. After 20,000 hours’ testing, China’s own Stirling Engine was installed in China’s Type 039A submarine in 2004.
China’s fruition in Stirling Engine can not be realized without substantial investment for years. From 1991 to 1996, the annual investment is only 70,000 RMB and from 2000 to 2005, the number changed to 10 million RMB.

China expands space reconnaissance power rapidly

(my previous news story publish in Jane's Defense Weekly)

China successful launched "Yaogan-2" satellite on last Friday and this event has disclosed that China is expanding its reconnaissance satellite system in full speed. April 27th last year, "Yaogan-1" satellite was launched.
Actually, the name "Taogan" (Remote-Sensing) is a modified designation for opening news. As matter of fact, the "Yaogan-1" satellite is JB (JianBing)-5 SAR reconnaissance satellite, which produced by N0.8 Research Institute of China Aerospace
Science and Technology Corporation(CASC); and the "Yaogan-2" is JB-6(FWS-2) digital imaging spy satellite made by CASC's N0.5 Research Institute.

The family of JianBing series satellite can be traced to 1975 and now exists for 32 years. Before 2006, China has totally launched 25 JB spy satellites with 4 generations, including JB-1 (No.1-No3 recoverable satellites, 3 days
life), JB-1A(No.4-No.9 returnable satellite, 5 days life), JB-1B(No.10,No.11,No12,No14,No15 returnable satellites, 8 days life), JB-2(No.13,No.16,No.17 returnable satellites, 15 days on orbit), JB-3(ZY-2 3 satellites , 2-3 years life) and JB-4 (No.18-No.22 returnable satellites, 27 days life).

JB-3 is a testing space SAR system and includes 3 stars. JB-3 has become an experimental platform of distributed military SBR (Space Based Radar), which is listed in the national "863" projects. JB-5 is China's first practicable Space real-time SAR reconnaissance satellite. And JB-6 is China's most advanced decimeter-level digital imagine reconnaissance satellite, which uses China's Off-axis Three-mirror Reflective Optical System and high-speed real-time
motion picture compressing encoding technology. This encoding technology will later used in lunar observing, Shenzhou-7 partner micro satellite and HuanJing-1 (Circumstance-1 or HJ-1) 2+1 constellation.

HJ-1 is a back-up for JB satellites, including 2 small imaging spy satellites and 1 SAR satellite. The primary star will be launched in the latter half of 2007. HJ-1 system is a formation flying and distributing constellation for tracing aircraft carrier group. China's plan is to build a 4+4 constellation through international cooperation. Finally HJ-1 can help partner countries to monitor the naval forces on their peripheral sea area. Iran, Pakistan, Brazil and Egypt are probably the potential clients of China.

According to schedule, China will launch JB-7 SAR satellite in 2008 and JB-8 imaging satellite in 2009. In 2010 when China in 11th five-year-plan, the 2nd generation SAR satellite will carried to space by LM-4D rocket.

China has pay much on PLA military satellites. Besides reconnaissance satellites, China has designed ST-1 (Chinasat-20) strategic Communication satellite, FH-1 (Chinasat-20) tactic communication satellite, BD/compass guidance satellite, TL-1 Data Reply satellite. From the launching of Nigeria Communication satellite, it is obvious that China will have power to bring more developing countries into military satellite club.

PLA invests 8 Billion US$ on new generation uniform

Just before 80th anniversary of PLA foundation, Type 2007 military uniform will begin to replace current Type 87 and Type 97 uniform in PLA forces. The issuing time of new uniform is from August 1st 2007 to December 2009

In the just finished 6th Singapore Asia Security summit (Sixth Shangri-La Dialogue), Lieutenant General Zhang Qinsheng, Deputy Chief of the PLA General Staff, said that the research and production of new type 07 uniform costs 8 billion US dollars. And it means that the PLA will spend 24500 RMB (over 3000 $) on every soldier or officer.

The Type 07 uniform is developed by PLA Logistics Munitions & Equipments Research Institute (LMERI) and is based on Type 97 uniform designed for PLA Hang Kong Troops. This great reform of PLA uniform includes dress, ordinary duty uniform, camouflaged uniform and decoration accessories.

The significant improvement in this alternation is to provide dress uniform for officers. The dress uniforms have dress for officers and ceremonial dress for three forces honor guard. It is a variety of parade uniforms and the materials is greatly improved than before. The dress uniform has three colors: pine green (Army), White (Navy) and Deep Gray Blue(Air Force). PLA has accepted the cold color trend in world wide military uniform.

The ordinary duty uniform is divided into spring-autumn season, winter season and summer season. For navy's international visiting, the navy ordinary duty uniform color is changed to golden white and the rank is worn on the sleeve for the first time.

Type 07 uniform's camouflaged uniform has 4 categories: forest combat Camouflage, desert combat Camouflage, urban combat Camouflage and oceanic combat Camouflage.

In order to increasing service people dignity and proud, the new generation uniform contain sorts of decorations and tags, including identity tag, meritorious service tag and aiguillette for officer uniform; service tag for soldier uniform; metal collar insignia and breast tag worn in summer duty uniform.

The looking of Type 07 uniform shows that Chinese modern military uniform is being improved to western style and erased the so-called features of "revolutionary"

Comparing with US military uniform’s opening bidding and R&D by private companies, on the contrary, the previous uniforms in PLA were usually developed by LMERI and produced in state-owned military clothing factories. But the birth of Type 07 uniform is involved with several domestic well-known cloth designers. The production however still close door to Chinese powerful and efficient private clothing firms.

The appearance of new uniform is under the plan of PLA General Logistics Department (GID). GID’s “Armed Forces Logistics Construction Plan before Year 2010” clearly announced that new dress uniform, new camouflage combat uniform will be issued to armed forces before 2010. Some other resources show that the new uniform is one of the steps for the Urgent Response Combat in sensitive period from 2008 to 2009.