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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
Japon: quatre navires chinois dans des eaux revendiquées par Pékin

 

22 novembre 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

TOKYO - Quatre bateaux de garde-côtes chinois ont brièvement pénétré vendredi dans les eaux qui entourent des îles que se disputent âprement la Chine et le Japon, ont annoncé les garde-côtes japonais.

 

Les quatre bâtiments sont entrés vers 09H30 (00H30 GMT) dans ces eaux qui entourent les îles Senkaku contrôlées par le Japon, et revendiquées par Pékin sous le nom de Diaoyu. Ils en sont repartis environ trois heures plus tard, ont ajouté les garde-côtes.

 

La dernière incursion chinoise, de quelques heures, remonte au 7 novembre. La précédente, le 28 octobre, avait fait nettement monter le ton entre les deux pays.

 

Le ministre japonais de la Défense, Itsunori Onodera, avait alors estimé que ces incursions chinoises répétées menaçaient la paix et constituaient une zone grise entre temps de paix et situation d'urgence.

 

Quelques jours plus tôt, le ministère chinois de la Défense avait utilisé l'expression acte de guerre pour mettre en garde Tokyo contre toute action éventuelle contre ses drones.

 

Depuis plus d'un an les relations sino-japonaises sont au plus bas en raison de ce conflit territorial en mer de Chine orientale. En septembre 2012, le Japon a nationalisé trois des cinq îles de l'archipel de la discorde, déclenchant une semaine de manifestations antijaponaises, parfois violentes, dans plusieurs villes de Chine.

 

Depuis lors, Pékin envoie régulièrement des patrouilles de garde-côtes dans les eaux territoriales de ces îles situées à 200 km au nord-est de Taïwan et 400 km à l'ouest d'Okinawa (sud du Japon), faisant redouter un incident avec les navires japonais qui y croisent aussi.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Les sous-marins nucléaires chinois ne sont pas aussi capables que la Chine le prétend


21.11.2013 Portail des Sous-Marins
 

Depuis quelques semaines, les sous-marins nucléaires font la une de la presse officielle chinoise, lorsqu’elle claironne la puissance militaire de la Chine ou qu’elle menace l’Occident. Et pourtant, malgré le bruit que la Chine fait autour de ses sous-marins nucléaires, ils ne sont pas tout ce qu’ils sont censés être.

 

Le Chef des Opérations Navales de l’US Navy, l’amiral Jonathan Greenert, a été interrogé sur un récent article qui prétendait que les sous-marins chinois étaient en mesure d’atteindre les Etats-Unis avec leurs missiles nucléaires. L’amiral Greenert a souligné que les sous-marins chinois avaient plusieurs graves défauts.

« Pour qu’un missile balistique lancé depuis un sous-marin soit efficace, il doit être précis, et le sous-marin qui le lance, doit être discret et survivable et je vais m’arrêter là, » a répondu l’amiral Greenert.

 

Discrétion

La déclaration de l’amiral Greenert est parfaitement fondée. Les sous-marins nucléaires de la Chine souffrent de plusieurs défauts techniques, de limites causées par la géographie et le déploiement de ses sous-marins les plus récents a connu plusieurs revers. Ceci vient en plus du fait que les Etats-Unis disposent de plusieurs systèmes complexes capables de surveiller des sous-marins bien plus modernes que ceux que la Chine peut construire.

Le principal sous-marin nucléaire lanceur d’engins (SNLE) chinois actuellement en service est la classe Jin (Type 094). Trois d’entre eux sont actuellement opérationnels, et la Chine pourrait en construire 5 autres sur les 10 prochaines années, selon le rapport annuel du Pentagone : “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China”.

Bien qu’ils soient les sous-marins chinois les plus modernes, les sous-marins de la classe Jin sont plus bruyants que les sous-marins soviétiques d’il y a 30 ans, selon un rapport publié en aout 2009 par l’Office of Naval Intelligence de l’US Navy.

La lutte anti-sous-marine repose sur la capacité d’une marine à détecter et pister les sous-marins de l’adversaire. Le principal système que les Etats-Unis utilisent pour pister les sous-marins et le SOSUS (Sound Surveillance System), qui fait parti de l’Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS).

Le SOSUS est composé de réseaux de senseurs sous-marins, installés à des points de passage en mer. Il permet à la marine américaine de détecter des sous-marins et de les pister en s’appuyant sur leur signature acoustique. Il était utilisé pendant la Guerre Froide pour pister les SNLE soviétiques.

La discrétion est l’un des principaux avantages d’une force sous-marine, et contrôler le niveau de bruit est indispensable pour atteindre la discrétion. Réduire le niveau de bruit est l’une des raisons qui motivent le passage de la propulsion diesel à la propulsion nucléaire, et pourquoi les sous-marins récents utilisent des techniques modernes de réduction du bruit.

La majorité des sous-marins chinois sont toujours à propulsion diesel. La plupart des sous-marins ont été achetés à la Russie dans les années 90 et 2000. La Chine aurait 49 sous-marins classiques, à propulsion diesel-électrique, et 5 à propulsion nucléaire.

 

Portée

L’autre problème dont souffrent les sous-marins de la classe Jin, est la portée d’attaque — et elle est affectée à la fois par la technologie et la géographie.

Les sous-marins de la classe Jin seront à l’avenir équipés de missiles JL-2. Ces missiles ont une portée de 7.400 km, et ils devraient être opérationnels cette année.

Si un sous-marin chinois devait lancer ses missiles sur Seattle, il devrait pénétrer profondément dans les eaux japonaises, selon un article de la Federation of American Scientists.

L’article souligne que, « en raison du niveau de bruit apparent des SNLE chinois et des capacités étendues de détection des sous-marins par les Etats-Unis, il serait risqué pour un SNLE chinois de naviguer en temps de crise ou de guerre. »

L’autre option pour les SNLE chinois serait de lancer leurs missiles au-dessus de la Russie. L’article explique que « tous les missiles chinois lancés vers les Etats-Unis depuis leurs zones actuelles de déploiement, devraient survoler la Russie. »

Les SNLE chinois sont confinés dans une petite zone autour de la Chine, et la portée de leurs missiles nucléaires est limitée. Selon l’article, s’ils voulaient ne serait-ce qu’atteindre Hawaï, ils devraient entrer en mer du Japon ou des Philippines.

L’article reconnaît cependant que les SNLE chinois constituent une menace pour les territoires américains non-continentaux, comme l’Alaska ou Guam. Ils sont aussi une menace pour les bâtiments américains dans la région.

Pour maintenir les SNLE chinois hors de portée de la partie continentale des Etats-Unis, il faut les confiner dans les eaux chinoises.

 

Référence :The Epoch Times (Etats-Unis)

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 19:35
Océan-Indien source euro-synergies

Océan-Indien source euro-synergies

 

20 novembre 2013 Portail des Sous-marins

 

L’avenir du monde se décidera-t-il dans l’océan Indien comme le pensait Mahan ? La France peut y déployer une capacité militaire permanente grâce aux commandements organiques FAZSOI et ALINDIEN, héritiers d’une longue présence française dans cet océan. Cependant, l’ascension de l’Inde et de la Chine, toutes deux puissances nucléaires, la situation politico-économique difficile des États riverains et les rivalités croissantes ne risquent-elles pas de mettre en péril la stabilité actuelle de cet océan et d’imposer une redéfinition du rôle de la France ?

Cette “Brève-Marine” est disponible à cette adresse.

Élaborées par le Centre d’études supérieures de la Marine (CESM), les Brèves Marines vous fournissent régulièrement de l’information privilégiée sur l’actualité et les enjeux de la Marine nationale.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 17:20
Photo Lockheed Martin

Photo Lockheed Martin

 

November 20, 2013 By Zachary Keck - thediplomat.com

 

Plus, the Navy’s top officer is only slightly worried about sequester’s impact on the pivot. Wednesday defense links.

 

Some Wednesday defense links:

Myriad sources in recent weeks are reporting that South Korea’s military has decided that its country needs the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. According to one report from Reuters, in a meeting on Friday South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff will endorse an “all F-35 buy” of 40 of the aircraft for its FX-III fighter jet competition. The same report said that they will also include an option to purchase 20 additional F-35s in the future. Some notable figures are recommending that Seoul should purchase a combination of F-35s and F-15s.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is looking at purchasing more F/A-18 fighter jets even as it reiterates its commitment to the F-35.

Real Clear Defense’s Dustin Walker has an excellent (and Asia-centric) interview with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert. In the interview Greenert admits to worrying about being “out-sticked” in the Asia-Pacific due to China’s growing anti-ship capabilities. Nonetheless, Greenert contends that despite sequestration “we are continuing our focus, our priority in that budgetary environment to the Asia-Pacific. And there will be growth in that arena as opposed tojust less reduction.”

