China-Singapore Joint Military Exercise


The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) & The People's Liberation Army of China are participating in a counter-terrorism training exercise from Thursday to Nov 26.

This is the second time the training exercise between the two countries has taken place.

About 60 personnel from each side are taking part in Cooperation 2010, which focuses on counter-terrorism security operations for major international events.

The nine-day exercise consists of seminars, planning exercises and response drills.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Friday, Brig-Gen Teo Jing Siong from the SAF said: 'Singapore welcomes China's continued defence exchanges and interactions with our region at the bilateral and multilateral levels, which would help foster cooperation and better understanding between regional militaries.'

Russia, India In Joint Drone Project


Russia and India are mulling a project for a recoverable rocket-firing drone based on their BraMos cruise missile. Engineers from the two sides started discussing the proposal at a meeting in New Delhi on Monday.
The drone will be capable of delivering heavy explosive payloads to targets thousands of kilometres away from its home base.

China Expands Drone Surveillance Near India Border Aera


High above the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, it was but a sparkling light.The unidentified object was, however, bright enough to catch the attention of officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, who were on a recent patrol in the difficult high terrain along India’s disputed mountainous border with China.The bright speck, they knew, was out of place among the gently flickering stars that usually keep them company on cold night patrols.
The ITBP and military experts believe the sighting was only the latest confirmation of a military programme across the border that is revolutionising China’s surveillance capabilities — the country’s fast-expanding domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or “drone”, industry.

The programme’s success was easier to spot in Beijing this week, where Chinese companies displayed a range of domestically-developed UAVs at an exhibition on police equipment and anti-terrorism technology.

Once reluctant to discuss the state of development of the country’s home-grown “drones”, Chinese authorities are increasingly showcasing the industry’s rapid progress, as well as looking for foreign markets.
At last year’s air-show in Zhuhai, foreign observers were left stunned by 25 UAVs that were displayed, at stages of development far more advanced than earlier thought.

“The Zhuhai display showed substantial variations in Chinese capabilities, and indicates that their science and technology, as well as research and development, is quite phenomenal in this area,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, professor of Chinese studies and an expert on the Chinese military at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

In Beijing this week, industry representatives were bullish about the UAV industry, suggesting a significant expansion was on the cards. Representatives of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), one of China’s biggest UAV manufacturers, said UAVs would play a bigger role in China’s anti-terrorism missions.

While the drones are being designed primarily for anti-terrorism, their use has also been expanded to border reconnaissance, particularly over the Taiwan Straits, still a focus of China’s military interests.

UAVs “will be useful for reconnaissance along border areas, where natural conditions are inhospitable,” Li Wei, director of the anti-terrorism research center at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), an official think-tank in Beijing, told the State-run China Daily in a recent interview.

The drones are dual-use — they will also be deployed for civilian purposes. Beijing police officials said at the symposium they would consider using UAVs in emergencies, and also to monitor traffic.

But it is China’s military programme that has received most attention.
Also on display this week were drones with domestically-designed weapon platforms.
For a programme that was only launched a decade ago, growth has been rapid. Ten years ago, China was reliant on Israel for its supply of Heron UAVs. However, American concerns over their deployment in the Taiwan Straits subsequently forced China to seek alternatives.

The first domestically-produced UAV was unveiled only four years ago, at the previous Zhuhai air-show.

Recently, the UAVs have been “used substantially in Tibet and Xinjiang,” Mr. Kondapalli said. “Since the number one national security threat number is the Three Evils [terrorism, separatism and religious extremism], they are providing real-time information to the government on the ground, whether any Al-Qaeda operatives are sneaking into Kashgar [near Xinjiang's western border].”

The drones are also useful for border surveillance. China’s biggest drone, the ASN-229 A, has a 2,000 km operating radius, and is directed by satellite.

China’s success, Mr. Kondapalli said, “would impact India’s own thinking process,” with the country still reliant on Israeli UAVs.

Underscoring the widening gap in capabilities across the border, the recent sightings by the ITBP could not be documented with certainty, given the lack of sophisticated equipment in many outposts in India’s border regions.
The personnel of the ITBP patrol with rudimentary equipment. When they looked skyward, they had no high-tech surveillance tools to turn to — they only had binoculars for company.

China On Fast Track To Match U.S. Drone Capabilities




 China On Fast Track To Match U.S. Drone Capabilities



At the most recent Zhuhai air show, the premier event for China’s aviation industry, crowds swarmed around a model of an armed, jet-propelled drone and marveled at the accompanying display of its purported martial prowess.

In a video and map, the thin, sleek drone locates what appears to be a U.S. aircraft carrier group near an island with a striking resemblance to Taiwan and sends targeting information back to shore, triggering a devastating barrage of cruise missiles toward the formation of ships.
Little is known about the actual abilities of the WJ-600 drone or the more than two dozen other Chinese models that were on display at Zhuhai in November. But the speed at which they have been developed highlights how U.S. military successes with drones have changed strategic thinking worldwide and spurred a global rush for unmanned aircraft.




More than 50 countries have purchased surveillance drones, and many have started in-country development programs for armed versions because no nation is exporting weaponized drones beyond a handful of sales between the United States and its closest allies.


“This is the direction all aviation is going,” said Kenneth Anderson, a professor of law at American University who studies the legal questions surrounding the use of drones in warfare. “Everybody will wind up using this technology because it’s going to become the standard for many, many applications of what are now manned aircraft.”


Military planners worldwide see drones as relatively cheap weapons and highly effective reconnaissance tools. Hand-launched ones used by ground troops can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Near the top of the line, the Predator B, or MQ9-Reaper, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, costs about $10.5 million. By comparison, a single F-22 fighter jet costs about $150 million.

Defense spending on drones has become the most dynamic sector of the world’s aerospace industry, according to a report by the Teal Group in Fairfax. The group’s 2011 market study estimated that in the coming decade global spending on drones will double, reaching $94 billion.

But the world’s expanding drone fleets — and the push to weaponize them — have alarmed some academics and peace activists, who argue that robotic warfare raises profound questions about the rules of engagement and the protection of civilians, and could encourage conflicts.
“They could reduce the threshold for going to war,” said Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield in England. “One of the great inhibitors of war is the body bag count, but that is undermined by the idea of riskless war.”

China On Fast Track



No country has ramped up its research in recent years faster than China. It displayed a drone model for the first time at the Zhuhai air show five years ago, but now every major manufacturer for the Chinese military has a research center devoted to drones, according to Chinese analysts.
Much of this work remains secret, but the large number of drones at recent exhibitions underlines not only China’s determination to catch up in that sector — by building equivalents to the leading U.S. combat and surveillance models, the Predator and the Global Hawk — but also its desire to sell this technology abroad.

The United States doesn’t export many attack drones, so we’re taking advantage of that hole in the market,” said Zhang Qiaoliang, a representative of the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, which manufactures many of the most advanced military aircraft for the People’s Liberation Army. “The main reason is the amazing demand in the market for drones after 9/11.”
Although surveillance drones have become widely used around the world, armed drones are more difficult to acquire.

Israel, the second-largest drone manufacturer after the United States, has flown armed models, but few details are available. India announced this year that it is developing ones that will fire missiles and fly at 30,000 feet. Russia has shown models of drones with weapons, but there is little evidence that they are operational.

Pakistan has said it plans to obtain armed drones from China, which has already sold the nation ones for surveillance. And Iran last summer unveiled a drone that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the “ambassador of death” but whose effectiveness is still unproven, according to military analysts.

The United States is not yet threatened by any of these developments. No other country can match its array of aircraft with advanced weapons and sensors, coupled with the necessary satellite and telecommunications systems to deploy drones successfully across the globe.
“We are well ahead in having established systems actively in use,” said retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, the former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at the Air Force. “But the capability of other countries will do nothing but grow.”
Raising alarm



In recent conflicts, the United States has primarily used land-based drones, but it is developing an aircraft carrier-based version to deploy in the Pacific. Defense analysts say the new drone is partly intended to counter the long-range “carrier killer” missile that China is developing.
With the ascendance of China’s military, American allies in the Pacific increasingly see the United States as the main bulwark against rising Chinese power. And China has increasingly framed its military developments in response to U.S. capabilities.




A sea-based drone would give the United States the ability to fly three times the distance of a normal Navy fighter jet, potentially keeping a carrier group farther from China’s coast.
This possible use of U.S. drones in the Pacific has been noted with alarm in news reports in China as well as in North Korea’s state-run media.
There are similar anxieties in the United States over China’s accelerating drone industry. A report last November by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted that the Chinese military “has deployed several types of unmanned aerial vehicles for both reconnaissance and combat.”
In the pipeline, the report said, China has several medium- and high-altitude long-endurance drones, which could expand China’s options for long-range surveillance and attacks.

China’s rapid development has pushed its neighbors into action. After a diplomatic clash with China last fall over disputed territories in the South China Sea, Japan announced that it planned to send military officials to the United States to study how it operates and maintains its Global Hawk high-altitude surveillance drones. In South Korea, lawmakers this year accused China of hacking into military computers to learn about the country’s plans to acquire Global Hawk, which could peer into not only North Korea but also parts of China and other neighboring countries.

On top of the increasing anxieties of individual countries, there also are international concerns that some governments might not be able to protect these new weapons from hackers and terrorists. Sharkey, the University of Sheffield professor who also co-founded the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, noted that Iraqi insurgents, using a $30 piece of software, intercepted live feeds from U.S. drones; the video was later found on the laptop of a captured militant.

Relaxing U.S. export controls

But with China and other countries beginning to market their drones, the United States is looking to boost its sales by exploring ways to relax American export controls.

Vice Adm. William E. Landay III, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency overseeing foreign military sales, said at a Pentagon briefing recently that his agency is working on preapproved lists of countries that would qualify to purchase drones with certain capabilities. “If industry understands where they might have an opportunity to sell, and where they won’t, that’s useful for them,” Landay said.

General Atomics, the San Diego-based manufacturer of the U.S. Predator drones, has received approval to export to the Middle East and Latin America an unarmed, early-generation Predator, according to company spokeswoman Kimberly Kasitz. The company is now in talks with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, among others, she said.
At the same time, U.S. officials have sought to limit where others sell their drones. After Israel sold an anti-radar attack drone to China, the Pentagon temporarily shut Israel out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to register its disapproval.

In 2009, the United States also objected to an Israeli sale of sophisticated drones to Russia, according to diplomatic cables released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. A smaller co-production deal was later brokered with the Russians, who bristled when Georgia deployed Israeli surveillance drones against its forces during the 2008 war between the two countries.




But for China, there are few constraints on selling. It has begun to show its combat drone prototypes at international air shows, including last month in Paris, where a Chinese manufacturer displayed a craft, called the Wing-Loong, that looked like a Predator knockoff. Because of how tightly China controls its military technology, it is unclear how far along the Wing-Loong or any of its armed drones are from actual production and operation, defense analysts say.
According to the Aviation Industry Corp. of China, it has begun offering international customers a combat and surveillance drone comparable to the Predator called the Yilong, or “pterodactyl” in English. Zhang, of the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, said the company anticipates sales in Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa.
However, he and others displaying drones at a recent Beijing anti-terrorism convention played down the threat of increasing Chinese drone technology.

“I don’t think China’s drone technology has reached the world’s first-class level,” said Wu Zilei, from the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., echoing an almost constant refrain. “The reconnaissance drones are okay, but the attack drones are still years behind the United States.”
But Richard Fisher, a senior fellow at the Washington-based International Assessment and Strategy Center, said such statements are routine and intended to deflect concern about the nation’s expanding military ambitions.


washington post

U.S., UK Urge Israel Not To Take Military Action Against Iran


The United States and Britain persuaded Israel Sunday that an Israeli strike on Iran would be a dangerous move and that it is still too soon to take any military action. However, it remains uncertain whether the persuasion was successful.


