De Chinese expansie(drift)

Gestart door VandeWiel, 25/04/2010 | 22:02 uur


Ik was dit belangrijke nieuws ook nog vergeten te posten

Taiwan elects William Lai president in historic election, angering China

Mr Lai won 40% of the vote, beating his two opponents comfortably

Taiwanese voters have chosen pro-sovereignty candidate William Lai as their president in a historic election, cementing a path that is increasingly divergent from China.

The move angered Beijing, which issued a statement after the results insisting that "Taiwan is part of China".
While Beijing has called for "peaceful reunification", it has also not ruled out the use of force.

It had cast the Taiwan election as a choice between "war and peace".

China has ramped up its military presence around the island in recent months, heightening fears of a possible conflict.

Beijing's communist government reviles Mr Lai's pro-sovereignty Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which has governed Taiwan for eight years.

By winning an unprecedented third consecutive presidential term for his party, Mr Lai has broken new ground. In his first remarks after his opponents conceded, he signalled that this was an irreversible trajectory.

"The country will continue to walk on the right path forward. We will not turn around or look backwards," he told the world's media in a press conference.

Later, while addressing tens of thousands of ecstatic supporters on the streets of Taipei, Mr Lai characterised his win as a triumph of democracy.

"We've done it. We didn't let external forces influence our election. That's because we decided that only we can choose our president," he said. In the lead-up to the polls, Taiwan had accused China of attempting to interfere with the process.

But Mr Lai also had a message for China.

He told reporters he favoured more exchanges and dialogue over obstructionism and conflict, and called for peace and stability with Beijing.

At the same time, he added, he would "maintain the cross-strait status quo" - neither seeking independence nor unification with China - and pledged to "safeguard Taiwan from threats from China".

Beijing has labelled Mr Lai a "separatist" and "troublemaker" over remarks he made in the past supporting Taiwanese independence, which it sees as a red line.

But in recent months he indicated he would not pursue formal independence.

On Saturday, a statement from the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council insisted that Taiwan's elections "cannot stop the unstoppable trend of the eventual reunification of the motherland" and the DPP "cannot represent the mainstream public opinion" in Taiwan.

The US, Taiwan's biggest ally, was swift to congratulate Mr Lai on his win. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also praised the island's "robust democratic system and electoral process".

In a statement, he said Washington is "committed to maintaining cross-strait peace and stability". Earlier President Joe Biden told reporters the US "does not support independence" for Taiwan.

Outside the DPP's headquarters in Taipei on Saturday, supporters
celebrated the result.

"I'm so happy now. Most Taiwanese people want to protect our democratic lifestyle," said Cheng Yu-tsai.

"I don't care [how China reacts]. We have to hold up our values and insist on what we think is right and move on," said Wei Yi-tsai.

Mr Lai's 40% of the vote put him comfortably ahead of Hou Yu-ih from the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party. Since 2000, Taiwan has alternated between the DPP and the KMT which is friendlier to Beijing.

Maverick politician Ko Wen-je from the Taiwan People's Party, a newcomer party to Taiwan's political scene popular with young voters, gained a quarter of the vote.

Voters on Saturday also chose their legislature. The DPP has lost its majority with the opposition gaining ground, though no one party has enough seats to control parliament, according to Taiwanese media reports.

Observers say that an opposition-dominated legislature with a DPP president could mean the process of governing Taiwan would become more fraught.



Our Best Look At China's Nearly Completed New Aircraft Carrier

New official visuals of the carrier released by Chinese state media show it looking close to completion, foreshadowing upcoming sea trials.


CCTV screen cap

Video footage released by China has given us the latest and best view of the country's new aircraft carrier Fujian. The ship, which is the first fully Chinese-designed carrier, is set to also become the first People's Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, carrier to launch aircraft via catapults rather than by a ski jump. The new visuals are yet another indication that sea trials are on the horizon for the warship.

