Sunday, November 30, 2008

2.3 millions, the total strength of PLA

According to the "PLA daily", China's People's Liberation Army is 2.3 millions strong at this moment.

军报:目前人民解放军总员额为230万人



改革开放以来,军事科学研究为我军多次裁减员额提供了第一手的权威数据,较好地发挥了服务决策的作用。20世纪80年代中期,邓小平同志领导百万大裁军,使我军总员额减少到300万人。

但是,随着新军事变革的发展,世界发达国家依然不断裁减自己的军队规模。在这种情况下,我军规模还可不可以压缩?员额还能不能裁减?成为我军体制改革研究论证当中遇到的一个重大问题。

我军科研人员经过论证,从多个方面预测我国常备军最低需求规模后得出一个结论:认为到20世纪末可以将我军总员额进一步裁减,提出军队规模可以控制在240万到260万之间。1997年,我国决定裁军50万。

进入新世纪以后,在加速军队现代化进程当中,武器装备不断发展,我军250万人的规模是否偏大?成为各级关注的又一个焦点问题。

从2000年开始,我军科研人员运用先进的计算机技术,研究论证军队规模的最低需要后得出论证结果,认为我军规模到“十五”末期,也就是2005年左右,可以再裁减20万到30万,使我军总员额控制在220万到230万人左右。

2003年9月,我国政府对外宣布,在2005年以前再裁减军队20万。这样,我军总规模保持在现有的230万人。(赵德富、石淦辑)

Monday, November 24, 2008

SKorea, China set up military hotlines

SEOUL (AFP) — South Korea and China on Monday opened military hotlines to help prevent clashes in the Yellow Sea, officials said.

The lines opened between the two countries' navy and air force command headquarters, the defence ministry said. South Korea said it became the only nation to have such arrangements with China.

"The opening of hotlines will help the two nations prevent accidantal clashes," the ministry said in a statement.

They will also help the two upgrade their "strategic" partnership and millitary ties, it said.

The two former foes in the 1950-1953 Korean War have recently increased military cooperation amid expanding economic ties.

They aim to reduce tensions in the Yellow Sea, where Chinese vessels engage in illegal fishing, and also safeguard maritime trade there.

South Korea's air force has operated a communications hotline with Japan since 1997, and the Navy established a hotline with Russia in 2000.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iSFAYI-mJ8hwWup9lJL_GhUK_A-w

Friday, November 21, 2008

Venezuela Buys 18 K-8 Chinese Jets

Venezuela is buying 18 K-8 jet trainers from China. Also known as the JL-8, it uses the 770 pound, 9.5 foot long Ukrainian Motor Sich AI-25TLK (3,300 pounds of thrust) jet engines, to power the 4.3 ton, two seat aircraft. Originally, China was going to use 3600 pound thrust American engines, but after the 1989 Chinese crackdown on pro-democracy groups, the United States cut off the supply of engines. This encouraged China to design and build a similar engine (the WS-11). But China has had a hard time mastering the precise technologies and manufacturing techniques needed to build jet engines. So it has been buying the AI-25TLK instead.

The K-8 entered service in 1994, and over 500 have been built. The aircraft can be fitted with a 23mm cannon, and carry nearly a ton of missiles and bombs. Egypt and Pakistan also use the K-8, and Venezuela will begin receiving them in about two years.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20081104.aspx

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chinese military vessel makes first ever visit to Cambodia


Chinese navy ship (CNS) Zhenghe enters the Sihanoukville Port of Cambodia, Nov. 5, 2008, thus starting its 9-day official goodwill visit and the first ever entry of Chinese military boat into the Kingdom of Cambodia.
(Xinhua Photo)

The crew members of Chinese navy ship ( CNS) Zhenghe line up on board at the Sihanoukville Port of Cambodia, Nov. 5, 2008, as Zhenghe entered the Sihanoukville Port on Wednesday morning, thus starting its 9-day official goodwill visit and the first ever entry of Chinese military boat into the Kingdom of Cambodia.(Xinhua Photo)


SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese navy ship (CNS) Zhenghe entered the Sihanoukville Port on Wednesday morning, thus starting its 9-day official goodwill visit and the first ever entry of Chinese military boat into the Kingdom of Cambodia.

While docking here, this ocean-going training vessel with 411 crew members will be open for the public on Nov. 7 and its staff is to hold volleyball and football matches with the Cambodian navy troops based at the port city, said a press release from the Chinese Embassy.

On Wednesday evening, Cambodian Minister of Defense Tea Banh and Commander in Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Ke Kim Yan attended the reception banquet held to celebrate the arrival of the ship.

Both of them wished the bilateral military cooperation and exchange between the two countries to further develop and flourish.

Another banquet will be held on Thursday for the crew members to meet with the local Chinese Cambodian community, according to the release.

CNS Zhenghe was put into service in 1987 and once visited the United States, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Russia.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-11/05/content_10312833.htm


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Airshow China: Chinese companies unveil latest UAV designs

From Jane's.

