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19 avril 2013 5 19 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
A magnificent pose of PLA H-6K Bomber

April 19, 2013 china-defense-mashup.com

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 17:35
Japan Scrambles Record Number of Fighters Against China

18/04/2013 by Victoria Knowles - Armed Forces International Reporter

Last year witnessed a record 306 Japan scrambled fighter planes respond to Chinese aircraft intrusions, the Defense Ministry's Joint Staff announced Wednesday.

This is the first time scrambles responding to Chinese aircraft have exceeded those against Russian planes. For the 2012 fiscal year, overall scrambles against Russian jets were 248, which is a rise of only one incident from the fiscal year previous.

Air Self-Defense Force scrambles against Chinese planes increase as a result of amplified tensions over the Japanese-governed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea after September, when Tokyo gained effective nationalization of the island chain.

Record Japanese Jets Scrambled

Japan's scramble jets have been prompted amidst China's growing military activities. China declares the islands, which the country calls Diaoyu, theirs, resulting in bilateral friction as they have pressed this claim in recent years.

At only 156, the previous scrambles record against Chinese planes has almost doubled last year, and represents the highest level since the 2001 fiscal year, when the office started announcing figures for each country. In emergency circumstances, jet scrambling is an action taken to prevent intercepting foreign aircraft from intruding in the country's airspace.

In December, a Chinese plane intruded for the first time Japanese airspace over the Senakakus. Since then, Airborne Warning and Control Systems jet operations have been strengthened, along with its E-2C airborne early warning jets.

The ministry plans to keep a close eye on China's actions, it said. While many of the Chinese planes were indeed fighters, precise models were hard to identify by only looking at them, said ministry officials.

Japanese fighter scrambles in response to Chinese aircraft surged every three months beginning last April, increasing initially from 15 to 54 times, then to 91 times and finally 146 times.

The 2012 fiscal year is the first time in 22 years that the number of Japan's total scrambles, buoyed by the responses to Chinese jets, has exceeded 500, to 567. The greatest number of scrambles, since the ministry began compiling them from fiscal 1958, was in fiscal 1984, when 944 occurred at the peak of the Cold War.

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 10:25
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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 19:46
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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 19:43
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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 18:11
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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 16:38
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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 16:31
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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 17:32
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8 avril 2013 1 08 /04 /avril /2013 16:35



April 8, 2013: Strategy Page


China has ordered four Russian Lada class diesel-electric submarines. This came a month after Russia revived development of the Lada, and that came a year after cancelling its Lada class boats. Russia will now develop Lada as part of a joint effort with an Italian firm (Fincantieri) to create the S-1000 submarine, as well as other export versions of Lada. The S-1000 actually began as the Russian Amur 950 design. This was to be one of the export versions of the Lada but the collaboration with the Italians will transform the Amur 950 into the cheaper (less than $200 million each) S-1000 class submarine. While Fincantieri has never built subs (just destroyers, aircraft carriers, and patrol craft), it is one of the largest ship builders in Europe and has access to a lot of Western military technology. This is what has attracted the Russians, and apparently the Chinese as well.


The S-1000 will have a crew of only 16. Top submerged speed is 26 kilometers an hour. There are six torpedo tubes and an AIP (air independent propulsion) system to extend underwater endurance to 15 days or more. In place of eight torpedo reloads, the S-1000 can carry a dozen commandoes instead. Construction on the first Lada began in 1997, but money shortages delayed work for years. The first Lada boat was finally completed in 2005. A less complex version, called the Amur, was offered for export. There were no takers, until the recent Chinese order. The Ladas have six 533mm torpedo tubes, with 18 torpedoes and/or missiles carried.


Lada was developed in the 1990s, as the successor to the Kilo class, but it was decided over the last few years that there was not enough difference between the Lada and the improved Kilos being built. So Lada/Amur was canceled last year. One Lada was built and another is partially completed and will probably be finished. The Russians are hoping that the S-1000 will spark interest in the various Amur designs. The largest of these is the Amur 1650, which is basically the Lada with some top-secret Russian equipment deleted. This is apparently what the Chinese are buying.


The Lada has a surface displacement of 1,750 tons, are 71 meters (220 feet) long, and carries a crew of 38. Each crew member has their own cabin (very small for the junior crew, but still, a big morale boost). When submerged the submarine can cruise at a top speed of about 39 kilometers an hour (half that on the surface) and can dive to about 250 meters (800 feet). The Lada can stay at sea for as long as 50 days and can travel as much as 10,000 kilometers using its diesel engine (underwater, via the snorkel). Submerged, using battery power alone, the Lada can travel about 450 kilometers. There is also an electronic periscope (which goes to the surface via a cable) that includes a night vision capability and a laser range finder. The Lada was designed to accept an AIP (air independent propulsion) system.


The Ladas are designed to be fast attack and scouting boats. They are intended for anti-surface and anti-submarine operations as well as naval reconnaissance. These boats are said to be eight times quieter than the Kilos. This was accomplished by using anechoic (sound absorbing) tile coatings on the exterior and a very quiet (skewed) propeller. All interior machinery was designed with silence in mind. The sensors include active and passive sonars, including towed passive sonar. Russian submarine designers apparently believe they can install most of these quieting features into improved Kilos, along with many other Lada features.


The Kilo class boats entered service in the early 1980s. Russia only bought 24 of them but exported over 30. It was considered a successful design, especially with export customers. But just before the Cold War ended in 1991, the Soviet Navy began work on the Lada. This project was stalled during most of the 1990s by a lack of money but was revived in the last decade. Russia has 17 Kilos in service (and six in reserve) and six Improved Kilos on order. More than that is on order from foreign customers.


Meanwhile, the Chinese Navy has been designing and building a rapidly evolving collection of "Song" (Type 39) class diesel-electric submarines that emphasize quietness. The changes have been so great that the latest four Songs have been called Yuan class (Type 39A or Type 41). The original design (Type 39) first appeared in 2001, and 13 have been built. But in 2008, a noticeably different Type 39 appeared. This has been called Type 39A or Type 41. Two of these Type 39As appeared before two of another variant, sometimes called Type 39B, showed up. The evolution continues, and there are now six or seven "Type 41 Yuan Class" subs (of at least three distinct models). These latest models appear to have AIP (air independent propulsion system) along with new electronics and other internal improvements.


This rapid evolution of the Type 39 appears to be another example of China adapting Russian submarine technology to Chinese design ideas and new technology. China has been doing this for as long as it has been building subs (since the 1960s). But this latest version of what appears to be the Type 41 design shows Chinese naval engineers getting more creative. Two or more Yuans are believed to have an AIP that would allow them to cruise underwater longer. Western AIP systems allow subs to stay under water for two weeks or more. The Chinese AIP has less power and reliability and does not appear to be nearly as capable as Russian or Western models. The Chinese will keep improving on their AIP, just as they have done with so much other military technology.


The Songs look a lot like the Russian Kilo class and that was apparently no accident. The 39s and 41s are both 1,800 ton boats with crews of 60 sailors and six torpedo tubes. This is very similar to the Kilos (which are a bit larger). China began ordering Russian Kilo class subs, then one of the latest diesel-electric designs available, in the late 1990s. The first two Type 41s appeared to be a copy of the early model Kilo (the model 877), while the second pair of Type 41s appeared to copy the late Kilos (model 636). The latest Yuans still appear like Kilos but may be part of an evolution into a sub that is similar to the Russian successor to the Kilo, the Lada. The Type 39s were the first Chinese subs to have the teardrop shaped hull. The Type 41 was thought to be just an improved Song but on closer examination, especially by the Russians, it looked like a clone of the Kilos. The Russians now believe that the entire Song/Yuan project is part of a long-range plan to successfully copy the Kilo. If that is the case, it appears to be succeeding.