Per usual, War on the Rocks has featured some excellent analyses in recent days. One such piece by Matthew Hipple considers how a war between the U.S. and China would start. Frank Hoffman also asks some hard questions about Air-Sea Battle in the context of the new QDR.

As part of its “Asia-Pacific Oversight Series,” the House Armed Services Committee held what Breaking Defense is calling an unprecedented gathering of Asia-Pacific ambassadors last week.

Feng at Information Dissemination runs through some of the new projects the Chinese military is working on.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel are meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister David Johnston in Washington, DC today for the annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN).

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 13:35
Information Warfare: Chinese Cyber Warriors Ignore The Limelight

 

 

November 20, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Earlier this year it was revealed by Western Internet security researchers that a specific Chinese military organization, “Unit 61398” has been responsible for over a thousand attacks on government organizations and commercial firms since 2006. China denied this, and some Unit 61398 attacks ceased and others changed their methods for a month or so. But since then Unit 61398 has apparently returned to business as usual. The Chinese found that, as usual, even when one of their Cyber War organizations was identified by name and described in detail there was little anyone would or could do about it. There was obviously a Chinese reaction when the initial news became headlines, but after a month or so it was realized that it didn’t make any difference and the Chinese hackers went back to making war on the rest of the world. Unit 61398 is believed to consist of several thousand full time military and civilian personnel as well as part-time civilians (often contractors brought in for a specific project).

 

China's Cyber War hackers have become easier to identify because they have been getting cocky and careless. Internet security researchers have found identical bits of code (the human readable text that programmers create and then turn into smaller binary code for computers to use) and techniques for using it in hacking software used against Tibetan independence groups and commercial software sold by some firms in China and known to work for the Chinese military. Similar patterns have been found in hacker code left behind during attacks on American military and corporate networks. The best hackers hide their tracks better than this. The Chinese hackers have found that it doesn’t matter. Their government will protect them.

 

It's been noted that Chinese behavior is distinctly different from that encountered among East European hacking operations. The East European hackers are more disciplined and go in like commandos and get out quickly once they have what they were looking for. The Chinese go after more targets with less skillful attacks and stick around longer than they should. That's how so many hackers are tracked back to China, often to specific servers known to be owned by the Chinese military or government research institutes.

 

The East Europeans have been at this longer and most of the hackers work for criminal gangs, who enforce discipline, select targets, and protect their hackers from local and foreign police. The East European hacker groups are harder to detect (when they are breaking in) and much more difficult to track down. Thus the East Europeans go after more difficult (and lucrative) targets. The Chinese hackers are a more diverse group. Some work for the government, many more are contractors, and even more are independents who often slip over to the dark side and scam Chinese. This is forbidden by the government and these hackers are sometimes caught and punished, or simply disappear. The Chinese hackers are, compared the East Europeans, less skilled and disciplined. There are some very, very good Chinese hackers but they often lack adult supervision (or some Ukrainian gangster ready to put a bullet in their head if they don't follow orders exactly).

 

For Chinese hackers that behave (don't do cybercrimes against Chinese targets) the rewards are great. Large bounties are paid for sensitive military and government data taken from the West. This encourages some unqualified hackers to take on targets they can't handle. This was noted when a group of hackers were caught trying to get into a high-security network in the White House (the one dealing with emergency communications with the military and nuclear forces). These amateurs are often caught and prosecuted. But the pros tend to leave nothing behind but hints that can be teased out of heavy use of data mining and pattern analysis.

 

Over the last decade Internet security firms (especially Kaspersky Labs, Mandiant and Symantec) have been increasingly successful at identifying the hacker organizations responsible for some of the large-scale hacker attacks on business and government networks. This has led to the identification of dozens of major hacking operations and which campaigns they were responsible for. The security firms also identify and describe major malware (software created by hackers for penetrating and stealing from target systems). For example, earlier this year Kaspersky Labs discovered a stealthy espionage program called NetTraveler. This bit of malware had been secretly planted in PCs used by diplomats and government officials in over 40 countries. Also hit were oil companies and political activists opposed to China. No samples of the NetTraveler from Israel were available for this analysis, but the program apparently did appear in Israel (but may have been prevented from stealing anything). Dissection of NetTraveler indicated it was created by about fifty different people, most of them Chinese speakers who knew how to program in English.

 

Kaspersky also discovered a similar bit of malware called Red October, because it appeared to have been created by Russian speaking programmers. Red October was a very elaborate and versatile malware system. Hundreds of different modules have been discovered and Red October had been customized for a larger number of specific targets. Red October was found to be in the PCs and smart phones of key military personnel in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and dozens of other nations (U.S., Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, Japan, and the UAE). The Red October Internet campaign has been going on for at least five years and has been seeking military and diplomatic secrets. As a result of this discovery Internet operators worldwide shut down the addresses Red October depended on.

 

Red October does not appear to be the product of some government intelligence agency and may be from one of several shadowy private hacker groups that specialize in seeking out military secrets and then selling them to the highest bidder. The buyers of this stuff prefer to remain quiet about obtaining secrets this way. In response to this publicity, the operators of Red October have apparently shut down the network. The Russian government ordered the security services to find out if Russians were involved with Red October and, if so, to arrest and prosecute them. Russia has long been a sanctuary for Internet criminals, largely because of poor policing and corruption. It may well turn out that the Red October crew is in Russia and has paid off a lot of Russian cops in order to avoid detection and prosecution. To date, the operators of Red October have not been found. All nations, except China, have become more willing to assist in finding, arresting and prosecuting criminal hackers. While more are going to jail, it is still a very small proportion of those involved.

 

What most of these large scale attacks have in common is the exploitation of human error. Case in point is the continued success of attacks via Internet against specific civilian, military, and government individuals using psychology, rather than just technology. This sort of thing is often carried out in the form of official looking email, with a file attached, sent to people at a specific military or government organization. It is usually an email they weren't expecting but from someone they recognize. This is known in the trade as "spear fishing" (or "phishing"), which is a Cyber War technique that sends official looking email to specific individuals with an attachment which, if opened, secretly installs a program that sends files and information from the email recipient's PC to the spear fisher's computer. In the last few years an increasing number of military, government, and contractor personnel have received these official-looking emails with a PDF document attached and asking for prompt attention. As more defenses for these types of attacks appear, new attack methods will be developed. Governments and the public are becoming more aware of the extent of the hacker spies. What is not yet known is the impact of all this on the concept of state secrets and military capability.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 19:35
Why Would Russia Sell China Su-35 Fighter Jets?

 

November 19, 2013 By Harry Kazianis - thediplomat.com

 

Given China’s history of stealing Russian defense technology, Moscow’s thinking is hard to understand.

 

Truthfully, the state of Russia-China ties gives me a headache.

First, I understand the rationale for both sides to develop large agreements for natural resource sales—it’s clearly in both of their national interests. China needs them (having a majority of the imported resource that powers your economy, namely oil, go through narrow straits that could be blockaded is probably not a good plan), Russia wants to sell them (what else does Russia have to sell these days). However, military sales of Moscow’s best equipment, even as a report from the Want China Times suggests is still being negotiated makes little sense, well…at least for Russia that is.

As I have stated on several occasions, Russia has a number of reasons to hold off selling even one of its most capable jets to China. Readers of Flashpoints are familiar with the tale of Russia’s last large jet sale to China, the SU-27. When Russia’s defense industry was on its back in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, China purchased US$1 billion worth of the then-advanced fighter. Plans were laid for an expansion of the agreement for up to 200 jets to be sold, with large quantities to be assembled in China.  The deal then fell apart after the first 100 or so jets were delivered when Moscow accused Beijing of essentially replicating the jet and prepping it for resale under the renamed J-11 and J-11B. China has allegedly copied at least one other fighter jet of Russian origin, the SU-33, renamed the J-15.

For their part, Chinese officials denied such allegations. According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal back in 2010, Zhang Xinguo, deputy president of AVIC, tried to claim the jets were not a copy.

“You cannot say it’s just a copy,” Zhang declared. “Mobile phones all look similar. But technology is developing very quickly. Even if it looks the same, everything inside cannot be the same.”

In a piece for the People’s Daily, Chinese officials would also defend the J-15, the alleged copy of the SU-33.

Geng Yansheng, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, explained, “The world military affairs have an objective law of development. Many weapons have the same design principle and some command and protection methods are also similar. Therefore, it at least is non-professional to conclude that China copied the aircraft carrier technology of other countries only by simply comparison.”