“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Israelis to Businessweek. “I wouldn’t suggest, sitting here today, that we’ve persuaded them that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion.”

The request comes shortly after Iran's Oil Ministry announced its suspension of oil shipments to Britain and France after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Iran's oil exports in January, hoping it would encourage Iran to halt its suspected nuclear program. The U.S., EU and Israel have all suspected Iran of developing nuclear weapons though Tehran denies the allegations.

FOX reported that Israel accepted the oil sanctions but that its patience with Iran is starting to run out.

According to Bloomberg News:
Officials in Tel Aviv have tried to alert the West to the dangers of a nuclear Iran for more than a decade. They argued that Iran would cause the technology to proliferate in the region as states such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia sought such weapons, turning a multipolar nuclear Middle East into a strategic nightmare. A nuclear-armed Iran would strengthen its hegemony in the energy sector by its mere location along the oil-rich Arabian Gulf and the Caspian Basin.
It would also result in the West’s loss of the Central Asian states, which would either gravitate toward Iran or try to secure a nuclear umbrella with Russia or China, countries much closer to the region than the U.S. is. A regime in Tehran emboldened by the possession of nuclear weapons would become more active in supporting radical Shiite elements in Iraq and agitating those communities in the Arabian Gulf states.

Meanwhile, officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Iran Saturday to discuss its nuclear activity. This is their second visit this month.

“This meeting is a crucial opportunity for everyone, including the Iranians, to get serious,” Arms Control Association Director Daryl Kimball said from Vienna in a telephone interview with Businessweek. “Getting serious means focusing on the near-term problem that 20 percent enriched uranium represents” which drives the “hysterical war talk in some quarters.”

Iran has been secretative about its nuclear program for nearly two decades and claims it wants nuclear power "for peaceful purposes," reported Businessweek.

How big is the North Korean army? Evidence from missing population


Little is known about North Korea’s economy as official statistics are scant. But North Korea cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to the size of its army. This column suggests that the true number is hidden between the lines of the census. It provides an estimate based on missing population, that is, the difference between the whole population and the number of registered citizens.


“Partly as a result of the lack of information resources, the North Korean economy is a field that has been more or less forgotten by researchers” concludes a new report by the Society of Korean Historical Studies (Choson-shi Kenkyu Kai 2011). Yet, from a security perspective, from the perspective of historical accounts, and from the perspective of an eventual normalisation of relations, North Korea cannot be ignored. Thus, there is a need to gain an understanding of this country.

It is against this background that I present in this column figures on the number of North Korean military personnel and figures on the number of famine victims, two examples taken from my forthcoming book (Moon 2008).
How big is the North Korean army?

Since the country established its armed forces in 1963, North Korea has never published any number on military personnel. One estimate from The Military Balance is formally used by the Japanese government. It suggests North Korea's military personnel are around 1,020,000 in the ground forces, 60,000 in the navy, and 11,000 in the air force. However, no clear explanation is provided as to how these figures were obtained.

But North Korea may have accidentally published its number of military personnel. It implemented two population censuses – one in 1993 and one in 2008. As the censuses were supported by the UN Population Fund and South Korea's Foundation for Inter-Korean Cooperation, North Korea was obliged to report the data.

A close examination of the numbers reveals an anomaly. The population overall is greater than the sum of the populations by administrative district. The discrepancy in the 1993 census is of 691,027 persons, while in the 2008 census, it is of 702,373 persons. This means that roughly 700,000 people are not registered in administrative districts.

The reason for this discrepancy lies in North Korea's citizen registration system. According to the Citizen Registration Law, not all citizens are registered. Article 13 stipulates that the citizen ID, ie the citizen registration, is to be returned to the public security office where the citizen resides if she enlists in the Korean People's Army or Korean People's Guard, or a public- or national-security institution, or if her citizenship ceases because of death or mental illness. This implies that the 700,000 discrepancy consists in part of those enlisted in the army.

Looking at the demographic characteristics of these 700,000 persons, it is highly likely that a majority of them are in the Korean People's Army. Figure 1 shows the sex ratio by age taken from the 1993 data by administrative region. At the time of birth, there are slightly more boys than girls (the ratio is around 1.05). Because men have a higher mortality than women the older they get, the ratio declines from around age 30. However, as can be clearly seen in the figure, there is a sharp dent between ages 16 and 26. This coincides exactly with the end of compulsory-education, when some join the armed forces, and is entirely due to a decline in the number of men, which make up the numerator of the ratio. As the majority of the armed forces are young men, it is likely that most of the unregistered 700,000 persons are members of the armed forces.

At best, this number of 700,000 persons forms the upper bound for estimates of the number of North Korean military personnel. And this, in turn, implies that the figure presented in The Military Balance is an overestimate.

Figure 1. Sex ratio by age (1993 census)


How many famine victims were there?

Another area in which available data are extremely scant is the number of victims of famine. Numbers circulated indicating that “several million people” had died from starvation. Although there were numerous sources for such claims, the first to provide a statistical underpinning is South Korea's Korean Buddhist Sharing Movement. The latter repeatedly interviewed food refugees in China's border regions and tried to estimate the scale of the famine. These estimates suggest that in the roughly three years from the floods in 1995 until late 1997, about 3.5 million people had died from starvation (KBSM 1998). But these estimates are extrapolations reconstructed from demographic information given by refugees from the region with the highest mortality rate and the most prone to famine. Hence, these numbers are unconvincing.

Taking a very different approach, I estimate the number of famine-related deaths based on ‘excess mortality,’ ie the difference between the mortality rate at normal times and that at the time of the famine. My estimates, which have been published by South Korea’s government, suggest that 336,000 persons died of famine from 1995 to 2000.
Conclusion

When seeking to investigate issues related to North Korea, one has little choice but to rely on officially published materials which may reflect history as written by the rulers. Yet, as Wrigley (1969), an authority in the field of historical demography, observed: “Historical demography deals with all men and women, not simply those who were powerful, well-born, wealthy or literate. By analysing parish registers, listings of inhabitants, returns made to census authorities and the like, we can look into the lives of ordinary people in the past, comparing peasant with gentleman, miner with clothmaker, countryman with city dweller, and so on. Where the necessary records are preserved there is a chance to get down the roots of society.”

My research thus hopefully provides a look at North Korea from the side of the ruled.

Editor’s Note: The Japanese version of this column appeared in Hitotsubashi University's Hi-Stat Vox No.20.

References

Choson-shi Kenkyu Kai (ed.) (2011), An Introduction to Research on Korean History, University of Nagoya Press, Nagoya (in Japanese).

Moon, Ho Il (2008) Demographic Trends in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea: Changes in Demographic Trends and Their Reasons, PhD dissertation, Hitotsubashi University. Soon to be published in Japanesed by Akashi Shoten.

Wrigley, Edward A. (1969) Population and History, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London.

KBSM (1998), “Report based on interviews with 1,694 North Korean food refugees,” December 1998 (in Korean)

PLA AIRFORCE





The People's Liberation Army Air Force is the largest military air force in the world with over 6,000 military airplanes and over 300,000 active personnel. The new PLAAF is updating its inventory of MiG-21 and MiG-19 copies with planned purchases of the advanced Russian made Sukhoi SU-27 FLANKER series and the newly developed J-10 strike fighter.
2006 CURRENT ESTIMATED INVENTORY PLAAF

===========================================================
People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF)

Aerospatiale SA.316 6
Aerospatiale SA.321 10
Aerospatiale SA.342L 8
Antonov AN-26 12
Antonov AN-30 8
Boeing 767-300ER 1
Boeing 737 10
Boeing 737C3 1
British Aero Trident 1E 6
British Aero Trident 2E 10
Canadair CL-601 5
Changhe Z-11 30 AS-555
Chengdu J-10 12
Chengdu J-7 322 MiG-21
Chengdu J-7II 99
Eurocopter AS332 6
Guizhou JJ-7 50 MiG-21
HAIG K-8J 25
Harbin H-5 150 Il-28
Harbin HJ-5 87 Il-28
Harbin Hz-5 40 Il-28
Harbin Y-11 15
Harbin Y-12 2
Harbin Z-6 30
Harbin Z-9 25 AS365N
Ilyushin KL-2000 2
Ilyushin IL-18 10
Ilyushin IL-76 20
MiG (* see note) MiG-31 24
Mil MI-6 3
Mil MI-8 30
Mil MI-17 24
Mil MI-171 69
Mil MI-171v-5 35
Nanchang CJ-6 1419 MiG-19
Nanchang Q-5 500
Shaanxi Y-8 48 An-12
Shenyang J-6 1000 MiG-19
Shenyang J-7 300 MiG-21
Shenyang J-8/-8II 180
Shenyang JJ-6 150 MiG-19
Shenyang JZ-6 100 MiG-19
Shenyang J-11 67 SU-27SK
Shijiazhuang Y-5 300 An-2
Sikorsky S-70 22
Sukhoi SU-27SK 52
Sukhoi SU-27UBK 40
Sukhoi SU-30 72
Tupolev TU-154M/D 4
Xian H-6 132 Tu-16
Xian Y-7 23 An-24

People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)

Chengdu Z-8 12 SA321
Chengdu J-7 100 MiG-21
Harbin H-5 50 IL-28
Harbin H-6 30 Tu-16
Harbin SH-5 4
Harbin Z-5 6 Mi-4
Harbin Z-9 25 AS365N
Kamov Ka-28 8
Nanchang Q-5 93
Shaanxi Y-8 AEW 2
Shenyang J-5 100 MiG-17
Shenyang J-6 300 MiG-19
Sukhoi SU-30 24
Shijiazhuang Y-5 50 AN-2
Xian H-6 51
Xian Y-7 4 AN-24
Xian JH-7 20

(* unconfirmed transfer)
MAIN AIRCRAFT TYPES
J-20 STEALTH FIGHTER JET

MAKER: CHENDU CAIC CHINA
TYPE: LONG RANGE STEALTH AIR SUPERIORITY
LENGTH: 66 FEET
SPAN: 42 FEET 8 INCHES
RANGE: UNKNOWN
HEIGHT: UNKNOWN
WEIGHT: ESTIMATED 75,000 POUNDS
ENGINE: TWO LYULKA SATURN AL-31F TURBOFANS
TOP SPEED: UNKNOWN
WEAPON LOAD: FOUR LONG RANGE AND TWO SHORT RANGE
MISSILES INSIDE INTERNAL BAYS
FOUR EXTERNAL HARD POINTS


The new Chinese J-20 is currently undergoing testing. The J-20 has a canard layout similar to the Chengdu J-10, twin canted, all moving, vertical stabilizers similar to the Russian Sukhoi T-50 and stealth body shaping similar to the Lockheed F-22. The J-20 appears to be currently fitted with the Russian Saturn AL-31 engines but a production version is expected to use the Chinese made WS-10 turbofan. The J-20 is fitted with three weapons bays for six internal weapons and four external hard points.
The PLAAF wants the J-20 to be operational by 2017. However, it is not clear whether the current aircraft is a production prototype or simply an experimental flight demonstrator. The stealth features and performance are currently not known but it is clear the airframe will require significant improvement during the development stage. The current configuration with a canard stabilizer is incorrect in order to obtain stealth from frontal radar observation. In addition, the current engine layout and bare nozzles with aft fans exposed is also not stealthy. The full performance of the J-20 as a 5th generation stealth is also heavily dependant on technology not related to the airframe such as data fusion, emissions control and a secure data link.


