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14 octobre 2013 1 14 /10 /octobre /2013 12:35
Quelles armes antisatellites sont fabriquées en Chine ?

13.10.2013, Vassili Kachine -  La Voix de la Russie

 

Les États-Unis considèrent que trois satellites chinois qui ont été lancés en orbite cet été, font partie du programme de développement de l’armement antisatellite. Cette information a été rapportée par le rédacteur en chef du service information site Internet Washington Free Beacon Bill Gertz, célèbre pour ses relations dans le gouvernement et les agences de renseignement américain. Selon certains experts, la Chine pourrait en effet avoir à sa disposition des satellites tueurs datant d’époque soviétique.

 

Trois satellites, SY-7, CX-3 et SJ-15 ont été lancés par une seule fusée-porteuse CZ-4C. Les premières informations sur les manœuvres en orbite ont été diffusées par les agences en août. Ces satellites effectuaient des manœuvres d’approche, et l'un d'eux, équipé par bras robotisé, a réalisé a attaqué un autre satellite.

 

Selon les sources officielles, les lancements des satellites avaient un but scientifique, notamment liées à l’entretien technique des engins spatiaux. Les tests du bras robotisé correspondent tout à fait à cette description. Un instrument de ce type se trouvait notamment à bord des vaisseaux spatiaux américains Space Shuttle. Il a été utilisé notamment pour l’entretien et le retour des satellites sur Terre, même si ce genre de systèmes est réputé pour être peu fiable et très coûteux. La technologie de rapprochement peut certes avoir un but militaire. En URSS, on développait ce genre de « satellites-chasseurs » qu’on utilisait pour le rapprochement avec des appareils spatiaux de l’ennemi et leur destruction avec l’explosion. A en juger par le rapprochement des satellites, notamment avec un satellite lancé en 2005, les Chinois ont brillamment réussi leur mission.

 

Ainsi, outre les systèmes antisatellites construits sur la base des missiles DF-21 et éventuellement DF-31, qui, en décollant de la Terre, visent les appareils satellites de l’ennemi avec une ogive cinétique, la Chine peut disposer de satellites-tueurs du modèle soviétique. Ces satellites peuvent être mis en orbite en cas de tensions militaires et y rester pendant longtemps en attendant l’ordre de leur d’utilisation. En théorie, ces systèmes peuvent viser des cibles à des altitudes plus élevées que les complexes, construits sur la base des missiles balistiques.

 

Dans le même temps, la destruction d'un satellite à l'aide des armes antisatellites peut être facilement prouvée et du point de vue juridique, ces actions sont considérées comme un acte de guerre. La Chine pourrait donc envisager des options moins dures pour rendre les satellites de l’ennemi inefficaces, notamment en perturbant leur fonctionnement, sans les détruire. Capturer le satellite de l’ennemi à l’aide d’un manipulateur, le désorienter et détruire certains de ses fonctionnalités sont des moyens moins radicaux et souvent plus appropriés. Dans certains de ces cas, l'ennemi pourra même ne pas se rendre compte que le satellite a été attaqué.

 

Pour la Chine, les armes anti- satellites sont un moyen de réponse asymétrique pour contrer la suprématie technique américaine. Le concept chinois de l'exploitation des réseaux électroniques implique la conduite simultanée d’une guerre électronique, mais aussi des attaques contre les systèmes de communication, de l'intelligence et du contrôle, tout comme des attaques dans les réseaux informatiques. Ce concept joue un rôle central dans les différents scénarios de conflits envisagés par Pékin. Une attention toute particulière est portée au brouillage électronique et la destruction des satellites ennemis, des procédés qui sont naturels et inévitables dans de telles conditions. On peut en conclure que Chine possède le programme le plus puissant de construction d’armes antisatellites dans le monde.

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9 octobre 2013 3 09 /10 /octobre /2013 11:35
Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

08/10/2013 Chine Nouvelle (Xinhua) - Xu Yongchun

 

La porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères Hua Chunying a répondu mardi aux préoccupations de l'OTAN et des Etats-Unis concernant la décision de la Turquie de co-produire un système de défense antimissile avec une société chinoise, qualifiant de "normal" cet accord militaire entre la Chine et la Turquie.

 

Le 26 septembre, le ministre turc de la Défense Ismet Yilmaz a annoncé la décision de la Turquie d'accorder ce contrat à la société China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp.

 

Le secrétaire général de l'OTAN Anders Fogh Rasmussen a indiqué lundi qu'il espérait que la Turquie choisirait un système compatible avec ceux de ses alliés.

 

Les Etats-Unis ont exprimé à la Turquie leurs sérieuses préoccupations, avertissant le pays que le système de défense antimissile chinois ne fonctionnerait pas avec le système de l'OTAN.

 

La porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères Hua Chunying a souligné que les préoccupations des pays occidentaux étaient déraisonnables et inutiles.

 

Elle a espéré que les parties concernées considéreraient cet accord militaire entre la Chine et la Turquie d'un point de vue objectif et ne politiseraient pas la question de la concurrence commerciale.

 

Le gouvernement chinois a toujours adopté une attitude prudente et responsable à l'égard de la coopération militaire avec d'autres pays, a-t-elle ajouté.

 

La Chine a toujours strictement respecté les principes consistant à ne pas compromettre la paix et la stabilité régionales et mondiales, à ne pas s'ingérer dans les affaires intérieures des autres pays, et a strictement rempli ses obligations internationales, a souligné Mme Hua.

 

Le système de défense anti-aérienne chinois FD-2000 l'a emporté sur le système américain Patriot, le système russe S-400 Triumph et le système franco-italien Eurosan Samp-T, selon les rapports des médias.

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2 octobre 2013 3 02 /10 /octobre /2013 17:30
Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Chinese S-300 (HongQi 9 [HQ-9]) launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade, 2009. photo Jian Kang

Oct. 2, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

ANKARA — Turkey on Wednesday defended its decision to enter talks with China to acquire its first long-range anti-missile system, in spite of protests from its ally Washington.

 

It also made clear that no deal had yet been finalised.

 

"The Chinese gave us the best price," Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz told Vatan newspaper, explaining that the system's Chinese manufacturer had agreed to a co-production deal with Turkey.

 

Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu said talks were to begin with the Chinese company, but made it clear that the selection process was still ongoing.

 

"The process has not yet been finalised," he said.

 

In an official statement last week, Turkey said it has "decided to begin talks with the CPMIEC company of the People's Republic of China for the joint production of the systems and its missiles in Turkey".

 

China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp (CPMIEC) beat out competition from a US partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Russia's Rosoboronexport, and the Italian-French consortium Eurosamrs in the tender.

 

The original contract was worth a reported $4 billion dollars, but the Chinese bid reportedly came in at a much lower $3 billion according to Turkish media.

 

The United States reacted with alarm to news that Ankara had chosen the Chinese firm, slapped with US sanctions for delivering arms to Iran and Syria, to build the air defence and anti-missile system.

 

"We had asked for joint production and a technology transfer," the Turkish minister said. "If other countries cannot guarantee us that, then we will turn to ones that can."

