Category Archives: China

Upgraded, third prototype of China’s stealth jet ready for maiden flight

J-20 Mighty Dragon “2011” has already completed hi-speed taxi tests.

In the last few days, the extremely active Chinese aircraft enthusiasts have documented the ground activity of the third prototype of the J-20 “Mighty Dragon” stealth fighter jet.

The new pictures show the J-20 coded “2011” performing taxi tests at Chengdu airfield. Following a high-speed taxi, the aircraft raised the nose and then deployed the drag chute to reduce speed: the usual steps that precede the first take off.

What is really interesting about the new plane is that it seems to embed a series of improvements. According to several reports it has a new air intake design, shorter engine nozzles and a (basic?) sensor fusion technology.

J-20 third prototype

For sure the J-20 has something worth a mention: a revised nose section, much similar to that of the much criticised F-35, with an IRST/EOTS (Infra Red Search and Track / Electro Optical Tracking System) – used to hunt low observable aircraft, and a metal finish that loosely reminds the radar absorbing Haze Paint first used on F-16s.

Image credit: Chinese Internet, cjdby.net, fyjs.cn

 

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Australian surveillance plane scrambled to monitor Chinese naval activity

Royal Australian Air Force Orion aircraft launched to monitor Chinese military exercise that took Beijing’s warships closer to Australia than ever before.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, an unannounced military exercise held in the waters to the north of the Red Continent, brought three Chinese vessels so close to the coastline, to force the Royal Australian Air Force to scramble an AP-3C from RAAF Base Edinburgh, near Adelaide, to observe the warships activities.

The Chinese vessels, two destroyers and a landing ship, came through the Sunda Strait, skirted the southern part of Java, sailed close to Christmas Island before turning northbound through the Lombok Strait near Bali.

Obviously, since it remained in international waters, the Chinese flotilla did nothing really aggressive, even if the trip near Australia proves once again China wants to send the rest the world the message that People’s Liberation Army Navy can operate in both the Indican Ocean and the Pacific and counter the U.S. and Indian maritime powers in the Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S. has recently started deploying strategic bombers to Darwin, in the North of Australia: a B-52 deployed to Guam for a rotational bomber presence in the Pacific has landed there at the end of January to take part in a short term bilateral training with the RAAF.

Image credit: Wiki

 

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Chinese Navy J-15 fighter pilot’s “selfie” taken over Liaoning aircraft carrier

A rare image taken from inside the cockpit of a J-15 fighter jet.

Not only Western fighter jocks love self-portrait shots (known as “selfies“).

This image shows a pilot of the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) aboard a J-15 “Flying Shark”. The J-15 naval fighter aircraft is the primary plane of China’s new Liaoning aircraft carrier.

You can spot the aircraft carrier on the right hand side: the naval aviator took the photo as he was overflying the Chinese Navy’s flagship.

Image credit: PLANAF via Chinese Military Review

 

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Made in China: all Modern Chinese fighter jets in one photo

One image shows some of the most famous China’s Air Force combat planes.

Even if some types are missing, the photograph is still much interesting. Indeed, if you wondered how the size of a J-10 compared to that of a J-8II, this photographs gives a hint.

BTW, since the Chinese site where the image was posted focuses on scale models, photoshop compositions etc., we can’t be sure the image whether the photo is genuine or it simply depicts a diorama.

Anyway, from left to right you can ID: Shenyang J-11, Chengdu J-10, Shenyang J-8II, Shenyang J-8, Chengdu J-7, Shenyang J-6, Shenyang JJ-2. Front row: Xian JH-7A, Nanchang A5.

If you are interested in Chinese aircraft, Modern Chinese Warplanes written by Andreas Rupprecht and Tom Cooper, and published by Harpia, is the book for you.

The paperback volume, sporting 256 pages, 274 color photos, 12 maps and 60 color drawings, accurately portrays China’s current military planes, their weapons, their markings and serial number systems, as well as the order of battle of both the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and Navy Air Force: the ideal starting point if you want to study Beijing’s air power.

H/T to Sobchak Security

 

 

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First impressive images of China’s Aircraft Carrier Battle Group

Images of China’s aircraft carrier and its accompanying warships were released by the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) to celebrate the battle group’s first successful deployment.

Along with Liaoning, 10 more warships took part in the parade (which reminds the American ones): three destroyers, three frigates, three submarines and an amphibious assault ship. A total of eight jet fighters overflew the BG during the return leg of the cruise to Qingdao home port on China’s east coast.

But, as pointed out by defense journalist David Axe on War is Boring, the shots reveal the weaknesses in Chinese naval organization.

The secret to American naval power is the capability to support flattops by means of logistics ships, including tankers, dry stores vessels and ammunition ships.

“The Pentagon’s three-dozen active combat-support vessels, manned mostly by civilian mariners, busily crisscross the globe, carefully plotting their courses to regularly meet up with the carriers and other task forces in order to refuel and resupply them. But no logistics ships are visible in Liaoning’s recent photos. That could be because China possesses only a token naval logistical flotilla—and mostly uses it to support Beijing’s counter-piracy force off of East Africa. “Limited logistical support remains a key obstacle preventing the [Chinese] Navy from operating more extensively beyond East Asia,” the Pentagon reported recently” Axe explains.

Therefore, an image whose aim was to project an image of strength, also highlights the limits of the current Chinese maritime power.

Image credit: via Chinese Defense Blog

 

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