Y-8 BALANCE BEAM AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING

MAKER: SHAANXI AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY CORP.
TYPE: AIRBORNE RADAR EARLY WARNING
LENGTH: 121 FEET 4 INCHES
SPAN: 124 FEET 8 INCHES
RANGE: 3000 MILES
HEIGHT: 34.22 FEET
WEIGHT: 118,000 POUNDS NORMAL TAKE OFF
ENGINE: FOUR P&W CANADA PW150B TURBOPROP
TOP SPEED: 380 MPH

The new Chinese Y-8 is truly an international effort. The Y-8 is a Chinese version of the Russian AN-12 military transport. The aircraft was developed with the assistance of Ukrainian Antonov Design Bureau. The new Y-8 Chinese airborne radar plane includes navigation avionics from U.S. maker Honeywell, four Pratt and Whitney Canada PW150B turboprop engines and British Dodi R-408 6-blade propellers.


NEW Y-8 BALANCE BEAM AIRBORNE RADAR PLANE
CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY AT NEWSMAX.COM

The new radar plane, code-named "Balance Beam," is fitted with a linear-shape electronically steered phased-array (ESA) radar. The radar is similar in shape and size to the Swedish Ericsson PS-890 Erieye airborne radar. The radar is to be manufactured by the PLA 38th Institute.



The Y-8 "Balance Beam" will provide the PLAAF with a platform for tactical airborne early warning and electronic intelligence missions. The "Balance Beam" is designed to coordinate Chinese fighters, bombers and strike aircraft via datalinks in air campaigns against Taiwan, Japan, India or the U.S.

FC-1 LIGHT FIGHTER

MAKER: CAC-1 (FORMER CHENDU CAIC), CHINA
TYPE: SUPERSONIC LIGHT FIGHTER
LENGTH: 45.3 FEET
SPAN: 30.9 FEET
RANGE: 900 MILES
HEIGHT: 16.3 FEET
WEIGHT: 28,000 POUNDS MAX
ENGINE: ONE KLIMOV RD-93 TURBOFAN
TOP SPEED: MACH 1.6 AT ALTITUDE
WEAPON LOAD: I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
SD-10, PL-10, PL12
LASER GUIDED BOMBS

The FC-1 has its roots in the now defunct Super-7 program which fell apart after he Tiananmen Square demonstrations were put down by the PRC. FC-1 development continued under the MiG design bureau using data from the rejected MiG-33 strike fighter.

The FC-1 has 7 stores stations - four under the wing, two on the wing-tips and one under the fuselage. Fixed weapon is a 23-mm inner cannon hidden inside fuselage.

In addition to the PL-8 short-range infrared-guided air-to-air missile, which was derived from Israeli Rafael Python-3 technology, the FC-1 could also carry SD-10 medium-range missile. It may also be fitted with indigenously developed PL-11 or PL-12 medium-range AAM for BVR combat.


CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE FC-1 ON NEWSMAX.COM

For ground attack missions, the FC-1 will carry laser-guided bombs, YJ-8K anti-ship missile, as well as various unguided bombs and rockets.

The FC-1 is favored by the PLA Navy aviation branch but not by the PLAAF itself which wants the more capable J-10 strike fighter to replace aging MiG-21 and MiG-19 designs. Pakistan has funded most of the FC-1 development and may purchase up to 150 of the fighters if it meets the Pakistani Air Force requirements.

J-10 STRIKE FIGHTER

MAKER: CHENGDU CAIC, CHINA
TYPE: SUPERSONIC STRIKE FIGHTER
LENGTH: 47.4 FEET
SPAN: 28.5 FEET
RANGE: 1,900 MILES
HEIGHT: 15.5 FEET
WEIGHT: 21,500 POUNDS EMPTY
ENGINE: ONE LYULKA SATURN AL-31F TURBOFAN
TOP SPEED: MACH 2.2 AT ALTITUDE
WEAPON LOAD: 9,900 POUNDS
I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
R-73, R-77, PL-10, PL12
LASER GUIDED BOMBS
AS-17 KRYPTON ANTI-RADAR MISSILE (KH-31)



The J-10 has 11 stores stations - six under the wing and five under the fuselage. The inner wing and centre fuselage stations are plumped to carry external fuel tanks. Fixed weapon is a 23-mm inner cannon hidden inside fuselage.

In addition to the PL-8 short-range infrared-guided air-to-air missile, which was derived from Israeli Rafael Python-3 technology, the J-10 could also carry Russian Vympel R-73 (AA-11) short-range and R-77 (AA-12) medium-range missiles carried by Chinese Flankers. It may also be fitted with indigenously developed PL-11 or PL-12 medium-range AAM for BVR combat.

For ground attack missions, the J-10 will carry laser-guided bombs, YJ-8K anti-ship missile, as well as various unguided bombs and rockets. The KH-31 ramjet-powered anti-radiation missile may also be carried by the J-10.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE KH-31 KRYPTON MISSILE

SU-30 STRIKE FIGHTER

MAKER: SUKHOI, RUSSIA
TYPE: SUPERSONIC STRIKE FIGHTER
LENGTH: 71.9 FEET
SPAN: 47.8 FEET
RANGE: 1,900 MILES
HEIGHT: 15.5 FEET
WEIGHT: 85,300 POUNDS MAX
ENGINE: TWO LYULKA SATURN AL-31F TURBOFAN
TOP SPEED: MACH 2.2 AT ALTITUDE
WEAPON LOAD: 17,600 POUNDS ON 12 HARDPOINTS
30 MM CANNON
I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
R-73, R-77, PL-10, PL12
LASER GUIDED BOMBS
AS-17 KRYPTON ANTI-RADAR MISSILE (KH-31)

The PLA SU-30 MKK is equipped with the Tikhomirov NIIP N001VE radar which can range up to 90-110 km in counter-air mode, 70-80km against ground targets and 200-250 km against large ships. The MKK2 version is possibly equipped with the Phazotron Zhuk-M-S which has a 140km in counter-air mode, and 300km against large ships. The SU-30 can be equipped with the Kupol M400 side-looking radar pod that can control up to 10 fighters. The MKK3 is equipped with a Tikomirov “Panda,” radar that has a 190 km counter air mode or may be equipped with the new version of Zhuk-M-S.

The SU-30 is equipped with an extensive electronics suite including the OLS-30 IRST (Infrared Search and Track) system that has a 80-100km range. SU-30 pilots are equipped with the Surya-K Helmet Sight for close in air-to-air combat. SU-30 also have the Sapsan-E ir/laser targeting pod for ground attack, a APK-9 data link pod for Kh-59ME missile, A-737 satnav system, the L-150 Pastel RWR Radar Warning system, a 96x chaff/flare dispenser, the Sorbitsya ECM and the Spektr data link.


J-11 SU-27SK FLANKER





SUKHOI SU-27SK "FLANKER"
EXPORT VERSION SOLD TO CHINA AND VIETNAM

MANUFACTURED BY: SUKHOI STATE DESIGN BUREAU
MOSCOW, RUSSIA

TYPE - SUPERSONIC STRIKE FIGHTER
LENGTH: 71.9 FEET
SPAN: 48.2 FEET
RANGE: 1,900 MILES (WITHOUT AIR REFUEL)
HEIGHT: 19.4 FEET
WEIGHT: 50,000 POUNDS
ENGINE: 2 AF-35 AFTERBURNING TURBO FANS
TOP SPEED: MACH 2.3
WEAPON LOAD: 13,670 POUNDS
I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
R-73 AND R-77
LASER GUIDED BOMBS
AIR LAUNCHED VERSION SS-N-22 SUNBURN
AS-17 KRYPTON ANTI-RADAR MISSILE (KH-31)
SU-30 VERSION EQUIPPED FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS DELIVERY

SUKHOI SU-34 "FLANKER" TWIN SEAT STRIKE VERSION OF SU-27
ZVEZDA KH-31 SUPER-SONIC MISSILES IN RED (CENTER FOREGROUND)

The J-11 is the most advanced fighter currently in service with the PLAAF. The J-11 is roughly equal in performance and capability to the western aircraft that face it including the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the U.S. Navy F-18 Hornet.

The PLAAF currently operates 78 single-seat Flanker fighters and four twin seat training versions. PLAAF factories signed a deal with Sukhoi to assemble 150 of these advanced fighters and build under license another 350.

China has also concluded a deal to purchase up to two hundred SU-30 two seat long range strike bomber versions of the FLANKER family from Sukhoi. The first thirty SU-30 fighters were delivered to the PLAAF in the fall of 2000 and there are an estimated 76 in active service. The PLAAF SU-30 bombers are equipped to carry Chinese made nuclear weapons.

The Chinese military is outfitting its Russian-made Su-30 fighter bombers with C-801 anti-ship cruise missiles. The upgrade will give China's air force a major new strike capability against ships. The C-801 is modeled after the French Exocet anti-ship missile.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETAILS ON THE C-801 CRUISE MISSILE
China United Airline
SAR SPY PLANE

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE CHINESE SPY PLANE
TU-154M
MANUFACTURED BY: TUPOLEV STATE DESIGN BUREAU
MOSCOW, RUSSIA

CREW: THREE PILOT/COPILOT/FLG ENGINEER
TYPE: SAR RADAR SURVEILLANCE (RADAR DOME ON BELLY)
CARGO: AIRLINER NORMAL SEATING 180
LENGTH: 157.1 FEET
SPAN: 123.2 FEET
RANGE: 3280 MILES
HEIGHT: 37.4 FEET
WEIGHT: 199077 POUNDS
ENGINE: 3 KUZNETSOV NK-8-2 TURBO FANS
TOP SPEED: 625 MILES AN HOUR
Defense analysts confirmed that the so-called "civil" aircraft is actually a Chinese Air Force spy plane equipped with a sophisticated radar and communications equipment. China United Airlines B-4138 spy plane is a modified Tupolev TU-154 civil transport equipped with a tub like SAR radar dome on the belly and several antenna domes on the rear. B-4138 can use its advanced SAR radar to locate ground vehicles, ships, tanks and even troops from hundreds of miles away from the battlefield.
LORAL SAR radar export for China
In 1996 Loral Defense President Jerald Lindfelt wrote Ron Brown seeking export of SAR radars directly to a Chinese weapons lab.
1996 LORAL SAR LETTER TO RON BROWN
BOEING 737

FORMER CHINA UNITED 737 NOW A PLAAF C3 PLANE

MANUFACTURED BY: BOEING AIRCRAFT CORP. USA

TYPE - FLYING HQ/C3/MILITARY CARGO/TROOP TRANSPORT
CREW - TWO PILOT/CO-PILOT OFFICER
CARGO - 126 PASSENGERS - 150 PARATROOPERS
12,800 LBS OF CARGO
RANGE - 2,600 MILES
WING SPAN - 94.8 FT.
LENGTH - 109.6 FT.
HEIGHT - 36.5 FT.
WEIGHT - 124,500 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO CFM56-3C-1 TURBOFAN
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 566 MILES PER HOUR
In 2000 Boeing concluded an agreement with China United Airlines to sell ten Boeing 737-300 transports. SOFTWAR has confirmed that the 737 transports are now being used by the PLAAF as troop and cargo military jets. One 737 has been modified by Xian Aviation into a command post for the Chinese Army. The 737 is also a prime airframe for the PLAAF to use in converted roles such as airborne radar or electronic warfare planes.