The video in question, which was released by China's state-run CCTV network today, shows the carrier head-on as part of a short segment. CCTV says the video depicts Fujian, also known as the Type 003, completing a recent mooring test. This involves testing vessels' main propulsion machinery while moored.

A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.

-- Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.


China Has New Full-Scale Target Of America's Ford Supercarrier

China's huge investment in denying U.S. carriers proximity to its shores continues with a familiar-looking new target in its western desert.

China has constructed a new aircraft carrier target on a sprawling range in the northwestern end of the country that is a dead-ringer for the U.S. Navy's newest supercarrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford. The target underscores the People's Liberation Army's continued focus on expanding and refining its ability to engage American carriers and other warships over long distances, which includes a growing arsenal of anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles. This is all part of China's evolving anti-access and area denial strategy across much of the Western Pacific.

The image of the new carrier target on the range in the Taklamakan Desert in China's Xinjiang province was taken on January 1 by Planet Labs. A full-scale black-colored silhouette in the shape of the USS Gerald R. Ford, and future carriers in that class, roughly 1,085 feet long, is plainly visible. There is also a structure in the same position as Ford's island, as well as four catapult tracks marked on the 'deck' in the same places they appear on the real ship. The unique sponsons and other outcroppings, including a broader, squared-off stern, that are found on the Ford are also present in the target silhouette.

A side-by-side comparison of the new carrier target in China's Taklamakan Desert, at top, and the USS Gerald R. Ford, at bottom.

Various masts can be seen dotted around the new Ford target. Generally speaking, these masts are used as radar reflectors, which can be used in combined form to mimic the real ship's full radar signature. This, in turn, would help create a full 'phantom' carrier in the desert without the need for more extensive construction. The masts can also be used as surrogates for separate features if used in smaller groups.

Some of the masts could also be topped with antennas or other equipment for various testing purposes. Masts like this have been observed on other targets at the Taklamakan Desert range, as well as elsewhere, including at sea. In the past, The War Zone has highlighted how these features are particularly relevant to the development of new and improved radar seekers for weapons, other sensors, countermeasures, and electronic warfare systems.

A close-up look at some of the masts that are visible on the carrier target, including on the island structure.

Work on the new carrier target began in November 2023. A review of past satellite imagery available through Planet Labs also shows that a rough outline of a carrier has been present there for some time. Several smaller aircraft carrier silhouettes have also been erected within the larger outline and subsequently removed at this site in the Taklamakan Desert on multiple occasions since 2021.

Two smaller carrier targets, as well as the outline of a larger one, can be seen in this satellite image taken on July 28, 2023. This is the same location where the larger Ford target is now present.

The U.S. Navy took delivery of Ford in 2019 after years of technical issues and other delays. The real carrier is currently on its way back to its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia, after concluding its first fully deployment. Ford's time at sea had been extended due to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

The site of China's new Ford target is just under 2.8 miles (around 4.5 kilometers) southeast of another full-scale carrier target in the Taklamakan that garnered significant attention back in 2021. That target also has the same general dimensions as a Ford class carrier, but still lacks any significant structural additions.

Additional ship-type targets, including others meant to represent aircraft carriers and ones that look to be based around U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class destroyers, dot the Taklamakan range. Satellite imagery shows that at least one of the destroyer targets, which had previously been just a silhouette with various radar reflector masts, has now been upgraded with additional structure features. Similarly enhanced destroyer targets have been observed on this range in the past.

The destroyer target with structural improvements is seen in this image taken on January 1, 2024.

The Taklamakan range complex is also home to at least one very large rail-based mobile ship target that you can read more about here.

All of this reflects a steady trend on the part of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to create higher and higher fidelity land-based naval targets to train and test against over the past few decades. The new Ford target is a world apart from the concrete rectangles and other crudely ship-shaped targets that Chinese forces used years ago. Using targets that are more representative of the real thing helps produce more accurate data during testing. They can also add additional realism during training exercises, though ranges like the one in the Taklamakan Desert are more focused on supporting research and development and test and evaluation activities.

