Saturday, August 30, 2008

Taiwan to receive 60 air launched Harpoon missiles

These will equip Taiwan's F-16 fighter jets

Boeing to Sell Missiles to Taiwan Under Agreement With Pentagon
August 29, 2008

BEIJING -- The U.S. government awarded a contract to Boeing Co. for the sale of antiship missiles to Taiwan, amid a continuing delay in approval for the sale of another, larger American weapons package to the island.

The sale of the 60 Harpoon air-launch missiles to Taiwan was approved by the Pentagon more than a year ago, but the formal award of the supply contract to Boeing's McDonnell Douglas Corp. unit was included Monday in a broader Pentagon statement about weapons-sales contracts. The statement, posted on a Pentagon Web site, said the Taiwan contract is valued at $89.8 million.

The contract announcement follows speculation that the U.S., Taiwan's most important international backer, has at least temporarily frozen weapons sales to Taiwan to avoid angering China, which claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory.

Taiwan's backers in the U.S. have complained that the Bush administration has yet to finalize the sale of a package of weapons that originated with an offer by President George W. Bush in 2001. The Harpoon missiles aren't part of that package.

In July, the top U.S. military official in the Pacific appeared to confirm a suspension of arms sales, saying that the U.S. felt "there is no pressing, compelling need" to sell the weapons to Taiwan "at this moment."

But some analysts have speculated that Washington was instead waiting to proceed with the weapons sale until after Beijing's hosting of the Olympics, which Mr. Bush attended.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, in an interview this month, reaffirmed the need for the weapons and said that U.S. officials have assured Taiwan that "nothing has been changed" on the arms offer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

December date for second Indo-China military drill

December date for second Indo-China military drill

New Delhi (PTI): Building on the goodwill generated in last year's ground-breaking military drill, Indian and Chinese armies are likely to hold their second joint exercise in December on Indian soil to enhance the steadily improving ties between the two powerful militaries of the world.

A high-level Chinese military delegation will visit New Delhi later this month to finalise details of the joint exercise which officials say will be much "bigger" this year.

"The second joint military exercise between People's Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian Army is likely to be held in December," a top Chinese diplomat told PTI.

"A Chinese delegation will be in New Delhi after the Olympic Games to finalise dates and other details of the exercise," he said.

Asked about preparations of the PLA, he said they are looking forward to participate in the joint exercise as it will help enhancing ties between the two armies.

In a sign of warmer ties, India and China conducted their first ever joint exercise code-named 'Hand-in-Hand 2007' at Kunming Military Academy and in a hilly terrain near Kunming in China's Yunnan province from December 21 to 25 last year with the spotlight on anti-terrorism drill.

As many as 103 troops from the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry and an equal number from People's Liberation Army took part in the landmark exercise as part of confidence-building measures that upgraded the Sino-Indian military ties.

An official in the Defence Ministry said the "details of the exercise are being worked out" for this year's exercise which will take ties between the two largest armies to a "new high".

Friday, August 8, 2008

China wins key Saudi artillery contract

China wins key Saudi artillery contract


HONG KONG, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- China has signed a contract to provide Saudi Arabia with PLZ-45 155mm self-propelled howitzers for one battalion, according to an authoritative military industry source. One battalion normally would be armed with 27 such guns.

This represents a second successful sale of PLZ-45s to the Middle East, following an earlier sale to Kuwait. In 2000 China exported 54 of the self-propelled guns to Kuwait, sufficient to arm two battalions.

This latest batch of PLZ-45s is primarily to be used for testing purposes, according to the industry source. Once the Saudi military determines that the weapons meet its needs, it likely will import more of the howitzers.

However, the United States has voiced objections to the Saudis' procurement of Chinese-made howitzers, the source said.

Kuwait also faced immense pressure from the United States when it decided to import PLZ-45s from China. The publisher of a military journal in Kuwait told the author during a meeting in Abu Dhabi the reason Kuwait chose to purchase the PLZ-45s was the weapons compared well with similar systems available from the West, including the U.S.-made M109A3 howitzer. The guns performed satisfactorily in live-fire tests, he said, and China's price could not be beat.

This is the first time for the Saudi Arabian army to purchase Chinese-made weapons. Riyadh also has expressed keen interest in the Pakistani-made A1-Khalid main battle tank, or MBT-2000. Pakistan plans to send the tank directly to Saudi Arabia for an in-kind exhibition.

The PLZ-45 fires three types of munitions -- ERFB/HE, ERFB-BB/HE and ERFB-BB/RA/HE projectiles, which have respective firing ranges of 18, 24 and 30 miles.

In addition, China has introduced Russian Krasnopol 155mm gun-launched laser-guided munitions, under license from Russia.

