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15 octobre 2014 3 15 /10 /octobre /2014 11:35
Le ministre chinois de la Défense s'est entretenu avec son homologue australien

Gen. Chang Wanquan (L), state councilor and Chinese defense minister with Australian Defense Minister David Johnston (R) in Beijing on October 13, 2014. (mod.gov.cn/Li Xiaowei)

 

13-10-2014 Par LIANG Chen - French.china.org.cn

 

Le ministre chinois de la Défense nationale, Chang Wanquan, s'est entretenu avec son homologue australien David Johnston lundi à Beijing.

 

M.Chang a indiqué que les relations militaires bilatérales ont connu un développement sain et stable depuis que les deux pays ont établi en 2013 un partenariat stratégique de confiance et de bénéfices mutuels.

 

Les forces armées des deux pays ont maintenu de fréquentes visites de haut niveau et les dialogues stratégiques bilatéraux ont bien fonctionné. Les échanges professionnels et la coopération entre les deux parties ont porté leurs fruits, a affirmé M.Chang.

 

Selon lui, la Chine est prête à travailler avec l'Australie pour approfondir les échanges pragmatiques et la coopération et faire progresser les relations militaires bilatérales.

 

M.Johnston a assuré, de son côté, que l'Australie espérait augmenter les échanges et la coopération avec la Chine dans les domaines de la sécurité maritime, des secours humanitaires et de la prévention des catastrophes

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14 octobre 2014 2 14 /10 /octobre /2014 22:35
Le ministre chinois de la Défense a rencontré le président du Comité militaire de l'UE

 

BEIJING, 11 octobre (Xinhua)

 

Le ministre chinois de la Défense nationale Chang Wanquan a rencontré samedi à Beijing Patrick de Rousiers, président du Comité militaire de l'Union européenne.

 

Les relations dans le domaine de la sécurité entre la Chine et l'Europe ont été florissantes ces dernières années, a indiqué M. Chang, citant une coopération saine concernant les plans du dialogue de sécurité, la formation du personnel et le maintien de la paix internationale.

 

Il a appelé les deux parties à continuer à renforcer les échanges personnels et à approfondir la coopération pragmatique.

 

M. De Rousiers a déclaré pour sa part qu'il avait eu un entretien fructueux avec la partie chinoise lors de sa visite, et qu'il était prêt à promouvoir la compréhension mutuelle entre les deux parties par le biais de nouveaux canaux.

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8 octobre 2014 3 08 /10 /octobre /2014 15:35
EU and China to hold Dialogue on Security and Defence

 

Brussels, 08 October 2014 141008/02

 

General Patrick de Rousiers, Chairman of the EU Military Committee, travels tomorrow to Beijing to hold the first EU-China Dialogue on Security and Defence. This mission, the first of its kind, stems from last March's visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the EU. It was agreed on that occasion – based on the good cooperation so far – to raise the level of EU- China dialogue and cooperation on defence and security.

 

The General is expected to hold meetings with Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan and Chief of General Staff Fang Fenghui as well as give a speech at the PLA Defence University and participate in a roundtable with Chinese experts.

 

This initiative is part of the implementation of the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation agreed by both sides at the 2013 EU-China Summit.

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7 octobre 2014 2 07 /10 /octobre /2014 12:40
L’avion russo-chinois à large fuselage renforcera la sécurité des deux pays

 

06/10/2014 Par Vassili Kachine, la Voix de la Russie-RIA Novosti

 

La conception du futur avion à large fuselage a une importance stratégique militaire. Elle sera utile pour l’économie russe et chinoise mais aussi pour les forces aériennes des deux pays.

 

Alexandre Touliakov, vice-président de la Compagnie aéronautique unifiée russe (OAK), a déclaré que la fabrication en série et les ventes du futur avion russo-chinois à large fuselage pourraient commencer dès 2025. La situation internationale actuelle a considérablement raffermi la volonté politique des deux pays de réaliser ce projet, note Vassili Kachine, expert du Centre d’analyse des stratégies et des technologies.

 

D’ici dix ans, nos pays disposeront de programmes autonomes de fabrication d’avions régionaux de transport commercial (Superjet-100 et ARJ-21) et d’avions de ligne à fuselage étroit (le MS-21 russe et le S-919 chinois). Un avion à large fuselage permettra quant à lui de passer à une intégration étroite des industries aéronautiques civiles de nos pays et à une lutte commune ultérieure pour les nouveaux débouchés.

 

La coopération avec la Russie pourrait être utile à la Chine car l’OAK possède une riche expérience de conception d’avions de types différents. La Russie est par ailleurs le premier producteur mondial de titane et la société russe VSNPO Avisma a déjà signé un contrat pour livrer des pièces en titane pour l’avion chinois S-919. La fabrication d’un avion à large fuselage sans aucune dépendance vis-à-vis de l’Occident ouvrira des perspectives d’exportation de ce genre d’appareils dans les pays frappés de sanctions occidentales comme par exemple l’Iran. L’utilisation d’un tel avion à des fins militaires est prometteuse elle aussi.

 

La Russie et la Chine emploient aujourd’hui les deux les avions-radars à long rayon d'action et d’autres appareils spécialisés qui ont été conçus principalement à partir d’avions de transport militaire. Cependant, ce sont souvent les avions civils et non pas ceux de transport militaire qui servent de base aux avions-radars à long rayon d'action, aux avions-ravitailleurs et aux avions de reconnaissance dans les pays occidentaux. Les avions civils sont plus économiques et commodes, ils ont une plus grande autonomie et vitesse et ils sont souvent rééquipés en avions ravitailleurs et en avions de reconnaissance. La conception du futur avion à large fuselage a donc une importance stratégique militaire. Elle sera utile pour l’économie russe et chinoise mais aussi pour les forces aériennes des deux pays.