Older ship silhouette targets arrayed as part of a mock port facility at a Chinese range in the Gobi Desert.

The new targets also underscore the PLA's significant and ongoing investment in capabilities to neutralize U.S. Navy carriers and their associated strike groups. China's anti-access and area denial arsenal continues to expand with a particular focus on anti-ship capabilities. The country has a growing array of air-launched and land and sea-based anti-ship ballistic missiles. This is on top of increasingly advanced anti-ship cruise missiles that can be fired from more and more capable aircraft, ships, and submarines, as well as ground-based launchers. Hypersonic anti-ship cruise missiles are on the horizon for the PLA, too.

At the same time, the PLA's ability to detect and track carriers and other warships, and do so persistently further and further away from its shores, has grown in recent years. Drones are an ever-more important part of this equation for China. The PLA also has a still-expanding array of space-based surveillance and intelligence-gathering assets that increasingly rivals that of the United States. These are all capabilities that could be particularly critical to the targeting process for longer-range weapons, such as anti-ship ballistic missiles.

A picture of a Chinese WZ-7 surveillance drone taken from the cockpit of a Japan Air Self-Defense Force aircraft during an intercept last year. Japanese Ministry of Defense

"Recent improvements to China's space-based ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] capabilities emphasize the development, procurement, and use of increasingly capable satellites with digital camera technology as well as space-based radar for all-weather, 24-hour coverage. These improvements increase China's monitoring capabilities – including observation of U.S. aircraft carriers, expeditionary strike groups, and deployed air wings," the Pentagon's most recent annual report on Chinese military capabilities, released last October, explained. "Space capabilities will enhance potential PLA military operations farther from the Chinese coast. These capabilities are being augmented with electronic reconnaissance satellites that monitor radar and radio transmissions."

All of this comes amid a now decades-long modernization push by PLA. This has produced significant results, especially in terms of its naval capabilities, something The War Zone has explored in depth previously. In addition to new anti-ship capabilities, the PLA Navy (PLAN) has been working steadily increasing the size and capabilities of its own surface warship and submarine fleets. It now moving ever closer to commissioning its third aircraft carrier, Fujian, which will be its most capable to date, as you can read more about here. There is already talk about an even more advanced nuclear-powered flattop, as well as smaller drone carriers, being in the PLAN's future.

In recent years, there has also been a surge in concerns among U.S. officials about the potential for a future high-end conflict with China in the Pacific, possibly over the status of Taiwan or another flashpoint, such as the hotly contested South China Sea. The PLA routinely harasses American ships and aircraft operating in international waters and the airspace above them across the Pacific, and has reportedly conducted mock attack runs on Navy warships in the past.

Still, even with all of these other developments, the new target in the Taklamakan Desert representing the USS Gerald R. Ford makes clear the PLA continues to put great emphasis on being able to challenge American carriers in any future conflict.



Xi Jinping: hereniging van China en Taiwan onvermijdelijk

De Chinese president Xi Jinping heeft in zijn nieuwjaarstoespraak gezegd dat "hereniging" met Taiwan onvermijdelijk is. Daarmee neemt hij duidelijk stelling, twee weken voor de presidents- en parlementsverkiezingen in Taiwan. Peking beschouwt Taiwan als afvallige provincie en vindt dat het eiland desnoods met geweld onder het gezag van de Communistische Partij moet worden gesteld.

Peking heeft de afgelopen tijd de militaire druk op het eiland al opgevoerd. In zijn toespraak heeft Xi overigens niet expliciet met geweld gedreigd. Wel benadrukte hij dat "China zeker zal worden herenigd". Hij sprak van "landgenoten aan weerszijden van de Straat van Taiwan". Vorig jaar had hij het nog over "leden van dezelfde familie".

China noemt de Taiwanese presidentskandidaat die vooroploopt in de peilingen, vice-president Lai Ching-te, een "gevaarlijke separatist".