China currently has 13 Song class, 12 Kilo class, 7 Yuan class, and 18 Ming (improved Russian Romeo) class boats. There are only 3 Han class SSNs, as the Chinese are still having a lot of problems with nuclear power in subs. Despite that, the Hans are going to sea, even though they are noisy and easily detected by Western sensors. Five Hans were built (between 1974 and 1991) but 2 have already been retired. There are 4 newer Shang class SSNs in service, but these are still pretty noisy. The Song/Yuan class subs are meant to replace the elderly Mings. The four Ladas will give Chinese submarine builders some ideas and goals for future subs of this type.

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19 mars 2013 2 19 /03 /mars /2013 13:35

China Armed Forces source Brahmand.com


19.03.2013 Gabriel Gresillon Correspondant à Pékin – LesEchos.fr


Il y a un nouveau dans le club des cinq pays qui exportent le plus d'armement au monde : la Chine. D'après le rapport du Sipri (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), la première puissance asiatique a détrôné le Royaume-Uni au cours de la période allant de 2008 à 2012, pour devenir le cinquième exportateur mondial de matériels militaires en volume, d'après l'unité de compte développée par le Sipri.




Au cours de ces cinq années, ses ventes d'armements ont augmenté de 162 % par rapport aux cinq années précédentes, quand les ventes mondiales ne croissaient « que » de 17 %. La Chine représente désormais 5 % de ce commerce dans le monde, contre 2 % auparavant. C'est la première fois depuis vingt ans, précise le Sipri, que la liste des cinq plus grands exportateurs mondiaux est modifiée. C'est aussi la première fois que la Chine entre dans ce classement depuis la fin de la guerre froide.


Le principal client de Pékin est, de loin, le Pakistan. Il absorbe 55 % de ses ventes et commande «  des armements très diversifiés, allant de l'avion de chasse JF-17 développé conjointement par les deux pays aux frégates en passant par les armements légers », note un expert militaire. Mais ce dernier constate que l'on retrouve désormais «  des armements chinois un peu partout, notamment en Afrique ». Au Sipri, le directeur du programme Transferts d'armes, Paul Holtom, note qu'un «  certain nombre d'échanges récents indiquent que la Chine devient un important exportateur d'armes vers un nombre croissant de pays importateurs ».


Le made in Chine de plus en plus crédible


Une évolution qui traduit la montée en puissance de l'industrie militaire chinoise, qui a enchaîné les percées technologiques ces dernières années, développant des drones de combat, deux avions furtifs, les J20 et J31 qui seront bientôt opérationnels, des hélicoptères de combat (Z10 et Z19), progressant dans la technologie permettant de faire décoller et atterrir des jets sur son porte-avion présenté l'année dernière ou encore dans les systèmes antimissiles. En matière militaire, la crédibilité du made in China est à la hausse.


Musclant sa propre production, la Chine a donc moins besoin d'importer des armes. Elle n'est plus que le deuxième importateur d'armements, avec 6 % des commandes mondiales, très loin derrière l'Inde (12 %), premier client de la Russie. En matière d'achats d'armes, le centre de gravité mondiale a basculé à l'est : 47 % des importations viennent d'Asie et d'Océanie. Le Pakistan, la Corée du Sud et Singapour représentent respectivement 5 %, 5 % et 4 % de ces importations. L'Europe, en revanche, accuse le coup de la crise financière qu'elle traverse, avec des importations d'armements en baisse de 20 % (et de 61 % pour la Grèce). Le numéro un des ventes d'armes reste les Etats-Unis, avec 30 % des parts de marché mondiales, devant la Russie, à 26 %. L'Allemagne (7 %) serait troisième et la France (6 %) quatrième, mais les deux pays européens voient leur position s'éroder. C'est la première fois depuis 1950 que le Royaume-Uni ne figure pas dans la liste des cinq plus grands exportateurs d'armements. Mais cet avis ne fait pas l'unanimité. Selon le gouvernement britannique, la Grande-Bretagne a été en 2011 le deuxième exportateur d'armes de la planète.


Comment le Sipri fait ses comptes


Pour classer les différents pays exportateurs, le Sipri utilise un indicateur propre le « trend-indicator value ».


Cet indicateur mesure les exportations en volume et non pas en valeur, d'où des contradictions totales avec les statistiques de chaque pays. La France revendique par exemple le quatrième rang derrière la Grande-Bretagne et devant l'Allemagne.


A chaque armement est attribué un nombre de « TIV » en fonction de ses capacités opérationnelles.

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8 mars 2013 5 08 /03 /mars /2013 08:35



Sous-marins chinois du type Song

crédits : APL


07.03.2013 Mer et Marine


Positionnée bien au-delà de la 10e place dans le classement des marines mondiales il y a encore 20 ans, la marine chinoise, forte de plus de 400 bâtiments (plus de 515.000 tonnes) et 255.000 hommes, est en bonne voie pour parvenir à la 2e place, juste derrière l’US Navy, et détrôner la marine russe dans les années à venir si elle maintient son rythme de constructions neuves actuel. Ce dernier avait un peu ralenti entre 2006 et 2008 mais il est reparti de plus belle depuis 2009. Entre fin 2011 et fin 2012, la Chine aura ainsi lancé ou mis en service un porte-avions, 3 sous-marins, 5 destroyers lance-missiles, 5 frégates, 7 corvettes, une vingtaine de patrouilleurs lance-missiles, 4 dragueurs océaniques, 2 transports de chalands de débarquement, 2 pétroliers-ravitailleurs, 2 bâtiments-bases de sous-marins et 2 bâtiments d’expérimentation.



Destroyer du type Lujang II (© : APL)



Cela démontre s’il en était encore besoin la volonté impérieuse des dirigeants chinois de faire de leur pays une grande puissance navale. Ils ont bien pris conscience d’une part de l’importance de la sécurisation des voies de communication maritimes pour la bonne marche de leur économie, d’autre part de la raréfaction à venir des ressources énergétiques terrestres et donc de la nécessité d’aller les chercher dorénavant au fond des mers où elles se trouvent en quantité. On assiste ainsi à un regain de nationalisme et de tension pour la possession des îlots situés à proximité de la mer Jaune et en mer de Chine méridionale. Si ces îlots ne représentent pas intrinsèquement un intérêt majeur, ils génèrent en revanche chacun, pour l’Etat propriétaire, une zone économique exclusive de 200 nautiques : dans ces eaux se trouvent des ressources halieutiques importantes et le fond de la mer et le sous-sol marin y recèlent des ressources minérales, pétrolières et gazières abondantes. Cela explique les escarmouches toutes récentes, pour le moment limitées aux seules forces de garde-côtes, à proximité de la mer Jaune dans les eaux jouxtant les îles japonaises Senkaku, dont la propriété est contestée par la Chine et Taïwan qui les appellent les Dyaoyu. La problématique est identique en mer de Chine méridionale pour les îles Spratley et Paracel dont la possession est revendiquée à la fois par la Chine, Taïwan, le Viêtnam, la Malaisie, Brunei et les Philippines.




