Tag Archives: Fighter

Russian Engine to Power Chinese J-31 5th Generation Fighter

A Russian-made RD-93 engine will power the Chinese J-31 fifth generation fighter, Rosoboronexport official told RIA Novosti Monday.

“J-31 with the Russian engine RD-93 is considered to be an export program, able to compete with the American F-35 fifth generation aircraft on the regional markets,” Rosoboronexport’s Air Force Equipment Export Department Head Sergey Kornev told RIA Novosti in an interview.

“The program is ambitious, but very real, especially considering the high cost of F-35 and some problems with its development,” Kornev added.

Sergey Kornev, who is heading the Russian delegation at China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, told RIA Novosti that two fifth generation fighters are being developed in China, the J-20 and J-31, which demonstrates the high potential of Chinese science and aviation industry.

The J-31 fifth generation fighter flew a maiden flight in October 2012 and there is currently only one prototype available. The twin-engine jet bears some resemblance with the Russian T-50 or PAK FA fifth-generation fighter.

China has also been developing its stealth J-20 fighter, which first took off in 2011, and is expected to be operational by 2017 or later.

Russian RD-93 engines are a variant of the RD-33 engines, initially developed to power MiG-29 fighters. The RD-93 was developed by Russia’s Klimov design bureau specifically for the FC-1 fighter, known in Pakistan as the JF-17 Thunder.

The world’s only fifth generation fighter in service is the US F-22 Raptor, while F-35, Russian T-50 and Chinese J-20 and J-31 are at various stages of development.

Kornev also mentioned about the problem of China’s making copycat copies of Russian weapons, but pointed out that there is a resolution to that.

“The problem [of China violating copyright of Russian weapons] exists, but it is solvable, and both sides are seeking the settlement of controversial situations,” Rosoboronexport’s Air Force Equipment Export Department Head Sergei Kornev said prior to the Airshow China 2014 exhibition, which will be held in southern China’s city of Zhuhai on November 11-16.

He cited a 2008 deal on intellectual property protection in military-technical cooperation between the two nations as a good example of Russia-China cooperation on the issue.

“We continue joint activities on elaboration of working mechanisms of exposing violations. The problem is concealed in the inconsistence of local legislations as well as international acts,” Kornev added.

The defense official, however, underscored that military-technical cooperation between Russia and China has no hurdles which could not be cleared.

In 1992, China bought Russia’s Su-27 fighter jets. Fifteen years later, Beijing unveiled J-11B aircraft which Moscow labeled as a copycat version of Su-27.

Russia has also accused China of producing cloned versions of Su-33 fighter jet, S-300 air defense system, the Smerch multiple rocket launcher and the Msta self-propelled howitzer in violation of intellectual property agreements.

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China shows off new stealth fighter

China’s new stealth jet fighter rocketed skywards Wednesday as Beijing puts on an unprecedented display of openness — and military force — at the country’s premier airshow.

The black J-31 rose in a nearly vertical climb on take-off in Zhuhai before circling back and doing two rolls, in the aircraft’s first announced public appearance.

The plane’s existence has been the subject of rumor and speculation for years, with photographs appearing increasingly frequently on military websites in recent months.

Defence analysts say the J-31 is China’s answer to the United States’ F-35, though the Chinese jet lags behind the American one technologically.

The fighter’s Chinese name is “Falcon Eagle” and it is manufactured by a unit of Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC), whose defence arm uses the slogan: “We are making the best weapons for guardians of the peace.”

The plane’s debut comes amid tensions between China and its neighbors over territorial disputes, particularly Japan which has feuded with Beijing over a group of islands in the East China Sea.

China’s air force said the display of military might at the airshow showed the intention to build a strong country.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air force “will make unremitting efforts to realize dreams of a strong China and powerful armed forces”, read a sign alongside an array of eight warplanes at the airshow.

“The display… demonstrates the strength and confidence of (the) PLA Air Force to fulfill missions and achieve world peace.”

China has steadily increased its defence budget for years, with funding projected to rise more than 12 percent to $132 billion in 2014. But the US has accused Beijing of under-reporting its spending by as much as 20 percent in the past.

Defence analysts said China appears eager to sell the new fifth generation fighter abroad, also putting on display a model with a designation typically used for overseas destinations: FC-31.

“China’s defence industry wants to show the potential for export,” said Andrew Erickson, associate professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute of the US Naval War College.

Ally Pakistan is a likely first market, he added.

AVIC has already developed another fighter plane, the FC-1, in cooperation with Pakistan which was also on display at the show.

‘Huge power’
A large military transport plane, the Y-20, also made its debut at the show, flying lumbering turns over the crowd at its public outing on Wednesday.