Economisch herstel
In de nieuwjaarstoespraak ging het verder over de Chinese economie. Xi zei dat China van plan is de positieve trend van het economisch herstel na corona voort te zetten. Ook komen er vergaande hervormingen om het vertrouwen in de economie te vergroten en voor groei op de lange termijn en moet de markt verder worden opengesteld.

Xi beloofde ook grotere inspanningen in onderwijs, wetenschap en technologie. Hij sprak zijn zorg uit over de problemen waarmee sommige bedrijven kampen en over de werkgelegenheid en over de gevolgen van natuurrampen als overstromingen en aardbevingen.

NOS, 31-12-2023, 16:50


Citaat van: Ace1 op 29/12/2023 | 19:25 uurOok zonder subsidie is er in China geen gebrek aan vraag naar de Comac C919. Bijna alle Chinese luchtvaartmaatschappijen zijn, net als Comac zelf, volledig eigendom van de overheid.

Die vligende WC eend... ;)


Prijsstijging: Chinese concurrent duurder dan Airbus of Boeing

De Chinese vliegtuigbouwer Comac heeft de prijs van haar nieuwste model, de C919, verhoogd. Het type is daarmee duurder geworden dan de Airbus A220-300 of Boeing 737 MAX 7. Gelukkig is de prijsstijging voor Chinese maatschappijen geen probleem, die is alleen voor buitenlandse bedrijven bedoeld.

De prijs van de Comac is inmiddels gestegen naar 108 miljoen dollar per exemplaar, negen miljoen dollar meer dan vorig jaar. De toestellen zijn daarmee een stuk duurder dan de Boeing 737 MAX 7 of Airbus A220-300, die allebei ongeveer even groot zijn en over een vergelijkbaar vliegbereik beschikken, maar minder dan 100 miljoen dollar kosten.

Het is ongebruikelijk dat luchtvaartmaatschappijen de vraagprijs betalen voor hun vliegtuigen. Wanneer er een grote bestelling wordt geplaatst kan de korting oplopen tot bijna vijftig procent. Alhoewel Comac zich met de prijsstijging niet populair zal maken buiten China, krijgen Chinese maatschappijen subsidie van de overheid als zij vliegtuigen van Comac kopen.

Ook zonder subsidie is er in China geen gebrek aan vraag naar de Comac C919. Bijna alle Chinese luchtvaartmaatschappijen zijn, net als Comac zelf, volledig eigendom van de overheid.


Pentagon & Congress Prepare to Stop Chinese "Blockade" of Taiwan

The Pentagon is working closely with Taiwan to develop deterrence strategies and countermeasures in response to a possible Chinese blockade of the island

The Pentagon is working closely with Taiwan to develop deterrence strategies and countermeasures in response to a possible Chinese blockade of the island, wherein the PRC uses its large Navy, hypersonic weapons and ballistic missiles to essentially "block" any allied forces from defending Taiwan.

Such a prospect has been on the minds of Pentagon thinkers for quite some time, and now the US Congress shares the concern and is directing the Pentagon to send a report to several Congressional committees outlining the "risks and implications" of a sustained military blockade of Taiwan by China.

"The report shall include the method China is most likely to use to impose a blockade; an identification of indications and warnings of a potential sustained blockade of Taiwan by China; and the likely timelines associated with such indications and warnings," a report from Taiwan's Central News Agency states. "It should also include an assessment of the impact of such a blockade on the ability of Taiwan to sustain its self-defense capabilities, economy, and population."

Military Dimensions to a Blockade

A large-scaled PLA Navy surface warship formation could present significant obstacles for any force hoping to defend Taiwan, in large measure due to the range and nature of the sensors and weapons it operates. For instance, multiple Chinese and western news reports have discussed the PLA Navy's successful test-launch of its deck-fired YJ-21 hypersonic weapon. Should the PLA Navy operate with a margin of superiority in the realm of hypersonics, then US Navy surface platforms may indeed be challenged to breakthrough a PRC perimeter. Should China have an advantage in the area of hypersonic weapons, some Pentagon observers have expressed concern that the PRC might wish to move quickly to exploit this deficit while there is one. The US Is quickly closing the gap by developing its own hypersonic missiles and plans to have surface destroyers armed with hypersonic weapons in just the next few years.