Le porte-avions Liaoning (© : APL)



Officiellement acheté à l’Ukraine en 2000 par un homme d’affaires de Macao pour être transformé en casino flottant, l’ex-porte-avions russe Varyag a bel et bien été achevé à Dalian comme porte-avions, ce qui était une évidence dès le départ. Baptisé Liaoning et mis en service le 24 septembre 2012 avec faste en présence du président Hu Jintao, ce bâtiment permet à la Chine de conforter son statut de grande puissance, la possession d’un porte-avions étant l’apanage des nations importantes, et notamment celles qui sont membres permanents du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU. Ce bâtiment va mettre en œuvre des intercepteurs Shenyang J-15, copie chinoise du Flanker Su-33 russe, ce qui a fortement mécontenté la Russie qui en représailles a refusé de livrer les Su-33 que la Chine comptait acquérir pour armer le Liaoning. Toutefois, si la marine chinoise dispose effectivement d’un porte-avions en état de servir, il faudra bien des années encore avant qu’il soit pleinement opérationnel, car elle va devoir acquérir la « culture de l’aviation embarquée » et donc maîtriser les techniques des opérations aéronavales.



Un J-15 sur le porte-avions Liaoning (© : NEWS.CN)


Un J-15 sur le porte-avions Liaoning (© : NEWS.CN)



Un 3e sous-marin nucléaire lanceur d’engins (SNLE) du type Jin pourrait être mis en service en 2013, mais cela doit être confirmé car ces unités (de même que les sous-marins nucléaires d’attaque - SNA) sont toujours en Chine construites dans le plus grand secret, à l’opposé de ce qui se fait en occident et même en Russie. Il en est de même pour le 3e SNA du type Shang. La construction des sous-marins classiques du type Yuan se poursuit à un rythme rapide : au moins 9 sont en service et la série continue. Un nouveau type de sous-marin appelé Qing, doté d’un long massif, est apparu en 2010 ; un seul exemplaire existe pour le moment ; il pourrait s’agir d’un bâtiment conçu pour l’expérimentation des nouveaux missiles balistiques ou de croisière.







Sous-marin du type Yuan (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)


Le sous-marin Qing (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)



Après avoir testé pendant 5 ans ses 2 premiers destroyers lance-missiles du type Lujang II de conception nationale, la marine chinoise en a commencé la construction en série : 4 autres ont ainsi été mis en service ou lancés depuis 2008, ainsi que les 2 premières unité du type Lujang III (2 autres étant en construction) qui se différencient des 6 premiers par des lanceurs verticaux pouvant également mettre en oeuvre des missiles antinavires, une tourelle d’artillerie de calibre plus élevé et un radar à faces planes plus puissant.



Destroyer du type Lujang II (© : APL)



Les frégates du type Jiangkai II ont été construites en grande série ces 5 dernières années puisque 13 sont désormais en service et 5 autres en construction ou achèvement ; c’est le cas également des toutes nouvelles corvettes lance-missiles du type 056 : pas moins de 10 ont été lancées depuis début 2012, la première (Bengbu) étant en service depuis le 24 février 2013. Quatre  chantiers différents réalisent ces corvettes, dont 32 au moins seraient prévues au total. Il en est de même pour les patrouilleurs lance-missiles à coque catamaran du type Hubei que l’on estime à 68 exemplaires en service mais ce chiffre pourrait en fait atteindre 83.



Frégate du type  Jiangkai II (© : APL)


Corvette du type 56 (© : CHINESE MILITARY REVIEW )


Patrouilleur du type Hubei (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)



Ces adjonctions n’entraînent pas pour autant une disparition des unités très anciennes car si le nombre de destroyers du type Luda (5 Luda I et 4 Luda III) et de frégates du type Jianghu I (10 encore en service) a baissé, les unités désarmées sont parfois transférées aux différentes administrations paramilitaires chargées de la surveillance des côtes, qui sont elles aussi en pleine expansion. Par ailleurs les navires de combat plus récents ont été modernisés, comme par exemple les destroyers du type Luhu (2) et les frégates des types Jiangwei I (4) et Jianghu V (6).



Destroyer du type  Luda III (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)


Frégate du type Jianhu I (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)


Destroyer du type Luhu (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)


Frégate du type Jianwei I (© : GUILLAUME RUEDA)


Frégate du type Jianghu V (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)



Les forces anti-mines constituent pour le moment le seul point faible de la Marine chinoise, les nouveaux bâtiments mis en service récemment, types Wozang (2) et Wochi (8) ne semblant pas être très évolués par rapport aux dragueurs océaniques du type T 43 qu’ils remplacent progressivement.

En revanche les forces amphibies connaissent toujours une progression importante. Après la mise en service d’une trentaine de bâtiments de débarquement de chars ces 15 dernières années, ce sont maintenant des transports de chalands de débarquement qui font leur apparition : 2 Yuzhao sont en service et un 3e est attendu incessamment. En revanche, l’existence du 4e, annoncée en janvier 2012, n’est pas confirmée.

Enfin le lancement de 2 nouveaux pétroliers-ravitailleurs du type Fuchi en 2012 confirme la volonté chinoise de se déployer longtemps et loin de ses bases ; elle le fait notamment en océan Indien où la lutte contre la piraterie lui donne maintenant l’occasion d’être présente en permanence avec 2 bâtiments de combat de surface et un bâtiment de soutien.



Chasseur de mines du type Wochi (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)


Bâtiment de débarquement de chars du type Yuting II (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)




Pétrolier-ravitailleur du type Fuchi (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)



Les forces maritimes paramilitaires



En plus de sa marine, la Chine dispose de cinq corps paramilitaires de garde-côtes qui arment de très nombreux bâtiments de petit ou moyen tonnage : la China Custom dépendant du ministère de l’économie et chargée de la lutte contre les trafics illicites dans les eaux territoriales, la China Coast Guard dépendant du ministère de la sécurité publique et chargée de la police dans les eaux territoriales, la China Maritime Safety Administration dépendant du ministère des transports et chargée de l’application de la réglementation maritime dans les eaux territoriales et la zone économique exclusive, le China Fisheries Law Enforcement Command dépendant du ministère de l’agriculture et chargé de la police des pêches dans les eaux territoriales et la ZEE et enfin la China Marine Surveillance dépendant du ministère des ressources naturelles et chargée de la protection de l’environnement maritime dans les eaux territoriales et la ZEE. Ce dernier corps est en pleine expansion puisqu’il va passer de 10 000 à 15 000 hommes d’ici 2020.



Le patrouilleur Haixun II de la CMSA (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)



La marine chinoise lui a transféré plusieurs de ses bâtiments le 30 novembre 2012 : ont ainsi été cédés les destroyers 131 Nanjing et 162 Nanning du type Luda, le mouilleur de mines 814 Liaoyang du type Wolei (rebaptisé Zhong Guo Hai Jian 112), le bâtiment collecteur de renseignements 723 du type Yanbing (rebaptisé Zhong Guo Hai Jian 111), le navire hydrographique 852 Qimingxing du type 813 (rebaptisé Zhong Guo Hai Jian 169), le navire hydrographique 411 Nan Diao du type 652C (rebaptisé Zhong Guo Hai Jian 168), le navire hydrographique 226 du type Yanlai, le transport de troupes 830 du type Qiongsha et les trois remorqueurs de haute mer 154, 710 et 830 du type Tuzhong (rebaptisés respectivement Zhong Guo Hai Jian 167, Zhong Guo Hai Jian 110 et Zhong Guo Hai Jian 137). En outre la construction de 36 nouveaux bâtiments de moyen tonnage est prévue d’ici 2016.



Le Zhong Guo Hai Jian 83 de la CMS (© : CHINESE MILITARY FORUM)



Il faut donc s’attendre a un accroissement sensible des tensions dans les eaux jouxtant les îlots Senkaku/Diaoyu situés en bordure de la mer Jaune dont la Chine conteste au Japon la propriété et plus au sud, en mer de Chine Méridionale, avec les îles Paracel et Spratley revendiquées par la Chine, Taiwan, le Vietnam, la Malaisie, Brunei et les Philippines. Ce sont en effet les navires de la CMS qui sont chargés d’assurer la présence du pavillon chinois dans ces zones maritimes litigieuses.       