 

NATO member Turkey is a key regional ally to the United States, and currently has US-built Patriot missile systems deployed on its border to deter incoming attacks from Syria.

 

Turkey wants to build its own long-range air defence and anti-missile architecture to counter both enemy aircraft and missiles.

 

NATO has also raised concerns over possible compatibility issues between the Chinese-made system and others used within the alliance.

 

Yilmaz dismissed its concerns, saying: "There is no problem on that front."

 

The foreign ministry confirmed that Turkey had been in talks with NATO over the past few days, with Gumrukcu saying that the exchange of views with NATO allies was "only natural."

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29 septembre 2013 7 29 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
China Advanced Fighter Concept Model Makes Debut at Beijing Aviation Expo

September 27th, 2013 By Chinese Government News - defencetalk.com

 

An advanced fighter concept (AFC) model launched by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) made its debut at the 15th Beijing Aviation Exhibition unveiled yesterday at the China National Convention Center in Beijing.

 

In the series of fighters developed by AVIC, the AFC model, which made its debut at the Beijing Aviation Exhibition, is a multi-purpose advanced fighter designed to meet the demand of this kind of fighter in the future international arms trading, according to sources.

 

The fighter adopts the design of single seat, double engines, twin vertical tails and normal layout with such features as high stealth performance, low cost, large bomb load, large combat radius and perfect integration of systems.

 

In terms of the comprehensive combat effectiveness, China’s advanced fighter is superior to the 3.5-generation fighter and the modified third-generation fighter, basically equivalent to the typical fourth-generation fighters.

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27 septembre 2013 5 27 /09 /septembre /2013 16:35
La Chine défend ses entraînements militaires dans le Pacifique Ouest

2013-09-26 xinhua

 

La Chine a indiqué jeudi que l'entraînement de ses navires et jets militaires dans le Pacifique Ouest constituait une mission de routine.

 

"L'entraînement de navires et d'avions militaires chinois dans le Pacifique Ouest relève de la routine et est en conforme avec les lois et pratiques internationales", a indiqué jeudi le porte-parole du ministère de la Défense Geng Yansheng lors d'une conférence de presse régulière.

 

Les commentaires de M. Geng interviennent après que le ministère japonais de la Défense a annoncé de nouveaux équipements de surveillance sur Iwo Jima, île située à 1.200 km au sud de Tokyo, pour collecter des informations concernant les activités de la Chine dans la Pacifique.

 

"Personne ne doit réagir de façon disproportionnée aux agissements légitimes de l'armée chinoise. Seuls ceux qui ont des motifs cachés ont des réactions disproportionnées" a noté M. Geng.

 

Quant aux commentaires des responsables japonais de la défense sur le développement des forces d'auto-défense, M. Geng a exhorté la communauté internationale à rester vigilante face aux décisions du Japon de dévier de la paix et du développement, de défier l'ordre international de l'après-guerre, d'agrandir son armée et de montrer sa force.

 

A propos des commentaires du Japon concernant les drones chinois, M. Geng a indiqué que les avions militaires chinois n'empiètent jamais l'espace aérien des autres pays. "La Chine n'autorise pas non plus les avions d'autres pays à empiéter sur son espace aérien", a déclaré le porte-parole.

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27 septembre 2013 5 27 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Mission réussie pour le premier porte-avions chinois

26 septembre 2013 Par Lélia de Matharel - Usinenouvelle.com

 

Le 21 septembre 2013, le premier porte avion chinois baptisé Liaoning est rentré au port de Quingdao, situé dans la province de Shandong. Il a réalisé sa plus longue mission en mer depuis sa mise en service en septembre 2012. Plusieurs tests de décollages et d’atterrissages ont été effectués avec succès sur le navire.

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 18:35
Type 054A Frigate Liuzhou (573) (NATO codename Jiangkai II)

Type 054A Frigate Liuzhou (573) (NATO codename Jiangkai II)

26/09/2013 Sources EMA

 

Du 20 au 22 septembre 2013, deux bâtiments de la marine chinoise : le destroyer Lanzhou et la frégate de derrière génération Liuzhou ont fait escale à Papeete avant de continuer leur route vers le Chili, l’Argentine puis le Brésil.

 

Cette escale fait suite à celle du navire école chinois Zheng He qui s’était rendu en Polynésie française en août 2012. Ces deux navires et leurs 517 marins constituent la Task Force 170, commandée par le vice-amiral Xiaoyan Li, chef d’état-major adjoint de la flotte chinoise de mer méridionale.

Polynésie Française : escale de deux bâtiments de la marine chinoise

Le vice-amiral Li a été reçu par le contre-amiral Cullerre, commandant supérieur des forces armées en Polynésie française (COMSUP FAPF) et commandant la zone maritime du Pacifique (ALPACI). Cet entretien a permis de rappeler la forte coopération militaire entre la Chine et la France dans le domaine naval, plus particulièrement dans la lutte contre la piraterie en océan Indien.  En avril dernier, une Task Force chinoise de trois navires, déjà commandée par le vice-amiral Li, avait ainsi accosté à Toulon, en marge de son déploiement en océan Indien.

 

Polynésie Française : escale de deux bâtiments de la marine chinoise

La délégation chinoise a également rappelé l’importance de l’année 2014 avec la célébration du cinquantenaire des relations diplomatiques entre la France et la République populaire de Chine. Cet anniversaire devrait se concrétiser à travers des escales et des opportunités d’activités navales franco-chinoises.

 

L’importance stratégique du dispositif des forces prépositionnées a été confirmé par le nouveau Livre blanc qui rappelle l’importance des missions de souveraineté sur l’ensemble du territoire national, des missions au profit de populations civiles notamment en cas de catastrophe naturelle, et des missions de lutte contre la piraterie et les trafics illégaux. Dans ce cadre, les Forces armées en Polynésie française (FAPF) constituent un dispositif aéromaritime de premier plan sur le théâtre « Pacifique », en coordination avec les Forces armées de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (FANC).

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Will Asian Drones Make Conflict More or Less Likely?

September 26, 2013 By  James R. Holmes - The Naval Diplomat

 

Those intellectual swashbucklers from the Center for a New American Security are at it again, this time with an essay over at Foreign Policy detailing the dangers likely to accompany drone operations in Asia. Precipitating their commentary was China's first deployment of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Senkaku Islands. The overflight took place earlier this month, timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Tokyo's nationalization of the archipelago. (So much for Chinese subtlety.) This, they conclude, launches Asia into a brave new world where unmanned aircraft could escalate minor encounters into major conflagrations. Read the whole thing.

 

I have few quibbles about the CNAS crew's appraisal of the problem. Asia and the international community are indeed entering into undiscovered territory as UAVs of various sizes, shapes, and purposes proliferate in Asian skies. But if I had to comment — and you know I do — here are some rambling thoughts I might add.