The PLA Navy would likely employ its emerging fleet of newer surface warships to include its growing fleet of Type-055 quasi-stealthy, high-tech destroyers, Type-075 amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers. The PLA-Navy is already making progress with its third carrier and has demonstrated "dual-carrier" operations in the Pacific wherein the PLAN seeks to emulate or copy the well-established US Navy ability to coordinate a massive air-attack campaign from two aircraft carriers networked to one another.

Challenges of a Blockade – Air & Undersea

While the implementation of a blockade essentially "walling" off Taiwan from foreign defenders may seem both feasible and well advised as a strategy to annex the island, the PRC is operating at what might be a lesser recognized, yet critical deficit in the area of air power. Although China may operate a formidable surface Navy and arsenal of ballistic missiles, the PRC has little to no sea-launched 5th-generation air support. Any blockade would be extremely difficult to maintain without air supremacy or an ability to slow down or prevent the US and its allies from contesting and dominating the airspace. The US Navy, for example, can operate as many as 20 F-35Bs in a single America-class amphibious assault ship, and China has no equivalent. A US Navy carrier can launch and operate large numbers of F-35Cs as well, and Japan, South Korea and Singapore are all F-35 partners as well. China operate several prototypes of its J-31 5th-generation carrier-launched stealth fighter, yet they are not operational in any impactful capacity. China does have a land-based force of J-20s, its 5th-generation stealth aircraft, yet without sea-launch ability these aircraft could be challenged to sustain operations in a maritime environment, and there are questions as to the J-20s true ability to rival the F-35 or F-22.

In a simple sense, this amounts to a scenario wherein a massive Chinese naval blockade would likely be extremely vulnerable to US and allied 5th-generation air power, a dynamic which might make a PRC Naval blockade much less capable of thwarting US and allied 5ht-generation capability to penetrate any blockade perimeter in the air. Surface Chinese warships would be extremely vulnerable to US amphib and carrier-launched F-35s.

The other mysterious "x-factor" in this equation pertains to the realm of the undersea as well, because should the US Navy operate with undersea superiority, then quiet, lethal Virginia-class attack submarines could destroy a Chinese warship blockade from beneath the surface. Advanced Block III and beyond Virginia-class submarines are armed with a Large Aperture Bow sonar and a series of quieting technologies designed to make them less detectable. Torpedoes fired from attack submarines could potentially hold Chinese warships at great risk as well.



Chinese aircraft carrier Fujian fitting out at Jiangnan in late 2023. Image via Chinese social media.

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Fujian Commences Catapult Testing

First test for electromagnetic catapult system marks an important step in testing phase for the Chinese supercarrier.

The newest Chinese aircraft carrier has started with "dead load" launch testing for her electromagnetic catapult system, as was confirmed by footage circulating on Chinese and Western social media. On November 26 Chinese military-enthusiasts shared footage first on Chinese social media platform Weibo and subsequently also on "X", formerly Twitter, recorded from an airplane overflying the extensive shipyard facilities where CNS 18 Fujian, also known as the Type 003 aircraft carrier, is currently berthed. Since the Pudong Shanghai International Airport is located very closely to Changxing Island, the location of builder Jiangnan and other shipyards, related imagery taken from passenger planes has become a common source to follow the progress of several major PLAN-programs.

Catapult launched test vehicle dropping into the basin on front of Fujian, at her berth with builder Jiangnan, Chanxing Island, Shanghai. Image via Chinese social media.

The video footage shows launch and subsequent drop of a test vehicle from one of the two forward catapult positions on the new aircraft carrier, into the water of the basin in front of Fujian. A large barge used to move hull components had previously relocated from its mooring position also in front of Fujian, ostensibly to make way for this part the testing regime. Similar efforts, termed "dead load"-testing, are common for all catapult-equipped aircraft carriers, including after major overhauls, such as most recently on French Navy-carrier "Charles de Gaulle" in Toulon.