According to a U.S. government report on the Chinese military - CHINA UNITED is actually owned and operated by the PLAAF.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT CHINA UNITED AND BOEING 737 AIRLINERS FOR THE PLAAF
ILYUSHIN IL-76 CANDID

MANUFACTURED BY: ILYUSHIN DESIGN BUREAU, RUSSIA

TYPE - MILITARY CARGO/TROOP TRANSPORT
CREW - FOUR PILOT/CO-PILOT TWO FLIGHT ENGINEERS
CARGO - 200 PARATROOPERS
132,160 LBS OF CARGO
RANGE - 2,160 MILES
WING SPAN - 165.6 FT.
LENGTH - 174.4 FT.
HEIGHT - 47.3 FT.
WEIGHT - 462,966 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - FOUR PS-90A TURBOFAN
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 560 MILES PER HOUR
According to it's own website, the PLAAF owned China United Airlines operates a small fleet of Russian made Ilyushin IL-76 jet transports. The CUA IL-76 transports are actually operated by the PLAAF 13th Air Division based at Wuhan, Hubei Province and the PLAAF 34th Air Division based at Nanyuan AFB, Beijing.



The IL-76 four-engine jet is the current front-line PLAAF military transport and the Chinese civil version is frequently armed with a cannon located in a rear turret. PLAAF IL-76 transports dropped paratroopers, tanks and artillery directly on to the battlefield during the fall 2000 Chinese military exercises.

KJ-2000 MODIFIED IL-76 PLAAF AWACS PLANE
MiG-31 FOX HOUND


MANUFACTURED BY: MIKOYAN AVIATION NPO (MiG), RUSSIA

TYPE - FIGHTER/INTERCEPTOR/ANTI-SATELLITE
CREW - TWO IN TANDEM PILOT/WEAPONS OFFICER
ARM - FOUR HARD POINTS - TWO ON EACH WING, FOUR BELLY HARD
POINTS - TYPICAL ANTI-AIR MISSION FOUR R-33 AAM
RANGE - 1,630 MILES INTERNAL - HAS AIR REFUELING CAPABILITY
WING SPAN - 44.1 FT.
LENGTH - 74.5 FT.
HEIGHT - 20.2 FT.
WEIGHT - 90,000 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING SOLOVIEV D-30G
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL
SPEED - 1,900 MPH OR MACH 2.8 AT ALTITUDE

UNCONFIRMED**** Russia and China concluded an agreement to transfer twenty four MiG-31 FOXHOUND fighters to China in 1992. The agreement included a deal to manufacture up to 200 more inside China. The transfer cannot be confirmed in that NO MiG-31 aircraft have appeared in the PLAAF inventory at this time. U.S. intelligence sources indicate that the MiG-31 may be used by the PLAAF in an anti-satellite role by firing a specialized missile.
SHENYANG J-8 FINBACK

MANUFACTURED BY: SHENYANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA

TYPE - INTERCEPTOR
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - SIX WING HARD POINTS ONE BELLY HARD POINT
TWO 30 MM CANNON
RANGE - 500 MILES
WING SPAN - 30.7 FT.
LENGTH - 67.4 FT.
HEIGHT - 17.9 FT.
WEIGHT - 33,700 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WP13A
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
IZMRUD AIR TO AIR RADAR
SPEED - 1500 MPH OR MACH 2.1 AT ALTITUDE


The Shenyang J-8 is the first PLAAF produced fighter jet. The J-8 is based on a twin-engine design of the Russian made MiG-21/J-7 and is equipped with a Izmrud intercept radar. The J-8 is considered a classic "interceptor" in that it is not designed for dog-fighting with superior western fighter jets but is intended to intercept long range bombers in a defensive role. The J-8 is comparable in performance and specifications to the Sukhoi SU-15 FLAGON.
SHENYANG (CHENGDU) J-7 (MIG-21 FISHBED)

MANUFACTURED BY: SHENYANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA
CHENGDU AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIAL CORP.

TYPE - FIGHTER
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - FOUR HARD POINTS - TWO ON EACH WING, ONE BELLY HARD POINT
TWO 30 MM CANNON
RANGE - 400 MILES
WING SPAN - 23.5 FT.
LENGTH - 45.7 FT.
HEIGHT - 13.4 FT.
WEIGHT - 19,580 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - ONE AFTERBURNING WP7B(BM)
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 1500 MPH OR MACH 2.1 AT ALTITUDE


The Chinese made J-7 is an advanced version of the formidable MiG-21 FISHBED. J-7 design improvements include a cranked-arrow wing for better low and high speed performance, two extra hard points on each wing for weapons, improved avionics and upgraded weapons systems. J-7 fighters are considered to be capable dog-fighters and can press close in air combat with the best western aircraft.

The J-7 is not the front-line fighter that the PLAAF would prefer to replace its aging fleet of J-6 FARMER jets. However, nearly 500 J-7 fighters are in service with the PLAAF and the PLAN. Both export and domestic J-7 jets are fitted with a wide variety of western avionics including a GEC-Marconi Avionics HUDWAC (head-up display and weapon aiming computer) and GARMIN GPS bombing navigation systems.
XIAN FH-7 - SUPERSONIC NUCLEAR STRIKE BOMBER

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON THE HONG 7
MANUFACTURED BY: XIAN AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA

TYPE - SUPERSONIC STRIKE BOMBER
CREW - TWO IN TANDEM PILOT/WEAPONS OFFICER
ARM - SIX HARD POINTS - THREE ON EACH WING, ONE BELLY HARD
POINT AND WING-TIP HARD POINTS FOR AIR TO AIR MISSILES
TOTAL 14,000 LB. EXTERNAL STORES INCLUDING C.802 MISSILES,
CONVENTIONAL OR NUCLEAR FREE-FALL BOMBS
RANGE - 1,900 MILES
WING SPAN - 41.65 FT.
LENGTH - 73.22 FT.
HEIGHT - 21.56 FT.
WEIGHT - 62,000 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WS-9 (ROLLS ROYCE SPEY BUILT ON LICENSE)
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL
INERTIAL AND SAR RADAR - ADVANCED VERSIONS TO BE
EQUIPPED WITH LASER DESIGNATOR AND FLIR
SPEED - 750 MPH OR MACH 1.7 AT ALTITUDE


The FH-7 (FBC-1 export version) is a twin engine, swept-wing, super-sonic two seat, all weather attack bomber, equipped with American GPS bombing - navigation and powered by licensed copies of the British Rolls Royce Spey engine. The all weather FBC-1 ROCKWELL GPS bombing system will eventually be upgraded with Chinese made Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and an infra-red night vision pod.

Chinese engineers bragged that the FBC-1 was designed with CAD (computer aided design) techniques on U.S. built super computers. The computers were provided through the China Flight Test Establishment at Xian University.
Nanchang Q-5/A-5 FANTAN


MANUFACTURED BY: NANCHANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA

TYPE - STRIKE BOMBER
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - SIX HARD POINTS - THREE ON EACH WING
FOUR BELLY HARD POINTS
4,400 POUNDS OF BOMBS AND ROCKETS
TWO 23 MM CANNON
RANGE - 400 MILES
WING SPAN - 31.8 FT.
LENGTH - 54.8 FT.
HEIGHT - 14.8 FT.
WEIGHT - 26,400 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WP-6
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
HIGH FIX RADAR/ ALR-1 LASER DESIGNATOR
SPEED - 700 MPH
The Q-5 is equipped with the HIGH FIX radar and imported navigation/attack systems. The Q-5 is used mainly to assist ground forces with air strikes. This derivative of the J-6 fighter originated in 1958 as a Shenyang design but was later assigned to Nanchang. A small number of Q-5 have been modified to carry nuclear weapons. The aircraft is considered the equal to similar western strike aircraft such as the Douglas Skyhawk, and French Etendard.
SHENYANG J-6 (MiG-19 FARMER)


MANUFACTURED BY: SHENYANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA
CHENGDU AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIAL CORP.

TYPE - FIGHTER
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - SIX HARD POINTS - THREE ON EACH WING
TWO 3O MM CANNON
RANGE - 425 MILES
WING SPAN - 26.5 FT.
LENGTH - 42.9 FT.
HEIGHT - 12 FT.
WEIGHT - 20,000 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WP-6
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 900 MPH OR MACH 1.4 AT ALTITUDE

The F-6 is the Chinese version of the MiG-19, which as of the mid-1990s was still in production in China. The PLAAF has over 3,000 of these maneuverable daylight fighters. The J-6 was thought to be an obsolete aircraft but recent reviews of PLAAF tactics show that the J-6 can be used to ambush and defeat much more capable machines due to its great close in air combat flight performance. The use of J-6 jets by Pakistan against more capable Indian jet fighters in the recent clashes over Kashmir shows that the J-6 is a formidable air to air foe in close in dog fighting.

It is a testimony to this capable air plane that the infamous Col. Toon of the North Vietnamese air force used the J-6 to down 12 US aircraft. In fact, China opted to cease production of the Mach two J-7 (MiG-21 variant) in favor of producing more J-6 jets.

The J-6, which began flight tests in 1958, was China's first supersonic jet fighter. The F-6 has six attachment points for external stores. The outboard wing stations can carry a 550 pound bomb or a 760 or 400 liter drop tank or the CAA-1b air to air missile. The inboard wing stations can carry practice bombs or rocket pods with either 8 x 57mm, 16 x 57mm, or 7 x 90mm rockets.

Dassault Rafale wins USD 10.4 billion Indian Air Force jet fighter deal








 The Dassault Rafale fighter jet, manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation, has won India's mammoth contract worth $10.4 billion, say sources. The Indian Air Force plans to buy 126 aircraft over the next ten years.

The process to determine the L1 (lowest bidder) has been completed, and sources indicate that the final contract is expected to be signed in the next financial year. The first 18 aircraft will be bought off the shelf. The rest 108 will be built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. through technology transfers.

Sources say Defense ministry experts are still fine-tuning pricing details, including the cost of on-board weaponry and royalties for producing the aircraft in India.

There were six contenders for the world's biggest defence deal which included the Russian MiG- 35,Lockheed Martin's F-16 Falcon, Boeing's F-18 Hornet, the Swedish Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale. (In Pics: Aircraft that competed for the defence deal)

Of these, the European EADS Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale were in the final race for the global tender for a medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). The Eurofighter bid was backed by four partner nations including Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom while the Dassault Rafale was backed by the French Government.

On November 4 last year, Defence ministry had opened the commercial bid of the two firms left in the race and since then has been busy in determining the lowest bidder. The rest were rejected as they didn't meet the technical qualifications.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has expressed happiness at India's selection of the Rafale. "The President of the French Republic has learned of India’s selection of the Rafale for the acquisition by the Indian Air Force of 126 fighter aircrafts. France is pleased with Indian government’s decision to select the French aircraft to enter into exclusive negotiations with Dassault," said a statement issued by the French Embassy in New Delhi.

It said the announcement comes at the end of "a very high-level, fair and transparent competition" involving two European finalists for the bid.

"Negotiations for the contract will begin very soon and has the full support of the French authorities. It will include important technology transfers guaranteed by the French government. The Rafale has been selected, thanks to the aircraft’s competitive life-cycle costs, after the April 2011 pre-selection on the basis of its top-level operational performance.The realisation of the Rafale project will illustrate the depth and scale of the strategic partnership between France and India," the statement said.

The deal is the first foreign deal for Dassault's fighter jets. The French have for years been trying to get an export deal. Just last month, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet warned the Rafale program could be stopped if foreign buyers don't materialize.

Longuet maintained that the Rafale is an "excellent plane" but acknowledged it is handicapped by its price, which is higher than its U.S. rival.

The Rafale, in service for the French Air Force since 2006, has been flying air support roles in Afghanistan since 2007, and was a big part of the NATO air campaign against Moammar Gaddafi's forces in Libya in 2011.

(With Agency inputs)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

China-Singapore Joint Military Exercise

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) & The People's Liberation Army of China are participating in a counter-terrorism training exercise from Thursday to Nov 26.

This is the second time the training exercise between the two countries has taken place.

About 60 personnel from each side are taking part in Cooperation 2010, which focuses on counter-terrorism security operations for major international events.