 

First, the Clausewitzian formula with which I endlessly torment Naval Diplomat readers — that the value a competitor places on its political goals determines how much effort it puts into obtaining those goals — has ominous overtones in Asia. Effort is a multiple of two factors. One, there's "magnitude," meaning the rate at which a competitor expends resources on behalf of its political objectives. Then, there’s "duration," or how long that rate of expenditure must be sustained to attain the objectives. Multiply the rate at which you expend lives, treasure, and hardware by the total amount of time you expend these resources, and bingo — the result is the total effort spent.

 

How do UAVs figure in? Drones are cheap. And since they carry no pilots, they're expendable by contrast with manned tactical aircraft. The magnitude of any effort harnessing UAVs appears small as a consequence. The Clausewitzian calculus suggests that such a low-cost, low-risk endeavor can go on more or less forever, even if it commands only middling importance for policymakers. For an adversary, similarly, the psychological barrier against bringing down an intruding UAV may be lower than that against bringing down a conventional aircraft. No enemy airmen will have perished. How this dynamic would play out between two militaries that dispatch combat-capable UAVs into contested airspace remains to be seen. Would this be an automated war-by-proxy? What happens when two Skynets meet?

 

Second, there's an asymmetry to how competitors may view drone operations. What looks like routine military reconnaissance to the side operating UAVs may look like aggression to an antagonist if a flight passes over the wrong place on the map. If so, innocuous-seeming activities could appear to menace one's sovereignty or homeland — top priorities for any government. The value of the object of self-protection would spike — warranting the utmost defensive measures and, perhaps, escalating a minor encounter out of all proportion to the stakes.

 

Third, many of the pixels spent on the strategic setting in Asia, mine included, describe the plight of surface forces on the high seas or in port. The ocean's surface is a menacing place, whether you're sitting pretty in an Aegis destroyer or lumbering along in a logistics ship or amphibious transport. You're visible to enemy sensors and thus vulnerable to enemy weaponry. But radically different threat environments are coming into being along the z-axis, below and above the surface. Submarines lurk beneath the waves in increasing numbers, fielded by more and more navies. Detecting, targeting, and sinking this elusive foe is an undertaking of immense scope and complexity.

 

Drones pose the opposite problem from submarine proliferation. Rather than striking unseen, they're relatively straightforward to detect. Hence the Sino-Japanese incident over the Senkakus. But what do you do once you've detected an unmanned aircraft in airspace you claim? Send out combat planes to escort it away? Its operators may say no. In effect they dare you to escalate. You can either lodge a diplomatic protest, which could prove ineffectual, or act forcefully to remove the threat. If the side dispatching the UAV is stronger militarily, you will have been maneuvered into a conflict in which you're outmatched. Your prospects appear grim.

 

For Beijing, the logic of UAV operations resembles the logic of "small-stick diplomacy." The unmanned aircraft is like a fishing vessel exercising its right to ply its trade in sovereign waters, or an unarmed maritime enforcement ship patrolling those waters. It appears inoffensive, yet it's there. Refrain from acting, and you've let an opponent establish a presence — a stepping stone to control — on disputed ground. Act, and you justify countermeasures from a stronger adversary that can portray itself as the aggrieved party.

 

A tough problem, aloft as at sea. Understanding is the first step toward wisdom — and effective countermeasures.

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Le général Wang Guanzhong, chef adjoint de l’État-major général de l’Armée populaire de libération (APL) lors d’une rencontre en avril 2013 (DoD)

Le général Wang Guanzhong, chef adjoint de l’État-major général de l’Armée populaire de libération (APL) lors d’une rencontre en avril 2013 (DoD)

26/09/2013 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca

 

Des dirigeants militaires chinois et français ont convenu mardi que les forces armées de Chine et de France devraient davantage renforcer leurs échanges et coopération, rapporte l’agence Chines-Nouvelles.

 

La Chine et la France sont toutes deux membres permanents du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU et jouent des rôles importants dans les affaires régionales et internationales, a indiqué le général Wang Guanzhong, chef adjoint de l’État-major général de l’Armée populaire de libération (APL), alors qu’il a rencontré mardi Édouard Guillaud, chef d’état-major des armées françaises, selon ce que rapporte l’agence officielle chinoise.

 

Le chef d’État-major a déclaré que la Chine est prête à travailler de concert avec la France pour renforcer davantage les communications militaires, dialogues stratégiques et coopération de haut niveau, basés sur le respect et la confiance mutuels, afin de constamment faire de nouvelles contributions au partenariat stratégique global entre les deux pays, rapporte Chine Nouvelles.

 

L’amiral Guillaud pour sa part a fait remarquer que le Dialogue stratégique de la défense entre la France et la Chine, tenu du 22 au 24 septembre à Paris, était très important pour que les deux parties améliorent leur confiance mutuelle stratégique, approfondissent leur compréhension réciproque et promeuvent leur coopération militaire.

 

La France est satisfaite du développement des relations entre les forces armées des deux pays et a la volonté de renforcer davantage la coopération avec la partie chinoise, a dit le chef d’État-major français.

 

Le douzième dialogue stratégique entre les ministères de la Défense des deux pays s’est concentré sur le développement des liens militaires bilatéraux, ainsi que sur des questions régionales et internationales de préoccupation commune.

 

Par ailleurs, le ministre français des Affaires étrangères, lorsqu’il s’était rendu à Pékin le dimanche 15 septembre pour évoquer la situation en Syrie avec son homologue Wang Yi, avait pour sa part déclaré que la «relation bilatérale franco-chinoise est tout à fait excellente» et avait précisé que son homologue et lui avaient «parlé en particulier de ce qui va se passer l’année prochaine et qui sera une grande année franco-chinoise avec le cinquantième anniversaire de la reconnaissance de la Chine par la France du général de Gaulle», ainsi que des échanges sur le plan électro nucléaire, et sur le plan aéronautique notamment».

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
China bans weaponry-related exports to North Korea

September 25th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

China has banned exports to North Korea of technologies and goods that could be used to make missiles and nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, the government said, as it moves to comply with UN resolutions.

 

Beijing, the North’s sole major ally and economic lifeline, has publicly supported sanctions against Pyongyang in the past, though it has come in for criticism from the US and other countries for alleged lax enforcement.

 

China, which has tended to prioritise regional stability in its relations with the North, regularly calls for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. But it has been reluctant to push North Korea too hard over fears it could result in a messy collapse of the regime.

 

Since North Korea conducted its third underground nuclear test in February, however, China has taken a harder stance, with President Xi Jinping telling an international forum in April there should be no tolerance for those who foster “chaos”, remarks widely interpreted at the time as a criticism of North Korea.

 

The prohibition covers items including components for nuclear explosion devices, certain rocket systems and toxic gas monitoring and testing systems, according to a 236-page list released by the Ministry of Commerce and three other government agencies on Monday.

 

“(We) are prohibiting exports of the listed dual-use goods and technologies regarding weapons of mass destruction and their means of conveyance to North Korea according to China’s Foreign Trade Law and in order to execute relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council,” they said in a separate statement.

 

“Dual-use goods and technologies” refer to nuclear, chemical and biological as well as missile-related goods and technologies that can be used for both civilian and military purposes.

 

The statement also said that the ban took effect from the time it was announced, which was Monday.