The deal that is being considered now, at least according to the report mentioned above, sounds similar to the SU-27 sale.  According to WCT, “Beijing sought a promise from Moscow to set up a maintenance center in China as part of the contract” and that “Chinese experts must be able to maintain and repair Su-35 fighters with training provided by Russian advisers.”

Effectively, Russia would be giving up a tremendous amount of technical knowledge and knowhow to China with very little safeguards to stop a repeat of the SU-27 incident. While Russia would gain a large sale for its arms industry, thinking long-term – and recalling the fact that Russia-China relations historically have not exactly been a model of peace and prosperity – Moscow might want to think twice about such an agreement.

For China, there are a number of reasons such a deal would be attractive. China has documented issues producing fighter jet engines, and even the ability to take apart and dissect Russia’s latest military wares would be of use. And for all the talk of 5th generation fighters, America is the only nation so far to deploy such a craft, with various well-documented glitches along the way. A more traditional craft could be of great value to Beijing while it perfects a stealthier fighter for the future. Also, considering the long range of the SU-35, such a plane would be of great value to loiter over disputed territories in the East and South China Sea for extended periods of time. Indeed, if Beijing buys into all the talk about Air-Sea Battle (ASB) being all about deep strikes on the Chinese mainland, an advanced fighter jet to defend the homeland does not seem like a bad investment in the long term.

For Russia, the risks seem obvious. Competing against your own technology in the lucrative arms trade is never a good thing. While a deal today might be profitable, the loss of multiple future deals to cheaper Chinese copies could be a disaster tomorrow.  Also, today’s friendships could give way to tomorrow’s geostrategic challenges. Russia and China’s interests might not always align so closely. It would be a pity if Russia someday were forced to consider squaring off against military technology it sold to Beijing, either directly or against Chinese sales to some future adversary.

There is however one possibility that Russia could be banking on for China to behave this go around: it has the option of cutting off oil supplies if Beijing does not play nice. The question is, considering the fact that a large amount of Russia’s overall budget is backed by oil revenue, even if China decided to make the same choice and again play copycat, would Russia be in a position to make such a move?

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16 novembre 2013 6 16 /11 /novembre /2013 12:45
La Chine et la Mauritanie consolideront leurs relations militaires

 

15-11-2013 Par Li Zhijian - French.china.org.cn (Xinhua)

 

Le ministre chinois de la Défense nationale, Chang Wanquan, a rencontré vendredi le chef d'état-major de l'Armée nationale de Mauritanie, Mohamed Ould Mohemd Ahmed, s'engageant à cette occasion à renforcer la coopération militaire bilatérale.

 

M. Chang, qui est également conseiller d'Etat, a salué le bon développement de la coopération militaire bilatérale ces dernières années et s'est engagé à déployer des efforts conjoints avec la Mauritanie pour renforcer les relations militaires.

 

Le chef d'état-major mauritanien a indiqué que l'armée de son pays était prête à travailler avec la partie chinoise pour renforcer la coopération dans divers domaines.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

November 13, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

 

New J-10 Shows Comprehensive Rather Than Partial Improvements

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Nov. 12, 2013)

 

On November 6th Zhang Jigao, deputy chief designer of the J-10 fighter, spoke about the improved model J-10 publicly for the first time in the AVIC flight test center. Zhang Jigao told People's Daily Online reporters that the overall performance of the J-10 will be comprehensively improved in areas such as aerodynamic layout, mission system, and the approach to maintenance.

 

In March 2009, pictures of our improved model J-10 fighters appeared for the first time on the Internet, and netizens quickly began to call it the "J-10B".

 

Over the last five 5 years, several images of the test J-10B have appeared online, attracting widespread attention from netizens, military enthusiasts, and even foreign media.

 

U.S. military expert Richard Fisher recently pointed out that the J-10B is a so-called "fourth and a half" generation fighter equipped with modern airborne technology and an advanced radar system, which is about to be delivered to the PLA Air Force.

 

Zhang Jigao disputed the term "fourth and a half" generation. In contrast, he suggested that the current international criteria to classify generations are more applicable.

 

He pointed out that single combat is rare in modern warfare, and that the majority of cases now involve system combat and network operations, so that the combat capabilities of a fighter depend on many factors. "This does not mean that the optimization of an aircraft's radar, avionics, and missile detection ranges are bound to improvements in operational performance."

 

Zhang Jigao added that further improvements to the performance of the J10 would focus on the aircraft's aerodynamic layout and mission systems, and the approach to maintenance. "Aircraft development requires constant optimization and improvement," he said, "and our modifications will be comprehensive rather than being confined to a specific area." (ends)

 

 

China Talks Up J-15, J-10B Fighters

Chief Designer Discusses J-15 Shipborne Aircraft's Performance Modifications

 

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Nov. 12, 2013)

 

On November 6th, the 5th media day of AVIC, Wang Yongqing, chief designer of J-15 revealed that special design features have been applied to the J-15 in accordance with its deployment on aircraft carriers, in order to achieve the special requirements of shipborne aircraft.

 

Wang Yongqing, chief designer of the J-15 shipborne aircraft, explained to the media that the J-15 shipborne aircraft series no. 555 was a very important machine, although it had attracted limited media attention.

 

The J-15 is China's first generation shipborne fighter, developed on the basis of the J-11. Particular attention has been given to the special requirements of shipborne aircraft, in addition to the guarantee of its combat capabilities.

 

"This means addressing issues of how to take off, land, maneuver and conduct maintenance on board the aircraft carrier." Wang Yongqing pointed out that there are tremendous differences in the way that shipborne aircraft take off and land on an aircraft carrier and on the ground. Correspondingly, there are considerable differences in the overall design of the J-15 compared to the J-11 series.

 

As China's first shipborne fighter, the J-15 has excellent sea-air combat capability, and is equipped with a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea attack weapons. Its comprehensive combat capability has reached an internationally advanced level which reflects the extraordinary technical achievements of China's aviation industry.

 

We can conclude from the appearance of J-15 that special features have been added to its front wings, aerodynamics, and wing area, and to its airframe equipment used in takeoff and landing.

 

The takeoff and landing equipment of the J-15 are more robust than that of the J-11 series. According to Wang Yongqing, this is because the forces experienced by a shipborne aircraft while landing on an aircraft carrier are 4 times those experienced during a ground landing. In addition, the J-15 shipborne aircraft is also equipped with hook arrestment gear for the purpose of landing on aircraft carriers.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
China’s Air-Sea Battle Plan for the South China Sea

 

November 13, 2013 By  Zachary Keck - thediplomat.com

 

Last week a senior PLA officer detailed China’s plans for establishing air and sea control over the South China Sea.

In an interview with state media last week, Senior Colonel Du Wenlong was asked what China’s “trump card” was for establishing sea and air control over the South China Sea. In response, Du highlighted the importance of cooperation between China’s fighter jets and airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft would play in allowing to establish “sea and air control” in the South China Sea.

Specifically, he said that cooperation between the J-10 series, J-11 series, J-16, KJ 2000, and KJ 200 “gives China control over enemy targets in an extended airspace through strong air-to-air attack capability.” Once China gained command of the skies, Du noted, it would be able to impose control over the waters in the South China Sea by using aircraft with air-to-sea functions, backed by submarines and surface vessels like advanced destroyers and frigates.

Du went on to emphasize the importance of the J-16 fighter jet because it boasts extraordinary air-to-air, air-to-sea, and air-to-ground capabilities, and can therefore perform multiple roles in the PLA’s South China Sea battle plan simultaneously. The J-16 is a multirole fighter/bomber based off of Russia’s Su-30MK2, which China purchased over a decade ago. Want China Times has reported that China wants to make the J-16 the “fulcrum of its naval fighter force.”

Du also stressed the importance of acquiring more advanced AEW&C aircraft with air-to-sea and air-to-ground reconnaissance and early warning technology that had both greater accuracy and a larger scope than China’s current AEW&C aircraft. In such an environment, Du told reporters, China would control the sea and air over the South China Sea largely through cooperation between AEW&C aircraft and the J-16, working in close cooperation with naval assets. 

Notably, the first photos of China’s next generation early warning aircraft, the so-called KJ-500, appeared online just this week.

In the article, Du Wenlong is only identified as a military expert. However, he is a frequent commentator in China’s media and late last month China’s Ministry of Defense identified him as Senior Colonel Du Wenlong, a senior researcher with the PLA Academy of Military Science (AMS). Bates Gill and James Mulvenon have said that the AMS is the “’national center for military studies’ and is the premier military research organization in the PLA. It is directly subordinate to the Central Military Commission (CMC), but also receives direct tasking from the General Staff Department.”

