RAND: China has the upper hand in Taiwan

August 5, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

Kh-31aThis is going to cause some ruckus…

Steve Trimble reports on a new RAND study that presents China as being far more capable of theater-level combat operations (and with regards to Taiwan in particular) than was the case just 10 years ago:

[…] the cross-strait military balance is shifting in ways that are problematic for Taiwan’s defense: The growing size and quality of China’s missile arsenal, along with other advances in Chinese military capabilities, call into question the United States’ and Taiwan’s ability to defend the island against a large-scale Chinese attack.

Blog/forum regulars are already punching holes through the report for inaccuracies, simplistic assumptions etc. but it is hard to deny the fact of growing Chinese abilities in the theater. Plus the RAND cachet will ensure that this report makes the rounds and gets attention regardless of validity; so worth a read in any case.

J-10B photos

July 24, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

Via G2 Solutions.



Article on Chinese SSBN fleet

June 18, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

Type_094_SSBN The Jamestown Foundation has an article covering the current structure and future plans of the Chinese SSBN force:

China may build five Type-094 SSBNs, which will enable the PLAN to conduct near-continuous deterrent patrols, and each of these second-generation SSBNs will be outfitted with 12 developmental JL-2 SLBMs that have an estimated range of at least 7,200 km and are equipped with penetration aids. Although the transition to the new SSBN is ongoing, recent Internet photos depicting at least two Jin-class SSBNs (hereafter Jin) suggest that the PLAN has reached an unprecedented level of confidence in the sea-based leg of its strategic nuclear forces.

IMINT & Analysis: New Chinese LPAR

June 10, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

SOC has an article on a newly constructed phased-array radar in western China:

he purpose of this radar system is not known, nor can it be determined by imagery alone. The location may provide some insight, as it is positioned in the western region. It may be positioned there to monitor Russian ballistic missile trials activity, or missile testing at Sary Shagan. Alternatively, it may be a space surveillance system intended to serve as a component in the developmental ASAT system.

An existing space-related LPAR has been identified in Xuanhua.

China gearing up for carrier construction

June 6, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

UPI Asia reports on an increasing amount of evidence that the first Chinese aircraft carrier will begin construction within this year.

Dock No. 3 is 580 meters long, 120 meters wide, and completely encircled by a wall at least 2.5 meters high. A giant gantry crane has been built, with a capacity to lift at least 600 tons. The dock is large enough to build a medium-sized conventional aircraft carrier similar to the Russian Admiral Kuznetsov class with a light load displacement of about 50,000 tons.

This is a development expected for a few years now, as maritime trade has assumed an ever-growing percentage of Chinese GDP. Contrary to what many assume, Chinese aircraft carriers are probably not a “conquer Taiwan” weapon; they are far more likely to be used to exercise sea control over China’s vulnerable trade routes. A carrier design fashioned after the Kusnetsov (a strongly defensive asset , with minimal power-projection capability) is a more suitable candidate than traditional Western flat-tops for such a mission, and possibly a more cost-effective one.

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