CJ-11 / YJ-11 / C-101 Cruise Missile


The CJ-11 is an evolution of the CJ-20, which is in turn an evolution of the DH-10, which is in turn an evolution of designs inspired by Soviet missiles. The CJ-11 is intended to serve as an area denial weapon, allowing land-based and maritime patrol aircraft to emphasize sea-control capability. This mission is considered exceptionally important in light of the American “pivot” in East Asia, a maneuver that constitutes a direct threat to China’s littoral.

The CJ-11 is a supersonic anti-shipping missile with an auxiliary capacity for land attack. As a result, it’s one of China’s first purpose-built ship-killers. It is intended to augment the DF-21D in countering hostile warships in China’s littoral. The CJ-11 incorporates stealth features to reduce visibility to hostile weapon systems. It is planned to be launched via TEL and the HY-9. A vertically-launched variant is being evaluated as part of a future ship-based missile system.

The CJ-11 will cruise at subsonic speeds over most of the distance to the target. When it has transited 80% of the distance to the target, it will enter a supersonic ‘sprint’ phase to maximize speed and minimize hostile reaction time.

  • Length: 8.25m
  • Diameter: 0.65m
  • Weight: 2.1 tonnes (TEL); 1.85 tonnes (air-launched)
  • Warhead: 300kg or 25-50kt
  • Speed: Mach 0.9 (cruise), Mach 2.1 (terminal)
  • Maximum range: 3,500km
  • Engine: turbojet with solid rocket booster
  • Guidance: inertial + active radar or COMPASS (dependent upon variant)
  • CEP: 7m (COMPASS)

HY-9 Maritime Interdiction Bomber

HY-9 Maritime Interdiction Bomber

The HY-9 Maritime Interdiction Bomber is an armed variant of the Y-9 transport, itself a derivative of the Y-8 transport. It is China’s first attempt to develop a purpose-built aircraft to serve as a rough counterpart to the P-3 and P-8 aircraft. The HY-9 is an attempt by the government to utilize an existing design that is in danger of being relegated to the rubbish bin. While the PLANAF

The HY-9 follows many of the design philosophies of the P-3 and P-8. Rather than carrying its weapons externally (thus increasing drag), the aircraft will incorporate an internal weapon’s bay using a modified rotary launcher similar to that can carry six CJ-10A anti-shipping missiles. The bomber is also planned to be compatible with the C-11, the next planned step in China’s cruise missile arsenal. The launcher can also be used to carry torpedoes in lieu of cruise missiles. While the aircraft is capable of deploying mines, they must be carried externally or used in lieu of internal missile capacity.

The HY-9 will also incorporate a number of advances in avionics. In addition to employing a radar derived from the family planned for the J-20 and J-31, which allows it to greatly increase its ability to detect surface and airborne targets relative to the H-6K. A laser-based detection system is being developed, but at present the PLANAF will use a modified version of the magnetic anomaly detector tail boom developed for the Y-8 GSA.

  • Crew: 2 (flight), 8 (mission)
  • Length: 36m
  • Wingspan: 40m
  • Height: 11.6m
  • Empty weight: 50,000kg
  • Max. takeoff weight: 80,000kg
  • Powerplant: 4x Zhuzhou WoJiang-6C (FWJ-6M) turboprops, 4,000kw each
  • Cruise speed: 650kph
  • Range: 6,000km
  • Combat Radius: 2,250km (ASW mission, 4 hours loiter)
  • Ferry range: 8,000 km
  • Service ceiling: 12,500m
  • Internal Armament
    Six-cylinder rotary launcher rated for up to 5,500kg (total)
    or up to three internal pylons rated for up to 2,000kg (each)
    or naval mines
  • External Armament
    Four external hardpoints rated for up to 2,000kg (each)
    or Six-cylinder dispenser rated for 250kg-class bombs
    or naval mines
    optional two wingtip-mounted rails for PL-12 AAMs

Han-class Aircraft Carrier


The Han-class aircraft carrier is the first indigenous Chinese aircraft carrier. Its design comes from extensive R&D, the procurement of foreign vessels (including the Varyag, refitted and launched as the Liaoning), and extensive experimentation.