According to the two scholars, it is the PLA’s largest research institution, and its 500 full time researchers “write reports for the military leadership, ghost-write speeches for top military leaders, and serve on temporary and permanent leading small groups as drafters of important documents like the Defense White Paper.”

Du himself often appears to be hawkish, and prone to bombastic rhetoric. When the PLA Navy’s (PLAN) three major fleets conducted a joint exercise last month, he proudly proclaimed that the first island chain had been “dismembered,” which he later characterized as something that had become quite normal for the PLA. Since fall of last year, when the dispute with Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands began to escalate, Du has been stressing the importance of China establishing drone bases to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor the islands and Japan’s movements along them. His words have apparently been finally taken up by the senior command. Many believe that this has made the standoff over the islands even more unstable.

The fact that Du’s calls for using drones in the East China Sea dispute were eventually heeded raises the possibility that his Air-Sea Battle plan for the South China Sea could become the PLA’s standard operating procedure.

It’s notable that, according to last week’s article, media outlets had asked Du what China’s “trump card” was for establishing sea and air control in the South China Sea. This suggests that the goal of establishing sea and air control was a given, and that the PLA or CCP wanted Du’s views on the subject to be read by ordinary Chinese and the PLA’s foreign military competitors.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 19:35
Chine - Japon : risque de confrontation navale

 

10 novembre 2013 Par Olivier Fourt - Lignes de défense / RFI

 

Les pays d'Asie ne cessent de moderniser leur marine de guerre, mais des revendications territoriales sur certains îlots, pourraient déboucher sur une confrontation navale. C'est particulièrement vrai entre la Chine et le Japon qui se disputent un archipel : les îles Senkaku (en japonais) ou Diaoyu (en chinois).

10/11 Défense Marine Asiatiques
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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 13:35
How A2/AD Can Defeat China

 

November 12, 2013 By  J. Michael Cole - thediplomat.com

 

Most of the debate that has surrounded the emergence of China as a major military player in the Asia-Pacific has focused on the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) development of an anti-access/area-denial (A2AD) strategy and its potential impact on a U.S.-led regional security architecture that remains anchored to old concepts.

As China expands its military capabilities and, alongside those, its claims to various territories within the region, the PLA has developed and fielded a variety of platforms that are intended to deter and delay external intervention by U.S. forces in, say, an armed conflict in the Taiwan Strait. The much-discussed Dong Feng 21D (DF-21D) anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), which could theoretically threaten a U.S. carrier battle group on its way to the region, is at the core of such a strategy.

Far less discussed, however, is the fact that China’s A2/AD strategy, or the likelihood that it will directly affect the course of a conflict, is contingent on a U.S. or allied response along conventional lines. In other words, China’s deterrence/denial efforts assume two things: first, that outside forces would seek to deploy closer to China in order to conduct operations; and second, that such deployments would involve traditional warships, aircraft carriers, fighter aircraft and bombers — in other words, everything that the ill-defined Air-Sea Battle strategy promises to include.

This “asymmetrical” approach provides China with a relatively inexpensive way to counter an opponent’s superior platforms: the PLA can afford to build and deploy several DF-21D launchers, while the U.S. would be loath to risk losing modern surface combatants, let alone a multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier.

Now a new report by the RAND Corporation proposes turning the tables on China by creating a regional A2/AD alliance, relying principally on anti-ship missiles (ASM), to impose a “far blockade” on China should the latter threaten regional security. Under the plan explored in Employing Land-Based Anti-Ship Missiles in the Western Pacific, U.S. forces and partner countries would respond to Chinese aggression by deploying land-based anti-ship cruise missiles with operational ranges of between 100 km and 200 km at various chokepoints — among them the Strait of Malacca, the Straits of Sunda and Lombok and the Java Sea Routes, waters between Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, as well as sea areas between Japan and South Korea — to keep the PLA Navy (PLAN) vessels (and presumably merchant ships) bottled inside the first island chain.

The presence of such missiles, the report argues, would undermine the ability of PLAN warships, transport vessels, and amphibious craft to safely carry out sea operations in those areas while denying them access into the West Pacific. In addition, the size of the aggregate territory involved in the proposed alliance (optimally Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and perhaps Australia) as well as the number of islets on which ASM launchers could be dispersed, would severely challenge the PLA’s ability to locate such systems and render them inoperable using ballistic missiles, air strikes or sabotage.

By resorting to such a plan, small regional powers would be in a position to wage their own A2/AD strategy against China and to threaten, at a relative low cost, more formidable and far more expensive Chinese naval platforms such as warships, landing helicopter docks, and carriers.

However, creating a multinational ASM strategy would not be without its challenges, nor can its formation be taken for granted. Although a number of ASM systems are currently available and their acquisition within the financial means of even the weakest of the partners involved, their effectiveness would depend on the ability of member states to also receive cueing and targeting data from U.S. sensors, which creates challenges (by no means insurmountable) in terms of ensuring that all the platforms involved can communicate.

Moreover, to avoid fostering the impression in Beijing that the U.S. and regional countries are seeking to keep it bottled in, ASM units probably could not be deployed permanently, and instead should be pre-positioned (presumably on U.S. territory) for rapid deployment amid rising tensions resulting from Chinese aggression or threat thereof. Access to heavy lift capabilities and operational airfields in partner countries would therefore be crucial elements for the success of this strategy.

For obvious reasons, proposing such an alliance would be controversial. Nor can it be assumed, as the report notes, that countries in China’s periphery would be willing to risk Beijing’s ire by joining the effort, unless conditions in the region deteriorate dramatically and the PLA’s posture becomes more aggressive than it is currently.

Moreover, an ASM component alone would be insufficient to ensure the ability of a member country to counter a Chinese attack. While “far blockade” would make the operations of the PLAN more difficult by denying its surface combatants the ability to expand beyond the first island chain or to approach enemy waters, it would have little value against other branches of the Chinese military, such as its air force and the Second Artillery Corps.

That said, as an instrument of deterrence, a flexible multinational ASM partnership could achieve much more, and at a much lower cost, than the longstanding approach of sales by the U.S. of highly expensive (and oftentimes vulnerable) conventional platforms like fighter aircraft and warships to regional allies

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
Nucléaire iranien: Paris bloque l’accord international

 

 

MOSCOU, 11 novembre - RIA Novosti

 

Réunis à Genève, les six médiateurs internationaux et l'Iran n’ont pas trouvé de compromis sur le programme nucléaire de la République islamique, écrit lundi 11 novembre le quotidien Nezavissimaïa gazeta.

 

La France s'est opposée à la signature d’un accord, se disant préoccupée par les réserves d'uranium enrichi à 20% dans le pays et le réacteur de plutonium d'Arak. La prochaine étape des négociations se tiendra le 20 novembre et Israël fait l'impossible pour maintenir les sanctions économiques qui pèsent contre l'Iran.

 

La rencontre s'est déroulée au niveau des ministres des Affaires étrangères, à l'exception de la Chine représentée par un vice-ministre. Laurent Fabius, ministre français des Affaires étrangères, est celui à cause de qui les négociations n’ont mené à rien, selon une source occidentale anonyme. "Les Américains, l'UE et les Iraniens ont travaillé pendant des mois sur cette proposition et Fabius a voulu se donner de l'importance à une étape tardive des négociations", juge la source.

 

Le principal intéressé s’en défend : "Nous n'avons pas pu conclure d’accord parce qu'il y a encore des questions à traiter". Selon le New York Times, Fabius s’est opposé à l'accord car selon lui, il était insuffisant pour dompter l'Iran qui possède de l'uranium enrichi à 20% et dispose d'un réacteur à eau lourde à Arak.

 

Daryl Kimball, directeur exécutif d'Arms Control Association, estime qu'il est possible de remettre le sort de l'usine d'Arak à plus tard car une année sera nécessaire pour que le réacteur puisse produire du plutonium et une année encore pour obtenir une quantité suffisante à la fabrication de la bombe.

 

La situation inquiète particulièrement Israël mais aussi l'Occident : l'Iran n'a aucun besoin industriel en plutonium et cette production laisse donc planer un grand doute sur la nature pacifique du programme nucléaire iranien. Téhéran rétorque que l'eau lourde est une source supplémentaire d'énergie pacifique. Le secrétaire d'Etat américain John Kerry, qui avait promis à Israël de prendre en compte tous ses problèmes, a déclaré à la conférence de presse finale que les restrictions concernant le réacteur d'Arak devaient figurer dans l'accord initial. Le fait est qu'il est très difficile de stopper un tel réacteur par la force militaire car la pollution radioactive de l'environnement serait inévitable. Si l'an prochain le réacteur était prêt, le rapport de forces pencherait sérieusement en faveur de l'Iran pendant les négociations. Ce qu'il est préférable d'éviter selon les Occidentaux.