Article de Bernard Prézelin, auteur de Flottes de Combat




Flottes de Combat, l'ouvrage de référence des forces navales (© : MARINES EDITIONS)

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27 février 2013 3 27 /02 /février /2013 12:39



27.02.2013 Pacific Sentinel


China releases details of a new stealth missile frigate. It’s part of a military modernization process amid ongoing tensions over Beijing's maritime claims in the region.
The first ship of the Type 056 Jiangdao class frigates was handed over to China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in Shanghai, home to one of the country's largest naval shipyards.
The stealth frigate Number 586 is a new design with sloped surfaces made as clean as possible, it also has  reduced superstructure clutter. It features advanced technologies that will make it harder to detect by radar, visual, sonar, and infrared methods, the Chinese navy said at their website.
China's brand new vessel is armed with a 76-mm main gun based on the Russian AK-176 and 30-mm remote weapon systems. The main anti-ship armament consists of YJ-83 sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles in two twin-cell launchers. The primary anti-aircraft armament is one FL-3000N short range missile system with eight rounds. The ship is fitted with a helicopter deck at the stern but has no organic helicopter support facilities.
At 1,440 tons fully loaded, this frigate cruises at an estimated 28 knots and has about a 2,000 nautical mile range.


It is considerably smaller than US Navy frigates, about 95.5 meters in length, and is categorized as smaller class of ships known as corvettes.
The ship requires a crew of just 60, one-third the number needed for it its predecessor the Type 053H3 frigate. This brings advantages in efficiency, easier training and recruitment.
Nineteen more frigates of the class are planned to be built for the PLA Navy.
The Type 056 class frigate fleet will boost the PLAN’s ability to defend its territory by patrolling and guarding the waters. It will have the ability to conduct anti-submarine operations and operations against all marine targets.
PLAN forces entered “the new era of mass-production and upgrade in an orderly manner” officials say on the PLAN's website.
The naval renovation comes as Chinese and Japanese vessels have stalked each other for months around the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Last flare-up was at the end of January when a Chinese frigate allegedly locked its weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese vessel, according to the Japan’s Defense Ministry. In the past six months, Chinese frigates have been constantly spotted in the waters of the disputed islands.
China has the second-largest defense spending program in the world after the US and followed by Russia according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
China has also been working on a new generation stealth aircraft. Flight tests of the twin-engine Falcon Eagle were carried out in northeastern China last October.
The Chinese navy now has about 80 major surface warships including its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was based on the Soviet ship the ‘Varyag’. After the Soviet Union collapsed the ‘Varyag’ ended up in Ukraine. In 1998 China bought it without an engine or weapons and spent years refurbishing it for research and training purposes.
The Pentagon estimates China also deploys more than 50 submarines, about 50 landing ships and more than 80 missile attack boats, Reuters reports.
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26 février 2013 2 26 /02 /février /2013 19:35

cyber warfare


February 25, 2013 by SPIEGEL Staff


Companies like defense giant EADS or steelmaker ThyssenKrupp have become the targets of hacker attacks from China. The digitial espionage is creating a problem for relations between Berlin and Beijing, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has shied away from taking firm action.


Very few companies in Europe are as strategically important as the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). It makes the Eurofighter jet, drones, spy satellites, and even the carrier rockets for French nuclear weapons.


Not surprisingly, the German government reacted with alarm last year when EADS managers reported that their company, which has its German administrative headquarters near Munich, was attacked by hackers. The EADS computer network contains secret design plans, aerodynamic calculations and cost estimates, as well as correspondence with the governments in Paris and Berlin. Gaining access to the documents would be like hitting the jackpot for a competitor or a foreign intelligence agency.


The company's digital firewalls have been exposed to attacks by hackers for years. But now company officials say there was "a more conspicuous" attack a few months ago, one that seemed so important to EADS managers that they chose to report it to the German government. Officially, EADS is only confirming there was a "standard attack," and insists that no harm was done.


The attack isn't just embarrassing for the company, which operates in an industry in which trust is very important. It also affects German foreign policy, because the attackers were apparently from a country that has reported spectacular growth rates for years: China.


During a visit to Guangzhou during February 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised China's success, saying it is something "that can be described as a classic win-win situation."


But the chancellor could be wrong.


For some time now, the relationship between China and the West seems to have been producing one winner and many losers. China is routinely the winner, while the losers are from Germany, France and the United States. They are global companies that are eviscerated by Chinese hackers and learn the painful lesson of how quickly sensitive information can end up in the Far East.


Berlin 's Dilemma


The relentless digital attack plunges the German government into a political dilemma. No government can stand back while another country unscrupulously tries to steal its national secrets. It has to protect the core of the government and the know-how of the national economy, sometimes with severe methods, if the diplomatic approach proves ineffective. Berlin should threaten Beijing with serious consequences, like the ones the US government announced last week.


On the other hand, the German government doesn't want to mar relations with one of its most important international partners. China has become Germany's third-largest trading partner and, from Merkel's perspective, is now much more than a large market for German goods and supplier of inexpensive products. Berlin now views the leadership in Beijing as its most important non-Western political partner.


That may explain why Merkel is addressing the Chinese problem abstractly rather than directly. During the high-level government meetings last August, she reminded the Chinese of the importance of "abiding by international rules." When she sent a representative to Beijing in November to tell senior government officials that Germany condemned the cyber espionage, it was done informally and off the record. In the end, Merkel will accept the ongoing espionage attempts as a troublesome plague that Germany simply has to put up with.


When SPIEGEL first exposed the scope of the Chinese attacks five-and-a-half years ago, then-Prime Minister Wen Jiabao asserted that his government would "take decisive steps to prevent hacker attacks."


But the problem has only gotten worse since then.


1,100 Attacks in 2012


Last year, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, reported close to 1,100 digital attacks on the German government by foreign intelligence agencies. Most were directed against the Chancellery, the Foreign Ministry and the Economics Ministry. In most cases, the attacks consist of emails with attachments containing a Trojan horse. Security officials noticed that the attacks were especially severe in the run-up to the G-20 summit, targeting members of the German delegation and focusing on fiscal and energy policy. The Green Party has also been targeted before.


In mid-2012, hackers attacked ThyssenKrupp with previously unheard of vehemence. The attempts to infiltrate the steel and defense group's corporate network were "massive" and of "a special quality," say company officials. Internally, the subject was treated as a top-secret issue. The hackers had apparently penetrated so deeply into the company's systems that executives felt it was necessary to notify authorities. ThyssenKrupp told SPIEGEL that the attack had occurred "locally in the United States," and that the company did not know whether and what the intruders may have copied. It did know, however, that the attacks were linked to Internet addresses in China.


Hackers have also apparently targeted pharmaceutical giant Bayer and IBM, although IBM isn't commenting on the alleged attacks. In late 2011, a German high-tech company, the global market leader in its industry, received a call from security officials, who said that they had received information from a friendly intelligence service indicating that large volumes of data had been transferred abroad.


The investigations showed that two packets of data were in fact transmitted in quick succession. The first was apparently a trial run, while the second one was a large packet containing a virtually complete set of company data: development and R&D files, as well as information about suppliers and customers. An external technology service provider had copied the data and apparently sold it to Chinese nationals.


Seventy Percent of German Companies Under Threat


"Seventy percent of all major German companies are threatened or affected" by cyber attacks, Stefan Kaller, the head of the department in charge of cyber security at the German Interior Ministry, said at the European Police Congress last week. The attacks have become so intense that the otherwise reserved German government is now openly discussing the culprits. "The overwhelming number of attacks on government agencies that are detected in Germany stem from Chinese sources," Kaller said at the meeting. But the Germans still lack definitive proof of who is behind the cyber attacks.