Airshow China: Chinese companies unveil latest UAV designs


The full extent of Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) development has been revealed for the first time at Airshow China, where more than a dozen aircraft have been unveiled by a string of state-run defence companies.

The wide range of UAV and unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) designs on show at the 4-9 November event in Zhuhai - some at the concept stage, some still in testing and others entering production - also demonstrated the culture of intense competition that exists between the various elements of China's military-industrial complex in the UAV sphere, not to mention the wealth of options open to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) when it comes to placing orders.

The number of UCAV designs further showed the progress being made by the Chinese military towards achieving its goal of being able to conduct 'informationised' warfare.

Among the new aircraft on display was the CH-3 medium-range, long-endurance UCAV developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). A CASC spokesman told Jane's that the CH-3 had completed testing and was now entering production (a CASC film confirmed the aircraft was already flying, although without a payload).

http://www.janes.com/news/defence/air/jdw/jdw081107_1_n.shtml

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

China's Navy Takes Delivery of Hospital Ship

Taipei - China's East Sea Fleet took delivery of its first 10,000-ton hospital ship on Oct. 23, dubbed Ship 866.

It is designed and outfitted for both wartime and peacetime operations. A photo of the ship appears to show a rear helicopter deck.

"The carrier features high-tech, comprehensive functions and facilities equivalent to level-three class A hospitals," said the government-run People's Daily.

"It marks an important breakthrough in maritime emergency equipment manufacturing for China, making the country one of the few in the world that has medical care and emergency rescue capabilities on the high seas while also raising the capability of the Chinese navy to accomplish diversified military missions," said the People's Daily.

China has expanded its participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions over the past 10 years with deployments to Africa and the Middle East. There are also undeclared military personnel in Africa protecting Chinese assets and working as military advisers.

The Chinese navy only has two other hospital ships. The navy converted two 2,150-ton Qiongsha-class attack transport ships into hospital ships in the 1990s, the 832 and 833. The ships are deployed with the South Sea Fleet for operations in the South China Sea. A total of six Qiongsha-class attack transports were built in Guangzhou during the 1980s.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3805439&c=ASI&s=SEA

Monday, November 3, 2008

China plane-makers target aviation giants as airshow opens

ZHUHAI, China (AFP) — China's only international airshow opened here on Tuesday as the host nation looked to take another step on its ambitious journey to rival the global players of the aerospace industry.

Around 600 civil and military manufacturers, suppliers and designers have gathered in the southern city of Zhuhai for the biennial Airshow China, which lasts until Sunday.

The list of exhibitors was headed by the two manufacturing giants of the industry, Boeing of the United States and Europe's Airbus, but China was also expected to announce a landmark overseas sale of homemade commercial planes.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (CACC) was expected to confirm it has sold 25 of its jets to a US company, thought to be General Electric's leasing unit, according to state media reports.

The firm has designed China's first homemade jet, the 70-seater ARJ21 -- it stands for Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century -- and reports have said the contract will be worth 735 million dollars.

"To fly Chinese large aircraft in the blue sky is not just the will of the government, but the whole nation," CACC's president Jin Zhuanglong told an aviation conference in Zhuhai on Monday.

Lin Zuoming, president of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a key backer of CACC, highlighted the ambition of the nascent industry.

"The goal for AVIC is to realise 1,000 billion yuan (145 billion US dollars) of revenue sales by 2017 and (be) close to becoming one of the world-class aviation industry players," he told the same conference.

AVIC plans to acquire a foreign aircraft manufacturer to strengthen its development capabilities, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported Tuesday, citing Tan Weidong, president of subsidiary AVIC General Airplane Company.

An acquisition agreement was likely to be signed by the end of this year, Tan said, without identifying the foreign company.

Laurence Barron, president of Airbus China, said his firm welcomed competition from Chinese manufacturers, but added it would be a long time before they vied for global dominance.

"It is going to be a tough challenge," Barron told AFP in an interview.

"But we have seen China meet its challenges, particularly in space. We should not underestimate their will and their ability, and the fact that they are prepared to look at it as a long-term objective."

Boeing and Airbus remain bullish about the long-term demand for new aircraft in China despite the global financial meltdown .

There are early signs China has not escaped the drop-off that has hit the global industry, with both analysts and airlines warning of a "cold winter" of slowing passenger demand.

However, Boeing research released last week estimated China will need 3,710 new commercial planes worth 390 billion dollars over the next 20 years.

Airbus is also optimistic, but will not be announcing any major new deals at Zhuhai, Barron said, although he added that was normal for Chinese airshows.

In 2007, China's air traffic soared 16.8 percent to 387.6 million passenger trips, on the back of 16.7 percent growth in 2006, state media reported.

The demand has sparked a similar boom in airport construction, with around 100 new airports planned by 2020.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gkUrBL9Unk4uHCZfB6J3_bH_LDkw