 

Toutefois, Kerry estime que cette rencontre n'a pas été inutile : "Nous avons réussi à progresser pour régler ces questions". Il pense qu'il sera possible de surmonter dans les semaines à venir les problèmes techniques évoqués pendant ces trois jours. "Nous travaillons activement pour surmonter la méfiance mutuelle entre les USA et l'Iran", a reconnu le secrétaire d'Etat.

 

Le ministre iranien des Affaires étrangères, Javad Zarif, ne semble pas être troublé par le fait que le document n'ait pas été signé : il aurait été surprenant de ne pas avoir de différends sur les détails. "C'était une bonne réunion. Je cherchais la volonté politique, la détermination, la volonté et la bonne foi pour terminer l'étape actuelle et passer à l'application de la première phase", a-t-il déclaré. La réunion de Genève était, selon lui, la "mise en place d'une base pour avancer". Il a ajouté que tous les interlocuteurs étaient sur la même longueur d'onde.

 

Le président iranien Hassan Rohani a également livré dimanche ses conclusions sur les négociations de Genève. Le droit d'enrichir de l'uranium est selon lui une "ligne rouge", a-t-il déclaré au Parlement iranien, assurant qu'il ne renoncerait pas à ce principe en dépit des menaces qui pourraient être proférées. Il a affirmé que la délégation iranienne avait agi "avec rationalité et tact" pendant les négociations de Genève, cite Reuters. Les négociations se poursuivront le 20 novembre à Genève.

 

Israël a déjà averti avant la reprise des négociations qu’il cherchera à persuader les congressistes américains du caractère inadmissible de la paix avec l'Iran.

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30 octobre 2013 3 30 /10 /octobre /2013 12:35
Le ministre chinois de la Défense rencontre son homologue malaisien

2013-10-29 xinhua

 

Le ministre chinois de la Défense Chang Wanquan s'est entretenu mardi avec son homologue malaisien Hishammuddin Hussein actuellement en visite en Chine.

 

M. Chang, également conseiller d'Etat, a appelé à renforcer les échanges pragmatiques et la coopération entre les forces armées des deux pays afin de faire progresser le partenariat stratégique global sino-malaisien.

 

Les deux parties ont mené au cours des dernières années une coopération et des échanges étroits concernant entre autres les visites de haut niveau, la formation du personnel, les visites de navires de guerre, ainsi que des consultations sur la défense et la sécurité.

 

M. Hishammuddin a indiqué que la Malaisie était prête à collaborer avec la Chine pour promouvoir davantage la coopération entre les forces armées dans divers domaines.

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30 octobre 2013 3 30 /10 /octobre /2013 12:35
China flexes muscles with show of submarine force

Oct 29, 2013 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Beijing - Beijing has put its nuclear-powered submarine fleet on public display, with state media Tuesday touting the move as unprecedented and necessary to show other countries China's strike capabilities as territorial tensions mount.

 

In an overt declaration of China's high-seas strength, several state-run papers ran front-page stories on the four-decade-old submarine fleet, while state broadcaster CCTV has devoted much airtime in recent days to its drills and exercises.

 

China's first nuclear-powered submarine was launched in 1970, the Global Times said, but had not been properly taken into account by others.

 

"China is powerful in possessing a credible second-strike nuclear capability," it said in an editorial Tuesday, adding: "Some countries haven't taken this into serious consideration when constituting their China policy, leading to a frivolous attitude toward China in public opinion."

 

"China needs to make it clear that the only choice is not to challenge China's core interest," said the paper, which often takes a nationalistic tone and is close to the ruling Communist party. "Developing marine-based nuclear power is part of such work."

 

 

In a nod to accusations that Beijing is becoming increasingly assertive over its territorial claims in the East and South China Seas, the editorial continued: "Perhaps it will give excuse to 'China Threat' speculation but the benefit will far eclipse the trouble created by external opinions."

 

The media reports have focused on China's older Xia-class submarines, rather than its newer Jin-class vessels.

 

But analysts said the footage could be intended as a reminder that the world's second-largest defence spender is growing in confidence and building an even more powerful fleet.

 

"What they're showing you, they're pretty much just stock scenes," said Richard Bitzinger, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, adding that it might constitute "very subtle sabre-rattling".

 

"They're kind of reinforcing the fact that China has a nuclear Navy," he said. "And if you want to start inferring things, they're just sort of telling you, 'We have nuclear-powered vessels, and most people know that we're getting newer ones, and these are an integrated part of the fleet.'"

 

China's display comes as relations with Japan become increasingly fraught, with a bitter dispute over the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands, claimed by Beijing as the Diaoyus.

 

In recent months China has also butted heads with southeast Asian neighbours, including the Philippines, over its claims to strategically important and potentially mineral-rich waters in the South China Sea.

 

The United States has also declared a so-called "pivot" towards Asia, and announced plans to step up its military presence in the region.

 

China's first nuclear-powered submarine was recently decommissioned after more than 40 years' service, the first of the vessels to be retired, the People's Liberation Army Daily reported Tuesday.

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30 octobre 2013 3 30 /10 /octobre /2013 12:35
China jeopardising peace in island row: Japan

Oct 29, 2013 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Tokyo - Beijing is jeopardising peace in a row with Tokyo over disputed islands, Japan's defence minister said Tuesday, days after China warned that any bid to shoot down its drones would constitute "an act of war".

 

Itsunori Onodera's comments are likely to further heighten fears that the two countries could be sliding towards conflict over the outcrops in the East China Sea. They come as China showed off its fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and as Japan readies for war games.

 

"I believe the intrusions by China in the territorial waters around the Senkaku islands fall in the 'grey zone' (between) peacetime and an emergency situation," Onodera told reporters in Tokyo.

 

The two sides have been at loggerheads over the island chain, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, since Tokyo bought three of them from their private Japanese owner in September 2012.

 

But the comments from Onodera, following those from China's defence ministry at the weekend, appear to have taken the verbal fisticuffs to a new level.

 

On Tuesday two Chinese navy frigates sailed between two Okinawan islands, just outside Japanese territorial waters, according to Kyodo news agency.

 

The ships spent about four hours in the area, at one point apparently heading for the Senkakus but then changing course, it quoted Japan's defence ministry as saying.

 

On Monday China's coastguard sent four vessels into the waters around the islands, where they stayed for two hours, shadowed by their Japanese counterparts.

 

That came after three consecutive days in which Tokyo scrambled jets to meet Chinese aircraft as they traversed a strait leading to the Pacific. They did not enter Japanese airspace.

 

"They were two early-warning aircraft and two bombers," Onodera told reporters on Tuesday.

 

"It was unusual that so many aircraft flew between the Okinawan main island and Miyako island. We consider that it is also very unusual that it occurred for three days in a row.

 

"We understand that it is one of the trends showing that China is now vigorously expanding its areas of activities, including into the open ocean."

 

Tensions likely to increase further

 

Last week it was reported that popular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had given the green light to plans to fire on any unmanned aircraft that did not heed warnings to leave Japanese airspace.

 

The report came after an officially unidentified drone was logged on a trajectory towards southern Japan. Privately, policymakers said there was no doubt it had been Chinese.

 

China's defence ministry said on Saturday that any Japanese firing on its aircraft "would constitute a serious provocation, an act of war of sorts" and vowed "firm countermeasures".

 

On Tuesday Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Japan should "stop hyping up the external threat theory and elaborate to the international community the true intent of (its) military buildup".

 

Akira Kato, professor of defence and security at Obirin University in Tokyo, said the two sides appeared to be painting themselves into a corner, and without a diplomatic channel of communication, things could only get worse.

 

"Since China is unlikely to tone down its stance, tensions are likely to increase further," he said.

 

"For Tokyo, the Japan-US security alliance is the fallback," he said, referring to the security pact under which the United States must come to Japan's aid if it is attacked.

 

"The case will be a crucial test to see if the alliance can function."

 

The rhetoric from Japan on Tuesday came as Beijing put its nuclear submarines on display, with state media touting the move as unprecedented and necessary to show other countries the full extent of China's strike capabilities.

 

Tokyo announced last week that it was planning a huge drill on an island hundreds of kilometres away from the disputed archipelago, starting Friday and intended to sharpen the skills of 34,000 troops in defending -- and retaking -- distant territory.

 

The recent manoeuvres are the latest in a long line of actions and reactions in the bitter scrap with China, which is putatively about the uninhabited islands but is fuelled by historical animosities and nationalism.

 

Japan says it incorporated previously unclaimed islands in 1895. China says it has owned them for hundreds of years and their 19th century annexation by Japan heralded the start of expansionist imperialism that culminated in World War II.