The hackers' tracks lead to three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. And from Germany's perspective, they point to a Unit 61398, which was identified in a report by the US cyber security company Mandiant last week.


In the dossier, which is apparently based on intelligence information, the Washington-based IT firm describes in detail how a unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army has hacked into 141 companies worldwide since 2006. The trail, according to Mandiant, leads to an inconspicuous 12-story building in Beijing's Pudong district, home to the army's Unit 61398.


Mandiant claims that the elite unit operates at least 937 servers in 13 countries. One of the key Chinese nationals involved has worked under the code name "UglyGorilla" since 2004, while two other hackers use the names "SuperHard" and "Dota." According to Mandiant, the scope of the evidence leaves little doubt that soldiers with Unit 61398 are behind the hacker attacks. The White House, which was notified in advance, privately confirmed the report's conclusions, while the Chinese denied them. "The Chinese military has never supported any hacking activities," said spokesmen for China's Foreign and Defense Ministries, adding that China is in fact "one of the main victims of cyber attacks."


The dossier publicly emphasizes, for the first time, what has long been claimed in intelligence circles: that the power apparatus of the Chinese government is behind at least some of the attacks. Following the report's publication, European ambassadors in Beijing moved the accusations to the top of their agenda. The diplomats agreed that China has become too large and powerful for a single European Union country to tangle with it.


The US government has now defined the attacks as a key issue, and cyber security is now on the agenda of the Strategic Security Dialogue between Beijing and Washington. China's IT espionage is the biggest "transfer of wealth in history," says General Keith Alexander, head of the US military's Cyber Command. The companies that Mandiant claims were the targets of attacks include one with access to more than 60 percent of the oil and natural gas pipelines in North America. "A hacker in China can acquire source code from a software company in Virginia without leaving his or her desk," says US Attorney General Eric Holder.


Last summer, Holder launched a training program for 400 district attorneys to specifically investigate cyber attacks by foreign countries. And last week, Holder presented the government's plan to prevent the theft of intellectual property. Following the Mandiant report, there have been growing calls in the United States for tougher action, including such steps as entry bans for convicted hackers and laws to enhance the options available to companies to fight data theft under civil law. Referring to Beijing, James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told the Wall Street Journal: "You've got to keep pushing on them."


Germany Like a Developing Country


Germany is a long way from increasing pressure on the Chinese. In fact, when it comes to cyberspace, Germany sometimes feels like a developing country. When companies like EADS are attacked, it is a question of coincidence as to whether the German government learns of the incidents. The draft of the country's new IT Security Law, which Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, a member of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) unveiled in early February, at least envisions a reporting requirement for companies that are attacked. But there is a strong chance that the ministries involved in the proposed legislation will destroy the draft before the German national election in September.


The government approved a national cyber security strategy two years ago, and Germany's new Cyber Defense Center has been staffed with a dozen officials since then, but it's little more than a government virus scanner. The center lacks authority and clear policies on how the government intends to handle threats originating from the Internet. The federal agencies are "not even capable of appreciably defending themselves against an attack," scoffs a senior executive in the defense industry.


The country's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, has the most experience with cyber attacks. The agency, based near Munich, is also involved in digital espionage and has used Trojans and so-called keyloggers in more than 3,000 cases. BND President Gerhard Schindler wants to combine previously scattered personnel into a single subsection, and the necessary new positions have already been approved. An official from the Chancellery will likely head the new group.


The BND wants its future capabilities to not only include infiltrating an outside computer system. It also intends to develop a sort of digital second-strike capability to shut down the server of a particularly aggressive attacker.


That would be the worst-case scenario.




Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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21 février 2013 4 21 /02 /février /2013 13:20

cyber warfare


WASHINGTON, 21 février - RIA Novosti



Washington estime nécessaire de maintenir un dialogue sur la sécurité informatique avec Pékin, mais reste préoccupé par les cybermenaces émanant de la Chine, a déclaré mercredi soir à Washington le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche Jay Carney.


"Les Etats-Unis et la Chine sont parmi les plus principaux acteurs du cyberespace, et il est essentiel que nous continuions un dialogue stable et efficace en vue de définir les limites d'un comportement acceptable dans le cyberespace", a indiqué M.Carney lors d'une conférence de presse.


"Nous continuerons d'évoquer le problème des attaques informatiques dans nos négociations avec de hauts responsables chinois, dont des militaires", a-t-il poursuivi.


Auparavant, les médias occidentaux ont rapporté que le gouvernement US pourrait décréter des sanctions commerciales à l'encontre de la Chine s'il était confirmé que les attaques informatiques visant les entreprises et institutions américaines étaient perpétrées avec le soutien officiel de Pékin.


Ces informations ont été diffusées suite à la publication d'un rapport rédigé par la société américaine Mandiant, selon lequel les cyberattaques visant les Etats-Unis étaient menées par l'unité 61398 de l'armée chinoise déployée dans les faubourgs de Shanghai. Le porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires étrangères Hong Lei a ensuite démenti ces accusations.

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20 février 2013 3 20 /02 /février /2013 12:20

cyber warfare


MOSCOU, 20 février - RIA Novosti


Le gouvernement US pourrait décréter des sanctions commerciales à l'encontre de la Chine s'il est confirmé que les attaques informatiques visant les entreprises et institutions américaines sont perpétrées avec le soutien officiel de Pékin, rapportent mercredi les médias occidentaux.


Mardi 19 février, la société américaine Mandiant spécialisée dans la sécurité informatique a présenté un rapport selon lequel les cyberattaques visant les Etats-Unis étaient menées par l'unité 61398 de l'Armée de libération du Peuple.


D'après le document, les signatures de ses attaques ont pu être remontées jusqu'à un immeuble situé dans le quartier de Pudong, dans les faubourgs de Shanghai. L'unité secrète pourrait compter des milliers de membres experts en anglais et en programmation.


Les Etats-Unis ont a plusieurs reprises qualifié la Chine et la Russie de "principales menaces" pour la sécurité informatique dans le monde. D'après le dernier rapport du National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), dont des extraits ont été publiés par le Washington Post, la Chine est le pays "le plus agressif" dans la recherche d'un accès aux informations sensibles lui permettant d'acquérir une avance dans le domaine économique.

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20 février 2013 3 20 /02 /février /2013 09:05

cyber warfare


20/02/2013 Nabil Bourassi – LaTribune.fr


Une société privée de protection informatique accuse, dans un rapport, le gouvernement chinois d'avoir mis sur pied une unité militaire de cyber-espionnage. D'après Mandiant, cette unité aurait dérobé plusieurs centaines de térabytes de données à des secteurs industriels jugés stratégiques. La Chine se défend de ces accusations et estime qu'elle est elle-même la cible de cyber-attaques en provenance des Etats-Unis.


La Chine est-elle la cible d'une campagne de dénigrement, ou se livre-t-elle réellement à des activités secrètes de cyber-espionnage ? Depuis plusieurs semaines, l'opinion publique américaine s'interroge après les attaques de plusieurs médias qui auraient révélé des informations compromettantes pour Pékin. Un rapport du National Intelligence Estimate a même identifié le territoire chinois comme le premier abri de cyber-espions au monde.


