May 23, 2017                                                Issue No. 16


China Says It Tested New Missile in Northeastern Sea |

China has recently tested a new type of guided missile in a northeastern sea near the Korean peninsula, the defense ministry said Tuesday, hours after South Korean elections held amid regional tensions. The test in the Bohai Sea was conducted to "raise the operational capability of the armed forces and effectively respond to threats to national security," the ministry said in a brief statement. The statement did not say when the launch took place, only that it happened "recently". It did not give any details about the missile nor the type of platform from which it was launched.
China to Invest 23.3 mln U.S. Dollars In Developing Space Science Satellites | Xinhua

A fund of 160 million yuan (23.3 million U.S. dollars) was set up Tuesday to help the development of four space science satellites, as well as advanced scientific research. Jointly set up by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Chinese Academy of Sciences, with each side sponsoring half of the investment, the fund will last from 2017 to 2020. The four satellites are the Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite, retrievable scientific research satellite SJ-10, a quantum communication satellite and a hard X-ray modulation telescope satellite.
China Makes Headway in Race for Space Technology Domination | CCTV

Satellite communications technology is the crown jewel of China's high-tech development, and it has played a vital role in connecting the country with the rest of the world. A team of about 500 engineers from the China Academy of Space Technology, with an average age of just 33, forms the backbone of design, research and application for China's satellite communications technology, which is used in commercial and mobile communications, broadcast and data transfer, among many other things. The team, which was established in 2000 for innovation purposes and is headed by Zhou Zhicheng, has overcome the dominance of overseas technologies and developed the Dong Fang Hong 4 large-scale communications satellite platform in a little more than six years.
Accelerating Hypersonics Development | U.S. Air Force

On May 3, 2017, Air Force senior leaders met to consider options to accelerate hypersonics research and development to break even more speed barriers and ensure continued technological superiority. "We must push the boundaries of technology in every area," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. "Our adversaries aren't standing still. They are looking for every advantage they can get." A recent Air Force Studies Board report identified that the U.S. is not alone in its quest for this increased speed. For example, China and Russia are already flight testing hypersonic weapons, and several other countries have shown interest in pursuing many of the underlying technologies for hypersonic flight. "We have a real sense of urgency," said Dr. Greg Zacharias, the Air Force chief scientist. "The acting secretary directed this discussion as a call to arms to maintain our heritage of excellence in this area."
China's 'Big Jet' Takes the Sky | China Defence Today

The COMAC C919 passenger jet, China's first indigenously-developed 'big jet', successfully completed its maiden test flight on 5 May 2017, marking the first major milestone in China's effort to break into the commercial airliner market which has been dominated by Boeing and Airbus. At the 2010 Zhuhai Air Show, COMAC revealed that it plans to develop six variants of the C919, including stretched body, shortened body, cargo, business jet, and 'special' variants. The company is also planning to develop a larger, two-aisle, wide-body variant which could rival the like of the Airbus A330 family. The revelation of the 'special' variant indicates the intention to use the C919 as an aerial platform for military roles, following the example of the Boeing 707 being developed into the E-3 Sentry, E-8C JSTARS, and KC-135 Stratotanker; the Boeing 737 being developed into the E-7A Wedgetail and P-8 Poseidon; and the A330 into the Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).
New Chinese Attack Helicopter Makes Maiden Flight | Reuters

China unveiled an indigenously developed attack helicopter on Thursday as it eyes a lucrative export market and ramps up an ambitious modernization program. The Z-19E, developed by the state-owned AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry, took to the skies over the city of Harbin for its maiden flight, with images carried on state television. "The helicopter is the latest narrow-body tandem-seat armed helicopter. It is also the country's first export-oriented helicopter made especially for attack purposes," state news agency Xinhua said.
J-31 Fighter Suggested For China's First Domestically Built Aircraft Carrier | Global Times

The launch of China's first domestically built aircraft carrier 001A has created national sensation in recent days, but experts have noted that the carrier-based aircraft currently in use in China are backward and the country needs a new aircraft to match the new carrier, such as a version of J-31 stealth fighter. A military expert who requested anonymity was quoted by the Science and Technology Daily on Friday as saying that the current carrier-based J-15 fighter jet is a third-generation machine and lags far behind the F-35C jet to be used by the US.
China Is Building a Sea-Skimming Anti-Ship Drone | Popular Mechanics

China is developing a new drone that uses ground effect technology to skim the surface of the ocean, allowing it to fly just eighteen inches off the water. The unmanned vehicle could be a challenging opponent for potential adversaries, some of whom would find it difficult to detect.
China's 500-Ship Navy Suddenly Appears on the Horizon | RUSI

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (Navy) - or PLA(N) - is moving towards an ambition of 500 warships, including aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, amphibious ships and a burgeoning frigate and destroyer force. Just in the past three weeks a new destroyer and new corvette have been launched and discussion over new carrier-based aircraft has been increasing. The growth in the PLA(N) force structure has been rapid: indeed it is hard to recall growth at a similar pace in any navy across history.
Beyond the San Hai: The Challenge of China's Blue-Water Navy | Center for New American Security

The United States has enjoyed largely uncontested naval supremacy across the blue waters, or open oceans, for decades. The rapid emergence of an increasingly global People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) suggests that this era will soon come to a close. China's ability to conduct power projection and amphibious operations around the world will become a fundamental fact of politics in the near future, with significant consequences for the United States and its allies, all of which need to begin preparing for a "risen China" rather than a "rising China," especially in the realm of maritime security. China's expanding naval capabilities have implications that are difficult to grasp, and more importantly, consequences that will be impossible to ignore, and it is therefore all the more necessary for U.S. and allied planners to reckon with it now. This study has resulted in several key judgments and recommendations for policymakers.
China's Military Develops Smartphone Software That Snitches on Soldiers Leaking Sensitive Information | Global Times

The Chinese military is developing smartphone surveillance software that automatically alerts authorities if a soldier leaks sensitive information or uses their handset devices during blackout times. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily reported on Sunday that the PLA Rocket Force introduced the mobile phone security platform to better regulate smart phone use in the military.
Cheap Chinese Aluminum Is a National Security Threat | Foreign Policy

A bigger worry, however, is national security. High purity aluminum is used to make certain kinds of jets, such as Boeing's F-18 and Lockheed Martin's F-35, as well as armored vehicles. But the United States now has just one domestic manufacturer of high purity aluminum left - Century Aluminum's Hawesville, Ky. plant, which is currently operating at 40 percent capacity amid dropping prices.
Thailand Purchases Chinese Submarine, the Country's First Since WWII | People's Daily

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) on May 8 signed a contract with a Chinese company to procure a S26T diesel-electric submarine, a move experts believe will promote China's export of conventional submarines. The contract was signed in Beijing by RTN chief of staff, Vice Admiral Luechai Ruddit and Xu Ziqiu, chairman of the stated-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). According to CSIC's official website, this is the company's second submarine export contract, after an eight-ship deal with Pakistan's navy in 2015.
Chinese Company May Have Helped North Korea Secure Missile Materials for Nearly a Decade | National Interest

North Korea appears to have built up its weapons program with a little bit of outside help. While China claims that it fully implements U.N. sanctions against North Korea, one Chinese state-owned company maintained a joint venture with a sanctioned North Korean company for nearly a decade, reports the Wall Street Journal.