The nine-day exercise consists of seminars, planning exercises and response drills.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Friday, Brig-Gen Teo Jing Siong from the SAF said: 'Singapore welcomes China's continued defence exchanges and interactions with our region at the bilateral and multilateral levels, which would help foster cooperation and better understanding between regional militaries.'

Russia, India In Joint Drone Project

Russia and India are mulling a project for a recoverable rocket-firing drone based on their BraMos cruise missile. Engineers from the two sides started discussing the proposal at a meeting in New Delhi on Monday.
The drone will be capable of delivering heavy explosive payloads to targets thousands of kilometres away from its home base.

China Expands Drone Surveillance Near India Border Aera

High above the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, it was but a sparkling light.The unidentified object was, however, bright enough to catch the attention of officers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, who were on a recent patrol in the difficult high terrain along India’s disputed mountainous border with China.The bright speck, they knew, was out of place among the gently flickering stars that usually keep them company on cold night patrols.
The ITBP and military experts believe the sighting was only the latest confirmation of a military programme across the border that is revolutionising China’s surveillance capabilities — the country’s fast-expanding domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or “drone”, industry.

The programme’s success was easier to spot in Beijing this week, where Chinese companies displayed a range of domestically-developed UAVs at an exhibition on police equipment and anti-terrorism technology.

Once reluctant to discuss the state of development of the country’s home-grown “drones”, Chinese authorities are increasingly showcasing the industry’s rapid progress, as well as looking for foreign markets.
At last year’s air-show in Zhuhai, foreign observers were left stunned by 25 UAVs that were displayed, at stages of development far more advanced than earlier thought.

“The Zhuhai display showed substantial variations in Chinese capabilities, and indicates that their science and technology, as well as research and development, is quite phenomenal in this area,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, professor of Chinese studies and an expert on the Chinese military at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

In Beijing this week, industry representatives were bullish about the UAV industry, suggesting a significant expansion was on the cards. Representatives of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), one of China’s biggest UAV manufacturers, said UAVs would play a bigger role in China’s anti-terrorism missions.

While the drones are being designed primarily for anti-terrorism, their use has also been expanded to border reconnaissance, particularly over the Taiwan Straits, still a focus of China’s military interests.

UAVs “will be useful for reconnaissance along border areas, where natural conditions are inhospitable,” Li Wei, director of the anti-terrorism research center at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), an official think-tank in Beijing, told the State-run China Daily in a recent interview.

The drones are dual-use — they will also be deployed for civilian purposes. Beijing police officials said at the symposium they would consider using UAVs in emergencies, and also to monitor traffic.

But it is China’s military programme that has received most attention.
Also on display this week were drones with domestically-designed weapon platforms.
For a programme that was only launched a decade ago, growth has been rapid. Ten years ago, China was reliant on Israel for its supply of Heron UAVs. However, American concerns over their deployment in the Taiwan Straits subsequently forced China to seek alternatives.

The first domestically-produced UAV was unveiled only four years ago, at the previous Zhuhai air-show.

Recently, the UAVs have been “used substantially in Tibet and Xinjiang,” Mr. Kondapalli said. “Since the number one national security threat number is the Three Evils [terrorism, separatism and religious extremism], they are providing real-time information to the government on the ground, whether any Al-Qaeda operatives are sneaking into Kashgar [near Xinjiang's western border].”

The drones are also useful for border surveillance. China’s biggest drone, the ASN-229 A, has a 2,000 km operating radius, and is directed by satellite.

China’s success, Mr. Kondapalli said, “would impact India’s own thinking process,” with the country still reliant on Israeli UAVs.

Underscoring the widening gap in capabilities across the border, the recent sightings by the ITBP could not be documented with certainty, given the lack of sophisticated equipment in many outposts in India’s border regions.
The personnel of the ITBP patrol with rudimentary equipment. When they looked skyward, they had no high-tech surveillance tools to turn to — they only had binoculars for company.

China On Fast Track To Match U.S. Drone Capabilities



 China On Fast Track To Match U.S. Drone Capabilities



At the most recent Zhuhai air show, the premier event for China’s aviation industry, crowds swarmed around a model of an armed, jet-propelled drone and marveled at the accompanying display of its purported martial prowess.

In a video and map, the thin, sleek drone locates what appears to be a U.S. aircraft carrier group near an island with a striking resemblance to Taiwan and sends targeting information back to shore, triggering a devastating barrage of cruise missiles toward the formation of ships.
Little is known about the actual abilities of the WJ-600 drone or the more than two dozen other Chinese models that were on display at Zhuhai in November. But the speed at which they have been developed highlights how U.S. military successes with drones have changed strategic thinking worldwide and spurred a global rush for unmanned aircraft.




More than 50 countries have purchased surveillance drones, and many have started in-country development programs for armed versions because no nation is exporting weaponized drones beyond a handful of sales between the United States and its closest allies.


“This is the direction all aviation is going,” said Kenneth Anderson, a professor of law at American University who studies the legal questions surrounding the use of drones in warfare. “Everybody will wind up using this technology because it’s going to become the standard for many, many applications of what are now manned aircraft.”


Military planners worldwide see drones as relatively cheap weapons and highly effective reconnaissance tools. Hand-launched ones used by ground troops can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Near the top of the line, the Predator B, or MQ9-Reaper, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, costs about $10.5 million. By comparison, a single F-22 fighter jet costs about $150 million.

Defense spending on drones has become the most dynamic sector of the world’s aerospace industry, according to a report by the Teal Group in Fairfax. The group’s 2011 market study estimated that in the coming decade global spending on drones will double, reaching $94 billion.

But the world’s expanding drone fleets — and the push to weaponize them — have alarmed some academics and peace activists, who argue that robotic warfare raises profound questions about the rules of engagement and the protection of civilians, and could encourage conflicts.
“They could reduce the threshold for going to war,” said Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield in England. “One of the great inhibitors of war is the body bag count, but that is undermined by the idea of riskless war.”

China On Fast Track



No country has ramped up its research in recent years faster than China. It displayed a drone model for the first time at the Zhuhai air show five years ago, but now every major manufacturer for the Chinese military has a research center devoted to drones, according to Chinese analysts.
Much of this work remains secret, but the large number of drones at recent exhibitions underlines not only China’s determination to catch up in that sector — by building equivalents to the leading U.S. combat and surveillance models, the Predator and the Global Hawk — but also its desire to sell this technology abroad.

The United States doesn’t export many attack drones, so we’re taking advantage of that hole in the market,” said Zhang Qiaoliang, a representative of the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, which manufactures many of the most advanced military aircraft for the People’s Liberation Army. “The main reason is the amazing demand in the market for drones after 9/11.”
Although surveillance drones have become widely used around the world, armed drones are more difficult to acquire.

Israel, the second-largest drone manufacturer after the United States, has flown armed models, but few details are available. India announced this year that it is developing ones that will fire missiles and fly at 30,000 feet. Russia has shown models of drones with weapons, but there is little evidence that they are operational.

Pakistan has said it plans to obtain armed drones from China, which has already sold the nation ones for surveillance. And Iran last summer unveiled a drone that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the “ambassador of death” but whose effectiveness is still unproven, according to military analysts.

The United States is not yet threatened by any of these developments. No other country can match its array of aircraft with advanced weapons and sensors, coupled with the necessary satellite and telecommunications systems to deploy drones successfully across the globe.
“We are well ahead in having established systems actively in use,” said retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, the former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance at the Air Force. “But the capability of other countries will do nothing but grow.”
Raising alarm



In recent conflicts, the United States has primarily used land-based drones, but it is developing an aircraft carrier-based version to deploy in the Pacific. Defense analysts say the new drone is partly intended to counter the long-range “carrier killer” missile that China is developing.
With the ascendance of China’s military, American allies in the Pacific increasingly see the United States as the main bulwark against rising Chinese power. And China has increasingly framed its military developments in response to U.S. capabilities.




A sea-based drone would give the United States the ability to fly three times the distance of a normal Navy fighter jet, potentially keeping a carrier group farther from China’s coast.
This possible use of U.S. drones in the Pacific has been noted with alarm in news reports in China as well as in North Korea’s state-run media.
There are similar anxieties in the United States over China’s accelerating drone industry. A report last November by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted that the Chinese military “has deployed several types of unmanned aerial vehicles for both reconnaissance and combat.”
In the pipeline, the report said, China has several medium- and high-altitude long-endurance drones, which could expand China’s options for long-range surveillance and attacks.

China’s rapid development has pushed its neighbors into action. After a diplomatic clash with China last fall over disputed territories in the South China Sea, Japan announced that it planned to send military officials to the United States to study how it operates and maintains its Global Hawk high-altitude surveillance drones. In South Korea, lawmakers this year accused China of hacking into military computers to learn about the country’s plans to acquire Global Hawk, which could peer into not only North Korea but also parts of China and other neighboring countries.

On top of the increasing anxieties of individual countries, there also are international concerns that some governments might not be able to protect these new weapons from hackers and terrorists. Sharkey, the University of Sheffield professor who also co-founded the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, noted that Iraqi insurgents, using a $30 piece of software, intercepted live feeds from U.S. drones; the video was later found on the laptop of a captured militant.

Relaxing U.S. export controls

But with China and other countries beginning to market their drones, the United States is looking to boost its sales by exploring ways to relax American export controls.

Vice Adm. William E. Landay III, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency overseeing foreign military sales, said at a Pentagon briefing recently that his agency is working on preapproved lists of countries that would qualify to purchase drones with certain capabilities. “If industry understands where they might have an opportunity to sell, and where they won’t, that’s useful for them,” Landay said.

General Atomics, the San Diego-based manufacturer of the U.S. Predator drones, has received approval to export to the Middle East and Latin America an unarmed, early-generation Predator, according to company spokeswoman Kimberly Kasitz. The company is now in talks with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, among others, she said.
At the same time, U.S. officials have sought to limit where others sell their drones. After Israel sold an anti-radar attack drone to China, the Pentagon temporarily shut Israel out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to register its disapproval.

In 2009, the United States also objected to an Israeli sale of sophisticated drones to Russia, according to diplomatic cables released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. A smaller co-production deal was later brokered with the Russians, who bristled when Georgia deployed Israeli surveillance drones against its forces during the 2008 war between the two countries.




But for China, there are few constraints on selling. It has begun to show its combat drone prototypes at international air shows, including last month in Paris, where a Chinese manufacturer displayed a craft, called the Wing-Loong, that looked like a Predator knockoff. Because of how tightly China controls its military technology, it is unclear how far along the Wing-Loong or any of its armed drones are from actual production and operation, defense analysts say.
According to the Aviation Industry Corp. of China, it has begun offering international customers a combat and surveillance drone comparable to the Predator called the Yilong, or “pterodactyl” in English. Zhang, of the Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute, said the company anticipates sales in Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa.
However, he and others displaying drones at a recent Beijing anti-terrorism convention played down the threat of increasing Chinese drone technology.

“I don’t think China’s drone technology has reached the world’s first-class level,” said Wu Zilei, from the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., echoing an almost constant refrain. “The reconnaissance drones are okay, but the attack drones are still years behind the United States.”
But Richard Fisher, a senior fellow at the Washington-based International Assessment and Strategy Center, said such statements are routine and intended to deflect concern about the nation’s expanding military ambitions.


washington post

Monday, February 20, 2012

U.S., UK Urge Israel Not To Take Military Action Against Iran

The United States and Britain persuaded Israel Sunday that an Israeli strike on Iran would be a dangerous move and that it is still too soon to take any military action. However, it remains uncertain whether the persuasion was successful.