 

Beijing cooperates with Washington in its attempts to forge a diplomatic solution on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme and has hosted numerous sessions of a six-nation forum aimed at convincing Pyongyang to abandon it.

 

The North has said for years it wants denuclearisation of the whole Korean peninsula and that it is developing an atomic arsenal to protect itself from the US military, which occasionally sends nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons to South Korea, Washington’s ally, for drills.

 

In February the North carried out its third underground nuclear test in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, sending tensions soaring and raising fears of possible conflict. It also launched a rocket in December that Washington said was a disguised ballistic missile test.

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25 septembre 2013 3 25 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
La Chine bannit les exportations de matériels nucléaire militaires vers la Corée du Nord

25 septembre 2013 Par RFI

 

La Chine n’est plus un allié indéfectible de la Corée du Nord. Pékin a annoncé mardi 24 septembre qu’elle bannissait les exportations pouvant moderniser l’armement de Pyongyang. Pour la Chine, il ne s’agit pas de punir son voisin mais d’aller vers la dénucléarisation de la péninsule. Des photos satellites ont récemment montré que la Corée du Nord progressait dans son programme nucléaire.

 

Avec notre correspondante à Shanghai, Delphine Sureau

 

Qu’il s’agisse de matériels ou de technologies, plus rien - ou presque - ne doit passer la frontière sino-coréenne. Le ministère chinois du Commerce publie une liste de 236 pages des articles qu’il est désormais interdit d’exporter vers la Corée du Nord, comme des systèmes de fusées ou des détonateurs nucléaires.

Selon l’administration chinoise, cette mesure n’est que la mise en œuvre des résolutions du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, qui impose à la Corée du Nord un embargo sur les armes.

 

A (RE)LIRE : La Corée du Nord a-t-elle franchi un pas décisif avec ce troisième essai nucléaire ?

 

Une photo satellite inquiétante

Pékin, souvent accusée de violer cette interdiction, concrétise un retournement amorcé en mars dernier. La Chine avait alors voté le renforcement des restrictions à l’encontre de son voisin. Elle a aussi donné son feu vert à de nouvelles sanctions lors du troisième essai nucléaire nord-coréen en février dernier.

Pékin assure pourtant qu’il ne s’agit pas de punir Pyongyang, mais plutôt d’accélérer la dénucléarisation du pays. Une photo satellite prise le 31 août inquiète : elle laisse penser que la Corée du Nord a peut-être relancé un vieux réacteur produisant du plutonium.

 

A (RE)LIRE : Pyongyang poursuit activement son programme nucléaire

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
China Says Completes Development of New SSN

September 23, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: People's Daily Online; published September 22, 2013)

 

Development of China's Fourth-Generation Nuclear Submarine Completed

 

At the recent 2013 Four Northeastern Provinces Cooperation Leaders' Conference held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, Tan Zuojun, vice governor of Liaoning Province and former general manager of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, revealed that development of China's fourth-generation nuclear submarines and other high-tech weapons and items of equipment in the Northeastern Provinces of China had been completed. The news attracted considerable attention.

 

The fourth generation nuclear submarine features high performance and low noise

 

Military expert Du Wenlong pointed out that the main characteristic of the fourth generation nuclear submarine would be its high performance. Compared with earlier submarines, modern attack submarines differ significantly in offensive power, possessing both anti-submarine capabilities and also strong potential for anti-ship action and attacks on land-based targets.

 

He pointed out that the fourth generation nuclear submarines of the United States and Russia already have these capabilities; China's fourth-generation nuclear submarines too will be equipped with the appropriate torpedoes, along with missiles suitable for use against other sea-going or land-based targets.

 

In addition, the Chinese submarine will have low noise output, a key indicator for measuring a modern nuclear submarine's underwater survival capacity, as well as its ability to remain hidden during maneuvers, or undetected while launching an attack. He pointed out that the fourth-generation nuclear submarine will possess effective noise damping features, such as a quieter nuclear power plant with less vibration, and a more advanced hull muffler system, so that it will be difficult to detect even if within range of enemy sonar.

 

On the question when the fourth-generation nuclear submarine will enter service, Du Wenlong said that completion of development and completion of construction are two different phases - the cycle from completion of development to manufacturing, and then to fitting out and launch, can be very long, perhaps several years. Progress is determined by two factors: one is technical indicators, and the other is strategic need.

 

A significant enhancement of nuclear counterattack capability

 

Analysts believe that continual development of attack submarines and strategic nuclear submarines at times of peace, adding better performance and greater combat ability, can enhance strategic deterrence capability. China's strategic nuclear forces are weapons to deter third parties from becoming involved in local conflicts. China firmly adheres to the principle of non-first use of nuclear weapons, but the existence of strategic nuclear submarines will give China a stronger voice and more room for maneuver in the case of any crisis.

 

In addition, Song Xiaojun points out that the United States, Russia, Britain and France all possess modern strategic nuclear submarines as a symbol of their status as 'Great Powers'; it is natural that China should be unwilling to lag behind.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
photo Symantec

photo Symantec

September 23, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Over the last decade Internet security firms (especially Kaspersky Labs 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. The latest group to be identified is from China and has been called Hidden Lynx. This group appears to contain 50-100 hackers (as identified by their coding style) and is believed to be largely responsible for a large scale espionage campaign (“Operation Aurora) in 2010 and is still active.

 

The security firms also identify and describe major malware (software created by hackers for penetrating and stealing from target systems. Earlier this year Kaspersky Labs discovered of 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.

 

South Korea has been subjected to a growing number of Cyber War attacks over the last few years, some of them quite damaging. In the last year South Korean security researchers concluded that nearly all these attacks were the work of one group of 10-50 people called DarkSeoul. Given the extent of the attacks, the amount of work required to carry them out, and the lack of an economic component (no money was being stolen) it appeared to be the work of a national government. That coincides with earlier conclusions that North Korean, not Chinese, hackers were definitely responsible for several attacks on South Korean networks. The most compelling bit of evidence came from an incident where a North Korean hacker’s error briefly made it possible to trace back to where he was operating from. The location was in the North Korean capital at an IP address belonging to the North Korean government. Actually, very few North Korean IP addresses belong to private individuals and fewer still have access to anything outside North Korea.

 

Details of DarkSeoul were uncovered using pattern analysis of the hacker code left behind in damaged networks. This is a common technique for discovering who is behind an attack. There were patterns indicating the work of individual programmers and indications that there was only one organization involved in nearly all the attacks conducted since 2009. There was a lot of work involved in building all the software and assembling the resources (hacked South Korean PCs as well as hardware and network time required by the DarkSeoul team), and all this had to be paid for by someone. The likely culprit was North Korea, which has threatened Cyber War attacks but not taken credit for them. This is typical of most North Korean attacks, both conventional and now over the Internet.

 

Long believed to be nonexistent, North Korean cyberwarriors apparently do exist and are not the creation of South Korean intelligence agencies trying to obtain more money to upgrade government Information War defenses. North Korea has had personnel working on Internet issues for over 20 years, and their Mirim College program trained over a thousand Internet engineers and hackers. North Korea has a unit devoted to Internet based warfare and this unit is increasingly active.