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4 octobre 2014 6 04 /10 /octobre /2014 16:35
Air Defense: Hawks Replaced By Sky Bow

 

October 4, 2014: Strategy Page

 

Taiwan recently announced the retirement (real soon) of its 19 Hawk anti-aircraft missile batteries and over 900 Hawk missiles. This is apparently a message to China to brace for more formidable air defense systems. Hawk is being replaced by the locally developed Sky Bow II system. For many countries, modern versions of Hawk get the job done for local threats and is an affordable (less than $300,000 per missile) solution for air-defense needs. But as the Chinese improve their ECM (Electronic Countermeasures), especially the ECM carried by their most modern fighters and bombers, Hawk has become less of an obstacle.  Sky Bow II, using a lot of licensed American technology has much better electronics and the missile weighs 1.2 tons and has a range of over 150 kilometers. There is also an anti-ballistic missile version (Sky Bow III) that is supposed to enter service in 2015. While there is a mobile version of Sky Bow II, many of the missiles are launched from underground silos, which are much better protected from attack. The mobile version uses a box like launcher containing four missiles in sealed containers. There is a radar and control system (in a truck or underground) for every four to eight launchers. Sky Bow I and II were introduced in the 1990s and Sky Bow I is being replaced by Sky Bow II.

 

Each Hawk battery has six towed launchers each carrying three of the 590 kg (1,290 pound) Hawk missiles plus a radar, control center and maintenance vehicles. In the last 60 year over 40,000 Hawk missiles were produced and bought by the nearly 30 countries that used (or still use) Hawk. While Hawk has been upgraded since it entered service in 1959, some countries have gone beyond that. Back in 2011, South Korea introduced a locally designed and produced Iron Hawk II anti-aircraft missile system. This replaced three existing U.S. Hawk missile battalions. Iron Hawk II is mobile, with the radar and launchers carried on trucks. Each launcher truck has six missiles in sealed storage/firing containers. The original Hawk did not use the container system. Hawk missiles have a max range of 40 kilometers and a max altitude of 15,000 meters (46,500 feet). The search radar (with a max range of 100 kilometers) guides missiles part of the way before the missiles' own guidance system takes over for the final approach. South Korea had help from Russia in developing the AESA search radar and the Iron Hawk missiles. Because the main military threat, North Korea, is right next to South Korea, Hawk range is not a big issue.

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2 octobre 2014 4 02 /10 /octobre /2014 11:35
Naval Air: Chinese Carrier Returns To Service

 

October 1, 2014: Strategy Page

 

On September 25th China’s first aircraft carrier (the Liaoning) completed five months of shipyard level maintenance, refurbishment and repairs. This came after three years of frequent trips to sea for training and testing. All this time at sea apparently produced a long list of things needing to be fixed, modified or replaced. Thus the long visit in the shipyard. It was also revealed what the carrier’s air wing would eventually consist of. There will be twelve helicopters (four Z-18J early warning, six Z-18F anti-submarine and two Z-9C search and rescue) and 24 J-15 jet fighters (navalized Su-27s). None of these aircraft are available yet to complete the Liaoning air group. The Z-18F is the first Chinese made anti-submarine helicopter that works (at least on paper). It is described as a 13 ton naval helicopter that carries a dipping sonar, 32 sonobuoys and up to four light (235 kg/517 pound) anti-submarine torpedoes. The Z-18F is too heavy for most Chinese warships and will be used on Chinese carriers and large amphibious ships (that look like small carriers). The Z-18F appears to be a major upgrade to the earlier Z-8F, which was not acceptable. The Z-18J is equipped with a radar that can spot aircraft out to 150 kilometers. The Z-9 is four ton helicopter with a two ton payload. China has built over 200 of the Z-9s and many have been armed (with twin 23mm cannon, torpedoes, anti-tank missiles and air-to-air missiles.) The Z-9D, armed with four TL-10 missiles, while the Z-9EC simply has anti-submarine equipment installed instead. The Z-9C is an unarmed version of the Z-9EC. Both the Z-18 and Z-9 are based on French helicopters that China has long produced under license.

 

For most of the last decade China has been developing the J-15, which is a carrier version of the Russian Su-27. There is already a Russian version of this, called the Su-33. Russia refused to sell Su-33s to China when it was noted that China was making illegal copies of the Su-27 (as the J-11) and did not want to place a big order for Su-33s but only wanted two, for "evaluation." China eventually got a Su-33 from Ukraine in 2001. Ukraine had inherited some Su-33s when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. The first production models of the J-15 entered service in 2013 and it may take several years for the Liaoning to get its full complement of 24.

 

Liaoning completed its sea trials on January 1st 2014 after it returned to base with its escort group after 37 days at sea. This came 16 months after Liaoning was commissioned (accepted into service by the navy) in September 2012. At that time China announced that there would be more sea trials before Liaoning was ready for regular service. Before commissioning Liaoning had performed well during over a year of pre-commissioning sea trials. During that time Liaoning went to sea ten times. The longest trip was two weeks. All this was mainly to see if the ship was able to function reliably at sea. After commissioning Liaoning carried out months of additional trials and preparations for the first flight operations, which took place in late 2012.

 

Liaoning is one of the two Kuznetsov class carriers that Russia began building in the 1980s. Originally the Kuznetsovs were to be 90,000 ton nuclear powered ships, similar to American carriers (complete with steam catapults). Instead, because of the high cost and the complexity of modern (American style) carriers, the Russians were forced to scale back their plans and ended up with 65,000 ton (full load) ships that lacked steam catapults and used a ski jump type flight deck instead. Nuclear power was dropped but the Kuznetsovs were still a formidable design. The Kuznetsovs normally carry a dozen navalized Su-27s (called Su-33s), 14 Ka-27PL anti-submarine helicopters, two electronic warfare helicopters, and two search and rescue helicopters. But the ship was built to carry as many as 36 Su-33s and sixteen helicopters. The Kuznetsovs carry 2,500 tons of aviation fuel, allowing it to generate 500-1,000 aircraft and helicopter sorties. Crew size is 2,500 (or 3,000 with a full aircraft load). While the original Kuznetsov is in Russian service, the second ship, the Varyag, was launched but not completed, and work stopped in 1992. The Chinese bought the unfinished carrier in 1998, towed it to China and spent over a decade completing it as the Liaoning.

 

In 2011 China confirmed that the Liaoning will primarily be a training carrie used to train Chinese officers and sailors to operate as a carrier task force as the Americans and some other Western navies have been doing for over 80 years. That led to the formation of the first Chinese carrier task force in late 2013. This was essential because a carrier needs escorts. For Liaoning this consisted of two Type 051C destroyers and two Type 054A frigates plus a supply ship. All this is similar to what the U.S. has long used, which is currently 3-4 destroyers, 1-2 frigates, an SSN (nuclear submarine), and a supply ship. Chinese SSNs are few and not very good, which is why China probably has not assigned one to their escort group.