“A strike at this time would be destabilizing and wouldn’t achieve their long-term objectives,” Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of the Israelis to Businessweek. “I wouldn’t suggest, sitting here today, that we’ve persuaded them that our view is the correct view and that they are acting in an ill-advised fashion.”

The request comes shortly after Iran's Oil Ministry announced its suspension of oil shipments to Britain and France after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Iran's oil exports in January, hoping it would encourage Iran to halt its suspected nuclear program. The U.S., EU and Israel have all suspected Iran of developing nuclear weapons though Tehran denies the allegations.

FOX reported that Israel accepted the oil sanctions but that its patience with Iran is starting to run out.

According to Bloomberg News:
Officials in Tel Aviv have tried to alert the West to the dangers of a nuclear Iran for more than a decade. They argued that Iran would cause the technology to proliferate in the region as states such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia sought such weapons, turning a multipolar nuclear Middle East into a strategic nightmare. A nuclear-armed Iran would strengthen its hegemony in the energy sector by its mere location along the oil-rich Arabian Gulf and the Caspian Basin.
It would also result in the West’s loss of the Central Asian states, which would either gravitate toward Iran or try to secure a nuclear umbrella with Russia or China, countries much closer to the region than the U.S. is. A regime in Tehran emboldened by the possession of nuclear weapons would become more active in supporting radical Shiite elements in Iraq and agitating those communities in the Arabian Gulf states.

Meanwhile, officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Iran Saturday to discuss its nuclear activity. This is their second visit this month.

“This meeting is a crucial opportunity for everyone, including the Iranians, to get serious,” Arms Control Association Director Daryl Kimball said from Vienna in a telephone interview with Businessweek. “Getting serious means focusing on the near-term problem that 20 percent enriched uranium represents” which drives the “hysterical war talk in some quarters.”

Iran has been secretative about its nuclear program for nearly two decades and claims it wants nuclear power "for peaceful purposes," reported Businessweek.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How big is the North Korean army? Evidence from missing population

Little is known about North Korea’s economy as official statistics are scant. But North Korea cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to the size of its army. This column suggests that the true number is hidden between the lines of the census. It provides an estimate based on missing population, that is, the difference between the whole population and the number of registered citizens.


“Partly as a result of the lack of information resources, the North Korean economy is a field that has been more or less forgotten by researchers” concludes a new report by the Society of Korean Historical Studies (Choson-shi Kenkyu Kai 2011). Yet, from a security perspective, from the perspective of historical accounts, and from the perspective of an eventual normalisation of relations, North Korea cannot be ignored. Thus, there is a need to gain an understanding of this country.

It is against this background that I present in this column figures on the number of North Korean military personnel and figures on the number of famine victims, two examples taken from my forthcoming book (Moon 2008).
How big is the North Korean army?

Since the country established its armed forces in 1963, North Korea has never published any number on military personnel. One estimate from The Military Balance is formally used by the Japanese government. It suggests North Korea's military personnel are around 1,020,000 in the ground forces, 60,000 in the navy, and 11,000 in the air force. However, no clear explanation is provided as to how these figures were obtained.

But North Korea may have accidentally published its number of military personnel. It implemented two population censuses – one in 1993 and one in 2008. As the censuses were supported by the UN Population Fund and South Korea's Foundation for Inter-Korean Cooperation, North Korea was obliged to report the data.

A close examination of the numbers reveals an anomaly. The population overall is greater than the sum of the populations by administrative district. The discrepancy in the 1993 census is of 691,027 persons, while in the 2008 census, it is of 702,373 persons. This means that roughly 700,000 people are not registered in administrative districts.

The reason for this discrepancy lies in North Korea's citizen registration system. According to the Citizen Registration Law, not all citizens are registered. Article 13 stipulates that the citizen ID, ie the citizen registration, is to be returned to the public security office where the citizen resides if she enlists in the Korean People's Army or Korean People's Guard, or a public- or national-security institution, or if her citizenship ceases because of death or mental illness. This implies that the 700,000 discrepancy consists in part of those enlisted in the army.

Looking at the demographic characteristics of these 700,000 persons, it is highly likely that a majority of them are in the Korean People's Army. Figure 1 shows the sex ratio by age taken from the 1993 data by administrative region. At the time of birth, there are slightly more boys than girls (the ratio is around 1.05). Because men have a higher mortality than women the older they get, the ratio declines from around age 30. However, as can be clearly seen in the figure, there is a sharp dent between ages 16 and 26. This coincides exactly with the end of compulsory-education, when some join the armed forces, and is entirely due to a decline in the number of men, which make up the numerator of the ratio. As the majority of the armed forces are young men, it is likely that most of the unregistered 700,000 persons are members of the armed forces.

At best, this number of 700,000 persons forms the upper bound for estimates of the number of North Korean military personnel. And this, in turn, implies that the figure presented in The Military Balance is an overestimate.

Figure 1. Sex ratio by age (1993 census)


How many famine victims were there?

Another area in which available data are extremely scant is the number of victims of famine. Numbers circulated indicating that “several million people” had died from starvation. Although there were numerous sources for such claims, the first to provide a statistical underpinning is South Korea's Korean Buddhist Sharing Movement. The latter repeatedly interviewed food refugees in China's border regions and tried to estimate the scale of the famine. These estimates suggest that in the roughly three years from the floods in 1995 until late 1997, about 3.5 million people had died from starvation (KBSM 1998). But these estimates are extrapolations reconstructed from demographic information given by refugees from the region with the highest mortality rate and the most prone to famine. Hence, these numbers are unconvincing.

Taking a very different approach, I estimate the number of famine-related deaths based on ‘excess mortality,’ ie the difference between the mortality rate at normal times and that at the time of the famine. My estimates, which have been published by South Korea’s government, suggest that 336,000 persons died of famine from 1995 to 2000.
Conclusion

When seeking to investigate issues related to North Korea, one has little choice but to rely on officially published materials which may reflect history as written by the rulers. Yet, as Wrigley (1969), an authority in the field of historical demography, observed: “Historical demography deals with all men and women, not simply those who were powerful, well-born, wealthy or literate. By analysing parish registers, listings of inhabitants, returns made to census authorities and the like, we can look into the lives of ordinary people in the past, comparing peasant with gentleman, miner with clothmaker, countryman with city dweller, and so on. Where the necessary records are preserved there is a chance to get down the roots of society.”

My research thus hopefully provides a look at North Korea from the side of the ruled.

Editor’s Note: The Japanese version of this column appeared in Hitotsubashi University's Hi-Stat Vox No.20.

References

Choson-shi Kenkyu Kai (ed.) (2011), An Introduction to Research on Korean History, University of Nagoya Press, Nagoya (in Japanese).

Moon, Ho Il (2008) Demographic Trends in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea: Changes in Demographic Trends and Their Reasons, PhD dissertation, Hitotsubashi University. Soon to be published in Japanesed by Akashi Shoten.

Wrigley, Edward A. (1969) Population and History, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London.

KBSM (1998), “Report based on interviews with 1,694 North Korean food refugees,” December 1998 (in Korean)

Friday, February 10, 2012

PLA AIRFORCE




The People's Liberation Army Air Force is the largest military air force in the world with over 6,000 military airplanes and over 300,000 active personnel. The new PLAAF is updating its inventory of MiG-21 and MiG-19 copies with planned purchases of the advanced Russian made Sukhoi SU-27 FLANKER series and the newly developed J-10 strike fighter.
2006 CURRENT ESTIMATED INVENTORY PLAAF

===========================================================
People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF)

Aerospatiale SA.316 6
Aerospatiale SA.321 10
Aerospatiale SA.342L 8
Antonov AN-26 12
Antonov AN-30 8
Boeing 767-300ER 1
Boeing 737 10
Boeing 737C3 1
British Aero Trident 1E 6
British Aero Trident 2E 10
Canadair CL-601 5
Changhe Z-11 30 AS-555
Chengdu J-10 12
Chengdu J-7 322 MiG-21
Chengdu J-7II 99
Eurocopter AS332 6
Guizhou JJ-7 50 MiG-21
HAIG K-8J 25
Harbin H-5 150 Il-28
Harbin HJ-5 87 Il-28
Harbin Hz-5 40 Il-28
Harbin Y-11 15
Harbin Y-12 2
Harbin Z-6 30
Harbin Z-9 25 AS365N
Ilyushin KL-2000 2
Ilyushin IL-18 10
Ilyushin IL-76 20
MiG (* see note) MiG-31 24
Mil MI-6 3
Mil MI-8 30
Mil MI-17 24
Mil MI-171 69
Mil MI-171v-5 35
Nanchang CJ-6 1419 MiG-19
Nanchang Q-5 500
Shaanxi Y-8 48 An-12
Shenyang J-6 1000 MiG-19
Shenyang J-7 300 MiG-21
Shenyang J-8/-8II 180
Shenyang JJ-6 150 MiG-19
Shenyang JZ-6 100 MiG-19
Shenyang J-11 67 SU-27SK
Shijiazhuang Y-5 300 An-2
Sikorsky S-70 22
Sukhoi SU-27SK 52
Sukhoi SU-27UBK 40
Sukhoi SU-30 72
Tupolev TU-154M/D 4
Xian H-6 132 Tu-16
Xian Y-7 23 An-24

People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)

Chengdu Z-8 12 SA321
Chengdu J-7 100 MiG-21
Harbin H-5 50 IL-28
Harbin H-6 30 Tu-16
Harbin SH-5 4
Harbin Z-5 6 Mi-4
Harbin Z-9 25 AS365N
Kamov Ka-28 8
Nanchang Q-5 93
Shaanxi Y-8 AEW 2
Shenyang J-5 100 MiG-17
Shenyang J-6 300 MiG-19
Sukhoi SU-30 24
Shijiazhuang Y-5 50 AN-2
Xian H-6 51
Xian Y-7 4 AN-24
Xian JH-7 20

(* unconfirmed transfer)
MAIN AIRCRAFT TYPES
J-20 STEALTH FIGHTER JET

MAKER: CHENDU CAIC CHINA
TYPE: LONG RANGE STEALTH AIR SUPERIORITY
LENGTH: 66 FEET
SPAN: 42 FEET 8 INCHES
RANGE: UNKNOWN
HEIGHT: UNKNOWN
WEIGHT: ESTIMATED 75,000 POUNDS
ENGINE: TWO LYULKA SATURN AL-31F TURBOFANS
TOP SPEED: UNKNOWN
WEAPON LOAD: FOUR LONG RANGE AND TWO SHORT RANGE
MISSILES INSIDE INTERNAL BAYS
FOUR EXTERNAL HARD POINTS


The new Chinese J-20 is currently undergoing testing. The J-20 has a canard layout similar to the Chengdu J-10, twin canted, all moving, vertical stabilizers similar to the Russian Sukhoi T-50 and stealth body shaping similar to the Lockheed F-22. The J-20 appears to be currently fitted with the Russian Saturn AL-31 engines but a production version is expected to use the Chinese made WS-10 turbofan. The J-20 is fitted with three weapons bays for six internal weapons and four external hard points.
The PLAAF wants the J-20 to be operational by 2017. However, it is not clear whether the current aircraft is a production prototype or simply an experimental flight demonstrator. The stealth features and performance are currently not known but it is clear the airframe will require significant improvement during the development stage. The current configuration with a canard stabilizer is incorrect in order to obtain stealth from frontal radar observation. In addition, the current engine layout and bare nozzles with aft fans exposed is also not stealthy. The full performance of the J-20 as a 5th generation stealth is also heavily dependant on technology not related to the airframe such as data fusion, emissions control and a secure data link.