L'armée chinoise dans le viseur


Cette fois, une société privée américaine, Mandiant, va plus loin et désigne directement le gouvernement chinois comme le principal commanditaire dans un rapport. La société de protection informatique serait remontée jusqu'à lui après avoir démêlé les fils de nombreuses cyber-attaques depuis 2006. Mandiant aurait ainsi identifié une unité de hackers mise sur pied par l'armée chinoise à des fins d'espionnage. Cette unité que Mandiant a baptisé APT1 (advanced persistent threat) serait d'après la société, le second bureau du 3è département de l'état-major de l'armée de libération populaire, ou plus communément appelé par les militaires chinois l'unité 61398.


Pour Mandiant, l'activité d'APT1 est la plus "prolifique" de toutes les unités de hackers qu'il a identifiées à travers le monde. Ses motivations reposent sur l'intelligence économique. Ainsi, le rapport estime que les entreprises visées font parties des quatre secteurs industriels classés prioritaires par le 12è plan quinquennal chinois. Le butin estimé par la société privée américaine se compterait par "centaines de terabytes de données auprès d'au-moins 141 organisations". Autrement dit, le préjudice financier serait potentiellement considérable, pour peu que les informations dévoilées soient classées sensibles, voire stratégiques.


Des attaques confondues par leurs adresses IP


Les investigations menées par Mandiant lui ont permis d'identifier les principales caractéristiques de ce groupe de hackers : de son adresse exacte jusqu'au modus operandi de ses actions. APT1 siègerait en partie à Shanghaï dans un immeuble construit en 2007, dans la zone nouvelle de Pudong. Cet immeuble abriterait des "centaines, peut-être des milliers de personnes". Ensuite, Mandiant a suivi la trace des nombreuses adresses IP identifiées à l'occasion d'une série d'attaques sur deux ans. Elles présentent les mêmes caractéristiques, utilisent les mêmes logiciels Microsoft, et les mêmes types de claviers.


La Chine dément fermement


Le gouvernement chinois, lui, s'insurge contre ces accusations qu'il estime infondées. Un porte-parole du ministère chinois des Affaires Etrangères a ainsi déclaré au Wall Street Journal : "les cyberattaques sont anonymes et transnationales et il est difficile de retracer l'origine des attaques. Je ne sais donc pas comment les conclusions du rapport peuvent être crédibles". Il a d'ailleurs ajouté que la Chine était elle-même victime d'attaques en provenance des Etats-Unis sans toutefois désigner un quelconque responsable. De son côté, le ministre chinois de la Défense a rappelé que "l'armée chinoise n'avait jamais supporté en aucune sorte des activités de hacking".

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20 février 2013 3 20 /02 /février /2013 08:53

China Armed Forces source Brahmand.com


February 19, 2013, zeenews.india.com


Washington: On the outskirts of Shanghai, in a run-down neighbourhood, a People’s Liberation Army base has been built for China’s growing corps of cyber warriors.


According to the New York Times, a number of digital forensic evidence has been confirmed by American intelligence officials, who said that they have tapped into the activity of the army unit for years.


A detailed 60-page study, released by Mandiant, an American computer security firm, for the first time has tracked individual members of the most sophisticated of the Chinese hacking groups, known to many of its victims in the United States as ‘Comment Crew’ or ‘Shanghai Group’, to the doorstep of the military unit’s headquarters.


The firm was not able to place the hackers inside the 12-story building, but makes a case there is no other plausible explanation for why so many attacks come out of one comparatively small area.


According to the report, some security firms that have tracked “Comment Crew” said that they also believe the group is state-sponsored.


A recent classified National Intelligence Estimate, issued as a consensus document for all 16 of the United States intelligence agencies, makes a strong case that many of these hacking groups are either run by army officers or are contractors working for commands like Unit 61398, according to officials with knowledge of its classified content, the report said.


While Comment Crew has hacked terabytes of data from companies like Coca-Cola, its focus is increasingly on companies involved in the critical infrastructure of the United States, which includes electrical power grid, gas lines and waterworks.


According to the security researchers, one target was a company with remote access to more than 60 percent of oil and gas pipelines in North America.


The unit was also among those that attacked the computer security firm RSA, whose computer codes protect confidential corporate and government databases.


Contacted on Monday, Chinese officials at its embassy in Washington again insisted that its government does not engage in computer hacking, and that such activity is illegal.


They describe China itself as being a victim of computer hacking, and point out, accurately, that there are many hacking groups inside the United States.


But in recent years the Chinese attacks have grown significantly, security researchers said.


Mandiant has detected more than 140 Comment Crew intrusions since 2006.


American intelligence agencies and private security firms that track many of the 20 or so other Chinese groups every day said that those groups appeared to be contractors with links to the unit.


According to the report, the White House said it was “aware” of the Mandiant report. The United States government is planning to begin a more aggressive defense against Chinese hacking groups, starting on Tuesday.


Under a directive signed by President Barack Obama last week, the government plans to share with American Internet providers information it has gathered about the unique digital signatures of the largest of the groups, including Comment Crew and others emanating from near where Unit 61398 is based.


But the government warnings will not explicitly link those groups, or the giant computer servers they use, to the Chinese army.


The question of whether to publicly name the unit and accuse it of widespread theft is the subject of ongoing debate, it added.

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19 février 2013 2 19 /02 /février /2013 17:20

China Armed Forces source Brahmand.com


Feb. 19, 2013 - By CALUM MacLEOD – Defense News (USA Today)


BEIJING — Hackers at a secretive unit of the Chinese military have stolen huge amounts of data from 115 companies and organizations in the U.S. since at least 2006, a U.S. computer security firm said in a research report released online Tuesday.


The details made public by Mandiant Corp. add weight to arguments that Chinese authorities are increasingly targeting foreign firms, institutions and government agencies. Beijing denies such charges and says China too is a victim of cyber attacks.


Based in a 12-story office tower in Shanghai’s Pudong district, Unit 61398 of China’s People’s Liberation Army “is likely government-sponsored and one of the most persistent of China’s cyber threat actors,” said Mandiant.


Unit 61398 “has systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations” in diverse industries and mostly in the U.S., said the report, without naming any firms. “It is time to acknowledge the threat is originating in China, and we wanted to do our part to arm and prepare security professionals to combat that threat effectively,” it said.


China is the “most threatening actor in cyberspace,” concluded a draft report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission last November, reported Bloomberg, as China’s intelligence agencies and hackers try to access U.S. military computers and defense contractors.


Last Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order to improve protection of the country’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks. “We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions and our air traffic control systems,” he said in his State of the Union address the same day.


The Mandiant report, titled “Exposing one of China’s cyber espionage units,” said data stolen included blueprints, pricing documents, details on mergers and acquisitions, emails and contact lists. The hacking group included hundreds and possibly thousands of English speakers with advanced computer skills, said Mandiant.


In a new book, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, criticizes China as the world’s “most sophisticated and prolific hacker,” according to quotes published in the Wall Street Journal. Google has tussled with Chinese authorities over the nation’s strict censorship of the Internet.


In common with earlier denials, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei dismissed the Mandiant allegations as “groundless” Tuesday. After the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal complained earlier this month about extensive Chinese hacking, a commentary in the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said the U.S. was seeking excuses to expand its “Internet army.”


Given the lack of Chinese media coverage on this sensitive issue, there was little discussion Tuesday on the nation’s censored but booming micro-blog sites. Unlike Unit 61398, some Chinese hackers, leaning heavily on their patriotic duties for protection, don’t bother to hide. On the Hongke (“red guest”) website, its name a play on the Chinese for hacker — Heike, or Black Guest/Dark Visitor — some recent posts insulted the U.S. for complaining about the high cost of Chinese cyber espionage.

