Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cloud Shadow, China's anti naval fast attack craft UAV

Another year, another major UAV debut.

What makes the Cloud Shadow stand out is its anti-ship missile payload.  In addition to your normal array of guided missiles and glided bombs, it is sporting a pair of Eagle-Strike YJ-9E (鹰击9E) Anti-Ship Missiles,  YJ-9 is a light variant of the standard YJ-81/83 Antiship Missile found on most of the PLAN mid-size naval vessels.    The YJ-9 was first revealed to public in 2004 on board of a PLAN Z-9D anti-ship helicopter. and now a go-to light-weight ASM for the PLAN.   It is armed with  a 30 kg armor-piercing warhead, has an air launched range of 18km at Mach 0.85 speed.

The YJ-9 can also be carried by L-15 trainer and other light Chinese aircraft for near-shore anti-ship missions. 

 YJ-9 on a Z-9D
 Cloud Shadow with a pair YJ-9E

‘Cloud Shadow’ high-altitude drone debuts at Dubai Air Show
Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/13 21:53:39

A Chinese-produced "Cloud Shadow" UAV debuts at the Dubai International Air Show. Photo: Courtesy of AVIC

The "Cloud Shadow", a high-altitude high-speed multifunction unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by AVIC Chengdu Aircraft Industrial (Group) Co, made its debut on Sunday at the ongoing Dubai International Air Show.

It is the first UAV, or drone, to be exported in the "shadow" series to meet international demand.

In a note sent to the Global Times on Monday, AVIC said the drone has an avionic flight control system, among other features.

With a high-end turbojet engine, the UAV has a cruising altitude higher than the range of most surface-to-air missiles and a speed much faster than the first generation of UAVs.

In a battle with medium intensity, the product can safely conduct fast and extensive intelligence gathering and long-distance precision land/sea attacks, the note said.

There are three types of "Cloud Shadow" UAVs, and the "Cloud Shadow 1", equipped with a high-altitude high-definition CCD camera and synthetic aperture radar (SAR), can capture more than 10,000 square kilometers of optical images per hour at an altitude of 13 kilometers.

The "Cloud Shadow 2", equipped with a full-band radar signal detector and a communication signal detector, can detect and locate all ground-based radar systems within 400 kilometers and all communication signals within 200 kilometers.

The "Cloud Shadow 3", equipped with an SAR as well as an advanced opto-electronic reconnaissance device, can work with multiple types of advanced assault weapons to launch high-altitude reconnaissance and attacks toward targets beyond 50 kilometers.

Since its founding in the late 1950s, the Chengdu branch has successively developed and produced thousands of J-5, J-7, JF-17 and J-10 fighters and exported more than 700 fighters.

AVIC said it will launch more products in the market in the future.

Correcting the Wikipedia: Zimbabwe IFV on the news is not Type90 IFV

Wikipedia mistakenly labeled the Zimbabwean Norinco YW 531H (Norinco industrial model designation) as the Type90 APC (PLA in-service type designation), which is incorrect.

Type 90  China Infantry Fighting Vehicle -- -- Seen on the streets of Harare during the 2017 Zimbabwean coup d'état[74]

The 25mm armed YW 531H IFV on the news is a smaller and lighter version of the WZ534 (13.6 vs 14.3 tonnes), and called Type85 in China.  WZ535, on the other hand,  is in service with the PLA and is known as the Type89, with ~1000 copies still in service within China.

YW 531H is an export only IFV with a limited customer base including Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand and of course,  Zimbabwe.

Nippick?  Yeah, just a bit.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Offical photo of the day: J-11B with next generation of Chinese AAM (PL-10 ASRAAM and PL-15 LRAAM)

Since the 2016 Zhuhai airshow, photos of J-10 and J20 armed with PL-10 ASRAAM and PL-15 LRAA are now a common sight.   PL-10 is China's answer to the US AIM-9X Sidewinder, both with high off-bore sight capability, thrust-vectoring control (TVC) and able to "lock on" via helmet-mounted sights (HMS).  Paring with the PL-10 is the PL-15 LRAAM with a range of 200km, tasked for beyond visual range engagements, similar to US' AIM120-D of the same class. 

Judging by this photo released by China's official Xinhua news agency yesterday, the PLAAF has retrofitted their older J-11B heavy fighters with this latest pair of advanced AAM.   They are not just for PLAAF top-of-the-line anymore.

J-11B with PL-10 and PL-15 AAM

J-10C with PL-10 and PL-15

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Photos of the day: J-20 mounting a pair of PL-10 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Animated gif of the day: Releasing PL-10 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles from J-20's weapon bay

Open the bay door, HAL.