The tentative plan is to construct five vessels over the course of the next twelve years. They will be named as follows: Zhuyai (former commandery in northern Hainan, not to be confused with Zhuhai), Kuaiji, Wu, Langye, and Liaodong. Each of these names is derived from a coastal territory of the former Han dynasty, running roughly south to north along the coastline. [Super-Seekrit: if I get Taiwan, the next carrier I commission will be Yizhou in honor of the original name for Taiwan — and because there are two other Yizhous in China and Beijing likes to troll the West like that]

The Han-class differs from the Kuznetsov class only slightly. Physical dimensions are similar (although slightly ‘stretched’) and, like the Kuznetsov, the Han relies upon conventional rather than nuclear propulsion. Most of the improvements made by the PLAN dealt with the ship’s efficiency, sensors, and overall flexibility. The Han will be fitted with a wide array of sensor upgrades relative to the Kuznetsov, implement ‘stealth’ design features where it is possible to do so without a degradation of primary performance, and incorporate a greatly-improved sensor suite.

The vessel is intended to operate two fixed-wing aircraft: the J-15 multirole fighter and the J-31 air superiority fighter. While theoretically capable of operating other STOL/STOVL/VTOL aircraft (such as the Harrier), it was not originally designed to do so. The vessel is also capable of operating a wide range of helicopters, a capability necessitated by the uncertainty that continues to linger over the Chinese helicopter programs. The Han is rated to carry a total of 32 fixed-wing aircraft and 18 medium-sized helicopters, giving the vessel a standard deployment of 50 aircraft.

The Han, like the Kuznetsov, carries a wide arrange of defensive systems. In addition to boasting four Type 1030 CIWS, the Han also carries four separate 18-cell FL-3000N stations, each located in close proximity to one of the Type 1030 CIWS systems. Long-range air defense will be provided by two 4-cell HQ-20 (S-300PMU-2) stations. Unlike the Kuznetsov, the Han will boast no anti-ship missiles, instead relying upon its aircraft and escorts to conduct offensive operations.
Specifications ;

Displacement: 45,000 tonnes empty, 65,000 tonnes standard load, 68,500 tonnes maximum
Length: 320m o/a, 280m w/l
Beam: 75m o/a, 40m w/l
Draft: 11.5m
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 boilers, 4 shafts, 200,000 hp (150 MW)
2 × 50,000 hp (37 MW) turbines
9 × 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) turbogenerators
6 × 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) diesel generators
4 × fixed pitch propellers
Speed: 12kt (cruise), 32kt (full), 36kt (flank)
Range: 4000nm at 32kt, 6000nm at 12kt
Endurance: 60 days
Complement: 2,000 ship’s crew, 650 air crew
– 4x Type 1030 CIWS
– 4x 18-cell FL-3000N (72 ready-to-fire missiles, 216 total)
– 2x 4-cell HQ-20 (8 ready-to-fire missiles, 24 total)
Aircraft carried:
[Standard] – 16x J-31, 16x J-15, {18 helicopter tokens}
[Stealth] – 32x J-31, {18 helicopter tokens}
[Air Assault] – 12x J-31 or J-15, {38 helicopter tokens}

Because helicopter sizes are all over the place and I really don’t feel like listing how many Z-11s this thing could carry if it opted away from WZ-10s or Ka-50s (or whatever), I’m using a helicopter token system. Basically, if you can fit a regular-sized helicopter there (rotor diameter of around 12-14m), it costs one token to put on the ship. If it has a rotor diameter larger than that, it costs 1.5 tokens. If it’s one of those ridiculously huge helicopters (CH-47, Mi-26), it costs 4 tokens; additionally, there’s a hard cap of two of them regardless because the elevators aren’t big enough to store them internally. If it’s a light helicopter (rotor diameter <11m) like the Little Bird or Z-11, it costs 0.75 tokens.

Since you can’t have half a helicopter on the flight deck (unless something goes horribly wrong), all numbers are rounded up. 11 WZ-11s costs you 8.25 tokens according to math, but 9 tokens according to this system. The Air Assault loadout, therefore, could spend 8 tokens on 2x Mi-26, 12 tokens on 16x WZ-11s, and 18 tokens on 18x WZ-10s for a total of 36 helicopters. In keeping with this system, my future helicopter R&D projects will have their token cost listed.
The Han class will utilize a catapult system, though a ski jump is an option for export models.

While Jiangnan is the shipyard with the best facilities for construction purposes, the decision has been made to construct the Langye and Liaodong in other shipyards to diversify capital warship production. This will also free up Jiangnan’s drydocks for the construction of any other large warships necessary in future years.

Jade Rabbit rover may be victim of moon dust

The Jade Rabbit departing the Chang'e-3 lander
The Jade Rabbit departing the Chang’e-3 lander
China’s first moon rover ‘Yutu’—or Jade Rabbit—during a better time.
China’s first moon rover ‘Yutu’—or Jade Rabbit—during a better time.

A plucky bunny on the moon may have just met an untimely end. Reports from Chinese state media suggest the country’s Yutu – or Jade Rabbit – lunar rover has stopped working just six weeks into its three-month mission.