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30 septembre 2014 2 30 /09 /septembre /2014 11:35
Taïwan repense sa défense face à la Chine

 

30/09/2014 Par Patrick Saint-Paul, envoyé spécial à Taïpeh – LeFigaro.fr

 

Si les puissantes armées de Pékin attaquaient, Taïpeh devrait s'engager dans une guerre asymétrique.

 

Lâchée par ses alliés, confrontée à la montée en puissance et la modernisation à marche forcée de l'Armée populaire de libération (APL), Taïwan change sa doctrine militaire. Toujours considérée par Pékin comme une «île rebelle» qu'il n'exclue pas de reconquérir par la force, Taïpeh se prépare désormais à résister à une éventuelle invasion chinoise de façon asymétrique.

 

Suite de l’article

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21 septembre 2014 7 21 /09 /septembre /2014 11:35
Le Bangladesh achète 2 sous-marins à la Chine

 

21 septembre 2014. Portail des Sous-Marins

 

Le Bangladesh a signé un accord avec la Chine un contrat pour l’achat de 2 sous-marins pour un montant de 150.000 €. La marine chinoise utilise actuellement ces 2 sous-marins mis en service il y a 24 ans. La marine du Bangladesh devrait les recevoir en 2018 après qu’ils aient été reconditionnés.

 

L’objectif du Bangladesh serait d’acheter au total 4 sous-marins. Près de 200 personnes seront nécessaires pour la mise en œuvre des sous-marins et leur environnement et plusieurs ont déjà été formées pour cela.

 

Un membre de la commission d’achat a indiqué : « La Chine va fournir 2 sous-marins du type 035 G. »

 

Les sous-marins du type 035G sont dérivés du sous-marin soviétique Romeo (conçus dans les années 50. Le type 035G a été développé à partir de 1985 et le premier exemplaire lancé en 1990.

 

La base sous-marine sera construite sur le canal de Kutibdia, à Pekua upazila.

 

Référence : Prothom Alo (Bangladesh)

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20 septembre 2014 6 20 /09 /septembre /2014 12:30
Syrie: 18 jihadistes de l'EI tués lors de combats contre les Kurdes

 

20 septembre 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Beyrouth - Au moins 18 jihadistes de l'Etat islamique (EI) ont été tués dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi dans des combats avec les forces kurdes près de la ville syrienne d'Aïn al-Arab, à la frontière avec la Turquie, a indiqué une ONG.

 

Selon l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme (OSDH), des affrontements violents étaient toujours en cours samedi dans ce secteur du nord de la Syrie où le groupe ultra-radical a pris le contrôle de 60 villages kurdes en deux jours, dont 40 vendredi.

 

Un Chinois figurerait parmi les 18 jihadistes tués, selon l'OSDH.

 

Cette avancée jihadiste a poussé des milliers de Kurdes à trouver refuge en Turquie, qui a ouvert sa frontière vendredi.

 

La ville d'Aïn al-Arab, dans la province d'Alep, et connue sous le nom de Kobané en langue kurde, est la troisième ville kurde de Syrie. Si les jihadistes s'en emparaient, ils contrôleraient alors une large part de la frontière nord avec la Turquie.

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16 septembre 2014 2 16 /09 /septembre /2014 16:35
Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

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

 

September 16, 2014: Strategy Page

 

China continues to have problems with its locally produced military jet engines. The biggest problems are with the WS-10 series, which was designed and produced in China and the government has been pressuring the aircraft manufacturers to use Chinese made engines like this instead of Russian imports. This has not been working out as the government wants. For example, the new Chinese carrier fighter, the J-15, is supposed to have a more powerful Chinese made engine so that it can carry more weight using the ski jump deck on the new Chinese carrier. The ski jump is a cheaper and less complex take off alternative to the steam catapult. One disadvantage of the ski jump deck is that it cannot launch aircraft as heavy as a catapult can. China has developed a more powerful version of their WS-10 engine (the WS-10H) for the J-15 but has only been seen in two J-15s. Most J-15s are still using Russian AL-31Fs. China keeps details of its WS-10 development secret, but they cannot hide which of their aircraft are using the WS-10 and which the Russian made AL-31s that the WS-10 is based on and is supposed to replace. It is obvious that not a lot of WS-10s are being installed and that indicates the quality control and reliability problems of the WS-10 persist despite government denials.

 

The first WS-10s began showing up in J-11s back in 2004. In 2010 China revealed that it was replacing the Russian engines in its J-10 fighter, installing Chinese made WS-10A in place of the Russian made AL-31FN. Shortly after that announcement China ordered another 123 AL-31FNs, to be delivered by 2012. More AL-31s have been ordered but at the same time more Chinese fighters were being seen with WS-10s. Despite that the demand for AL-31s, based on the number of modern jet fighters China wants to build, is exceeding the Russian engine building capacity.

 

The Chinese claim the WS-10A is superior to the AL-31F, even though the WS-10A copied a lot of the Russian technology. The Chinese say they have improved on that. For example, as delivered from Russia, the original AL-31 was good for 900 hours of operation. The Chinese claim their engineers figured out how to tweak the design of the engine so that it would last for 1,500 hours. Russia has since improved their basic AL-31 lifetime to 1,500 hours, and, most recently, 2,000 hours. When pressed, the Chinese claim that they simply cannot produce enough WS-10As for all the new airframes they are building. But the reality is that the WS-10As have some serious, unpredictable and persistent reliability problems that limit the number of reliable (enough for regular use) engines available.

 

Back in 2011 China believed it would be free from dependence on Russia for military jet engines by 2016, which implied that Chinese engine manufacturers still had a way to go. Now the most any Chinese will admit to is that there will be no need for Russian engines by the end of the decade, maybe. Meanwhile China continues to import AL-31s and the RD-93 (a version of the MiG-29's RD-33) for the JF-17 (an F-16 type aircraft developed in cooperation with Pakistan) from Russia. These engines are expensive, with the RD-33 going for about $3 million each and the AL-31 for about a third more.

 

Since the 1990s Chinese engineers have managed to master the manufacturing techniques needed to make a Chinese copy of the Russian AL-31 engine. This is part of a program that has also developed the WS-13, to replace the RD-93 as well. While the Chinese have been able to build engines that are durable, they are still having problems with reliability. Apparently it is still worth buying more Russian engines because the Chinese models are out of action too often, which keeps the jets grounded for repairs or, worst of all, an engine change.