“Of course, it is an advance in technology,” said the announcer as spectators craned their necks to see it against a smoggy sky.

The China National Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp., the firm at the heart of controversy over the supply of a long-range anti-missile system to Turkey in the face of US opposition, also had a presence at the show, but its booth was devoid of product displays.

The firm, which is under US sanctions for selling arms and missile technology to Iran and Syria, declined to provide promotional materials or answer questions when approached by a journalist.

Although billed as an airshow, new sponsor China North Industries Corp (NORINCO) showed off a battle tank, the VT4, which proved a popular backdrop for visitor photos.

Other countries in the Asian region have beefed up military spending in response to China’s growing power.

“It’s a bit of a dance that happens all over the world,” said Briand Greer, president of aerospace for Asia-Pacific at US conglomerate Honeywell.

“Economically everyone is tied to what happens in China,” he said. “But at the same time, you’ve got a huge power rising right in your backyard so you don’t want to feel helpless.”

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South Korea suspends $1.6 bn deal to upgrade fighter jets

By on Friday, November 7th, 2014

South Korea has suspended a $1.61 billion deal to upgrade its fleet of F-16 fighter jets because of delayed work and cost over-runs, a government agency said Thursday.

The US unit of London-based BAE Systems had been chosen over US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin for the 1.75 trillion won project to upgrade the South Korean air force’s fleet of 134 F-16s.

The upgrade began in December last year through a foreign military sales program covered by guarantees from the US government, as the F-16 is a Lockheed product.

But it was suspended in recent days because of faltering negotiations over additional costs presented by both BAE Systems and the US government, Seoul’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.

BAE Systems has demanded 300 billion won in additional expenses, and the US government in turn wants Seoul to cover an extra cost of 500 billion won because of the increased risk of the project falling through, it said.

South Korea insists it will not agree to price hikes that run far beyond the original agreement.

“BAE Systems’ work has been suspended temporarily following discussions between the US and South Korean governments,” DAPA spokesman Kim Si-Cheol told reporters.

He warned Seoul could cancel the contract and seek a new partner “unless our demands are met”.

But Kim stressed: “There has been no decision to cancel it (already). Negotiations are still under way between the two sides.”

Yonhap news agency said Seoul would open alternative talks with Lockheed, one of its long-term partners in military procurement.

“But our best-case scenario is that (Seoul) keeps its original deal with BAE Systems,” a military source was quoted as saying.

South Korea is in separate talks with Lockheed on terms of a 7.3 trillion won deal to buy 40 next-generation F-35A jets.

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J-31 Stealth Fighter to Appear At Zhuhai Air Show

Over 130 aircraft of various types will participate in the 10th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition to be unveiled on November 11, 2014 in Zhuhai of south China’s Guangdong province, and the J-31 stealth fighter will also appear in Zhuhai and conduct a demonstration flight, according to Nanfang Daily.

The J-31 stealth fighter is very likely to be put into mass production within five years, and has a big chance of being a carrier-borne type, said Xu Yongling, aviation expert, in an interview.

It has been just two years since the successful maiden flight of the J-31 in 2012. As a fighter under test, the J-31 is now in the primary stage of performance development.

“It is still difficult for it to give a demonstration flight, but as an export-oriented aircraft, it may showcase itself by appearing and making a sensational effect at the air show,” said Xu Yongling.

In the opinion of Xu Yongling, the J-31 is a low-end version of the fourth-generation warplanes. With China’s talent and technology advantages gained from its development of the third-generation warplanes, it is possible to realize design finalization and mass production of the J-31 within five years.

The engine has been a disadvantage in the aviation technology field of China. “But this disadvantage is being made up for, and there will be good news soon,” said Xu Yongling. New products will appear in fields of high-thrust engines, medium-thrust engines and small-thrust engines in China. Such primary models as the J-31 will definitely be equipped with domestically-made engines, so that it is possible for China to cease its heavy reliance on the import of engines for its major models.

Xu Yongling also pointed out that for the carrier-borne aircraft in various countries, it is the general trend for stealth fighters to be commissioned on aircraft carriers, but the possibility of using the fourth-generation warplanes to completely substitute the third-generation ones is small. The aircraft carrier fleets mainly equipped with the fourth-generation warplanes and the aircraft carrier fleets mainly equipped with the third-generation warplanes will appear simultaneously in future.

“The J-31 is very likely to be commissioned on the aircraft carrier, but no news concerning the compatibility between the J-31 and carrier-borne aircraft technology is available now. Therefore, it is estimated that the J-31 will be commissioned on the aircraft carrier later than it is commissioned into the troops,” according to Xu Yongling.