China’s Chang’e-3 lander touched down on the moon on 14 December and released the Yutu rover about 7 hours later. Both machines successfully entered hibernation mode during their first lunar night. On the moon, night lasts for half of each Earthly month and plunges surface temperatures from daytime highs of about 90ºC to below -180ºC.

The second lunar night rolled around on Saturday, and while the lander is once again successfully sleeping, Yutu appears to have failed. The Xinhua news agency reports that the rover has experienced a mechanical control fault due to the “complicated lunar surface environment”. No further details were given by China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.

During the deep freeze of lunar night, the most critical moving parts on Yutu are its mast and solar panels. When temperatures plunge, the mast is designed to fold down to protect delicate instruments, which can then be kept warm by a radioactive heat source. Yutu also needs to angle a solar panel towards the point where the sun will rise to maintain power levels. A mechanical fault in these systems could leave the rover fatally exposed to the dark and bitter cold.

Long, hard wait

As for what caused the malfunction, abrasive lunar dust is a top suspect. Moon soil gets ground up by micrometeoroid impacts into a glassy dust that can then become charged as it is bombarded by solar particles. During the Apollo program the sharp-edged dust grains wore through astronaut space suits, scratched up mirrors used for laser ranging experiments and caused moon buggies to overheat.

Rover designers can take measures to avoid getting this damaging dust inside important systems, says Bernard Foing, director of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group. “However, lunar dust can be electrostatically charged and can stick on sensitive parts,” he says. The abrupt temperature change when the airless moon goes from day to night can also put a huge stress on mechanical systems and could have damaged the rover’s moving parts, says Foing.

It is not possible to communicate with the rover during lunar night, so mission operators will have to wait until about 8 February to determine the extent of the damage. “I am sure that they are not going to give up,” says Foing. “They are analysing the problem in depth and are working hard to assess safe recovery strategies.”

J-31 Stealth Air Superiority Fighter

J-31 Stealth Air Superiority Fighter
J-31 Stealth Air Superiority Fighter

The Shenyang F60, formally designated the J-31, is the other half of the J-XX project. The J-31 is the slower, steadier maturation of fifth generation technology. The J-31 will follow two years after the J-20 and incorporate many of the same technological breakthroughs. But the aircraft, benefiting from a smaller airframe and the absence of canards as well as improved design capability, will benefit from substantially enhanced stealth when compared to the J-20. And, unlike the J-20, the J-31 was designed with a ‘go anywhere’ philosophy in mind.

While the J-20’s primary role is that of maritime strike (and, thus, is an area denial weapon), the J-31 has a much more direct role: air superiority. It is designed to be operated from a carrier deck and fly combat air patrol missions in what may very well be hostile territory. It is designed to be operated as a STOL fighter; a STOVL variant was initially planned but the fiasco of the F-35B promptly convinced Shenyang to put that notion on the backburner.

The J-31 trades the J-20’s impressive air-to-ground capability for a very limited loadout. While it retains the same general internal bay design philosophy (one central bay, two auxiliary bays), the individual bays are smaller and rated for substantially lighter munitions.

While the J-20 can carry 2,000kg of ordinance in its main internal bay, the J-31 is limited to a mere 1,000kg. While the J-20’s auxiliary bays are rated for the enormous R-37 (which is relegated to the main fuselage bay in the J-31), the J-31’s auxiliary bays are rated for a relatively anemic 250kg each.

While the J-20’s total internal capacity is approximately 3,000kg, the J-31’s internal capacity is a mere 1,500kg. This is roughly on par with the estimated capacity of the F-22’s internal payload and is believed to be on par with or inferior to the Su-50’s internal payload.

Specifications ;

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 18m
  • Wingspan: 13.3m
  • Height: 4.2m
  • Wing area: 68m^2
  • Empty weight: 15,250kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 31,500kg
  • Powerplant: 2x WS-15V
  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.2 (Supercruise: Mach 1.5)
  • Range: 2,750km
  • Combat radius: 900km
  • Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,617 ft)
  • Internal Payload: One primary internal bay (under fuselage) with modular loadout of 1-4 hardpoints for a total internal capacity of 1,000kg; two auxiliary internal bays with 1 hardpoint rated for AAMs (for missiles in the sub-250kg weight class).
  • External Payload: 5000kg over 6 other hardpoints (one on each wingtip, two under each wing) for a total (stealthy and non-stealthy) payload of 6,500kg.