 

China has long copied foreign technology, not always successfully. But since the 1990s China has poured much money into developing a jet engine manufacturing capability. The Chinese encountered many of the same problems the Russians did in the beginning. Developing the necessary engine design and construction skills is difficult. But China has several advantages. First, they knew of the mistakes the Russians had made, and so were able to avoid many of them. Then there was the fact that China had better access to Western manufacturing technology (both legally and illegally). Finally, China was, unlike the Soviets, able to develop their engine manufacturing capabilities in a market economy. This was much more efficient than the command economy that the Soviets were saddled with for seven decades. The Chinese consider all this part of the learning process and they do learn from their mistakes.

 

Meanwhile the Chinese can build more Su-27 clones than they can reliable engines for them, and they keep developing more Su-27 variants. The Chinese J-11 jet fighter is an illegal Chinese copy of the Russian Su-27. It all began legally in 1995, when China paid $2.5 billion for the right to build 200 Su-27s. Russia would supply engines and electronics, with China building the other components according to Russian plans and specifications. But after 95 of the Chinese built aircraft were built Russia cancelled the agreement. Russia claimed that China was using the knowledge acquired with this Su-27 program to build their own copy of the Su-27, the J-11. The Chinese claimed that the J-11 was designed and built using only Chinese technology. China also has a stealthy version (J-17) of the Su-27. There is also an aircraft carrier version of the Su-30 (the Su-33, obtained from Ukraine) that is now in service as the J-15. In 2013 J-16s were spotted. This is a two-seat fighter-bomber similar to the American F-15E and nearly identical to the Russian Su-30MKK. China insists these are all Chinese designs that just happen to bear some resemblance to Russian fighters.

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4 septembre 2014 4 04 /09 /septembre /2014 12:35
Coopération Chine-Pologne: un fort potentiel dans le domaine de la défense (officiels)

 

2014-09-03 xinhua

 

Le président du Sénat polonais Bogdan Borusewicz et le ministre chinois de la Défense, Chang Wanquan, ont indiqué mardi lors d'une rencontre à Varsovie qu'il y a un potentiel pour élargir la coopération de défense bilatérale.

 

Soulignant que les relations sino-polonaises ont maintenu un élan de développement positif ces dernières années, M. Borusewicz a indiqué que le renforcement des liens amicaux avec la Chine demeure l'un des piliers des relations étrangères de la Pologne.

 

Les deux parties sont complémentaires dans le domaine de la coopération militaire, a-t-il indiqué, soulignant le potentiel pour la coopération sur les technologies de défense.

 

M. Chang, qui est également un conseiller d'Etat chinois, a indiqué que ces dernières années ont reflété l'approfondissement continu de la confiance politique mutuelle, des échanges fructueux et une coopération fructueuse dans divers domaines et davantage d'échanges entre les armées des deux pays.

 

Il y a encore un grand potentiel pour élargir la coopération entre la Chine et la Pologne dans le domaine militaire et la défense, a ajouté M. Chang.

 

Lors de la rencontre, les deux parties ont exprimé la volonté de travailler avec l'autre pour continuer de promouvoir le partenariat stratégique sino-polonais.

 

M. Chang a également rencontré mardi son homologue polonais Tomasz Siemoniak. Les deux parties ont appelé à promouvoir les échanges entre les autorités de défense et les armées des deux pays.

 

Le président chinois Xi Jinping et les leaders de l'Union européenne ont convenu de construire des partenariats pour la paix, la croissance, la réforme et la civilisation lors de la visite de M. Xi en mars dernier, ce qui indique qu'il y a de nouvelles opportunités de développement pour les relations entre la Chine et l'Europe et entre la Chine et la Pologne, a indiqué M. Chang.

 

Il a proposé que les autorités de défense et les armées des deux pays maintiennent le rythme de leurs visites de haut niveau, initient des consultations stratégiques de défense et étendent la portée des échanges bilatéraux dans les domaines militaire et de la défense .

 

Selon M. Siemoniak, la Pologne et la Chine sont très complémentaires et le ministère de la Défense et l'armée de la Pologne accordent une grande importance à leurs relations avec la Chine.

 

Le ministre polonais a appelé à un approfondissement des échanges entre les ministères de la défense et les armées des deux pays ainsi qu'à davantage de coopération dans divers domaines, dont la formation de personnel, la logistique et les services de santé.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:35
US Reassures China as 2,500 Marines Head to Australia

 

Aug. 12, 2014 – Defense News (AFP)

 

SYDNEY — The United States stressed Tuesday it welcomes the rise of China and wants to work constructively with Beijing as it signed a deal to deploy 2,500 Marines to Australia as part of its “rebalance” to Asia.

 

China bristled when the agreement to deploy Marines to the northern city of Darwin was first announced by President Barack Obama in 2011.

 

But after signing the deal at the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Sydney, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was not interested in conflict with the Asian powerhouse.

 

“We welcome the rise of China as a global partner, hopefully as a powerful economy, as a full participating constructive member of the international community,” he said.

 

“We are not seeking conflict and confrontation. And our hope is that China will likewise take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of it and be that cooperative partner.”

 

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop earlier defended the deal to bring US Marines and Air Force personnel to the Northern Territory, denying it was aimed at China which is embroiled in maritime disputes with neighbors.

 

“That’s not what it is directed to do at all. It’s about working closely with the United States to ensure that we can work on regional peace and security,” she told a radio program.

 

“The United States is rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific so it’s ways we can work together to support economic development as well as security and peace.”

 

After the talks Bishop, who also hosted US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said the discussions were broad — ranging from tensions on the Korean peninsula to the crisis in Ukraine and to conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan.

 

Threat of Foreign Jihadists

 

The threat of foreign jihadist militants fighting in these conflicts and then returning home radicalized was also explored. The US and Australia agreed to raise the issue at the United Nations.

 

Kerry said this problem, highlighted by images in local media of the seven-year-old son of an Australian jihadist in Syria holding a severed head, underscored the degree to which Islamic State fighters were “so far beyond the pale.”

 

“This image, perhaps even an iconic photograph, is really one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photos ever displayed,” Kerry said.

 

“It’s no accident that every country in the region is opposed to ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).”

 

Bishop made no comment about the prospect of an increased US military presence beyond the Marines, some 1,200 of whom are already in the country.

 

But a communique issued after the talks said that enhanced aircraft and naval cooperation was discussed, while the allies would also examine options for Australia’s contributions to ballistic missile defense in the region.