Friday, November 10, 2017

PLAAF pilot training tracks

PR aside, this PLA Daily offers an official glimpse into PLAAF's pilot training tracks.  A topic that is not covered in detail by the West; they seem to be interested only in tech specs.

PLA Air Force's flight incident rate less than 0.1 per 10k flight hours

Source:  China Military Online
Editor: Zhang Tao
Time: 2017-11-09
By Du Maolin

Reporter: The famous test pilot Li Zhonghua of the Chinese PLA Air Force recently said on CCTV that many pilots have given their lives since the PLA Air Force was formed in November 1949. What do you think of this?

Fu Qianshao (An expert with the PLA Air Force): There is a standard to determine whether flight accidents are frequent. It's called flight incident rate/10k hours. This rate has been reduced from 0.2 or so to less than 0.1 in the Chinese PLA Air Force, which is very low even in comparison with those developed countries. Such a progress is attributed to the improvement of China's industrial capability and personnel competence.

It must be pointed out that accidents are unavoidable in warplane training, and an absolutely "safe" air force is most abnormal.

Given the warplane crash accidents happening in different countries in peacetime, the accident rate and crash rate always rise with the increase of training intensity, subject difficulty and confrontation intensity. If a country lowers the training standard and reduces flying frequency in order to achieve the "absolute safety", it will undermine real combat effect and lead to unimaginable consequences.

Chen Hong (A professor at the PLA Air Force Command Academy): In 2017, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces have had four major flight accidents, causing at least four deaths. This happened to the United States and Russia too. Incomplete statistics show that in the first 10 months of 2017, 12 planes have crashed in the U.S., and Russia also saw the crash of six main warplanes within 40 days from June this year.

Reporter: Real-combat training of both J-20 and carrier-based fighter jets will be more frequent. What measures should be taken to avoid training accidents as much as possible?

Fu Qianshao: As I said, it's hard to absolutely avoid training accidents, but the accident itself is a kind of warning and it urges the military to make further improvements in equipment and training reform.

To be more specific, we need to develop new trainer jets and improve training quality. Practice proves that trainer jets with exceptional performance can not only ensure flight training quality, but also play an important role in guaranteeing pilot safety.

Therefore, China has put forth a number of advanced new trainer jets in recent years, such as the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle and JL-10. They have been commissioned the PLA Air Force on a large scale and are mainly used to foster Gen-3 and Gen-4 warplane pilots, which is helpful for improving training quality for Chinese pilots.

The great difficulty in training warplane pilots is the complexity of the Air Force's flying training system. Generally speaking, flight training consists of two parts - skill training and combat training, the former training the pilots' plane operation capability and the latter training their combat capability.

Different trainer jets are used in different training stages. For instance, for pilot selection and primary flight training in aviation colleges and flying academies, the CJ-6 primary trainer jet is the main model, while JL-8 is used for basic flight training at the middle level and in some advanced training. At present, advanced flight training of the PLA Air Force is mainly carried out by JJ-7, but the more advanced JL-9 and JL-10 will be used in the future.

Usually when a flying cadet graduates from the aviation academy, he becomes a qualified pilot, but he cannot fly the warplane yet. Only after he completes the training on trainer jets of the same model as the warplane at the aviation troop or training base will he become a real pilot who can fly fighter jets.

At the moment, the PLA Air Force is reforming its training system and training plane system in order to catch up with development and meet combat demand. An important aspect of the reform is adjusting the trainer jet system to be more scientific and rational, and another aspect is to upgrade the systems on some trainer jets, so they can simulate operation and use features of Gen-3 and Gen-4 fighters.

For instance, adding the satellite navigation system, HUD and multi-function display can familiarize the pilots with the cabin interface and operating habits of modern warplanes as early as possible, laying a solid foundation for avoiding training risks and intensifying tactical training.

Reporter: In November 2016, Yu Xu, the first female J-10 fighter jet pilot in China, died in a training flight, drawing extensive attention from society. Can you tell us about the development of female pilots in the PLA Air Force?

Chen Hong: There have been more than 500 female pilots in China since 1949, some of whom are retired. Fewer than 100 female pilots are serving in the PLA Air Force today.

China had its first batch of female warplane pilots in April 2009. Yu Xu was one of them, and she was also the first J-10 female pilot. They mainly flew the J-10 and JH-7.

General female pilots that we recruited in the past mainly flew military transport planes, or served air duty on the plane. But female warplane pilots today are different.

The PLA Air Force has begun to train female warplane pilots because they are more detail-oriented and thorough and have advantages in using precision equipment and identifying terrain.

Reporter: We noticed that the Chinese military has become more open and transparent in dealing with emergencies in the past two years. What does that mean?

