Exposure of suspected new version of Flying Leopard Fighter. Credit: cjdby.net/ JFMaverick
Suspected new version of Flying Leopard Fighter in test flight. Credit: cjdby.net/ JFMaverick
JH-7 Flying Leopard
YJ-12 anti-warship missile
Recently a few photos of test flight of a new military aircraft have been posted on the Internet. Web users suspect that the aircraft is an improved version of China’s Flying Leopard fighter-bomber and have given it a code name of JH-7B.
Some of them believe that the improved Flying Leopard uses lots of composite materials and perhaps upgraded navigation electronic equipment and engines
According to the photos, maiden flight of this new aircraft has been successful.
Development of JH-7 began in 1973 while test flight of it was carried out in 1998. Its improved version JH-7A conducted test flight in 2004 and was commissioned and made public in 2004.
There is information that so far JH-7A have been commissioned in two navy air regiments and three air force regiments. The new aircraft looks similar to but somewhat different from JH-7A. That is why web users believe it is an improved version of JH-7A.
It is said that JH-7A is a quite powerful supersonic bomber against land targets. In addition armed with China’s most advanced Mach 4, range 400 km YJ-12 anti-ship missiles, it can hit warships a long distance away.
In a recent photo posted on the Internet after long absence, the J-20 no. 2001 was painted half black and half white instead of entirely black previously. Analysts believe that new stealth coating is being tested in the new test flight.
Source: huanqiu.com “J-20 reappeared painted half black and half white” (summary by Chan Kai Yee)
At 1120 am, December 23, China successful conducted maiden flight of its new-type Z-20 helicopter at a certain airport in Northeast China.
China has developed its Z-10 and Z-19 military helicopters but lacks a medium-sized 10-ton grade one. The new Z-20 is a multi-purpose one. It can be used for reconnaissance, air strike, transport and logistic support.
It looks like US Black Hawk helicopter, but with a different five-blade propeller that makes it easy to control and improves its maneuverability. The transitional structure between its body and tail optimizes its transport performance.
It is expected that the helicopter will be deployed on China’s amphibious attack warships in dealing with the disputes over islands and reefs.
Source: huanqiu.com “Successful maiden flight of what suspected to be China’s newest type of military helicopter” (summary by Chan Kai Yee)
According to some Western military blogs and commentators, on December 22, China tested the launch of a JL-2 SLBM from a Type 094 nuclear submarine in a designated banned area in Bohai Sea toward a certain comprehensive missile target range in Xinjiang, China.
This was a new move soon after its test launch of its new Type DF-41 ICBM on December 13.
Foreign media commentators and military fans believe that those were China’s strategic shows of muscles of great significance as JL-2 second-generation SLBM and DF-41 third-generation ICBM will be China’s core force of nuclear deterrence in the coming two decades.
Source: huanqiu.com “China conducts test launches of 2 new types of ICBM within 10 days” (summary by Chan Kai Yee)
Taking into account of Chinese major official media’s high-profile disclosure of China’s strategic and attack nuclear submarines on October 28 and China’s provision of nuclear umbrella to Ukraine on December 5, the tests obviously aim at further display of China’s confidence in having adequate nuclear deterrence.
In particular, the disclosure and tests shortly before and after the intensification of tension due to China’s establishment of East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone clearly indicate that China is prepared to fight a war for the disputed islands in East China Sea if Japan is unable to tolerate China’s provocation and fires the first shot.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports on December 20: There has been historic improvement in the submarine technology in Mainland China (China). China’s new generation of submarine adopts a new hull technology. It has developed highly strong pressure hull of extremely large diameter of 9 meters. The submarine made with such hull will push outwards Mainland’s line of strategic depth and security by 1,000 km. This kind of hull technology is several grades higher than old technology. The diameter of the hull is 50% larger. It is a revolutionary development by leaps and bounds.
A single-hull submarine has much greater volume than a dual-hull one with the same displacement so that it can carry greater power equipment and weapons and greatly improve the living conditions within. As a result, it is more powerful with greater sustained combat effectiveness. The report says: the success in developing pressure hull with 9-meter diameter enables China to make smaller AIP submarines with greater maneuverability and combat effectiveness. China is now developing a new generation of conventional submarine.
It is reported that so far China has developed six types of conventional submarines: 039, 039G, 039A, 039AG, 039B and 039C, among which 039C is the newest. It is estimated that it uses fuel batteries AIP. The report points out that there has been a post on the Internet about a 039C submarine being built. It says that Japan, the US and European countries usually give Chinese conventional submarines the codenames of Song class and Yuan class, but some military experts have pointed out that internally China call its conventional submarines by their type names.
Source: Taiwan’s Central News Agency “Taiwan media: Mainland China develops submarine technology by revolutionary leaps and bounds and may have built Type 039C submarine” (by Chan Kai Yee)
China’s military conducted the second flight test of its newest long-range missile that is capable of hitting targets in the United States with a nuclear warhead, according to defense officials.
The flight test of the new Dong Feng-41, or DF-41, took place Friday from the Wuzhai missile launch center in Shanxi province to an impact range in western China, said officials familiar with details of the tests.
It was the second test of the new, road-mobile, long-range ICBM that U.S. intelligence agencies assess will be outfitted with up to 10 multiple, independently-targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs.
Prior to Friday’s flight test, the last DF-41 flight test took place July 24, 2012.
Pentagon spokesmen did not return emails seeking comment on the missile test.