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17 octobre 2013 4 17 /10 /octobre /2013 11:35
China’s PLA Marines: An Emerging Force

October 17, 2013 By Christopher P. Isajiw  - China Power

 

As part of its Pacific pivot, the United States has been making substantial increases in its Asia-based forces, including a bolstering of the U.S. Marine Corps amphibious combat capabilities. One hypothetical scenario that the Navy and Marine Corps train for would be a strike against Taiwan and a possible amphibious combined force invasion carried out by China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). A key spearhead of any such action would be the PLA Marines.

 

The PLA Marines are at present a relatively small amphibious assault force, numbering just two brigades with roughly 6,000 men each. Nevertheless, they are reinforced by naval and air power, amphibious artillery and armor. The PLA Marines are considered an elite special operations force, and theoretically therefore “punch above their weight class.” They are well trained and well equipped, using both the latest Chinese and Russian technology. They are trained for amphibious and airborne assault operations. While they were originally designed to be a much larger mass invasion force, they have quickly evolved into a rapid deployment invasion force specifically tasked for assault operations. Despite this, however, the PLA Marines are still very much a work in progress (as is arguably the PLA Navy in general), and currently lack the full necessary capabilities for a cross-Strait invasion of Taiwan. They are, however, rapidly developing this capability as part of overall Chinese military strategy.

 

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16 octobre 2013 3 16 /10 /octobre /2013 11:35
Xuzhou, one of China's Type 054A frigates.

Xuzhou, one of China's Type 054A frigates.

 

15 octobre 2013 Portail des Sous-Marins

 

La Chine pourrait devoir sacrifier jusqu’à 40% de sa flotte pour essayer de couler un seul des porte-avions américains, comme l’USS Gerald R Ford, selon un article d’un journal russe.

 

La Chine dispose actuellement de plusieurs armes efficaces qui pourraient être utilisées contre un groupe d’escorte d’un porte-avions américain, comme les missiles balistiques anti-navires DF-21D et 12 destroyers lance-missiles. Les 2 destroyers Type 051C et les 6 Type 052C sont équipés de missiles anti-navires comme le YJ-83, C-805 et YJ-62. Ils constitueraient aussi une menace sérieuse pour un porte-avions américain dans la région Asie-Pacifique. De plus, la Chine a acheté 4 destroyers de la classe Sovremenny à la Russie, équipés de missiles anti-navires Moskit SSM P-270.

 

Outre le Liaoning, son premier porte-avions, la marine chinoise dispose aussi de 15 frégates Type 054A, équipées de missiles anti-aériens HQ-16 à lancement vertical. Tout en défendant la flotte chinoise contre les aéronefs basés sur les porte-avions américains, les frégates Type 054A peuvent aussi couler des navires ennemis grâce à leurs missiles anti-navires C-803.

 

Si un groupe de bataille américain devait pénétrer dans les eaux situées au large des côtes chinoises, la marine chinoise pourrait aussi envoyer ses 10 corvettes Type 056 et 40 embarcations lance-missiles pour mener un combat de type guérilla en mer contre l’US Navy, explique l’article. Tous ces navires peuvent lancer des missiles anti-navires comme le YJ-83 et le C-803 : l’US Navy pourrait perdre jusqu’à 10% de sa force dans la région si un de ses porte-avions devait être coulé.

 

Cependant, pour la marine chinoise, couler un porte-avions américain ne serait pas chose si facile. Selon le magazine américain Forbes, plusieurs méthodes ont été développées par l’US Navy pour défendre ses porte-avions contre des attaques chinoises. Alors que des drones aériens à long rayon d’action sont capables de détruire les sites de missiles chinois, des chasseurs F-35, d’une portée de 200 à 300 nautiques permettent aux bâtiments américains de combattre sans entrer dans les eaux chinoises.

 

Le journal russe estime que de 30 à 40% de toute la flotte navale chinoise pourrait être perdue pour seulement détruire un seul porte-avions américain. En même temps, le plus grand défi pour l’US Navy, dans un conflit éventuel avec la Chine, serait de déployer ses 11 porte-avions, ses 88 navires de surface, 55 Littoral Combat Ships et 31 navires d’assaut amphibie dans le Pacifique Ouest avec un faible préavis.

 

Référence : China Times (Taïwan)

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16 octobre 2013 3 16 /10 /octobre /2013 11:35
China’s New Regional Security Treaty With ASEAN

October 16, 2013 By  Carl Thayer - Flashpoints

 

Southeast Asia’s annual summit season has just ended. Indonesia hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, while Brunei, as current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), hosted the ASEAN Summit, East Asia Summit and other related ASEAN meetings. Media coverage contrasted President Barack Obama’s “no show” with President Xi Jinping’s successful debut in the region. Xi became the first person to address a joint sitting of Indonesia’s parliament, and also paid a state visit to Malaysia.

Much of the media coverage and commentary by analysts rightly stressed Xi’s major economic initiatives, including the establishment of an Asian infrastructure development bank and a new 100 billion yuan ($US16.3 billion) currency swap agreement between the Chinese and Indonesian central banks.

Little notice was given to Beijing's defense and security agenda, however. For example, in Xi’s address to the Indonesian parliament on October 3, he proposed a Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation between China and ASEAN. According to a commentary by Ruan Zongze, the deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, in an article published last week, the purpose of the treaty was “to cement peaceful relations with ASEAN countries…and to eliminate any ASEAN countries’ misgivings about China.”

Xi met with his counterparts, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, and secured their agreement to raise bilateral relations to comprehensive strategic partnerships. Each statement on comprehensive strategic partnership included a clause on defense and security cooperation.

For example, when Xi and Yudhoyono met on October 2, they agreed “to strengthen security communication and coordination through defense consultations and navy dialogues…” On the following day, the two presidents issued a joint statement on the “Future Direction of China-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.” This document included a commitment to enhance bilateral defense ties by conducting joint military exercises and training, and to cooperate in maritime security, defense industry, and non-traditional security areas – such as consultations on counter-terrorism.

In Malaysia, Xi and Najib met on October 4. During the meeting, Xi put forward a five-point proposal that included making full use “of the defense and security consultation mechanism” as well as aiming to “increase exchanges between the two militaries, deepen law-enforcement cooperation, and join hands in combating terrorism and trans-border crimes.” After their talks they announced that they would raise bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. At a press conference President Xi stated, “We have agreed to strengthen our partnership with naval defense, joint military exercises to combat terrorism, transnational crime and promote security.”

After Xi concluded his state visits, China Premier Li Keqiang attended the 16th China-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Brunei. Li proposed cooperation in seven areas including active discussions on signing a Treaty on Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation and boosting maritime cooperation and exchanges in the field of security. In his remarks to the 8th East Asia Summit the following day, Li promoted a “new security concept” incorporating comprehensive security, common security, cooperative security and candid dialogue.

Defense and security cooperation between China and Malaysia dates back to 2000 with the signing of a long-term cooperative framework agreement. This agreement included a defense clause calling for an exchange program of high-level visits, study tours, seminars, ship visits, and cooperation in training, research and development, and intelligence sharing. In addition, the agreement also called for cooperation between national defense industries to include reciprocal visits, exhibitions, seminars and workshops to explore the possibility of joint or co-production projects.

In September 2005, China and Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation covering personnel exchanges and training as well as an annual security dialogue. Later that year, Malaysia and China raised their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership at a summit meeting in Kuala Lumpur. This agreement included the promotion of information exchanges on non-traditional security issues, consultations in defense and security areas, and military exchanges. Since 2005, Malaysia and China have exchanged visits by defense ministers and hosted goodwill port calls by naval vessels.

The first China-Malaysia defense and security consultation was held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2012. It was co-hosted by the Secretary General of Malaysia’s Defense Ministry and the Deputy Chief of Staff of the People’s Liberation Army. This meeting agreed to continue high-level exchanges and cooperation in training and non-traditional security issues.

China-Indonesian defense cooperation dates to April 2005, when the presidents of China and Indonesia issued a joint declaration in Jakarta on building a strategic partnership. In May 2006, the two sides inaugurated an annual defense and security dialogue. Since then China and Indonesia exchanged visits by their defense ministers and hosted goodwill port calls by naval vessels.

In November 2007, China and Indonesia signed an important defense cooperation agreement that included sharing defense technology and arms sales. It was not until 2010, however, before the two sides adopted a Plan of Action to implement defense cooperation under the strategic partnership agreement. The two sides have since conducted joint exercises between their special forces. Indonesian pilots have trained in China on its Sukhoi flight simulators, and both sides have entered into co-production arrangements of C-705 anti-ship missiles. On October 1 this year, China and Indonesia held their fifth Defense Consultative Forum since 2007.