 

Bishop said there existed between Australia and the United States “a clear instinct for collaboration across a wide area of endeavor.”

 

“There is a desire to share the burden of implementing regional and global peace and prosperity, security and stability,” she said.

 

Bishop added that there was no more important security partner for Australia than the US and their longstanding alliance “had never been stronger.”

 

But she said Canberra did not envisage Australian troops would return to Iraq, where the US is carrying out air strikes and humanitarian airdrops to try to combat jihadist fighters.

 

However, Australia has offered support for humanitarian relief.

 

Kerry also ruled out sending troops to Iraq.

 

Speaking at the start of the talks at Sydney’s harborside Admiralty House, he said the Australia-US relationship was “essential to the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.”

 

“We do face new challenges,” he said, citing North Korea and maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 07:35
The Z-18F, China's new anti-submarine weapon


13.08.2014 Pacific Sentinel
 

To strengthen the anti-submarine capability of the People's Liberation Army Navy, Z-18F helicopters will likely serve on the Liaoning, the nation's first aircraft carrier and the Type 071 Yuzhao-class amphibious transport docks according to a report by Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News published Aug. 12.
 
The paper cited a Chinese military website which stated that the Z-18F is likely a modified version of the Z-8F helicopter designed based on the French-built SA 321 Super Frelon. By looking at photos posted online, Li Xiaojian, a Chinese military expert told the paper that the Z-18F is probably equipped with four eight-tube sonobuoy launchers, allowing the helicopter to carry 32 sonobuoys. A US SH-60 Seahawk, in comparison, is only able to carry 25 sonobuoys, according to Li.
 
Read the full story at Want China Times
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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 16:35
Japan’s New Remote Island Defense Plan

The Japanese government is stepping up efforts to increase both its presence and the population’s awareness of claims to remote islands off the western coast of its main islands. The plans include the stationing of troops, increased investment in development, and the strengthening of “maritime education.” While these plans target islands from as far north as Hokkaido all the way south to Okinawa, they are still primarily concerned with exerting Japan’s claims to islands that are disputed with China.

 

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12 août 2014 2 12 /08 /août /2014 16:35
Les militaires russes participeront à des exercices en Chine

 

11.08.2014 Par La Voix de la Russie

 

Environ 900 militaires russes de la région militaire Est sont partis pour la Chine où ils participeront aux exercices de l'Organisation de coopération de Shanghai (OCS) Mission de paix 2014.

 

Les manoeuvres auront lieu du 24 au 29 août avec la participation des contingents des cinq pays de l'OCS, à savoir la Russie, le Kazakhstan, le Kighizistan, la Chine et le Tadjikistan.

 

Les exercices engageront plus de 7 000 militaires des Etats membres de l'OCS.

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12 août 2014 2 12 /08 /août /2014 12:35
PLA Navy set to build 10 aircraft carriers

 

2014-08-12 wantchinatimes.com

 

To create its first blue-water navy, China plans to construct a total of 10 domestic aircraft carriers according to the Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine operated by Andrei Chang also known as Pinkov, a military analyst from Canada.

 

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12 août 2014 2 12 /08 /août /2014 07:40
Following Sanctions, Russia Turns to China for Defense and Aerospace Equipment

 

August 12, 2014 By Ankit Panda – The Diplomat

 

Given increasing Western sanctions, Moscow turns to Beijing for its defense and aerospace needs.

 

Facing sanctions from the West for its actions in Ukraine earlier this year, including the annexation of Crimea and supporting Ukrainian separatists, Russia will increasingly turn to China for its military and aerospace components. According to RIA Novosti report citing a Russian-language report by Izvestia, “Russian aerospace and military-industrial enterprises will purchase electronic components worth several billion dollars from China.” The information is based on a source “close to Roscosmos, Russia’s Federal Space Agency.”

According to the Roscomos source: “[Russia does] work with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) … Its institutions have already offered us a few dozen items, representing a direct alternative to, or slight modifications of the elements [Russia] will no longer be able to acquire because of the sanctions introduced by the United States.” Currently, Russia’s extensive military and aerospace industries do not source their components in China. “Over the next two, two-and-a-half years, until Russian manufacturers put the necessary space and military electronic components into production, plans call for the purchase of such items from China amounting to several billion dollars,” the source adds.

Additionally, according to Andrei Ionin, chief analyst at GLONASS Union, “establishing large-scale cooperation with Chinese manufacturers could become the first step toward forming a technology alliance involving BRICS member states.”

If Russia is indeed looking to China for military and aerospace components, it further signals that the Beijing-Moscow relationship continues to tilt in the former’s favor. The recent $400 billion natural gas deal between the two sides also showed another aspect of the changing dynamics in bilateral relations. Reports suggest that Moscow acquiesced to Beijing’s price demands in order to seal a 30-year deal.

Moreover, while Western sanctions will drive Russia and China closer together, they are not the only reason for the strategic convergence between these two countries. Both Russia and China have increased their cooperation in recent years and work together at international forums, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Under the latest round of E.U. and U.S. sanctions over the ongoing Ukraine conflict, Russian financial institutions, defense firms, and energy companies are increasingly isolated on a global scale.

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11 août 2014 1 11 /08 /août /2014 07:35
Chinese Radar May Pierce F-35 Stealth Armor: Report

 

July 31, 2014 by Brendan McGarry -  defensetech.org

 

Increasingly sophisticated radar in China and Russia may soon be able to pierce the stealth armor on F-22 and F-35 fighter jets, according to a news report.

 

The stealth coating on the U.S.-made fifth-generation fighters shields the aircraft from high-frequency radars operating in the Ku, X and C bands and some of the S band, but not from low-frequency systems utilizing L, UHF and VHF wavelengths, according to an article by Dave Majumdar at USNI News.

 

China and Russia are now working to develop low-frequency radars with more computing power designed to track stealth aircraft with more precision — enough to target them with a missile, according to the report, citing an unnamed former senior U.S. Navy official.

 

“Acquisition and fire control radars are starting to creep down the frequency spectrum,” the official told USNI News. “I don’t see how you long survive in the world of 2020 or 2030 when dealing with these systems if you don’t have the lower frequency coverage.”

 

To be sure, the Defense Department is aware of the increasing sophistication of enemy air defenses, known in military parlance as anti-access, area-denial, or A2-AD, environments.

 

The Pentagon’s latest annual report to Congress on military and security developments in China notes the country is continuing its military build-up and views defense against stealth aircraft and drones as “a growing priority.”

