Bombers and ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft head towards the Pacific.
It looks like the U.S. Air Force is planning to deploy some strategic bombers and surveillance aircraft in Australia to put some pressure on China amid South China Sea tensions.
The South China Sea is the subject of several territorial claims. China claims sovereignty on some island chains and waters that are within the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam
This year, China has started building an airstrip on the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea waters claimed by the Philippines.
According to FP, the Defense Department’s Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear, during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 13, said that along with moving U.S. Marines and Army units around the region, the Pentagon will deploy air assets in Australia, “including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft.”
The U.S. Air Force ISR aircraft, possibly unmanned Global Hawk drones, will monitor activities around the disputed islands, whereas the “Bone” heavy bombers will serve as a deterrent to challenge Beijing aggressive ownership claims.
U.S. strategic bombers have already been temporarily deployed to Australia, to take part in exercises with the Royal Australian Air Force, in 2012 and at the end of 2014 as a consequence of a joint Force Posture Initiative signed in 2011 to train together to face threats in the Pacific.
According to Xinhuanet, China cautioned the U.S. against taking any actions in the region, urging Washington “not to take any risks or make any provocations so as to maintain regional peace and stability.”
Most probably, not. However, the artworks are interesting.
Although China is known to be working also on a new stealth fighter bomber, we don’t know much about the H-20, as the aircraft is believed to be dubbed.
The long-range strike aircraft should be built around the concept of a subsonic, radar evading, flying wing configuration and some scale models have even appeared at aviation exhibitions.
While previous artworks depicted shapes of Beijing’s LRS (long-range strike) inspired to several existing U.S. planes, including the F-117 Nighthawk, the YF-23 and the B-2, a new image has recently popped up on the prolific Chinese Internet.
It shows a manned tactical plane, with internal weapons bay as well as external pylons which carry stand-off missiles. The cockpit reminds the one of the Soviet-era Su-24 Fencer, a side-by-side two-seater.
The “new” shape seems like an evolution of previous concepts, even though it may well be just fan art.
Last but not least, the new stealth bomber is depicted as flying over the disputed Senkaku islands.
China-made airlifter (that looks like a C-17/A-400M hybrid) is one of the highlights of Zhuhai airshow.
The Stealthy J-31 “Falcon Eagle” is not the only highlight of the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition: the Y-20 a brand new military cargo plane that made its maiden flight on Jan. 26, 2013 is also taking part in the Zhuhai airshow, which starts next week in China.
The Chinese airlifter arrived at Zhuhai from Xi’an Yanliang Airport at 11:54AM LT after a 3-hour flight, on Nov. 5.
The following video shows the Y-20 land at the end of its practice display and park in the apron reserved to the large aircraft, close to the Boeing C-17 of the UAE Air Force, supporting the Al Fursan display team.
The Shenyang J-31 “Falcon Eagle” to debut at Zhuhai airshow, China’s biggest commercial and defense air show, near Hong Kong.
The first prototype of Shenyang J-31 Falcon Eagle, China’s second stealth fighter jet, is going to be one of the highlights of China’s most important commercial and defense airshow held next week at Zhuhai, in the southern province of Guangdong, not far from Hong Kong.
The new aircraft, that performed its maiden flight on Oct 31, 2012, which is smaller than the J-20, from which it differs for the grey paint job and the presence of a colored emblem on the tails (in place of the typical red star) with the text 鹘鹰, Chinese for “Falcon Eagle”, embeds several features of the F-22 Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning II, respectively the current and future most advanced multi-rolejets in the U.S. Air Force inventory: along with the distinctive lines of the Lockheed Martin’s stealth designs, the Chinese jet has a nose section which reminds that of the Joint Strike Fighter, same twin tails and trapezoidal wings.
Still, unlike the F-35, it is equipped with two engines (like the F-22, even though without Thrust Vectoring capability, at least, not yet).
The following footage shows the video of the J-31 practicing its demo flight at Zhuhai on Nov. 6. Pretty simple stuff (but let’s not forget it is just a prototype at its first public appearance). Noteworthy, the engines that currently equip the aircraft are a bit smoky: the Chinese jet may evade radars and one day equal F-22 and F-35s but for the moment they can be spotted from far away because of its engines pluming black smoke.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a Chinese Su-27 flew dangerously close to a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) aircraft over the East China Sea, on Aug. 19.
The P-8, a derivative of the Boeing 737, capable to carry the Mk-54 airborne torpedo and the Harpoon anti-ship missile, and to perform ASW missions as well as ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) tasks, was conducting a routine surveillance mission in international airspace when a Chinese Flanker intercepted it.
Routine stuff, until the Chinese jet flew within 50 feet of the Poseidon “and then carried out a barrel roll over the top of the aircraft” a maneuver meant to threaten the American aircraft, as commented by US officials familiar with the incident who have talked to Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz.
The American jet was one of the aircraft assigned to U.S. Navy’s VP-16, a squadron based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, that has been deployed to Kadena, Okinawa, one the largest U.S. airbases in the Asia-Pacific region, located about 400 chilometers East of the disputed Senkaku islands (Diaoyu for China), since December 2013.
One of the J-8s piloted by Lt. Cdr. Wang Wei, made two close passes to the EP-3 before colliding with the spyplane on the third pass. As a consequence, the J-8 broke into two pieces and crashed into the sea causing the death of the pilot, whereas the EP-3, severely damaged, performed an unauthorized landing at China’s Lingshui airfield.
The 24 crew members (21 men and three women), that destroyed all (or at least most of ) the sensitive items and data on board the aircraft, were detained by Chinese authorities until Apr. 11.