The raising of China’s relations with Indonesia and Malaysia to comprehensive strategic partnerships signals the importance of their economic relationship and growing interdependence. The defense and security aspects of this new relationship represent more continuity than change. China’s “new security concept” was first broached in 1997. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have proceeded cautiously in developing defense ties with China. This development should be welcomed for the experience it provides China in interacting with regional armed forces. Next year, Indonesia will host a joint naval exercise involving ASEAN members and their dialogue partners.

China’s proposal of Treaty on Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation will have to be studied carefully. The present ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation is open to all external powers who adhere to its tenets. China’s proposed treaty appears exclusivist, aimed at drawing a circle around China and Southeast Asia.

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16 octobre 2013 3 16 /10 /octobre /2013 07:50
NATO’s Mounting Opposition to Turkey’s Chinese Missile System

October 16, 2013 By  Zachary Keck - thediplomat.com

 

NATO member states are strongly opposed to Turkey’s decision to purchase a Chinese-built missile defense system, with one NATO official calling the missile system a “virus,” according to a report in the Turkish newspaper, the Hurriyet Daily News.

“NATO’s own command and control system that ‘mashes’ input from allied networks is far more important than a Chinese air defense system in Turkey,” an unnamed defense attaché from a NATO member state was quoted as saying by Hurriyet Daily News. “There is no place for China within this critical system. We would not wish to see a virus in a complex system.”

An unnamed NATO ambassador in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city was even blunter, telling Hurriyet: “I have no idea why the Turks do not see the simple fact that the alliance’s security threat perception in the next 20 years is based on China. Air and missile defense will be the top defense issue in the foreseeable future, with China being under the magnifier.”

As previously reported, Turkey is likely to purchase the Chinese-built air and missile defense system over competitors from the U.S., EU and Russia. Although many worried that this was a signal that Turkey is “abandoning” the West for China, Aaron Stein, the nonproliferation program manager at the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, told The Diplomat that Turkey’s main rationale for purchasing the Chinese system was Beijing’s willingness to co-produce the systems and transfer technology. Other reports suggest that cost was also a crucial factor in Turkey’s decision.

The Hurriyet article suggests that the main concern among NATO officials with Anakara’s purchase of the HQ-9 missile system is the lack of interoperability. In particular, the NATO officials interviewed expressed concern about integrating the HQ-9 with NATO’s Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) system, which operates on “Mode 5,” a code that enables the system to distinguish between friendly and adversary aircraft.

An unnamed U.S. defense official was quoted in the article as saying: “To make the Chinese system NATO-operable, the Turks would require Mode 5 codes and I see no reason why the [U.S.] National Security Agency should give a nod to this crazy idea.”

This is not the first time U.S. or NATO officials have expressed concern with Turkey’s decision to go with the Chinese missile defense system. Last week, for instance, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Turkey that the system must be compatible with other NATO systems.

“What is important for us is that the system acquired by the individual country … must be able to work and operate with the systems in other countries. I expect that Turkey will also comply with that,” Reuters quoted Rasmussen as saying.

The U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Francis J. Ricciardone, similarly stated, “This is not a NATO system. China is not a member of NATO. This is one of the issues,” the U.S. has with the decision.

Meanwhile, State Department spokeswomen, Jen Psaki, expressed concerns with the fact that the Chinese company involved in the deal has repeatedly been sanctioned by the U.S. for its deals with countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea.

“The main concern here was that the Turkish government was having contract discussions with a U.S.-sanctioned company for a missile defense system that was not operable with NATO systems,” Psaki said.

Turkish officials have said that the deal is not final while largely dismissing all stated concerns.

Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yilmaz has previously said that purchasing the Chinese missile defense system will not harm ties with the U.S. The Hurriyet article quoted Yilmaz as saying that he sees no problems with integrating the system.

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16 octobre 2013 3 16 /10 /octobre /2013 07:35
La capacité de survie des sous-marins nucléaires chinois atteint 90 %

 

15-10-2013 French.china.org.cn

 

Les sous-marins nucléaires chinois peuvent surmonter jusqu'à 90 % des attaques nucléaires et lancer des contre-attaques, a révélé récemment un expert militaire.

 

Les armes jouent un rôle important pour la garde-côtière de tout pays, et les armes d'attaque telles que les sous-marins nucléaires armés de missiles stratégiques peuvent également être utilisées efficacement pour la défense, a déclaré le chercheur de la marine Cao Weidong.

 

Le taux élevé de survie des sous-marins nucléaires chinois signifie qu'ils peuvent riposter contre les agresseurs après avoir fait l'objet d'attaques nucléaires. Cela génère une situation sans issue et dissuade donc les ennemis de lancer de telles attaques.

 

Le littoral de la partie continentale de Chine s'étend sur plus de 18 000 km, et celui des îles continue sur plus de 14 000 km. Tous les lieux d'importance stratégique sont placés sous la protection de la Marine de l'Armée populaire de libération (APL).

 

Les statistiques montrent que le silo de lancement des missiles de croisière basés à terre ne peut surmonter que 5 % des attaques; les armes aéroportées comme les bombardiers stratégiques, que 50 %.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 21:35
How did China get its hands on an Apache?

10/15/2013 Defence IQ Press

 

Has China cloned an AH-64D Apache? Or has it got its hands on the real thing? A photo that surfaced on the China Defence Blog suggests one of the two scenarios must be true.

 

Speculation is mounting that it could be a downed Apache picked up in Iraq, such as in the 2003 attack on Karbala where two U.S. pilots and their rotary wing craft were captured. At the time, US authorities claimed to have destroyed the helicopter in an airstrike the following day. It could either be the actual Apache that was shot down, or it could be the result of an elaborate reverse engineering effort on China’s part to create a perfect copy of the helicopter.

 

Another question is why was it not covered up? Transporting an illicit piece of military hardware like an Apache in broad daylight and within range of anyone with a point-and-shoot camera doesn’t appear to make sound military strategy. It’s led some to claim it may be nothing more than a movie prop, although that seems unlikely given the level of detail clearly on show in the photographs.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 17:35
Chine-Japon : des négociations "secrètes" ont eu lieu au sujet des îles Senkaku

 

TOKYO, 15 oct 2013 marine-oceans.com (AFP)

 

Un haut responsable du gouvernement chinois a effectué une visite secrète au Japon dans le but d'améliorer les relations avec le Japon mises à mal par un différend territorial de longue date, a indiqué mardi l'agence japonaise Jiji Press citant des sources gouvernementales chinoises.

 

Des pourparlers auraient eu lieu début octobre entre ce haut responsable de la division Asie du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères et un haut responsable du ministère japonais des Affaires étrangères, selon ces sources.

 

Un membre du ministère japonais a refusé de commenter cette rencontre, déclarant que "le Japon et la Chine ont toujours eu des échanges de toutes sortes et à tous les niveaux".

 

Les rapports entre Tokyo et Beijing ont été refroidis en septembre 2012 en raison du litige autour des îles Senkaku (sud), contrôlées par le Japon mais réclamées par les Chinois, qui les nomment Diaoyus.

 

Ce conflit territorial en mer de Chine orientale a fait craindre une éventuelle confrontation armée entre les deux puissances asiatiques.

 

Le Premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe a croisé brièvement le président chinois Xi Jinping et lui a serré la main, en marge du sommet Asie-Pacifique de la semaine dernière en Indonésie. Mais la Chine a refusé une rencontre formelle pour cause de conflit territorial.

 

Depuis sa prise de fonction en décembre dernier, Shinzo Abe n'a eu de discussions officielles ni avec Pékin, ni avec Séoul, avec qui Tokyo est également en conflit au sujet d'un archipel contrôlé par la Corée du Sud.

 

Inquiet de la montée en puissance maritime de la Chine (Pékin a mis en service son premier porte-avions fin 2012, le Liaoning), Tokyo a décidé de constituer une force spéciale de 600 hommes et 12 navires pour surveiller et protéger l'archipel des Senkaku.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 12:35
Philippines  : South Korea Becomes Major Ally Against China

October 15, 2013: Strategy Page

 

The government is upgrading its military ties with South Korea. The new agreement implements exchanges of military personnel for familiarization and training. This is also meant to exchange information about how each nations’ troops handle disaster relief and peacekeeping operations. Less publicized were the parts of the new agreement dealing with more detailed planning for cooperation against growing Chinese aggression in the sea areas between China and all its neighbors (particularly the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.) All of these Chinese neighbors are strengthening military alliances with each other and the United States to better deal with the Chinese tactics of gradual but persistent pressure.