The most recent test indicates that China’s long-range missile development is continuing, and the missile is raising new concerns about China’s professed nuclear doctrine of not being the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict.
Disclosure of the nuclear missile flight test comes as tensions remain heightened between the United States and China over the near collision between the USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, and a Chinese navy tank landing ship in the South China Sea on Dec. 5.
The State Department and Pentagon protested the incident, which involved the Chinese ship stopping in the path of the Cowpens, forcing the cruiser to make an abrupt maneuver to avoid a collision. The incident took place near China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.
The DF-41, with its range of between 6,835 miles and 7,456 miles and expected multiple-warhead capability, is viewed as a potential “first strike” weapon, or a weapon capable of carrying out a surprise nuclear attack that would knock out an enemy’s arsenal and limit its counterstrike capability.
A report by the Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center made public in May referred to China’s development of a new long-range missile with multiple warheads, in addition to current long-range DF-31 and DF-31A mobile ICBMs.
“China has the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world,” the NASCI report said. “It is developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses.”
“The Chinese ballistic missile force is expanding in both size and types of missiles.”
Without mentioning the DF-41, the report said, “China may also be developing a new road-mobile ICBM capable of carrying a MIRV payload, and the number of warheads on Chinese ICBMs capable of threatening the United States is expected to grow to well over 100 in the next 15 years.”
Defense officials said the report was referring to the DF-41.
Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert and senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said reports of the latest DF-41 test coincide with disclosures on Chinese military enthusiast websites showing a new 18-wheel transporter erector launcher for the new DF-41.
“It appears that this new large MIRV-capable ICBM is making progress toward achieving an operational status,” Fisher said.
Fisher said there are reports that the Second Artillery Corps, as China’s missile service is called, includes at least one reload missile for each mobile missile-launcher system.
If the new DF-41 is deployed in the future with a reload missile per launcher, it would vastly increase the numbers of nuclear warheads in the Chinese arsenal, as many as 120 to 240 warheads for each DF-41 unit.
“What this means is that Obama administration suggestions that the United States can continue to reduce its number of deployed warheads, perhaps to 1,000 or less, is simply irrational,” Fisher said.
“What we know and don’t know about China’s ability to rapidly increase its warhead numbers points to an unacceptable level of risk for the United States.”
In addition to the DF-41, China also has begun to deploy its submarine-launched ballistic missile called the JL-2 and may develop a follow-on JL-2A with up to three warheads.
“Inasmuch as the U.S. Navy estimates there will be up to five of the 12-missile carrying Type 094 nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines, this at least indicates that [missile submarines] could become another source for fast Chinese warhead growth,” he said.
The publication Jane’s Strategic Weapon Systems reported in 2012 that the Chinese were developing the DF-41, also designated the CSS-X-10, and that it is intended to replace easy-to-target silo-based DF-5 and DF-5A missiles.
Larry Wortzel, a former military intelligence officer and member of the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, told the House Armed Services Committee in testimony last month that the new DF-41 is part of China’s growing nuclear missile arsenal.
“China is enhancing its nuclear deterrent capability by modernizing its nuclear force,” Wortzel said Nov. 20. “It is taking measures such as developing a new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the DF-41. This missile could be equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), allowing it to carry as many as 10 nuclear warheads.”
Wortzel said the Chinese, in addition to MIRVs, could outfit their missiles with “penetration aids” designed to defeat U.S. missile defenses. China also may be developing rail-mobile ICBMs, he said.
The Chinese nuclear buildup could have a profound impact on regional security. China recently has been bullying its neighbors, specifically Japan and Philippines, over islands and maritime claims.
“When China achieves a position of nuclear parity or even superiority, we can expect that it will make far more vigorous demands on the United States that could diminish the security of America and its friends and allies,” Fisher said.
Mark Stokes, a former Pentagon official and specialist on China’s strategic nuclear systems has said the DF-41 has been mentioned in Chinese military writings and appears to involve a larger, solid fuel rocket motor derived from the DF-31 series ICBMS.
Ground tests of the DF-41 motor have been detected over the past several years.
There are suspicions among U.S. intelligence analysts that the DF-41 is based on Russia’s mobile ICBM known as the SS-27 and that the DF-41 will incorporate Russian missile guidance technology.
China in August conducted two flight tests of the DF-31A ICBM and in November 2012, another DF-31A was flight-tested.
Tsai The-sheng, Taiwan’s director of the National Security Bureau, as the intelligence service for the island nation is called, told Taiwan’s legislature that China is still developing the DF-41 and the sub-launched JL-2.
“Neither of them has been deployed at any Chinese military base yet,” Tsai said, the official Central News Agency reported April 15.
Tsai said that China’s fast pace of military technology development makes it very likely the People’s Liberation Army will deploy a multi-warhead DF-41 in the future.
Source: Washington Free Beacon “China Conducts Second Flight Test of New Long-Range Missile”
According to foreign media, J-31 is far better than F-35. It can be rival to F-35 in other respects of its performance, but can carry a heavier load.
Judging by the three recent tests since August, the increased frequency of test flights indicates its being commissioned soon.
Chinese military does not provide any fund for the development of the stealth fighter, which means it’s a commercial project. Both the Chinese military and other countries’ air forces are potential buyers; therefore, the stealth fighter, if in series production, will take a large market share from F-35.
According military experts, an improved version of J-31 can be China’s next generation of carrier-based aircrafts.
Source: qianzhan.com “China sudden makes public data of J-31: foreign military industrial tycoons exclaim ‘impossible’”