Y-8 BALANCE BEAM AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING

MAKER: SHAANXI AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY CORP.
TYPE: AIRBORNE RADAR EARLY WARNING
LENGTH: 121 FEET 4 INCHES
SPAN: 124 FEET 8 INCHES
RANGE: 3000 MILES
HEIGHT: 34.22 FEET
WEIGHT: 118,000 POUNDS NORMAL TAKE OFF
ENGINE: FOUR P&W CANADA PW150B TURBOPROP
TOP SPEED: 380 MPH

The new Chinese Y-8 is truly an international effort. The Y-8 is a Chinese version of the Russian AN-12 military transport. The aircraft was developed with the assistance of Ukrainian Antonov Design Bureau. The new Y-8 Chinese airborne radar plane includes navigation avionics from U.S. maker Honeywell, four Pratt and Whitney Canada PW150B turboprop engines and British Dodi R-408 6-blade propellers.


NEW Y-8 BALANCE BEAM AIRBORNE RADAR PLANE
CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY AT NEWSMAX.COM

The new radar plane, code-named "Balance Beam," is fitted with a linear-shape electronically steered phased-array (ESA) radar. The radar is similar in shape and size to the Swedish Ericsson PS-890 Erieye airborne radar. The radar is to be manufactured by the PLA 38th Institute.



The Y-8 "Balance Beam" will provide the PLAAF with a platform for tactical airborne early warning and electronic intelligence missions. The "Balance Beam" is designed to coordinate Chinese fighters, bombers and strike aircraft via datalinks in air campaigns against Taiwan, Japan, India or the U.S.

FC-1 LIGHT FIGHTER

MAKER: CAC-1 (FORMER CHENDU CAIC), CHINA
TYPE: SUPERSONIC LIGHT FIGHTER
LENGTH: 45.3 FEET
SPAN: 30.9 FEET
RANGE: 900 MILES
HEIGHT: 16.3 FEET
WEIGHT: 28,000 POUNDS MAX
ENGINE: ONE KLIMOV RD-93 TURBOFAN
TOP SPEED: MACH 1.6 AT ALTITUDE
WEAPON LOAD: I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
SD-10, PL-10, PL12
LASER GUIDED BOMBS

The FC-1 has its roots in the now defunct Super-7 program which fell apart after he Tiananmen Square demonstrations were put down by the PRC. FC-1 development continued under the MiG design bureau using data from the rejected MiG-33 strike fighter.

The FC-1 has 7 stores stations - four under the wing, two on the wing-tips and one under the fuselage. Fixed weapon is a 23-mm inner cannon hidden inside fuselage.

In addition to the PL-8 short-range infrared-guided air-to-air missile, which was derived from Israeli Rafael Python-3 technology, the FC-1 could also carry SD-10 medium-range missile. It may also be fitted with indigenously developed PL-11 or PL-12 medium-range AAM for BVR combat.


CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE FC-1 ON NEWSMAX.COM

For ground attack missions, the FC-1 will carry laser-guided bombs, YJ-8K anti-ship missile, as well as various unguided bombs and rockets.

The FC-1 is favored by the PLA Navy aviation branch but not by the PLAAF itself which wants the more capable J-10 strike fighter to replace aging MiG-21 and MiG-19 designs. Pakistan has funded most of the FC-1 development and may purchase up to 150 of the fighters if it meets the Pakistani Air Force requirements.

J-10 STRIKE FIGHTER

MAKER: CHENGDU CAIC, CHINA
TYPE: SUPERSONIC STRIKE FIGHTER
LENGTH: 47.4 FEET
SPAN: 28.5 FEET
RANGE: 1,900 MILES
HEIGHT: 15.5 FEET
WEIGHT: 21,500 POUNDS EMPTY
ENGINE: ONE LYULKA SATURN AL-31F TURBOFAN
TOP SPEED: MACH 2.2 AT ALTITUDE
WEAPON LOAD: 9,900 POUNDS
I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
R-73, R-77, PL-10, PL12
LASER GUIDED BOMBS
AS-17 KRYPTON ANTI-RADAR MISSILE (KH-31)



The J-10 has 11 stores stations - six under the wing and five under the fuselage. The inner wing and centre fuselage stations are plumped to carry external fuel tanks. Fixed weapon is a 23-mm inner cannon hidden inside fuselage.

In addition to the PL-8 short-range infrared-guided air-to-air missile, which was derived from Israeli Rafael Python-3 technology, the J-10 could also carry Russian Vympel R-73 (AA-11) short-range and R-77 (AA-12) medium-range missiles carried by Chinese Flankers. It may also be fitted with indigenously developed PL-11 or PL-12 medium-range AAM for BVR combat.

For ground attack missions, the J-10 will carry laser-guided bombs, YJ-8K anti-ship missile, as well as various unguided bombs and rockets. The KH-31 ramjet-powered anti-radiation missile may also be carried by the J-10.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE KH-31 KRYPTON MISSILE

SU-30 STRIKE FIGHTER

MAKER: SUKHOI, RUSSIA
TYPE: SUPERSONIC STRIKE FIGHTER
LENGTH: 71.9 FEET
SPAN: 47.8 FEET
RANGE: 1,900 MILES
HEIGHT: 15.5 FEET
WEIGHT: 85,300 POUNDS MAX
ENGINE: TWO LYULKA SATURN AL-31F TURBOFAN
TOP SPEED: MACH 2.2 AT ALTITUDE
WEAPON LOAD: 17,600 POUNDS ON 12 HARDPOINTS
30 MM CANNON
I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
R-73, R-77, PL-10, PL12
LASER GUIDED BOMBS
AS-17 KRYPTON ANTI-RADAR MISSILE (KH-31)

The PLA SU-30 MKK is equipped with the Tikhomirov NIIP N001VE radar which can range up to 90-110 km in counter-air mode, 70-80km against ground targets and 200-250 km against large ships. The MKK2 version is possibly equipped with the Phazotron Zhuk-M-S which has a 140km in counter-air mode, and 300km against large ships. The SU-30 can be equipped with the Kupol M400 side-looking radar pod that can control up to 10 fighters. The MKK3 is equipped with a Tikomirov “Panda,” radar that has a 190 km counter air mode or may be equipped with the new version of Zhuk-M-S.

The SU-30 is equipped with an extensive electronics suite including the OLS-30 IRST (Infrared Search and Track) system that has a 80-100km range. SU-30 pilots are equipped with the Surya-K Helmet Sight for close in air-to-air combat. SU-30 also have the Sapsan-E ir/laser targeting pod for ground attack, a APK-9 data link pod for Kh-59ME missile, A-737 satnav system, the L-150 Pastel RWR Radar Warning system, a 96x chaff/flare dispenser, the Sorbitsya ECM and the Spektr data link.


J-11 SU-27SK FLANKER





SUKHOI SU-27SK "FLANKER"
EXPORT VERSION SOLD TO CHINA AND VIETNAM

MANUFACTURED BY: SUKHOI STATE DESIGN BUREAU
MOSCOW, RUSSIA

TYPE - SUPERSONIC STRIKE FIGHTER
LENGTH: 71.9 FEET
SPAN: 48.2 FEET
RANGE: 1,900 MILES (WITHOUT AIR REFUEL)
HEIGHT: 19.4 FEET
WEIGHT: 50,000 POUNDS
ENGINE: 2 AF-35 AFTERBURNING TURBO FANS
TOP SPEED: MACH 2.3
WEAPON LOAD: 13,670 POUNDS
I/R AND RADAR HOMING AIR TO AIR MISSILES
R-73 AND R-77
LASER GUIDED BOMBS
AIR LAUNCHED VERSION SS-N-22 SUNBURN
AS-17 KRYPTON ANTI-RADAR MISSILE (KH-31)
SU-30 VERSION EQUIPPED FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS DELIVERY

SUKHOI SU-34 "FLANKER" TWIN SEAT STRIKE VERSION OF SU-27
ZVEZDA KH-31 SUPER-SONIC MISSILES IN RED (CENTER FOREGROUND)

The J-11 is the most advanced fighter currently in service with the PLAAF. The J-11 is roughly equal in performance and capability to the western aircraft that face it including the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the U.S. Navy F-18 Hornet.

The PLAAF currently operates 78 single-seat Flanker fighters and four twin seat training versions. PLAAF factories signed a deal with Sukhoi to assemble 150 of these advanced fighters and build under license another 350.

China has also concluded a deal to purchase up to two hundred SU-30 two seat long range strike bomber versions of the FLANKER family from Sukhoi. The first thirty SU-30 fighters were delivered to the PLAAF in the fall of 2000 and there are an estimated 76 in active service. The PLAAF SU-30 bombers are equipped to carry Chinese made nuclear weapons.

The Chinese military is outfitting its Russian-made Su-30 fighter bombers with C-801 anti-ship cruise missiles. The upgrade will give China's air force a major new strike capability against ships. The C-801 is modeled after the French Exocet anti-ship missile.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETAILS ON THE C-801 CRUISE MISSILE
China United Airline
SAR SPY PLANE

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE CHINESE SPY PLANE
TU-154M
MANUFACTURED BY: TUPOLEV STATE DESIGN BUREAU
MOSCOW, RUSSIA

CREW: THREE PILOT/COPILOT/FLG ENGINEER
TYPE: SAR RADAR SURVEILLANCE (RADAR DOME ON BELLY)
CARGO: AIRLINER NORMAL SEATING 180
LENGTH: 157.1 FEET
SPAN: 123.2 FEET
RANGE: 3280 MILES
HEIGHT: 37.4 FEET
WEIGHT: 199077 POUNDS
ENGINE: 3 KUZNETSOV NK-8-2 TURBO FANS
TOP SPEED: 625 MILES AN HOUR
Defense analysts confirmed that the so-called "civil" aircraft is actually a Chinese Air Force spy plane equipped with a sophisticated radar and communications equipment. China United Airlines B-4138 spy plane is a modified Tupolev TU-154 civil transport equipped with a tub like SAR radar dome on the belly and several antenna domes on the rear. B-4138 can use its advanced SAR radar to locate ground vehicles, ships, tanks and even troops from hundreds of miles away from the battlefield.
LORAL SAR radar export for China
In 1996 Loral Defense President Jerald Lindfelt wrote Ron Brown seeking export of SAR radars directly to a Chinese weapons lab.
1996 LORAL SAR LETTER TO RON BROWN
BOEING 737

FORMER CHINA UNITED 737 NOW A PLAAF C3 PLANE

MANUFACTURED BY: BOEING AIRCRAFT CORP. USA

TYPE - FLYING HQ/C3/MILITARY CARGO/TROOP TRANSPORT
CREW - TWO PILOT/CO-PILOT OFFICER
CARGO - 126 PASSENGERS - 150 PARATROOPERS
12,800 LBS OF CARGO
RANGE - 2,600 MILES
WING SPAN - 94.8 FT.
LENGTH - 109.6 FT.
HEIGHT - 36.5 FT.
WEIGHT - 124,500 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO CFM56-3C-1 TURBOFAN
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 566 MILES PER HOUR
In 2000 Boeing concluded an agreement with China United Airlines to sell ten Boeing 737-300 transports. SOFTWAR has confirmed that the 737 transports are now being used by the PLAAF as troop and cargo military jets. One 737 has been modified by Xian Aviation into a command post for the Chinese Army. The 737 is also a prime airframe for the PLAAF to use in converted roles such as airborne radar or electronic warfare planes.