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Russia’s 5th Gen Fighter Receives First Sets of New Electronic Warfare System

By on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The unique air system increases fighter jet’s jamming resistance and damage tolerance, as well as neutralizes enemy’s signature control systems

The Radio Electronic Technologies concern provided the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAC FA) T-50 with the first batch of Himalayas electronic warfare systems.

“We are currently testing it,” General Director Nikolay Kolesov told TASS. “T-50 prototypes are already equipped with the Himalayas onboard defense system. The system is used in plane tests,” Kolesov said.

The unique air system increases fighter jet’s jamming resistance and damage tolerance, as well as neutralizes enemy’s signature control systems. It also helps decrease aggregate weight of the PAC FA.

The Himalayas are integrated into the jet fighter system to the extent it functions as a so-called smart cover. “In other words, we are not producing some separate blocks, but parts of a plane with add-in electronic devices,” Kolesov stressed when talking about fifth-generation jet fighters’ electronic warfare characteristics.

The Himalayas EW system was developed by the Kaluga Scientific Research and Radio Technology Institute and is manufactured at the Signal radioplant in Stavropol. They are both part of the Radio Electronic Technologies concern.

The concern is Russia’s largest electronic industry holding company. It was established back in 2009 and is now part of the Rostec State Corporation. It specializes in development and production of systems and commercial avionics, position-radar station of air basing, identification and electronic warfare systems, measuring apparatus for various purposes. The concern includes 97 scientific research institutes, a development laboratory and production facilities.

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Mapping drone prompts China to scramble fighter jets

By on Friday, October 24th, 2014

China deployed more than 1,200 troops and scrambled fighter jets in response to an unauthorised flight near Beijing airport by what turned out to be a mapping drone, state-run media reported Thursday.

Three men are being prosecuted over the incident, the China Daily said.

It cited prosecutors as saying that 1,226 military personnel, 123 military vehicles, 26 radar technicians, two fighter jets and two helicopters were sent into action after the aircraft was spotted on radar screens.

Police arrested two men as they flew the drone and a third confessed later, according to the paper, which is published by the government. All three men worked for an aviation technology company, the report said, and the 2.3-metre-long (seven-and-a-half-foot) drone was intended to be used for survey and mapping purposes.

China forbids any flights, manned or unmanned, without prior approval from the air force, civil aviation authorities and the local air traffic control bureau.

A New Zealand man was briefly detained by police in June after he flew a camera-equipped drone over the Forbidden City, a popular tourist site and former residence of China’s emperors, which sits next to China’s top-secret leadership compound.

The Beijing airport drone incident, which happened last December, caused 10 flights to be delayed, the newspaper added.

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Royal Air Force Now Flying Their Most Advanced Fighter Jets Ever

By on Monday, October 20th, 2014

The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) most advanced fighters ever are now in operational service following the largest ever fighter upgrade programme delivered by BAE Systems.

Known as Phase 1 Enhancements (P1E), the upgrade package delivers a range of enhancements to the Typhoon aircraft. Developed by BAE Systems working together with its Eurofighter Partner companies, the RAF and UK Ministry of Defence, (MOD), the capabilities introduced have been developed on the back of operations in Libya, and cement Typhoon’s place as a world class multi-role fighter.

The aircraft upgrades include enhanced computing power, weapons systems integration advancements and improved sensor suites making Typhoon even more potent whether tasked with air-to-air work, air-to-surface or a combination of both during a single mission. The P1E enhancements package delivers much more flexibility in mission planning. It allows a single pilot, in a single aircraft to simultaneously attack six different targets in one pass.

Royal Air Force Now Flying Their Most Advanced Fighter Jets EverDivided into two elements, Phase 1 Enhancements (a) and Phase 1Enhancements (b), the latter takes the multi-role concept to a new level. Typhoon Requirements Manager, Wing Commander Stephen Williams said: “P1Eb allows Typhoon to begin realising its air-to-surface capability while also delivering in the air-to-air arena. Our ability to switch between air-to-air and air-to-surface modes is a big step, providing great flexibility for our pilots on Operations. This is a key step to delivering capability for the UK’s Interim Force 15.”

The PE1b package also brings upgrades for the aircraft’s Defensive Aids Sub System and the latest interoperability updates for the Multifunction Information and Distribution Systems, which together ensure the Typhoon remains one of the most effective aircraft in the skies.

Testing of the P1E package was conducted through a combined industry and MOD team. Martin Taylor, Director for Combat Air at BAE Systems said: “P1E is a massive leap forward in capability and by working jointly as one team, we’ve ensured that there are no surprises when it enters service. We have delivered a capability with all the necessary training and support to make sure it is ready and usable from day one.”

The first 17 P1E standard aircraft are now in service with the RAF with a further 18 to be delivered by 1st April 2015.

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