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19 février 2013 2 19 /02 /février /2013 13:35

cyber warfare


19 février 2013 Guysen International News


Une unité secrète de l'armée chinoise est soupçonnée d'être à l'origine de multiples opérations de piratage informatique qui ont notamment visé les Etats-Unis, écrit la société de sécurité informatique américaine Mandiant. Mandiant estime dans un rapport publié lundi aux Etats-Unis que l'unité 61398 de l'Armée populaire de Chine, basée à Shanghai, s'est rendue coupable dès 2006 du vol de "centaines de teraoctets de données auprès d'au moins 141 sociétés dans différents secteurs".

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16 février 2013 6 16 /02 /février /2013 16:30



February 16, 2013 china-defense-mashup.com


2013-02-16 — WITHIN two decades the United States will be forced out of the western Pacific, says a senior Chinese military officer, amid concerns that increasingly militarised great-power rivalry could lead to war.


Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu, at the People’s Liberation Army’s National Defence University, told Fairfax Media this week that American strategic influence would be confined “east of the Pacific midline” as it is displaced by Chinese power throughout east Asia, including Australia.


Colonel Liu’s interpretation of one facet of what the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, calls “a new type of great-power relationship” adds to the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding China’s strategic ambitions.


It clashes with comments days earlier by his university colleague, General Zhu Chenghu, who told a conference in the US: “We have no intention of driving the US out of east Asia or the western Pacific.”


Concern about China’s strategic ambitions has grown since last year’s Chinese occupation of islands administered by the Philippines in the South China Sea and, particularly, China’s continuing brinkmanship with Japan and its security guarantor, the US, in the East China Sea.


Japanese leaders have accused China of locking weapons-guiding radars on Japanese targets – which China denies – while Western military sources say Chinese planes, ships and submarines have challenged Japanese-controlled waters and airspace around the Senkaku Islands.


Some security analysts say Australian political leaders are in public denial about the stakes involved and invidious choices the nation may have to face.


“It’s the most dangerous strategic crisis that the US has faced – that the world has faced – since the end of the Cold War,” said Hugh White, former deputy secretary of the Department of Defence.


China and Japan, he said, were drifting closer to a war that could draw in the US. “This makes rather a nonsense of the mantra we hear both from Gillard and Abbott that ‘we don’t have to choose between the US and China’,” he said.


An assertive, rising China has also triggered the formation of a regional latticework of new security linkages, partly pioneered by Australia and now championed by the new Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who proposes a “democratic security diamond” involving India, the US and Australia.


Ely Ratner, a fellow at the Centre for a New American Security, said Australia should speak louder in favour of international laws, norms and institutions given its dependence on rules and institutions that enable the free flow of goods in east Asia.


As much as 57 per cent of Australian exports pass through sea lanes in the South China Sea, according to Australian government estimates.


“The overriding question is whether China is interested in a region based on rules and institutions that seek co-operative, non-coercive ways to deal with disagreements,” said Mr Ratner, who previously worked at the China desk of the US State Department.


“Or is it going to deal with disagreements by using military, non-military and economic coercion, as we saw against the Philippines and Japan, and diplomatic coercion as we saw at the East Asia Summit,” he said, referring to China’s intervention at the summit to block discussion of maritime security issues.


Last month, James Fanell, intelligence chief for the US Pacific Fleet – which commands six aircraft carrier groups – told a San Diego conference that China’s “expansion into blue waters is largely about countering the Pacific Fleet”.


Even China’s civilian maritime surveillance agency “has no other mission but to harass other nations into submitting to China’s expansive


claims,” he said. Colonel Liu, who previously warned Australia not to support the Japanese “wolf” or American “tiger” in any military showdown, does not hold the rank of general or act as an official spokesman.


But his views have been taken more seriously since his fiercely nationalistic book The China Dream was allowed back onto the shelves after Mr Xi’s elevation in November, when Mr Xi began talking about his own nationalistic “China Dream”.


And they reflect a common assertion in some quarters of Beijing, and particularly the People’s Liberation Army, that the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia is an aberration in a story that will see the US Pacific Fleet eventually give up on its allies in the region.


But, said Robert Rubel, Dean of the US Naval War College’s Centre for Naval Warfare Studies, China’s military ambitions will face natural internal and external constraints as aggressive behaviour will cause its neighbours to rally together.


“Some guys here say they’re xenophobic, they’re hostile, and they’re probably right, but if they’re halfway rational there are limits to how much trouble they can cause without bringing their own house down,” said Professor Rubel, who helped design the US National Maritime Strategy.

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12 février 2013 2 12 /02 /février /2013 17:35



February 12, 2013: Strategy Page


Over the last five years Chinese submarines have been going to sea a lot more, at least the diesel-electric boats have been. This is worrying to other nations in the region, and the U.S. Navy, because it means China is training its submarine crews for war. Previously the Chinese kept their fleet in port most of the time. This was cheaper although in wartime it meant that Chinese warships would not last long in combat against a better trained fleet (like the Americans, or Japanese or South Koreans or Taiwanese.) Now the Chinese are building better quality subs, and feel they may have a fighting chance, if they have better prepared crews as well.


For China, one downside of all this training is that the U.S. Navy has more opportunity to practice hunting Chinese subs. This is particularly true for American subs, which are well equipped with passive (listen only) sonar and are even more effective if they have a lot of sound samples for enemy subs operating underwater or on the surface. The U.S. has discovered that Chinese diesel-electric boats are rapidly getting quieter, apparently because the Chinese have learned more about advanced techniques for “silencing” subs. Still, most of the 60 Chinese subs in service are pretty noisy and easy to find.


Meanwhile the Chinese Navy has been designing and building a rapidly evolving collection of "Song" (Type 39) class diesel-electric submarines that emphasize quietness. The changes have been so great that the latest four Songs have been called Yuan class (Type 39A or Type 41). The original design (Type 39) first appeared in 2001, and 13 have been built. But in 2008, a noticeably different Type 39 appeared. This has been called Type 39A or Type 41. Two of these Type 39As appeared before two of another variant, sometimes called Type 39B, showed up. The evolution continues and there are now six or seven "Type 41 Yuan Class" subs (of at least three distinct models). These latest models appear to have AIP (air independent propulsion system) along with new electronics and other internal improvements.


This rapid evolution of the Type 39 appears to be another example of China adapting Russian submarine technology to Chinese design ideas and new technology. China has been doing this for as long as it has been building subs (since the 1960s). But this latest version of what appears to be the Type 41 design shows Chinese naval engineers getting more creative. Two or more Yuans are believed to have an AIP that would allow them to cruise underwater longer. Western AIP systems allow subs to stay under water for two weeks or more. The Chinese AIP has less power and reliability and does not appear to be nearly as capable as Russian or Western models. The Chinese will keep improving on their AIP, just as they have done with so much other military technology.


The Songs look a lot like the Russian Kilo class and that was apparently no accident. The 39s and 41s are both 1,800 ton boats with crews of 60 sailors and six torpedo tubes. This is very similar to the Kilos (which are a bit larger). China began ordering Russian Kilo class subs, then one of the latest diesel-electric designs available, in the late 1990s. The first two Type 41s appeared to be a copy of the early model Kilo (the model 877), while the second pair of Type 41s appeared to copy the late Kilos (model 636). The latest Yuans still appear like Kilos but may be part of an evolution into a sub that is similar to the Russian successor to the Kilo, the Lada.  The Type 39s were the first Chinese subs to have the teardrop shaped hull. The Type 41 was thought to be just an improved Song but on closer examination, especially by the Russians, it looked like a clone of the Kilos. The Russians now believe that the entire Song/Yuan project is part of a long-range plan to successfully copy the Kilo. If that is the case, it appears to be succeeding.