 

The People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, has long sought to control the flow of information in the event of war to thwart data-hungry adversaries such as the U.S. It considers the strategy of “information dominance” a critical form of defense against countries that it views as “information dependent,” according to previous assessments.

 

Perhaps not surprisingly, the People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, sent an uninvited spy ship, probably the type 815 Dongdiao-class intelligence collection vessel Beijixing (pennant number 851), to this year’s Rim of the Pacific exercise, according to an article by Sam LaGrone of USNI News.

 

China is participating in the event — the world’s largest naval exercise, held off the coast of Hawaii — for the first time this year, with four vessels.

 

The head of U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Samuel Locklear, this week described the presence of the surveillance ship as “a little odd,” though it “hasn’t created any difficulties in the exercise,” which ends Friday.

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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 11:35
Is China Preparing MIRVed Ballistic Missiles?

 

August 08, 2014 By Zachary Keck -- thediplomat.com

 

China’s new DF-5A and DF-31A ICBM tests once again highlight its rising interest in MIRVed ICBMs.

 

China tested two of its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) last week, the Washington Times reported on Thursday.

According to the Washington Times report by Bill Gertz, who cited unnamed U.S. officials, China tested its Dong Feng 31A (DF-31A/CSS-10) and Dong Feng 5A (DF-5A/CSS-4) ICBMs last week.

The DF-5A is an upgraded version of the DF-5 ICBMs that China first tested in 1971. It is a three stage, liquid propellant silo-based missile with a range of 13,000 km and a throw weight of roughly 3,000 kg.

The DF-31A is China’s new road-mobile ICBM, based off the older DF-31 ICBM that China first tested in 1999. It is a three stage solid-propellant rocket with a range of roughly 11,200–12,000 km. This is the fourth known testing of the DF-31A ICBM. Its sea-based variant, the JL-2, will provide China with its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent when it is deployed on China’s Type 094 Jin-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) sometime this year.

Both the DF-5A and the DF-31A are capable of hitting the United States.

The Washington Times article did not specify exactly where the tests had occurred, but it did not that previous DF-31A tests have taken place at China’s Taiyuan Space Launch Center in Shanxi Province in northern China. However, it seems quite possible that the ICBM tests were part of the ongoing military drills that China announced late last month in the eastern parts of the country. As previously noted, these drills have caused significant delays to civilian air travel in eastern China. Earlier in the drills, China conducted what it claimed was an anti-ballistic missile test, but which the U.S. believes was really an anti-satellite test.

The earlier anti-missile/anti-satellite test, along with the new ICBM tests, underscore the growing attention China’s military is placing on its strategic and missile capabilities. Last week China inadvertently confirmed the existence of a new generation ICBM, the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41), which the U.S. Department of Defense has said may be capable of carrying multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs).

MIRV missiles can deliver multiple (usually nuclear) warheads to different targets, and were seen as widely destabilizing to the nuclear balance during the Cold War when the United States and Soviet Union began deploying them in the 1970s. The U.S. just phased out the last of its land-based MIRV ICBMs, although it continues to deploy MIRV submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Russia continues to field MIRV ICBMs.

Interestingly, the new reports about the DF-5A and DF-31A ICBM tests also highlight China’s potentially growing interest in acquiring a MIRV capability. According to the Federation of Atomic Scientists, “in November 1983 China inaugurated a DF-5 modification program to arm these ICBMs with MIRVed warheads.” Although technical difficulties prevented that program from reaching fruition, it is also believed that China later designated the DF-5A as its MIRV missile.

It has also been widely speculated, including by the U.S. Department of Defense, that the DF-31A may be MIRV capable. Most analyses suggest that the road-mobile ICBM may be capable of carrying up to 3 warheads. At this point, most believe that China is only deploying single warheads on its DF-5A and the DF-31A ICBMs, although some foreign analysts have claimed that it has already MIRVed some of its missile forces.

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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 11:35
Air Transportation: The Helicopter China Cannot Get Enough Of

 

August 9, 2014: Strategy Page

 

The Russian Helicopter Corporation delivered to China the last of 52 Mi-171E helicopters ordered since 2012. This model can carry up to 37 passengers or four tons of cargo and has engines that are particularly effective under "hot and high" conditions. This is useful for the Chinese, who need equipment that can operate in Tibet (where many areas are at altitudes of over 4,000 meters). China is quite fond of the Mi-17 and the older Mi-8 it is derived from. Currently China operates 160 Mi-171 helicopters.

 

In 2008 China signed deals that allows it to legally manufacture the Mi-171, but it is still buying them from Russia because it takes time to set up manufacturing facilities and China needs more military transport helicopters right now and can afford to pay. Currently China has about 300 Mi-17/Mi-8 type helicopters and over 500 locally made helicopters. Most (Z9/Z-19) of these local builds are based on the Eurocopter AS 365 Dauphin while another hundred locally built Z-10 gunships were based on a Russian design. China has shown a preference for the Mi-8/17 design and would like to build a thousand or more Mi-171s locally under license.

 

In 2010 Chinese and Russian helicopter manufacturers established a joint venture to perform maintenance and refurbishment on helicopters, especially those of Russian design. This is part of a larger plan, which also includes the factory in China building Mi-171s.

 

The M-171 is basically an inexpensive transport helicopter. But it can easily be modified to carry weapons, or any other specialized gear. Some of the Mi-171s are even being equipped with radars and other sensors, to be used for reconnaissance and surveillance. The basic Mi-171 is based on the 1970s era Mi-17, which is the export version of the similar Mi-8. Weighing about 12 tons, and carrying a four ton load, the Mi-171 has a range of 590 kilometers at a cruising speed of 250 kilometers per hour. There is a crew of three and as many passengers as can be squeezed in (up to 40 people, but usually 20-30.) A sling underneath can also carry up to four tons.

 

Several hundred Mi-171s have been exported by Russia. The helicopter is rugged, inexpensive ($4-5 million each) and better suited for less affluent nations. Development of this model was completed in 1998 and Russia has been pushing sales hard.

 

In 2008 Russia and China signed an agreement, in which China promised to stop stealing Russian military technology. It appears that the main function of the new "military technical cooperation" agreement was to stop China from exporting their copies of Russian equipment, and competing with the Russian originals. This agreement immediately led to some interesting proposals regarding helicopters. Russia agreed to sell China six Helix anti-submarine helicopters, with the possibility of joint manufacture. Meanwhile, the Mi-171 deal quickly turned into the Chinese Mi-171 factory.

