Tuesday, August 30, 2011

China creates Two New Military Aerial Teams

China's air force will introduce two new aerobatic teams this week in a sign of the military's growing public profile and sophistication.

Both aerial demonstration units will make their debut at an air show in the northeastern city of Changchun. Earlier this year, the air force began flight-testing its first stealth fighter jet.

The teams are known as the Sky Wing and the Red Falcons. Both will include experienced flight instructors and top-ranked pilots, and perform using two new Chinese-made training jets.

The military says the teams will promote international exchanges with foreign air forces.

The teams will perform Thursday with the 50-year old August First Air Demonstration Team of the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

The 16-member Sky Wing demonstration team will be attached to the Chinese Air Force Aviation University, the alma mater of Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut.

The 18-member Red Falcon demonstration team will be based at the Third Flying College of the Chinese Air Force, which trained Zhai Zhigang, China's first space walker.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pakistan launched its first communication satellite in China

Pakistan successfully launched into space its state-of-the-art PakSat-1R communication satellite here from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, late Thursday night.A select group of senior Pakistani officials witnessed the Long March-3B rocket successfully carrying the communication satellite from the launch pad here with rounds of applause and jubilations visible on their faces.
Prominent among those present included Director General SPD Lt. General (Retd.) Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan, Secretary Defence Lt. General (Retd) Syed Ather Ali and Chairman Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), Major General Ahmed Bilal, besides senior officials from the Chinese government.
PakSat-1R, a geostationary and advanced communication satellite, has been jointly built by scientists and engineers from SUPARCO under the technical guidance and financial assistance from their Chinese counterpart, China National Space Administration.
The satellite carries communication payload to facilitate the introduction of a range of new services, including broadband Internet, digital television broadcasting, remote and rural telephony, emergency communications, tele-education and tele-medicine. The satellite is expected to have a lifespan of 15 years, and will be operated from SUPARCO Satellite Ground Stations located in Lahore and Karachi.
Speaking after the successful launch of the satellite, DG SPD who is leading the delegation, congratulated the entire team of Pakistani and Chinese engineers which contributed towards making this project successful. He expressed his gratitude to the government of China for providing support to Pakistan in space technology. He expressed the confidence that cooperation between the two countries in the field of space technology will continue to grow in the future, enabling Pakistan to reap rich benefits.
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said “the successful launch is yet another shining illustration of the time-tested friendship between Pakistan and China and has ushered in a new era of cooperation in space technology between the two countries”.
“This also marks the next step in taking forward Pakistan’s space Programme “2040”, Salman Bashir said.
The launch of PakSat-1R has added a new chapter to the mutual cooperation between the all-weather allies in the field of space technology.
Ambassador Masood Khan regarded PakSat-1R’s launch as important for the country for many reasons. “It is a symbol of Pakistan-China cooperation in the area of space technology. It is the first of the kind to be launched by China and Pakistan. Therefore it establishes a new platform, and marks a new beginning”, he said.
Ambassador Khan said it is our natural aspiration that a Pakistani astronaut aboard a Chinese spacecraft flies to the space, adding that “this is possible because Pakistan and China enjoy relations of trust and confidence”.
Chairman SUPARCO Ahmed Bilal termed the launch as a “historic event” as it is for the first time that a commercial, fully capable communication satellite has been launched in which scientists and engineers of SUPARCO have worked very closely with the Chinese in all stages of its design and development. They have also gained firsthand experience of designing and manufacturing of Satellite, he said.
The Paksat-1R satellite is designed and manufactured by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
The satellite has 30 transponders onboard, including 12 C band and 18 Ku band transponders. To meet the coverage requirements, Paksat-1R has advance communication antennas, covering South Asian Sub-continent, the Middle East, east Africa and part of Western European areas and cities.
The Paksat-1R Programme is China Great Wall Industry Corporation’s (CGWIC) third satellite in-orbit delivery contract with its international customers.
President CGWIC, Yin Liming and Assistant President of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) Zhao Xiao Chen, Assistant President of CASC also spoke on the occasion.
They said the launch took place as Pakistan is celebrating its 65th Independence Day on August 14 and both Pakistan and China are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
He said the agreement to this effect was signed in October 2008, when President Asif Ali Zardari visited China, who also witnessed its signing ceremony along with President Hu Jintao.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

China's first aircraft carrier will have more than one commander

NINE top Chinese naval captains are to take command of the country's first aircraft carrier in turns.

The vessel, which is near completion, will be used to train pilots and crews for future aircraft carriers.

The nine, of senior colonel or higher rank, are graduates of the country's first warship academy class in 1987 for aircraft carrier commanders, the International Herald Leader, a Beijing-based newspaper, reported yesterday.

The Varyag, a vessel bought from Ukraine in 1998 which is being fitted out at a shipyard in Dalian in northeast China's Liaoning Province, will mainly be a training platform rather than a combat warship, the newspaper said. It will be the No. 83 training vessel of the Dalian Navy Academy, according to the report.

Smoke could be seen from the chimney of the conventionally powered warship, while its radar and missile systems were also being adjusted, indicating the carrier's maiden voyage would be soon, the newspaper said.

Aircraft carriers and cruisers must be named after the country's provincial level names, destroyers and frigates must be named after large or medium size cities, while smaller vessels can be named after mountains or famous people, according to a Chinese Navy rule.

However, the carrier may also be named after famous Chinese people according to another stipulation for training vessels.

A naming ceremony would be held after the carrier's maiden voyage, the report said.

It is widely suggested that the carrier be named after Shi Lang, an admiral in the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) who led a fleet to Taiwan Island in 1681, or Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China.

The carrier will mainly anchor at naval bases in Shandong Province, Zhoushan Archipelago in Zhejiang Province or Yalong Bay in Hainan Island which are big enough for an aircraft carrier fleet, a military expert told the newspaper.

Cao Weidong, a researcher with the PLA Navy's Academic Research Institute, said the Varyag was a medium-sized carrier that would be equipped with engines, radar and other equipment made in China.

The carrier will land about 30 Chinese J-15 fighters and have about 2,000 of a crew.

The J-15 fighter is similar to Russia's cutting-edge Sukhoi Su-33 and as competent as the US F-18E/F, also known as the Super Hornet, fighter aircraft, the report said.

China is building another two aircraft carriers at a shipyard in Shanghai, the Voice of Russia quoted Pavel Kamennov, an expert at the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying.

Kamennov said China would build its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and form an aircraft carrier group by 2020.

"China has been studying closely the experience of other countries in the aircraft carrier area, so it will undoubtedly acquire adequate experience," he told the radio station.

The Varyag was originally built by the former Soviet Union, which failed to complete the ship's construction before its collapse in 1991. Ukraine disarmed it and removed its engines before selling it to China.

When the refitting work is complete, China will then become the last of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the 10th country in the world that owns an aircraft carrier.