China currently has 13 Song class, 12 Kilo class, seven Yuan class and 18 Ming (improved Russian Romeo) class boats. There are only three Han class SSNs, as the Chinese are still having a lot of problems with nuclear power in subs. Despite that, the Hans are going to sea, even though they are noisy and easily detected by Western sensors. Five Hans were built (between 1974 and 1991) but two have already been retired. There are four newer Shang class SSNs in service, but these are still pretty noisy. The Song/Yuan class subs are meant to replace the elderly Mings.

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1 février 2013 5 01 /02 /février /2013 12:35

China Carrier (Liaoning)


February 1, 2013: Strategy Page


It was rather surprising to Westerners that China managed to get jet aircraft operating from their new aircraft carrier (the Liaoning) last November just two months after the ship was commissioned (on September 25th). Training of carrier pilots began nearly a decade earlier, but perhaps the smartest move the Chinese made to arrange for Brazil to have its carrier sailors show the Chinese how it’s done. This was particularly important in the case of how the deck sailors on a carrier operate to get aircraft ready for takeoffs and how the air control specialists in the carrier “island” handle landings. While Russian carrier expertise was for sale, the Chinese wanted to learn how Western navies did this, since carrier operations were invented in the West a century ago.


Four years ago Brazil agreed to this deal so that Chinese sailors could learn carrier operating skills on the Brazilian Navy's carrier, the "Sao Paulo." It was 13 years ago that Brazil bought the 32,000 ton French aircraft carrier Foch (which was still in service) for $12 million, updated it and renamed it "Sao Paolo". The navy has not been able to get much cash out of the government to further refurbish the 51 year old Sao Polo, and apparently the Chinese deal will change that.




The 33,000 ton "Sao Paolo" was headed for decommissioning, and has been used mainly to train carrier pilots when Bazil bought it. The "Sao Paolo" entered service in 2000, and the Brazilians retired the 20,000 ton "Minas Gerais", a World War II era (British) Colossus Class carrier a year later (after 40 years of service). So the Brazilians have a long tradition of carrier operations, and sufficient experienced carrier sailors to teach the Chinese some useful things. Brazil has long been the only South American nation to operate a carrier. The Sao Polo has a crew of 1,900 and was designed to carry 35 warplanes (smaller, older models like the A-4) and four helicopters. This load can vary depending on aircraft type.


The first Chinese aircraft carrier, the Liaoning is a 65,000 ton, 305 meter (999 feet) long ship that had spent over a year on sea trials. During that time Liaoning was at sea for about four months. This was all in preparation for flight operations. Last year China confirmed that the Liaoning will primarily be a training carrier. The Chinese apparently plan to station up to 24 jet fighters and 26 helicopters on the Liaoning and use the ship to train pilots and other specialists for four or more additional carriers that are to be built.


Six years ago the Chinese Navy Air Force began training carrier fighter pilots (or "aviators" as they are known in the navy). In the past Chinese navy fighter pilots went to Chinese Air Force fighter training schools, and then transferred to navy flight training schools to learn how to perform their specialized (over open water) missions. Now, operating from carriers and performing landings and take-offs at sea has been added to the navy fighter pilot curriculum. The first class of carrier aviators has finished a four year training course at the Dalian Naval Academy. This included learning how to operate off a carrier, using a carrier deck mock-up on land. Landing on a moving ship at sea is another matter. The Russians warned China that it may take them a decade or more to develop the knowledge and skills needed to efficiently run an aircraft carrier. The Chinese are game and are slogging forward. The first landing and takeoff was apparently carried out in calm seas. It is a lot more difficult in rough weather (when the carrier is moving up and down and sideways a lot) and at night. The latter, called “night traps”, is considered the most difficult task any aviator can carry out, especially in rough weather.

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28 janvier 2013 1 28 /01 /janvier /2013 17:35


Jiangkai II class frigates (photo : US Navy)


25.01.2013 Defense Studies

Bangkok to talk frigate purchase with Beijing

The government has formed a committee to negotiate with a Chinese team on purchase of three frigates to enhance Thai’s naval strength in the resourceful Gulf of Thailand, officials said. Both the sides will work out details of the state-to-state frigate purchase agreement the groundwork of which was laid during the visit of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Thailand in November 2012.

The Thai government has recently approved the purchase of two medium-sized frigates with a budget of 1 billion U.S. dollars after denying allegation about the countrys navy persistent request for submarines. However, Beijing had offered three of its Type 054T frigates at a very lower rate and the number of the frigates on conditions that Bangkok can not be denied. Some source said these special offer include six Z-9EC ASW helicopters.

Officials said the armed forced division had planned to utilize budgetary allocations of the 1 billion U.S. dollar fund, approved by the Yingluck Cabinet for the procurement of the frigates, is to be spent for a 10-year period, beginning from current fiscal year. The three frigates are unlikely be procured at the same time.

Type 054T frigate may be an improved version of the Type 054A frigate, possibly designated F40T, for which discussions have been held between Thailand and China.

Officials said commissioning of the type 054T frigates would help the capability of the Thai maritime force in Anti-submarine warfare in the Gulf of Thailand, the dimension of which had changed a lot in the last one decade amid growing interest of Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam in the area.

Officials also said Malaysia also plans to acquire two more Scorpène class submarines and Vietnam has recently purchased from Russia six Kilo class submarines and Russian submarine have already been delivered, the delivery of all six submarines will be completed before 2016 and most important thing is Cambodia has already started Submarine project.

Thailand and its neighbor Cambodia were on the edge of conflict in the Gulf in the past 10 years over oil and gas exploration by the latter in the disputed areas. Both the countries had engaged in legal battle over the disputed areas in an international court.

Besides, Thailand is still running a legal battle against another neighbor, Malaysia, over maritime boundary and also the most revealing public statement by any military top brass on the nature and consequences of the Thai Deep South conflict since violence resumed in January 2004.


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28 janvier 2013 1 28 /01 /janvier /2013 13:35
La Chine a testé avec succès un missile destructeur de porte-avions


27/01/2013 par Nicolas Laffont - 45enord.ca


Want China Times rapporte que la Chine a coulé un porte-avions américain grâce à son missile DF-21D… dans une simulation de jeux de guerre.


Une image satellite révèle deux grands cratères sur une plate-forme de 200 mètres de long utilisé pour simuler le pont d’envol du porte-avions dans le désert de Gobi.


La photo a été posté sur SAORBATS, un forum Internet basé en Argentine. Les analystes militaires pensent que les cratères ont été créés par le missile anti-navire chinois DF-21D, surnommé le «tueur de transporteur.»


Tout en affirmant que le missile a la capacité de frapper les porte-avions dans un rayon de 2 000 km, des officiels chinois ont déclaré que l’arme a été conçue uniquement pour l’auto-défense, que le DF-21D ne sera jamais une menace sérieuse pour la sécurité nationale américaine, car il n’est même pas en mesure d’atteindre Hawaï, bien que parfaitement au courant du déploiement de la marine américaine dans le Pacifique occidental.


Pour l’analyste Roger Cliff «la chose à garder à l’esprit est que, pour que la Chine réussissent à attaquer un navire de la marine américaine avec un missile balistique, il doit d’abord détecter le navire, l’identifier comme un navire de guerre américain d’un type qu’il veut attaquer… [puis] des radar trans-horizon utilisés pour détecter les navires peuvent être brouillés, trompés ou détruits, de la fumée et d’autres obscurcissant peuvent être déployés… et quand le missile se verrouille finalement sur la cible, sa tête chercheuse peut être bloquée ou trompée.»


L’amiral Jonathan Greenert, chef des opérations navales américaines, estime qu’il ya un certain nombre de méthodes que l’US Navy pourrait utiliser pour se défendre contre la Dong Feng 21D:


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