 

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 year 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.

 

The most recent example of the continued effectiveness of spear fishing can be seen in the repeated use of spear fishing by a group of Syrian hackers, calling themselves the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). This group is loyal to the beleaguered Assad dictatorship in Syria. The SEA has been using spear fishing to hack into media sites. Despite most media companies having in place software and personnel rules to block spear fishing attacks, there are so many email accounts to attack and you only have to get one victim to respond for the SEA to get in (using the login data from the compromised account). The automated defenses are supposed to block the actions of the hacker software that is triggered when the victim clicks on the email attachment, but hackers keep finding exploitable vulnerabilities to the defenses and these make the defenses vulnerable, at least until the vulnerability is detected and patched.

 

China has been a major user of spear fishing and apparently the Chinese government and independent Chinese hackers have been a major force in coming up with new spear fishing payloads. The methods, and source of many spear fishing attacks, have been traced back to China. In 2010 Internet security researchers discovered a China-based espionage group, called the Shadow Network, which had hacked into PCs used by military and civilian personnel working for the Indian armed forces and made off with huge quantities of data. Examination of the viruses and related bits of computer code indicated that most of this stuff was created by Chinese speaking programmers, and all movement of command and stolen data led back to servers in China. Since China is an ally of the Assad government, the SEA has access to the best spear fishing tools. The Shadow Network had also hacked into PCs used by military and civilian personnel working for the Indian armed forces, and made off with huge quantities of data. This was done via Internet based attacks against specific military and government officials via "spear fishing" (or "phishing").

 

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.

 

It's also 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 seen recently when one 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 leave nothing behind but hints that can be teased out of heavy use of data mining and pattern analysis.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Surface Forces : The Chinese Burke Goes To Sea

September September 22, 2013: Strategy Page

 

The first of the Chinese Type 052D destroyers has been recently seen on sea trials in the East China Sea. This new destroyer design appears very similar to the American Aegis equipped destroyers (especially the Burke Class). Three versions of the Type 052 destroyer has, in about a decade, advanced Chinese destroyer design considerably and China now has ships similar in capabilities to the 8,300 ton American Arleigh Burke class destroyers. This is currently the principal American destroyer. The Burke design is the culmination of over half a century of World War II and Cold War destroyer design experience. Even after the Burke was designed, in the 1980s, the design evolved. The first Burkes were 8,300 ton ships, while the latest ones, laden with more gear, and smaller crews, are 10,000 ton ships (what heavy cruisers weighed in World War II). With a top speed of nearly 50 kilometers an hour, their main armament is 90 vertical launch tubes flush with the deck, that can contain anti-aircraft, anti-ship, anti-missile or cruise missiles. There is also a 127mm (5 inch) gun, two 20mm anti-missile autocannon, six torpedo tubes and two helicopters. The Burkes were well thought out, sturdy and they got the job done. They became irreplaceable, and thus this class of warships will last more than half a century. China likes the sound of that is trying to match the Burkes.

 

Over the last decades two Type 052B and two Type 052C destroyers have entered service. These four ships appear to have been part of an effort to develop something similar to the U.S. Burkes. Not only is one 052D at sea, but three more are under construction and apparently the plan is to build at least eight. These appear to be 7,500 ton ships armed with 64 American style (hot launch) VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes for anti-aircraft (HQ-9), cruise of anti-ship missiles. There is a single 130mm gun, six torpedo tubes (for submarines), and two 30mm autocannon for anti-missile defense. There is also one helicopter hanger and landing platform.

 

The older (2004) Type 052B Guangzhou Class Destroyers are 5,900 ton general purpose ships (with anti-ship/submarine/aircraft capabilities). Armament consists of 48 HQ-16 anti-aircraft missiles (range 30 kilometers) and 16 C-802 anti-ship missiles (range 120 kilometers). There is a single 100mm gun and two 30mm autocannon for anti-missile defense. There is also one helicopter.

 

Type 052C Lanzhou Class Destroyers are 6,500 ton ships that first appeared in 2005. These ships use cold launch VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes. There are 48 HQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles. There are also eight C-602 anti-ship missiles, in two four-cell launchers. There is a single 100mm gun and two 30mm autocannon for anti-missile defense. There is also one helicopter. These ships are mainly for air defense and use a phased array radar similar to the American Aegis system.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
BK1060 35mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery

BK1060 35mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery

September 22, 2013: Strategy Page

 

China recently revealed a wheeled 8x8 anti-aircraft system equipped with a radar and a single 35mm autocannon. This was very similar to an earlier tracked version that contains the same radar and two 35mm autocannon. In both cases the gun appears to be a licensed copy of the Swiss Oerlikon 35mm autocannon. The tracked version weighs 34 tons while the wheeled version weighs about ten tons less and moves more quickly on roads and requires less maintenance.

 

The 35mm gun is a popular weapon for armored, self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery. Systems of this type were first developed in Europe. These fire 2.5 kg (5.5 pound) shells at the rate of 300 a minute. Max altitude is about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). The 35mm projectiles weigh up to .75 kg (1.65 pounds). This AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) is still useful against helicopters and transports, and jets that are moving slowly over the battlefield.

 

The new Chinese wheeled 35mm system is another version of ZBL 09 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle. Recently China also showed off a version equipped with a small turret containing a 105mm gun, for providing direct fire support for troops. There was already an artillery version, carrying a 122mm howitzer in a larger turret. There are several other versions and the anti-aircraft version came as no surprise.

 

The basic ZBL 09 is a 21 ton vehicle that has a crew of three and carries seven passengers. The vehicle is 8 meters (25 feet) long, three meters (9.2 feet) wide, and 2.1 meters (6.5 feet, to the hull roof) high. It's amphibious and has a top water speed of 8 kilometers an hour. On roads, top speed is 100 kilometers an hour, and max road range on internal fuel is 800 kilometers. The infantry carrier version has a turret with a 30mm autocannon. There are also artillery versions carrying either a 105mm or 122mm howitzer.

 

The ZBL 09 entered service in 2009, and some combat brigades are being equipped with it, to operate somewhat like the American Stryker brigades. China has been developing new wheeled armored vehicles for over a decade. Until recently, these were all based on Russian designs. The ZBL 09, however, borrows more ideas from the West. Still, some of the more recent (five years ago) Russian type designs were interesting and instructive.

 

The Chinese have been observing NATO success in Iraq with the Stryker and LAV wheeled combat vehicles. Chinese designers eventually concluded that the roomier internal layout of Western vehicles did serve a useful purpose, and the ZBL 09, and all the electronics installed in it, are an example of what the Chinese learned. Producing a wheeled anti-aircraft version of the ZBL 09 makes sense for the Chinese as they are creating mobile infantry brigades equipped with the various models of the ZBL 09. These “Stryker” brigades are meant to move quickly over the newly built Chinese highways. Tracked vehicles move more slowly, tear up the roads and the vehicles require a lot more maintenance after long road marches.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:55
Mer de Chine, une logique de guerre ?