 

There was also a proposal for China and Russia to jointly develop a large transport helicopter, based on the existing Mi-26T (a 20 ton aircraft that can carry 80 passengers). There may be other joint development deals to produce updated versions of existing Russian helicopter designs. This sort of thing could be mutually beneficial, and China now has a domestic source for inexpensive transport helicopters, which its civilian and military markets are demanding many of.

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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 07:35
China Asked SoKor to Cancel Pohang-Class Corvette Donation to Philippines

Pohang class corvette (photo : Chosun)

 

09 Aug. 2014 Defense Studies

“China has strongly protested against the [South Korean] government’s decision to donate a 1,200-ton patrol boat and a landing vessel to the Philippines, it emerged Monday,” reported August 5 by The Chosun Ilbo, one of major news providers in South Korea.

“According to the Foreign Ministry, an official at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul visited the ministry on June 10 after the decision was reported by media and asked for it to be canceled,” it added.

On Philippine side, there is no report of cancellation.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwang-jin told Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin at a meeting in Seoul last May 30 that Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) will decommission a Pohang-class corvette (PCC) by year-end and will be donated to the Philippine Navy.

Minister Kim said South Korea’s gesture is a small token compared with the great contribution of Filipino troops during the Korean War.

Pohang-class corvettes, a class of general purpose vessels operated by the Republic of Korea Navy, are equipped with 4 Harpoon missiles, 2 OTO Melara(76mm)/62 compact cannon, 2 Breda 40mm/70 cannon, 6 Mark 46 torpedoes, 12 Mark 9 depth charges. Sensors and processing systems depend on whether it is an ASW or ASUW version.

The said ship is expected to be donated with intact armament and sensors.

(AngMalaya)

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 12:40
Biathlon en chars d'assaut – ChM : la Russie en tête

 

MOSCOU, 5 août - RIA Novosti

 

L'équipe russe a remporté la première manche de la course individuelle au championnat du monde de biathlon en chars d'assaut qui se déroule sur le polygone militaire russe d'Alabino, dans la région de Moscou, a annoncé l'arbitre des compétitions, Iouri Petrov.

 

Selon ce dernier, la Russie a réalisé un chrono de 26 minutes et 39 secondes. L'Arménie se classe deuxième (28'58) devançant le Kazakhstan (29'53).

M.Petrov a précisé que seuls trois pays - Russie, Arménie et Chine - s'étaient pliés à toutes les exigences de la compétition et avaient parcouru la distance sans pénalités.

 

Le premier championnat du monde de biathlon en char d'assaut se tiendra du 4 au 16 août,  engageant des équipages de 12 Etats: Angola, Arménie, Biélorussie, Chine, Inde, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Koweït, Mongolie, Russie, Serbie et Venezuela.  Les pays membres de l'Otan ont refusé de participer aux compétitions et ont envoyé leurs observateurs.

 

Le ministère russe de la Défense a organisé des séances d'entraînement pour les équipages de tous les pays participants et a mis à leur disposition des chars russes T-72. Les Chinois sont les seuls à utiliser des chars de fabrication nationale Type 96A.

 

La compétition de biathlon en chars d'assaut se déroule comme une course de relais à ski. Les chars doivent parcourir une piste de plus de 20 kilomètres parsemée d'obstacles et participer à trois séances de tir - en utilisant un missile, une mitrailleuse antiaérienne et trois obus d'artillerie. A la différence du biathlon classique, les équipages des chars doivent détruire des cibles imitant des chars et des hélicoptères volant à basse altitude à une distance de 0,9 km à 2,2 km.

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6 août 2014 3 06 /08 /août /2014 16:40
Biathlon en chars d’assaut en Russie

 

04.08.2014 Source Ria NovistiRT.com

 

Le premier championnat du monde de biathlon en chars d'assaut a débuté lundi sur le polygone militaire russe d'Alabino, dans la région de Moscou. La compétition se déroule comme une course de relais à ski. Les chars doivent parcourir une piste de plus de 20 km parsemée d'obstacles et participer à trois séances de tir - en utilisant un missile, une mitrailleuse antiaérienne et trois obus d'artillerie.

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6 août 2014 3 06 /08 /août /2014 11:35
La Chine critique le livre blanc sur la défense publié par le Japon

 

2014-08-06 xinhua

 

La Chine a critiqué mardi le dernier livre blanc sur la défense publié par le Japon, accusant le pays d'utiliser la soi-disant menace chinoise comme excuse pour accroître son développement militaire.

 

Le gouvernement japonais a approuvé mardi un livre blanc sur la défense pour 2014. Le document explique que le Japon doit renforcer sa capacité de défense afin de faire face à un environnement de sécurité de plus en plus rigoureux dans son voisinage, précisant que les menaces venaient de la République populaire démocratique de Corée, de la Chine et de la Russie.

 

Le document exprime une vive préoccupation concernant le développement militaire de la Chine, l'établissement de la zone d'identification de défense aérienne en mer de Chine orientale, les "rencontres anormalement rapprochées" entre les avions militaires japonais et chinois ainsi que les activités de la partie chinoise en mer de Chine orientale et en mer de Chine méridionale.

 

Fermant les yeux sur les faits, le Japon procède à des accusations sans fondement et insiste délibérément sur la menace chinoise, selon un communiqué de presse du ministère chinois de la Défense nationale.

 

"Tout cela constitue une excuse permettant au Japon d'ajuster ses politiques militaires et de sécurité et de renforcer son développement militaire", déclare le ministère tout exprimant sa "forte opposition".

 

"Nous évaluons actuellement les détails du livre blanc et ferons part de nos réactions complémentaires en temps voulu", a-t-il ajouté.

 

Le livre blanc propose que le Japon joue un rôle dominant dans la coopération internationale et régionale en matière de défense, ce qui, d'après des analystes, illustre l'ambition de l'administration Abe de faire du Japon une puissance militaire dans la région.

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6 août 2014 3 06 /08 /août /2014 07:45
Late to the party, Obama seeks bigger U.S. Africa role

 

04 August 2014 defenceWeb (Reuters)

 

Ask Major-General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., the top U.S. military officer in Africa, how he thinks U.S. and European-backed African troops are faring in their war on Islamist militants in Somalia, and his answer comes back smartly: "Pretty darn good!".