According to a U.S. government report on the Chinese military - CHINA UNITED is actually owned and operated by the PLAAF.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT CHINA UNITED AND BOEING 737 AIRLINERS FOR THE PLAAF
ILYUSHIN IL-76 CANDID

MANUFACTURED BY: ILYUSHIN DESIGN BUREAU, RUSSIA

TYPE - MILITARY CARGO/TROOP TRANSPORT
CREW - FOUR PILOT/CO-PILOT TWO FLIGHT ENGINEERS
CARGO - 200 PARATROOPERS
132,160 LBS OF CARGO
RANGE - 2,160 MILES
WING SPAN - 165.6 FT.
LENGTH - 174.4 FT.
HEIGHT - 47.3 FT.
WEIGHT - 462,966 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - FOUR PS-90A TURBOFAN
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 560 MILES PER HOUR
According to it's own website, the PLAAF owned China United Airlines operates a small fleet of Russian made Ilyushin IL-76 jet transports. The CUA IL-76 transports are actually operated by the PLAAF 13th Air Division based at Wuhan, Hubei Province and the PLAAF 34th Air Division based at Nanyuan AFB, Beijing.



The IL-76 four-engine jet is the current front-line PLAAF military transport and the Chinese civil version is frequently armed with a cannon located in a rear turret. PLAAF IL-76 transports dropped paratroopers, tanks and artillery directly on to the battlefield during the fall 2000 Chinese military exercises.

KJ-2000 MODIFIED IL-76 PLAAF AWACS PLANE
MiG-31 FOX HOUND


MANUFACTURED BY: MIKOYAN AVIATION NPO (MiG), RUSSIA

TYPE - FIGHTER/INTERCEPTOR/ANTI-SATELLITE
CREW - TWO IN TANDEM PILOT/WEAPONS OFFICER
ARM - FOUR HARD POINTS - TWO ON EACH WING, FOUR BELLY HARD
POINTS - TYPICAL ANTI-AIR MISSION FOUR R-33 AAM
RANGE - 1,630 MILES INTERNAL - HAS AIR REFUELING CAPABILITY
WING SPAN - 44.1 FT.
LENGTH - 74.5 FT.
HEIGHT - 20.2 FT.
WEIGHT - 90,000 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING SOLOVIEV D-30G
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL
SPEED - 1,900 MPH OR MACH 2.8 AT ALTITUDE

UNCONFIRMED**** Russia and China concluded an agreement to transfer twenty four MiG-31 FOXHOUND fighters to China in 1992. The agreement included a deal to manufacture up to 200 more inside China. The transfer cannot be confirmed in that NO MiG-31 aircraft have appeared in the PLAAF inventory at this time. U.S. intelligence sources indicate that the MiG-31 may be used by the PLAAF in an anti-satellite role by firing a specialized missile.
SHENYANG J-8 FINBACK

MANUFACTURED BY: SHENYANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA

TYPE - INTERCEPTOR
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - SIX WING HARD POINTS ONE BELLY HARD POINT
TWO 30 MM CANNON
RANGE - 500 MILES
WING SPAN - 30.7 FT.
LENGTH - 67.4 FT.
HEIGHT - 17.9 FT.
WEIGHT - 33,700 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WP13A
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
IZMRUD AIR TO AIR RADAR
SPEED - 1500 MPH OR MACH 2.1 AT ALTITUDE


The Shenyang J-8 is the first PLAAF produced fighter jet. The J-8 is based on a twin-engine design of the Russian made MiG-21/J-7 and is equipped with a Izmrud intercept radar. The J-8 is considered a classic "interceptor" in that it is not designed for dog-fighting with superior western fighter jets but is intended to intercept long range bombers in a defensive role. The J-8 is comparable in performance and specifications to the Sukhoi SU-15 FLAGON.
SHENYANG (CHENGDU) J-7 (MIG-21 FISHBED)

MANUFACTURED BY: SHENYANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA
CHENGDU AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIAL CORP.

TYPE - FIGHTER
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - FOUR HARD POINTS - TWO ON EACH WING, ONE BELLY HARD POINT
TWO 30 MM CANNON
RANGE - 400 MILES
WING SPAN - 23.5 FT.
LENGTH - 45.7 FT.
HEIGHT - 13.4 FT.
WEIGHT - 19,580 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - ONE AFTERBURNING WP7B(BM)
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 1500 MPH OR MACH 2.1 AT ALTITUDE


The Chinese made J-7 is an advanced version of the formidable MiG-21 FISHBED. J-7 design improvements include a cranked-arrow wing for better low and high speed performance, two extra hard points on each wing for weapons, improved avionics and upgraded weapons systems. J-7 fighters are considered to be capable dog-fighters and can press close in air combat with the best western aircraft.

The J-7 is not the front-line fighter that the PLAAF would prefer to replace its aging fleet of J-6 FARMER jets. However, nearly 500 J-7 fighters are in service with the PLAAF and the PLAN. Both export and domestic J-7 jets are fitted with a wide variety of western avionics including a GEC-Marconi Avionics HUDWAC (head-up display and weapon aiming computer) and GARMIN GPS bombing navigation systems.
XIAN FH-7 - SUPERSONIC NUCLEAR STRIKE BOMBER

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON THE HONG 7
MANUFACTURED BY: XIAN AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA

TYPE - SUPERSONIC STRIKE BOMBER
CREW - TWO IN TANDEM PILOT/WEAPONS OFFICER
ARM - SIX HARD POINTS - THREE ON EACH WING, ONE BELLY HARD
POINT AND WING-TIP HARD POINTS FOR AIR TO AIR MISSILES
TOTAL 14,000 LB. EXTERNAL STORES INCLUDING C.802 MISSILES,
CONVENTIONAL OR NUCLEAR FREE-FALL BOMBS
RANGE - 1,900 MILES
WING SPAN - 41.65 FT.
LENGTH - 73.22 FT.
HEIGHT - 21.56 FT.
WEIGHT - 62,000 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WS-9 (ROLLS ROYCE SPEY BUILT ON LICENSE)
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL
INERTIAL AND SAR RADAR - ADVANCED VERSIONS TO BE
EQUIPPED WITH LASER DESIGNATOR AND FLIR
SPEED - 750 MPH OR MACH 1.7 AT ALTITUDE


The FH-7 (FBC-1 export version) is a twin engine, swept-wing, super-sonic two seat, all weather attack bomber, equipped with American GPS bombing - navigation and powered by licensed copies of the British Rolls Royce Spey engine. The all weather FBC-1 ROCKWELL GPS bombing system will eventually be upgraded with Chinese made Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and an infra-red night vision pod.

Chinese engineers bragged that the FBC-1 was designed with CAD (computer aided design) techniques on U.S. built super computers. The computers were provided through the China Flight Test Establishment at Xian University.
Nanchang Q-5/A-5 FANTAN


MANUFACTURED BY: NANCHANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA

TYPE - STRIKE BOMBER
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - SIX HARD POINTS - THREE ON EACH WING
FOUR BELLY HARD POINTS
4,400 POUNDS OF BOMBS AND ROCKETS
TWO 23 MM CANNON
RANGE - 400 MILES
WING SPAN - 31.8 FT.
LENGTH - 54.8 FT.
HEIGHT - 14.8 FT.
WEIGHT - 26,400 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WP-6
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
HIGH FIX RADAR/ ALR-1 LASER DESIGNATOR
SPEED - 700 MPH
The Q-5 is equipped with the HIGH FIX radar and imported navigation/attack systems. The Q-5 is used mainly to assist ground forces with air strikes. This derivative of the J-6 fighter originated in 1958 as a Shenyang design but was later assigned to Nanchang. A small number of Q-5 have been modified to carry nuclear weapons. The aircraft is considered the equal to similar western strike aircraft such as the Douglas Skyhawk, and French Etendard.
SHENYANG J-6 (MiG-19 FARMER)


MANUFACTURED BY: SHENYANG AIRCRAFT CORP., PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CHINA
CHENGDU AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIAL CORP.

TYPE - FIGHTER
CREW - ONE PILOT OFFICER
ARM - SIX HARD POINTS - THREE ON EACH WING
TWO 3O MM CANNON
RANGE - 425 MILES
WING SPAN - 26.5 FT.
LENGTH - 42.9 FT.
HEIGHT - 12 FT.
WEIGHT - 20,000 POUNDS TAKE OFF
ENGINE - TWO AFTERBURNING WP-6
GUIDANCE - GPS SUPPLIED BY ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL/GARMIN
SPEED - 900 MPH OR MACH 1.4 AT ALTITUDE

The F-6 is the Chinese version of the MiG-19, which as of the mid-1990s was still in production in China. The PLAAF has over 3,000 of these maneuverable daylight fighters. The J-6 was thought to be an obsolete aircraft but recent reviews of PLAAF tactics show that the J-6 can be used to ambush and defeat much more capable machines due to its great close in air combat flight performance. The use of J-6 jets by Pakistan against more capable Indian jet fighters in the recent clashes over Kashmir shows that the J-6 is a formidable air to air foe in close in dog fighting.

It is a testimony to this capable air plane that the infamous Col. Toon of the North Vietnamese air force used the J-6 to down 12 US aircraft. In fact, China opted to cease production of the Mach two J-7 (MiG-21 variant) in favor of producing more J-6 jets.

The J-6, which began flight tests in 1958, was China's first supersonic jet fighter. The F-6 has six attachment points for external stores. The outboard wing stations can carry a 550 pound bomb or a 760 or 400 liter drop tank or the CAA-1b air to air missile. The inboard wing stations can carry practice bombs or rocket pods with either 8 x 57mm, 16 x 57mm, or 7 x 90mm rockets.

Dassault Rafale wins USD 10.4 billion Indian Air Force jet fighter deal







 The Dassault Rafale fighter jet, manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation, has won India's mammoth contract worth $10.4 billion, say sources. The Indian Air Force plans to buy 126 aircraft over the next ten years.

The process to determine the L1 (lowest bidder) has been completed, and sources indicate that the final contract is expected to be signed in the next financial year. The first 18 aircraft will be bought off the shelf. The rest 108 will be built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. through technology transfers.

Sources say Defense ministry experts are still fine-tuning pricing details, including the cost of on-board weaponry and royalties for producing the aircraft in India.

There were six contenders for the world's biggest defence deal which included the Russian MiG- 35,Lockheed Martin's F-16 Falcon, Boeing's F-18 Hornet, the Swedish Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale. (In Pics: Aircraft that competed for the defence deal)

Of these, the European EADS Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale were in the final race for the global tender for a medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA). The Eurofighter bid was backed by four partner nations including Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom while the Dassault Rafale was backed by the French Government.

On November 4 last year, Defence ministry had opened the commercial bid of the two firms left in the race and since then has been busy in determining the lowest bidder. The rest were rejected as they didn't meet the technical qualifications.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has expressed happiness at India's selection of the Rafale. "The President of the French Republic has learned of India’s selection of the Rafale for the acquisition by the Indian Air Force of 126 fighter aircrafts. France is pleased with Indian government’s decision to select the French aircraft to enter into exclusive negotiations with Dassault," said a statement issued by the French Embassy in New Delhi.

It said the announcement comes at the end of "a very high-level, fair and transparent competition" involving two European finalists for the bid.

"Negotiations for the contract will begin very soon and has the full support of the French authorities. It will include important technology transfers guaranteed by the French government. The Rafale has been selected, thanks to the aircraft’s competitive life-cycle costs, after the April 2011 pre-selection on the basis of its top-level operational performance.The realisation of the Rafale project will illustrate the depth and scale of the strategic partnership between France and India," the statement said.

The deal is the first foreign deal for Dassault's fighter jets. The French have for years been trying to get an export deal. Just last month, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet warned the Rafale program could be stopped if foreign buyers don't materialize.

Longuet maintained that the Rafale is an "excellent plane" but acknowledged it is handicapped by its price, which is higher than its U.S. rival.

The Rafale, in service for the French Air Force since 2006, has been flying air support roles in Afghanistan since 2007, and was a big part of the NATO air campaign against Moammar Gaddafi's forces in Libya in 2011.

(With Agency inputs)
back to top