22 Septembre 2013 Par Francis Vallat, Président du Cluster maritime français, Président du Réseau européen des clusters maritimes - Marine & Océans

 

Les incidents et conflits larvés qui surviennent régulièrement en mer de Chine où se défient les flottes militaires des pays riverains, Chine, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaisie et Japon, sont extrêmement inquiétants. Plus probablement pour la paix du monde que les crises qui font aujourd'hui la "Une" de nos quotidiens (y compris le drame syrien). Je pense, en particulier, aux manoeuvres autour des îles Paracels et Spratleys qui génèrent des tensions entre le Vietnam et la Chine ou encore à celles concernant les bancs de Sarborough et de Thomas, dans les eaux philippines, qui aiguisent les tensions entre les Philippines et la Chine. A chaque fois l'enjeu y est le contrôle effectif de ces îlots tant sur un plan stratégique que pour les ressources minéralières ou halieutiques qu'ils recèlent. Je pense aussi à divers incidents navals intervenus ces dernières années, en particulier entre la Chine et le Japon, réglés en dehors de toute notion de droit.

 

Plus encore probablement que le fond, c'est la méthode et le comportement de la Chine qui inquiètent. Une méthode qui s'apparente à des tentatives de règlement des différends non plus par la voie diplomatique ou l'application des conventions internationales, mais par l'intimidation, voire la menace, le chantage, ou encore la politique affirmée et répétée du « fait accompli ». Cette logique risque de remettre en cause l'ordre international que nos ancêtres sont difficilement parvenus à établir pour sauvegarder la liberté des mers, garante de la liberté des échanges, elle-même garante de rapports pacifiques.

 

En ce sens, il s'agit objectivement d'une logique de guerre. Car si le droit international n'est plus appliqué, si les principes ne sont plus défendus, si les puissances ferment les yeux, l'anarchie s'installera, puis la violence avec un risque (une certitude ?) de retour à des affrontements armés et à des crises régionales graves. Il ne s'agit pas là, par ailleurs, seulement de liberté de circulation. L'enjeu est aussi celui de la protection de toutes ces ressources alimentaires et minières qui font de la mer l'avenir de la terre, que ce soit celles des grands fonds, des zones économiques exclusives et de la haute mer, à condition de les exploiter proprement et en les sécurisant.

 

Il s'agit là d'une problématique, à la fois particulière dans ses manifestations "maritimo-navales" d'aujourd'hui, et bien connue dans ses principes, à laquelle le XXIème siècle est confronté à son tour, comme il l'est par les problématiques de protection des grandes routes maritimes ou de circulation dans les bassins. De fait, l'esprit est le même, puisque là aussi l'équilibre entre les Etats dépend en grande partie de leurs capacités à organiser librement et pacifiquement leurs échanges commerciaux. C'est d'ailleurs pour cela que la piraterie est identifiée comme l'un des principaux problèmes de sécurité des prochaines décennies. D'autant que si à ce jour elle se concentre dans l'Océan indien, le Golfe de Guinée, au large du détroit de Malacca et le long de certaines côtes d'Amérique du Sud, il est malgré tout clair qu'elle peut et pourra concerner, dans la durée, toutes les zones côtières de notre monde qui voient transiter des flux énormes de richesses, au large de pays pauvres.

 

Il est donc essentiel, au vu de ces dangers, que les Etats de droit aient le courage de condamner plus vigoureusement ces agissements et prennent les moyens de se faire entendre, y compris de la Chine concernant la "mer de Chine"... appellation que certains dirigeants de l'Empire du Milieu invoquent pour dire "tout y est à nous" ! Mais il est vrai que sans moyens navals dignes de ce nom, le message de nombre de pays risque fort de ressembler aux moulinets de Matamore ou du Capitaine Fracasse. Raison de plus pour que la France ne baisse pas la garde. Il est encore temps !

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Osprey vs. Bison in the East China Sea

September 22, 2013 Richard D. Fisher, Jr. - thediplomat.com

 

China, Japan and the U.S. are ramping up their ability to deploy to disputed islands in the East China Sea.

 

Stability in the region between Taiwan and Japan, and the security of Taiwan, hinges on an arms race that will soon be accompanying the heightened paramilitary engagements between Japanese, Chinese and, occasionally, Taiwanese Coast Guard ships over who will control the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.

 

For now this contest for control is confined to shoving matches largely between Chinese and Japanese Coast Guard ships, which take several days to deploy. However, China is now developing the means to project decisive force to these islands in hours, not days. Should China gain the upper hand in this arms race there is a greater chance it will use force to occupy the islands and then set its sights on the strategically more attractive nearby Sakashima island group.

 

For now, though, the upper hand is held by the United States, which has just completed the initial deployment of 24 U.S. Marine Corps Bell-Boeing MV-22B Osprey conventional, or twin tilt rotor aircraft, to Futenma Base in Okinawa. This unique aircraft, by virtue of its twisting rotors and engines at the ends of its wing, can take off like a helicopter, and then cruise at about 280 miles per hour, carrying up to 24 troops or about six tons of cargo to a range sufficient to reach the disputed islands. In a full-out surge, the 24 MV-22Bs at Futenma could potentially put about 500 troops or about 140 tons of weapons and material on the Senkakus or the Sakashimas in about one hour.

 

On September 17, 2013, Kyodo reported thatcurrent commander of U.S. Marine forces on Okinawa, Lt. General John Wissler, told Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaimu about the Osprey, “That aircraft has the ability to reach the Senkakus, should we need to support any sort of Japan-U.S. security treaty.”

 

China is also accumulating rapid lift assets. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has taken delivery of the first Ukrainian-built Zubr (Bison) large hovercraft. The first example, delivered in May, is now undergoing final modifications in Shanghai. At least three more are expected initially, but China may build many more of an indigenous version. Developed by the former Soviet Union to give its Naval Infantry the ability to rapidly invade NATO countries along the Baltic Sea, the Zubr can lift about 500 troops or up to 150 tons of armor, weapons and material up to speeds of 66 miles per hour. With just four Zubr hovercraft, the PLAN could potentially put 2,000 troops or up to 600 tons of weapons and material on the Senkakus in about four to five hours, or it could reach the island of Miyako-jima in about six to seven hours with a much reduced payload.

 

If it actually came to a race between the Osprey and the Bison, getting there first would make all the difference, as without the advantage of surprise, an adequately armed defender could significantly damage incoming hovercraft or helicopters. But the outcome would also depend on the result of intensive air and sea battles around these islands. For now, the superior performance of the U.S. Lockheed-Martin F-22A fifth-generation fighter and the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine provide a margin of superiority that undergirds deterrence, but this could change quickly as the PLA Air Force increases the number of capable fourth-generation fighters supported by AWACS radar aircraft, followed by fifth-generation fighters that could even the odds, especially if China decides to strike first. Growing numbers of PLAN air defense destroyers like the new Type 052D could also help deny air dominance to Japanese and U.S. forces.