US Media ; 2nd-generation Aircraft Carrier Killer Much Better than DF-21D

Suspected test of DF-21D missile

According to a recent issue of US “Aviation Week & Space Technology”, US Navy regard the Mach 10 hypersonic plane China tested on January 9 as an omen of the appearance of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) much better than DF-21D to be developed by China using the hypersonic plane.

The new ASBM with a speed exceeding Mach 8 is very difficult to intercept by US existing anti-missile system so that the US, already busy in countering DF-21D, has to develop directed energy weapon to counter it.

Source: huanqiu.com “The US says China will turn out second-generation anti-ship ballistic missile much better than DF-21D” (summary by Chan Kai Yee)

J-20 Stealth Fighter

The first advantage is that the J-20 became easier to design and build. An emphasis for head-on stealth has simplified the stealth requirements of the aircraft, not unlike what has happened with the F-35. Because the aircraft’s primary mission is to strike targets without being detected, rather than engage in prolonged battles at altitude, the aircraft needed less emphasis on ‘knife fighting.’ This also simplified design. The lack of a need for thrust vectoring also allows China’s jet engine industry to take another year or two before being needed to provide the F60 (J-31)  with a TVC-compatible engine. And, of course, all the lessons learned from the J-20 can be applied to the F60, allowing the air superiority fighter to exploit greater expertise than the strike fighter. Additionally, while thrust vectoring is intended for later variants of the J-20, its mission is not significantly compromised by the lack of them on the Block I aircraft.

The J-20’s design, opting for a strike fighter emphasis rather than an air superiority emphasis, was driven by a number of realizations. First, the PLAAF could never really hope to match the F-22 with its first foray into stealth aircraft. Second, only two other stealth aircraft will be available by the time the J-20 is unveiled, minimizing the risk of markets being inundated by competitors. Third, the simplified engineering allows a final production aircraft that costs less than its counterparts, potentially in the vicinity of $100 million per aircraft with export downgrades; this allows China to win the pricing point, which has long been its strength in the global arms market.

The choice to emphasize strike missions over true multirole missions, which the J-20 is theoretically capable of (and, indeed, it is billed as a ‘multirole’ fighter), was the result of a detailed assessment of Chinese strategic needs. In a conflict with South Korea, China could reliably expect cruise missiles to greatly compromise the efficiency of the ROKAF. This minimized the need of a stealth fighter on that front. In a conflict with Taiwan, the PLAAF possesses such a comprehensive advantage in numbers that air superiority could be established over the island without the need of a new fighter — though the newest J-11s are certainly intended to ensure dominance in such a conflict. India’s move towards a new fighter has seen her emphasize 4.5 generation aircraft, further minimizing the need of a stealth fighter.

Finally, China’s large littoral region — the logical conflict point with Japan or America — is relatively sparse in terms of air bases. The First Island Chain is firmly within range of current and future cruise missiles; efficiency in this area would be hard to guarantee. The Second Island Chain is significantly further away, complicating any long-range strike missions.

Geography complicates the deployment of the F-22 and F-15, both of which rely upon land bases, and would force the United States and Japan to make do with air coverage provided by aircraft such as the Super Hornet. While this is believed to be a superior fighter to the J-11B, it is not believed to be so significant as to overcome the significant numerical disadvantage it will face. Additionally, carrier deployment is complicated by the DF-21D.

The J-20’s design reflects China’s strategic needs. It is clearly geared towards deep strike missions, being optimized to avoid detection by American task forces until the last possible moment, at which point it would deploy a variety of air-to-surface missiles. To further facilitate the multirole intention, the J-20 will feature both single and dual seat variants. The design will, of course, utilize secrets gleaned from the F-35 “leak” — a particular fact that the Chinese government will be conveniently opaque on. The J-20’s frontal stealth aspect will be roughly comparable to that of other sub-1m^2 aircraft.

The J-20 will also possess an AESA radar, though the current model under consideration is still in testing.

Specifications ;
Crew: 1 or 2
Length: 22m
Wingspan: 13m
Height: 4.5m
Wing area: 60m^2
Empty weight: 17,250kg
Max takeoff weight: 37,500kg
Powerplant: 2x WS-15
Maximum speed: Mach 2.0 (Supercruise compatible)
Range: 5,500km
Combat range: 2,000 km (1,243 mi; 1,080 nmi)
Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,617 ft)
Internal Payload: One primary internal bay (under fuselage) with 2 hardpoints rated for up to 1000kg each;  two auxiliary internal bays with 1 hardpoint rated for AAMs (intended for missiles in the 150kg weight class, but theoretically rated for the 310kg PL-11).
External Payload: 7500kg over 8 other hardpoints (one on each wingtip, three under each wing) for a total   (stealthy and non-stealthy) payload of 10,250kg.