Chen Hong: The Chinese military has indeed become more transparent in the past few years, which indicates China's growing strength in national defense.

As a matter of fact, increasing the military's openness and transparency is an important way of "deepening trust and dismissing doubts". It will help other countries in the world to have a correct perception of the Chinese military, and it also reflects China's sincerity in conducting foreign cooperation in military security and its wish to voluntarily increase military transparency.

Pics of JL-9 and JL-10 trainers 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

It sure is nice to have a place to call home

The Chinese guided-missile destroyer Haikou attached to the 27th Chinese naval escort taskforce is sailing into the Port of Djibouti on November 6, 2017 for a 5-day in-port replenishment and rest. The taskforce consists of the guided-missile destroyer Haikou, the guided-missile frigate Yueyang and the comprehensive supply ship Qinghaihu

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

4th Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to S. Sudan (Juba) ready to set out

ZHENGZHOU, Nov. 7 (ChinaMil) -- The 700 troops of the 4th Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan (Juba) all arrived Monday in Zhengzhou, capital city of central China’s Henan province, and they will leave in four batches for South Sudan to take over peacekeepers of the 3rd Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to perform peacekeeping missions there.

The 700 peacekeepers, mainly coming from the 83rd Combined Corps of the PLA Army, consist of infantrymen, artillerymen, scouts and engineers. They will be deployed to their mission area in Juba, capital of South Sudan to perform such missions as protecting local civilians, United Nations personnel and humanitarian assistance staff, as well as defense area patrol and guarding, armed escort and so on.

The first batch of peacekeepers of the battalion is scheduled to depart from Zhengzhou on November 14 and fly to their mission area in Juba.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Two UN peacekeepers from China killed in South Sudan

JUBA, July 11 (ChinaMil) -- Two UN peacekeepers from China, namely Li Lei and Yang Shupeng, were killed and five others were injured on July 10 when their armored vehicle was hit by a shell during a mission in Juba, capital of South Sudan, according to China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Monday.
The incident happened at 18:39, July 10, local time, when South Sudanese government and anti-government forces continued to exchange fire in Juba.
The armored vehicle of the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion was performing the guard tasks in a refugee camp at the headquarters of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), when it was suddenly attacked by a shell.
Two were severely injured and three suffered minor injuries during the attack, the Information Office of the MND said.
The Chinese military is deeply astonished and strongly condemns the attack, said the Information Office of the MND in a statement, expressing deep condolences to the victims and their families.
After the occurrence of the incident, the Chinese military immediately initiated an emergency-response mechanism, and the Chinese peacekeeping detachment to the country has done its best to save the wounded and further strengthened its safety and guard measures to ensure security.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Photos of the day: This one time, at band camp.

JUBA, May 25 (ChinaMil) -- The Chinese first peacekeeping infantry battalion formally conducted their first patrol operation in Juba city of South Sudan on May 22, 2015. Two female soldiers also participated in the patrol.

  South Sudan suffers instability recently with constant conflicts in its northeastern regions and continuous tensions in the capital Juba. According to the arrangement of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion replaced the Nepalese peacekeeping infantry battalion on May 22 and carried out such tasks as urban patrol, refugee protection and camp defense independently.

  Before accepting the above tasks, the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion has carried out comprehensive and detailed training and preparations, said Wang Zhen, head of the battalion. They have also launched joint patrol training with other foreign peacekeeping troops to establish sound plans.

  Single patrol covered dozens of kilometers and took three-plus hours, the reporter observed during their tour with the patrol detachment. Three soldiers stood on each armed patrol vehicle with guns, facing different directions. In some key sections, they also organized foot patrols.

  Many residents along the way showed the thumbs-up sign and some even said hello to the peacekeepers in Chinese. A local shop owner said: "Chinese peacekeeping force is reliable!"

Monday, November 06, 2017

Photo of the day: Z-20 "Copyhawk" medium-lift utility helicopter (635 and 636)

It has been a while since the last photo of Z-20 (635) surfaced on the Chinese internet.  Don't worry guys,  the Z-20 program is alive and well -- with a new addition (636).  They are now playing tourist in Tibet.  I wonder if those two would buy a little "fixer upper" then start a family there or return home to Chengdu when their vacation is over. 

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Photos of the day: Z-20 633 and 635.

Both are sporting the PLAAF roundel, suggesting that they have inducted into service

Monday, December 23, 2013

Z-20 "Copyhawk" medium-lift utility helicopter

Rumors are flying (backed up by CCTV) that a new Chinese medium-lift utility helicopter, the Z-20 or Copyhawk has conducted her maiden flight.  Well, you be the judge of that.