 

However, China could also gain the upper hand should it successfully develop its own tilt rotor aircraft, an ambition it likely has been pursuing for most of the last decade. In a surprising revelation, an article published August 28, 2013 on the web page of the China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI) goes further, saying that China is now developing a quad tiltrotor design called the Blue Whale, with the goal of carrying 20 tons of cargo at speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour, with a combat radius of 500 miles. A model of the Blue Whale appeared at a Chinese helicopter technology expo recently held in Tianjin, at least confirming it is an active program.

 

Blue Whale’s performance goals are very close to a now lapsed Bell-Boeing program to develop a V-44 Quad TiltRotor, which faded with evolving heavy-lift requirements for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System of programs, in turn cancelled in 2009. CHRDI does not reveal when they expect the Blue Whale to enter service or how China will overcome technical challenges for a quad tiltrotor that a 2005 U.S. Defense Science Board study said would take 20 to 25 years to overcome. By 2008 to 2009 the heavy lift program was punted to the U.S. Air Force-controlled Joint Future Theater Lift program, intended to develop a replacement for the venerable Lockheed-Martin C-130, perhaps by the late 2020s. China may think it can succeed with a quad tiltrotor design before the U.S. fields a new vertical heavy lifter. The operational implications of such a capability go well beyond the East China Sea, but may matter there sooner.

 

For Beijing, control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and the much larger Sakashima Islands, which have ports and airfields, is not simply a matter of salving historical resentments or even controlling resources; it is a contest for geostrategic position to influence the future of democratic Taiwan. From the Senkakus and especially the Sakashimas, the PLA can more easily impose an air and sea blockade on Taiwan or launch multi-axis attacks to rapidly take airfields to aid follow-on invasion forces. Before making any military moves, mere possession of these islands allows Beijing to exert far greater political pressure on Taipei to make “peace” at the expense of its virtual American ally and Tokyo. Occupation of the islands would also give Beijing greater legitimacy on which to develop latent claims to other islands in the Ryukyu chain.

 

The Miyako Strait in the Sakashimas also must be passed by Chinese naval forces trying to reach the Pacific Ocean. This group of seemingly negligible islands are in fact the lock in the door that keeps the PLA Navy from cruising the Pacific at will, a key link in the so-called “First Island Chain.” For Tokyo and Washington, preserving Japanese control over these islands proves to Beijing that it cannot use force to solve maritime territory disputes, but also gives Japanese and U.S. forces a large number of island base options from which to counter China’s rapidly growing air and naval forces.

 

At a time when Washington is far more preoccupied with preserving adequate strategic capabilities under threat from sequestration-enforced defense budget reductions, an expensive heavy-lift tiltrotor development program, like so many other programs, has crossed the line from “need” to “needless luxury.” But the absence of this level of capability may have consequences. Without the means to put decisive counter-invasion forces on these islands at a moment’s notice, Japan will have to consider something it has been very reluctant to do: militarize these islands. Tokyo is already considering the development of a 500 km short-range ballistic missile to defend these distant islands. Missiles, of course, fly much faster than the Osprey. On one level, China’s looming threat justifies such moves, but deploying missiles will encourage China’s buildup as well as anti-Japan factions in Taipei.

 

Despite its much advertised military and political-economic pivot/rebalance toward Asia, it remains an uncomfortable fact for Washington that successful military deterrence of Beijing will also require that the U.S. remain ahead in a growing, multi-faceted arms race. In the East China Sea this arms race and its implications are taking shape rather rapidly.

 

Richard D. Fisher, Jr. is a Senior Fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center and author of China’s Military Modernization, Building for Regional and Global Reach, (Stanford, 2010)

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Taiwan Develops 'Smart' Munitions Against China: Report

Sep. 21, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s air force will be armed with “smart” munitions before the year’s end that could be used against any Chinese invasion by striking airfields and harbors on the mainland, media reported Saturday.

 

The new weaponry, developed under a project codenamed “Wan Chien” (Ten Thousand Swords), is scheduled to be carried by dozens of Taiwan’s fighter jets.

 

The island nation began developing its own smart weapons after the United States — Taiwan’s main arms supplier — refused to sell it guided bombs.

 

Taiwan’s air force plans to upgrade 60 fighters before the year’s end, with the last six being refitted and scheduled to be completed in December, the Taipei-based China Times reported.

 

The defense ministry declined to comment on the report.

 

The new weaponry will enable Taiwanese fighter jets to hit Chinese targets from a distance and reduce the risk of having to fly over mainland territory, analysts say.

 

The weapons, an equivalent of the US-developed joint direct attack munition (JDAM) that converts unguided bombs into all-weather “smart” munitions, is designed to target harbors, missile and radar bases, as well as troop build-ups prior to any invasion of the island, they say.

 

Each kit carries more than 100 warheads capable of blowing dozens of small craters in airport runways, making them impossible to use, they say.

 

The China Times said the refusal to sell JDAMs to Taiwan by United States had prompted the island to develop the offensive weapon on its own.

 

Ties between Taiwan and its giant neighbor have improved significantly since the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government took power in Taipei in 2008. Ma was re-elected in January 2012.

 

But China still considers the island part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, prompting Taipei to seek more advanced defense weaponry, mainly from the United States.

 

Taiwanese experts estimate the People’s Liberation Army has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Le porte-avions chinois a fini une période d’entraînement

22 septembre 2013, Portail des Sous-Marins

 

Après une période d’entraînement, le premier porte-avions chinois le Liaoning est rentré le 21 septembre dans un port militaire à Qingdao.

 

Référence : Radio Chine Internationale

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20 septembre 2013 5 20 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group to produce 1,200 J-10 fighters

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

 

2013-09-19 wantchinatimes.com

 

Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group will produce a total of 1,200 J-10 fighters for the PLA Force to counter F-16 fighters over the Taiwan Strait and Western Pacific, according to our sister paper Want Daily.

 

The Moscow-based Voice of Russia says the J-10A uses the Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN turbofan engine imported from Russia due to difficulties in the development of China's WS-10 Taihang engine. The newer J-10B variant will be fitted with the Taihang engine.

 

Geng Ruguang, senior vice president of China Aviation Industry Corporation, said the development of the J-10, Taihang engine and PL-12 air-to-air missile shows China has become the fourth nation in the world to design and produce its own advanced fighter.

 

 

Geng said the J-10B's active phased array airborne radar enables the fighter to track six targets and engage four of them simultaneously. Geng also said the J-10's radar system can also lock on to US F-16 and Japanese F-2 fighters without difficulty. Furthermore, the PL-12 air-to-air missile designed for the J-10 boasts similar specs to the US-built AIM-120 air-to-air missile used by the F-16A/B fighters of Taiwan's air force.

 

Taiwan currently has 388 fighters, of which 145 are F-16A/Bs purchased from the United States. The imbalance in the size of the size of the fighter fleets on opposing sides of the Taiwan Strait is a matter of serious concern for Taiwan's security.