 

In addition to the military ties, South Korea is a major trade partner ($7.4 billion a year in goods, services and investments, mostly going into the Philippines) and source of tourists. South Korea has been a growing source of new technology and technical help in many areas. While the cultures of both nations are very different both have long experience with Americans and both have many English speakers. Some 70-80 percent of Filipinos and about ten percent in South Koreans can converse in English. But over a third of South Koreans can understand written English and that has created a lot of Filipinos and South Koreans who know each other via the Internet. Young South Koreans are more interested in learning English and working or vacationing in the Philippines is a good way to improve your English skills. That also explains the growing number of South Koreans who speak English with a Filipino and not an American accent. 

 

The army believes that the MNLF attack on the southern port city of Zamboanga on September 9th was facilitated by the rebels smuggling weapons and ammo into the city for over eight months. Most of this stuff came from the nearby islands of Sulu and Basilan. The government recently filed rebellion charges against 65 MNLF survivors of the fighting in Zamboanga. Most of the accused are in custody and the rest are being sought. In Zamboanga the government believes it will take three months for things to get back to normal in the neighborhoods where the MNLF fighting took place. Over 100,000 people fled their homes and many returned to find lots of damage.

 

October 13, 2013: The 41st round of peace negotiations with MILF ended with unresolved power sharing issues still to be taken care of. The two sides did agree on where to establish buffer zones to protect civilians from any armed clashes between the security forces and MILF gunmen. It was also agreed that recent attacks by Moslem rebel groups BIFF and MNLF would not be held against MILF.

 

October 10, 2013: In the south (city of Zamboanga) troops looking for any remaining MNLF rebels encountered two of them and killed them in a brief gun battle.

 

The United States has come out and backed the Philippines in its call for UN sponsored binding arbitration with China over Chinese claims on parts of the South China Sea that have long been controlled by the Philippines. China has turned down Filipino calls for arbitration but with American support pressure in the UN will be greater, and more embarrassing for China.

 

October 7, 2013: On Basilan troops clashed with Abu Sayyaf Islamic terrorists and killed two of them. The army then chased after the survivors and fired mortars at what they believed was an Abu Sayyaf camp. The MILF said it was one of their camps and called the incident a violation of the cease fire. The army has long accused MILF of secretly cooperating with Abu Sayyaf and believes this is another example.

 

October 4, 2013: Police and soldiers executed a search warrant on the home compound of MNLF leader Nur Misuari, who was believed to be responsible for the September 9 attack on the southern port city of Zamboanga. Misuari was not at home but plenty of documents and other evidence was.

 

October 1, 2013: In the south (Davao Oriental) a NPA landmine wounded five soldiers as the NPA fled from a battle with the troops that left one rebel dead. Troops later found an NPA man who had been wounded and soon later identified him as a college teacher (of physics). 

 

September 30, 2013: The army believes they have killed or captured four of the five MNLF rebel leaders who led several hundred gunmen into the southern port city of Zamboanga on September 9th. The fighting lasted for three weeks.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 12:35
A U.S. Apache attack helicopter appears in China. Did they clone it?

Oct 14 2013 - By David Cenciotti - theaviationist.com

 

Images have surfaced on the Chinese Internet of what seems to be an actual AH-64D Apache or a real-size copy of the world’s most famous attack chopper.

The helicopter, on a truck, seems to be in the process of being moved even if it is at least strange that it is is not hidden below a protective covering, as happened for other mysterious choppers spotted on the move in China.

It’s not easy to guess how Beijing put their hands on the helicopter. It could be one of the U.S. Army Apaches downed or crash landed in Iraq, that was later fixed and exported in China.

 

Read more

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 11:35
Think Tank: Taiwan - the missing piece in the rebalance puzzle

 

15 October 2013 By Alexander Neill – Pacific Sentinel

 

In the wake of the US President’s decision to pull out of any engagements in Asia surrounding the APEC summit in Bali last week, critics of the US rebalance to Asia policy have exploited his absence as evidence of US regional strategic bluster.

 

For the most part, the Chinese media avoided the temptation of hubris, taking a more conciliatory tone and played up the central role of China’s regional economic engagement at the summit. Chinese leaders will have recalled the abrupt departure by Hu Jintao from the G8 summit in Italy in 2009 as insurrection broke out in troubled Xinjiang.

 

The US has been very quick off the mark with rebuttals, proclaiming the Asia pivot to be firmly rooted in Washington DC’s foreign policy. Standing in for the President, Secretary of State Kerry’s presence in Bali was a notable exception to his predisposition for the quagmire in the Middle East, viewed by many as another counterweight to the Asia pivot.

 

World attention in Bali has focused on the windfall presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping, allowing China to steal centre stage. Xi has made a whirlwind circuit through the region on a state visit to Jakarta, then on to Kuala Lumpur before returning to Indonesia for the APEC summit.

 

China is now Indonesia’s second largest trading partner, with bilateral trade amounting to US$66 billion in 2012. During the state visit, both countries agreed to increase bilateral trade by a further $15 billion by 2015.

 

In Malaysia, China agreed a five-year plan to boost bilateral trade to US$160 billion by 2017. With these kinds of figures thrown into the mix of China’s increasingly dexterous Southeast Asian diplomacy, it’s difficult to imagine how the US couldn’t have been upstaged at Bali. But the US, facing the looming shadow of debt default as the shutdown continues, has put on a brave face, confident that a final deal on the Trans Pacific Partnership can be achieved by year end.

 

Another casualty of the paralysis in Washington is its stake in Taiwan. While acrimony between China and Japan lingered beneath the veneer of economic engagement at the summit, the cross-strait relationship between Taiwan and China appeared to demonstrate new momentum. Heralded as a milestone meeting, Xi Jinping’s discussions with Vincent Siew, Taiwan’s senior envoy and former Vice President, added a new twist to the debate over China’s strategic intent in the Asia–Pacific.

 

Xi called for an end to institutionalised procrastination over Taiwan’s reunification with China, describing Taiwan and China as ‘one family’. He insisted that the time is right for political discussions on the cross-strait relationship, without the conditional tones which infused statements on the same issue under Hu Jintao’s leadership.

 

Aside from the showcase handshake between Siew and Xi, another sign of acceleration in the thaw in cross-strait relations was a meeting between the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the Taiwanese executive body tasked with managing relations with the People’s Republic, and the head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. Both bodies have served as rubber stamp outfits over the years, while the real business has been conducted behind closed doors within the Kuomintang-Communist Party ‘party-to-party’ framework, initiated by Hu Jintao and Lien Chan in 2005 and fast-tracked after the KMT regained power in 2008. At the Bali meeting, both bodies formally referred to their respective official designations. It’s rumoured that significant progress may have been achieved in the establishment of representative offices in Beijing and Taipei.

 

China’s economic integration of Taiwan in recent years is a good example of how Beijing is courting ASEAN member states. With China’s burgeoning economic clout in the neighbourhood, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and ASEAN member states are beginning to hedge their approaches to the US. Some of these approaches seem ad hoc at best, others more developed into what resembles coherent strategy.

 

A confidant of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and former National Security Secretary General, Su Chi best sums up the predicament of US friends and allies on China’s littoral as: ‘the tail wagging two dogs’. The biggest question mark is whether or not Xi Jinping will sacrifice the hitherto sacrosanct cross-strait status quo in order to pursue the reunification agenda with as much vigour as China’s other core concerns.

 

The lingering fissure in the integrity of the motherland is apparently of such pressing concern for the Chinese communist party that an additional tenth dash recently appeared off Taiwan on Chinese maps showing China’s maritime territorial demarcation. Crucial to any political progress across the strait will be military de-escalation and the offer by both sides of military confidence building measures. Former Premier Wen Jiabao had hinted in 2010 at de-targeting the PLA’s missiles pointed at Taiwan but it appears the opposite has happened. The PLA’s strategic rocket force known as the second artillery corps has now deployed its new anti-ship ballistic missiles across the strait.

 

Taiwan is still China’s greatest concern, and the issue has driven the modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army for the last decade. A few years ago, defence analysts in the US warned that the military balance across the strait was tipping in favour of the PLA (PDF). According to Taiwan’s 2013 National Defense Report released on 8 September, China will be able to successfully invade Taiwan by 2020. And as Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi may also feel emboldened by the decline in Taiwan’s defence spending.

 

Traditionally, Taiwan has kept the US in the loop on important junctures in cross-strait relations and Washington has been careful not to engage with Beijing on such issues over the head of Taipei. Post shutdown, as the White House resuscitates its rebalance to Asia, Congress would be well advised to review its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act.

 

Alexander Neill is a Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, at the International Institute for Strategic Studies-Asia, Singapore

 

This article first appeared on the ASPI "The Strategist" Blog

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