 

But when "son of Africa" U.S. President Barack Obama hosts 50 African leaders in Washington this week, the admiration may be less than mutual. Many Africans feel America is lagging behind China and others in its engagement with their continent.

 

The Aug. 4-6 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, billed by U.S. officials as a first-of-its-kind event, looks like a belated imitation of Africa gatherings hosted in recent years by China, India, Japan and the continent's former colonial master Europe.

 

The world's richest nation has been slow coming to the party of an economically rising Africa, long dismissed as a hopeless morass of poverty and war, but now offering investors a huge market for everything from banking and retail to mobile phones.

 

"The United States has fallen perhaps a little bit behind in the race to win African hearts and minds. So I think this is an attempt to compete with the likes of China and the European Union," said Christopher Wood, an analyst in economic diplomacy at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

 

The top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield bridles at suggestions that the Obama administration is playing catch-up. "Absolutely not," she said.

 

"Our relationship with Africa is a very strong historic relationship ... We see this as an opportunity to reaffirm that to African leaders," she said in a pre-summit conference call.

 

CHINA RACES AHEAD

 

China overtook the United States as Africa's biggest trade partner in 2009. Its leaders have criss-crossed the continent, proffering multi-billion dollar loans, aid and investment deals.

 

From Malabo to Maputo, Africa is studded with signs of Beijing's diplomatic and commercial outreach: Chinese-built roads, bridges, airports, stadiums, ministries and presidencies.

 

Since 2009, Obama, despite his African blood through a Kenyan father, has been a far less frequent visitor. His first substantial trip to the continent was only made last year.

 

Washington's many embassies in Africa - imposing concrete fortresses built to protect against angry mobs or terrorist attacks - project a cautious engagement from an Obama administration highly sensitive to a home public which has no appetite for overseas interventions after Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Even U.S. Army Major-General Grigsby, surrounded by F-18s, C130 transports, helicopters and Humvees at his Camp Lemonnier toehold in the turbulent Horn of Africa, acknowledges the U.S. military's "small footprint" on a continent where flaring Islamist insurgencies are stirring international concern.

 

Security, governance and democracy will be on the agenda when Obama engages the leaders in an "interactive" discussion on Wednesday, following business talks with U.S. CEOs on Tuesday and discussions about health and wildlife trafficking on Monday.

 

Presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan are among a few left off the invitation list because they are not "in good standing" with Washington for failing to respect human rights and democracy.

 

Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone have dropped out because of the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaging their nations. Thomas-Greenfield said ways of fighting the outbreak would be discussed at the summit.

 

TRADE IN FOCUS

 

Some concrete initiatives are expected from the meeting.

 

The United States will announce nearly $1 billion in business deals for the region, increase funding for peacekeeping in six African countries and boost food and power programmes.

 

Uppermost too will be Obama's strong recommendation for Congress to renew the African Growth Opportunity Act, or AGOA, a 14-year-old trade programme giving most African countries duty-free access to U.S. markets that expires on Sept. 30 next year.

 

Total U.S. two-way trade in Africa has actually fallen off in recent years, to about $60 billion in 2013, far eclipsed by the European Union with over $200 billion and China, whose $170 billion is a huge increase from $10 billion in 2000, according to a recent Africa in Focus post by the Brookings Institution.

 

While African leaders are keen on the AGOA renewal, Robert Besseling, Principal Africa Analyst, Economics and Country Risk, at IHS consultancy, said some are seeking better terms of trade.

 

"Some countries are skeptical about AGOA because it is oriented towards the U.S. companies and can be politically manipulated," Besseling said. For example Swaziland was cut from AGOA last month due to U.S. concerns over democracy there.

 

Obama officials are hoping to leverage U.S. corporations like General Electric Co, Caterpillar Inc and Procter & Gamble Co into more business opportunities in Africa amid intense competition from across the globe.

 

"In the boards of directors of big global U.S. companies, more and more people are raising their hands at meetings and saying 'why aren't we in Africa?'," said Toby Moffett, a former Congressman from Connecticut and a senior adviser at law firm Mayer Brown LLP, who has represented African governments.

 

Orji Uzor Kalu, a Nigerian businessman with oil, tourism and other interests in West Africa, echoed such complaints. "I'm not seeing the effort the U.S. made in Asia, they're not making the same effort in Africa," Kalu said from his Washington D.C. home.

 

BUILDING SECURITY, DEMOCRACY

 

Pointing to an Africa map showing hotspots like Somalia, Major-General Grigsby toes the line of a cautious security policy that involves keeping U.S. "boots on the ground" to a minimum while financing African peacekeeping and local training.

 

"My responsibility from a regional approach is to assist my East African teammates to be able to neutralize violent extremists and conduct their crisis response," Grigsby told Reuters at the Africa Command's Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, where some 3,500 U.S. service personnel are based.

 

Obama said last year during his Africa trip his country put "muscle behind African efforts" to fight Islamist militants or brutal warlords in the Sahel, Central Africa and Somalia.

 

Although French forces did the heavy lifting on the ground in driving back an offensive by al Qaeda-allied Islamists in Mali in 2012, Washington has stepped up training African armies and deploying surveillance drones - to Niamey and N'Djamena besides those already operating over the Horn of Africa.

 

Some of the latest U.S. initiatives have clearly played to American domestic opinion and social media campaigns, such as sending a specialist team to help Nigeria search for the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist group Boko Haram.

 

While U.S. officials say Washington remains influential, it may no longer wield the diplomatic clout it once had in Africa when it was squaring up to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

 

Many noted how Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, an ally in turbulent central Africa, went ahead in February with signing into law tougher penalties against homosexuality, ignoring an appeal from Obama who warned it would "complicate" relations.

 

This kind of diplomatic slap in the face "shows they have to reboot the relationship" with Africa, IHS's Besseling said.

 

On Friday, Uganda's constitutional court struck down the law, citing procedural irregularities.

 

African leaders have made clear they do not take kindly to moral lectures from Western leaders. By contrast, Beijing's pledges of aid and investment come with "no-strings attached".

 

But Moffett believes the U.S. insistence on democracy and good governance, which U.S. officials say will be re-affirmed at the summit, reflects a real transformation underway in Africa.

 

"President (Obama) can actually say, with a straight face, that the trajectory across Africa ... (is) towards more democracy, more adherence to rule of law, more transparency, more judicial independence, less corruption.

 

"The Chinese guys don't give that speech," Moffett said.

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