 

Between 2014 and 2015, 36 J-10B fighters will also be supplied to the Pakistan Air Force under the name FC-20,

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 12:50
Belgacom embarrassée par les soupçons d'espionnage et de piratage

18.09.2013 Par Jean-Pierre Stroobants - Le Monde.fr

L'enquête sur le piratage à grande échelle dont a été victime, apparemment pendant deux ans, l'opérateur belge de téléphonie Belgacom fait des vagues et soulève déjà de nombreuses questions. La direction de la société et le gouvernement belge ont confirmé lundi 16 septembre "un piratage très intrusif". Si les soupçons s'orientent vers l'Agence nationale de sécurité américaine (NSA), la presse a révélé, mercredi 18 septembre, que le président du conseil de la société, Michel Moll, est depuis 2010 conseiller de l'entreprise chinoise Huawei, laquelle a été soupçonnée - à tort, selon elle – de se livrer à de l'espionnage industriel aux Etats-Unis.

La Sûreté de l'Etat, les services belges de renseignement, manifestent également des inquiétudes quant aux activités de ce groupe, fournisseur d'équipements et producteur de smartphones. La Belgique a ouvert une enquête sur ces éventuelles pratiques l'an dernier.

Interrogé par le quotidien néerlandophone De Morgen, M. Moll a expliqué qu'il avait donné des conseils stratégiques à Huawei, mais aucun concernant l'Europe et la Belgique. Il souligne, en outre, qu'il n'a exercé aucune fonction commerciale et que, de toute manière, Huawei et Belgacom ne sont pas concurrents. M. Moll refuse de révéler le montant de sa rémunération et nie toute implication dans des pratiques d'espionnage.

 

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
Le ministre chinois de la Défense insiste sur la mobilisation nationale

17/09/2013 Xu Yongchun  - Chine Nouvelle (Xinhua)

 

Le ministre chinois de la Défense nationale Chang Wanquan a mis l'accent mardi sur un système de mobilisation nationale répondant aux exigences des situations d'urgence et des préparatifs en cas de guerre.

 

M. Chang s'est ainsi exprimé lors d'une réunion sur la mobilisation nationale de défense au Commandement militaire de Lanzhou, capitale de la province du Gansu, dans le nord-ouest de la Chine.

 

Le système de mobilisation doit bénéficier aux citoyens en temps de paix et permettre de répondre aux situations d'urgence et à d'éventuelles guerres, a indiqué M. Chang, également général et membre de la Commission militaire centrale.

 

La Chine prendra des mesures concrètes à l'égard de son système de mobilisation afin que ce dernier permette au pays de se préparer à des conflits éventuels et à de nouvelles circonstances, a-t-il ajouté.

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
Lada-class submarine designed by the Russian Rubin Design Bureau

Lada-class submarine designed by the Russian Rubin Design Bureau

18 septembre 2013. Portail des Sous-Marins

 

Des sources du bureau d’études russe Rubin de St-Pétersbourg, ont indiqué que des sous-marins de la classe Lada avaient été vendus à la marine chinoise et qu’ils seraient équipés de systèmes d’alimentation et de contrôle de lancement de fabrication chinoise.

 

L’achat est confirmé par un article paru sur le site Strategy Page. Les 4 sous-marins concernés seront modifiés spécialement pour la Chine. A la demande de la marine chinoise, le système de propulsion anaérobie, basé sur des piles à combustible à hydrogène, sera retiré.

 

Comme les sous-marins de cette classe ne seront pas utilisés par la marine chinoise pour des opérations de combat en haute-mer, les piles à combustible du système de propulsion anaérobie ne sont pas nécessaires. La marine chinoise le remplacera par un autre système utilisant des moteurs chinois de type Stirling. Ce type de moteur est déjà utilisé à bord des sous-marins chinois Type 041 classe Yuan et Type 032 classe Qing.

 

Les 4 sous-marins Lada seront aussi équipés de systèmes électroniques développés en Chine et le système de contrôle de tir sera aussi modifié pour lancer des missiles anti-aériens et anti-navires chinois.

 

Référence : WantChinaTimes (Taïwan)

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:35
Bangladesh Air Force on procurement drive

Sept.14, 2013  Bangladesh Defence Procurement

 

The Bangladesh Air Force received 8 more F-7BG1 from China last Sunday to make a full squadron of 16 fighter aircraft in the unit.

 

The F-7BG1 is the newest version of the F-7 series of fighter aircraft and boasts improved multi-role capabilities including launching of precision guided munitions and new generation Chinese air-to-air missiles. Each F-7BG1 cost $9.8 million according to bdmilitary.com sources in the Bangladesh Air Force.

 

The present government has procured 16 F-7BG1/FT-7BG1  multi-role fighter aircraft, one YLC-6C 3D radar and one JH-16 s-band AESA air defence radar from China. In addition 3 Mi-171Sh combat support and transport helicopters were also procured in the same period to strengthen the Bangladesh Air Force.

 

The Bangladesh Air Force is also set to receive 4 additional refurbished C-130Es from the United States of America under a $180 million purchase deal.

 

During the filing of this report the Bangladesh Air Force is in negotiation with Russian Rosoboronexport for the acquisition of 12 multi-role combat aircraft, 12 advanced jet trainers, two armed maritime patrol aircraft and nine other jet training aircraft under a $1.5 billion dollar state export credit facility provided by the Russian government to boost the Bangladesh Air Force’s capabilities.

 

The Bangladesh Air Force is rejuvenating its aircraft inventory after years of neglect. Ground based air defence will also be improved with the introduction of Russian and Chinese anti-aircraft missile systems, radar and air defence command and control centres.

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
L'arsenal chimique détenu par Damas 15309.2013 Service Infographie du Figaro

L'arsenal chimique détenu par Damas 15309.2013 Service Infographie du Figaro

MOSCOU, 17 septembre - RIA Novosti

 

Lors de leur conversation téléphonique mardi, les ministres russe et chinois des Affaires étrangères Sergueï Lavrov et Wang Yi ont procédé à un échange de vues sur les événements en Syrie et réaffirmé la similarité de leurs positions sur le problème syrien, a annoncé un communiqué de la diplomatie russe.

La conversation a eu lieu à l'initiative de la partie chinoise.

"Les interlocuteurs ont réaffirmé la similarité des positions de la Russie et de la Chine qui œuvrent en faveur d'un règlement politico-diplomatique de la situation sans aucune ingérence extérieure", lit-on dans le communiqué mis en ligne sur le site du ministère russe des Affaires étrangères.

MM. Lavrov et Yi ont également "salué l'adhésion de la Syrie à la Convention sur l'interdiction des armes chimiques et se sont prononcés pour une application immédiate des accords russo-américains conclus à Genève", indique le document.

"Les ministres ont également convenu de poursuivre leurs échanges de vues et de coordonner leurs positions sur le problème syrien aussi bien au sein de l'Organisation pour l'interdiction des armes chimiques (OIAI) que dans le cadre de l'ONU", a souligné le communiqué.

Le 14 septembre, M. Lavrov et son homologue américain John Kerry se sont mis d'accord à Genève sur les modalités de mise sous contrôle international des armes chimiques de Syrie et de leur destruction d'ici le milieu de 2014.

Aux termes de l'accord russo-américain, l'OIAI concevra un plan d'action dont l'application sera régie par une résolution ad hoc du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU.

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