The Kuwaiti military observer told the author the Kuwaiti army is not deliberating over whether it needs to import Chinese-made guided munitions. He said the army has received a price offer on munitions from Chinese weapons supplier Norinco and a technical introduction of the system.

So far, the United Arab Emirates is the only country that has imported the Chinese version of the Krasnopol, which the Chinese call the GP1. The PLZ-45s to be exported to Saudi Arabia do not include GP1 projectiles.

Another source from the military industry says the People's Liberation Army is already using the latest Chinese Type 05 52x 155mm self-propelled gun, but there is currently no plan to export this weapon to overseas markets. The reason is that the Chinese system is still technologically inferior to the NATO 155mm gun.

The PLZ-45 system already has attained the NATO standard, however, and is thus capable of firing all types of munitions. It fires four to five rounds per minute, and a full load is 30 rounds.

Several international military observers have voiced the opinion that the Type 05 52x 155mm self-propelled gun currently in use by the PLA is extremely similar to the Russian 2S19 serial 155mm SPG. When asked about this, the designer of the PLZ-45 says such speculation is groundless and not true.

"China developed its 155mm SPG much earlier than Russia, and the PLZ-45 was exported to overseas countries as early as 2000. There is no similar system in Russia comparable to the Chinese-made 155mm SPG," he insisted.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Report: 16 police killed in China border attack

This is from AP via Yahoo News. I am sure there will be more troubles as we approach
the Olympics. China needs to improve border security and the general public security.

Report: 16 police killed in China border attack

Aug. 03, 08

BEIJING - China's official Xinhua News Agency says an attack on a border patrol station on the country's frontier with Central Asia has killed 16 police officers.

The report says the assailants used a dump truck to ram their way into the paramilitary police station in Kashi and then tossed two hand grenades. Besides the dead, Xinhua says 16 officers were injured.

Xinhua, citing police, said two attackers were arrested. It did not identify them.

The area is home to a Muslim Turkic people, the Uighurs (WEE'-gurs). The Uighurs have waged a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule.

The attack comes four days before the opening of the Olympics in Beijing.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BEIJING (AP) — China's official Xinhua News Agency says an unknown group of people has attacked a border patrol station on the country's frontier with Central Asia, leaving dozens of police officers injured.

The report says the assailants drove two vehicles inside the paramilitary police station in the Kashi region Monday and then threw two grenades.

The brief Xinhua dispatch described the attackers as "rioters." The area is home to a Muslim Turkic people, the Uighurs (WEE'-gurs).

The Uighurs have waged a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule, with some drawn to the militant Islam that has buffeted Central Asia.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

China's next generation of jet trainer L-15 Falcon

China defense could be $360 billion a year by 2020

$360 billion may sounds like a lot, but it is not. Considering the pace of inflation, $360 billion by 2020 is probably equal to $150 billion today. That's less than a quarter of the CURRENT military budget for U.S.

China defense could be $360 billion a year by 2020


BEIJING (AP) — China's defense spending is on track to reach $360 billion a year by 2020 if annual increases continue at their current pace, an analyst with defense consultancy Jane's said Friday.

That figure is still dwarfed by U.S. military spending, which amounted to $547 billion last year, but would represent a significant increase over Beijing's current official budget of about $59 billion.

China's publicly announced spending is roughly on a level with total military expenditure by Britain last year, and slightly higher than that of France. Some analysts believe total spending may actually be significantly higher because the official budget doesn't include funding for weapons programs.

On average, China's military spending has jumped by 15.5 percent each year over of the past 14 years, powering China's arms industry and making the country less dependent on Russian imports, Matthew Smith said in a telephone interview.

"Our forecast shows no decline in spending," Smith said. China's goal, he said, is to "reinvent" the People's Liberation Army by 2020.

China's officially declared defense spending jumped 17.6 percent, the 18th double-digit percentage increase in 19 years. The spending has drawn calls from Washington and Tokyo for Beijing to explain the reasons for the buildup and how it was spending the money.

China claims its intentions are not aggressive, and that increases were needed to pay for higher oil prices and boost salaries of the 2.3 million-member army.

China bought almost $3.5 billion in weaponry from Russia in 2006, but that figure fell by 62 percent last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a leading monitor of the global arms trade.

Smith said that came as a result of Chinese advances in arms production and Russia's reluctance to part with its most cutting-edge technology.

U.S. and European companies meanwhile have lagged behind in military exports to China because of legal restrictions at home and an American policy aimed at deterring the sales, Smith said. Washington has banned the trade of weaponry and technology with military applications since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

As China's arms industry grows, the country will likely step up exports as a low-cost alternative to Russian or Western weapons suppliers, Smith said.

Especially in Africa, Chinese arms sales often serve to cement links with countries that have large oil and gas stocks that Beijing has aggressively sought to fuel its sizzling economy, he said.