French carrier "Charles de Gaulle" undergoing dead load-testing of her C13-3 steam catapults. The process is similar for Fujian's electromagnetic catapults. Image with permission by author Hervé Dermoune.

Catapult-testing important step towards sea trial

Overflight and satellite imagery shared on social media on November 19th and over the following days had previously shown Fujian moving away from her berth. The development prompted expectations over a sea trial, although this seemed unlikely at the time, given no preparations to crew and equip the carrier for such a step were visible on the Fujian over the preceding weeks. In fact at least some construction and integration work appears to still be ongoing notably around the island.

CNS 18 Fujian, in an older photo showing her fitting out after launch in 2022. Image via Chinese social media.
Given the new imagery now the event was likely related to the Chinese aircraft carrier having started catapult testing. This notion is supported also by spotting of several large orange objects likely to represent the dead load-test vehicles. Over the next few days the carrier then returned to her normal berth location. Fujian moving away a short distance and then returning to the mooring position may have been required in the context of testing her starboard third catapult launch position on the angled flight deck, although this remains speculative.

Timeframe for more testing uncertain, but sea trial still expected soon

Among enthusiast circles a first sea trial is still expected in the near future, perhaps within a few months, although it is important to consider that Fujian represents a groundbreaking effort with many firsts for builder Jiangnan and operator PLAN. As such timelines may extend considerably beyond optimistic expectations, and past schedules for existing carriers CNS Liaoning (16) and Shandong (17), both lacking catapults, are unlikely to reflect the testing and integration regime for Fujian.

Dead load-testing of EMALS on USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78, then as PCU). Image via USN.

The newest American aircraft carrier, Gerald Ford (CVN-78), which possesses a broadly similar electromagnetic catapult launch and recovery system compared with Fujian, had undertaken her first dead load-testing with builder Newport News in the James River in June 2015, a few months after initial shipborne no-load-testing, and almost two years before she would get underway on her own power for the first sea trial. The American system is dubbed EMALS for electromagnetic aircraft launch system, and the term is also used sometimes to describe the Chinese catapult, although both are different developments, with the Chinese version reportedly featuring some notable technical differences. As such the testing regime on CVN-78 may only serve as a very broad reference for timeframes, given the multiple problems encountered on this new design, which PLAN may not face in a similar fashion on Fujian.
About Aircraft Carrier Fujian

Chinese aircraft carrier Fujian when launched in June 2022.

CNS Fujian (18), the overall third aircraft carrier for the Chinese Navy, had commenced construction some time before 2018, when the first large modules were spotted at builder Jiangnan in Shanghai. The ship was launched from drydock, where most of the assembly took place, in June 2022. Since then fitting out-work had proceeded in a basin to which Fujian had moved after her launch. The supercarrier, displacing over 80,000 tons at a length of approximately 316 metres, is the first catapult-equipped aircraft carrier (CATOBAR) for PLAN, but expected to be followed by multiple future hulls with a similar arrangement over the next decade. Fujian is expected to undergo trials and testing over the next year and may be commissioned with PLAN in 2025.




The latest variant of China's Type-039 Yuan Class submarine features a distinctive angled sail. This is intended to reduce the boat's signature when targeted with active sonar.

Chinese Submarine Is First To Exploit New Stealth Technology

China's latest non-nuclear submarine, the Type-039C Yuan Class, features a distinctive angled sail. We can now be confident that this is part of a sonar stealth technology. Other countries are also pursuing this general technique, but China is the first to field it.

China is building submarines at an impressive rate and has the capacity to build them at levels unrivalled by any other country. The Yuan-class, their latest non-nuclear powered attack type, is the most numerous class of AIP (air-independent power) submarine in the world. And now these have been seen with new and unusually shaped sails, hinting at the implementation of advanced technologies.

It is now almost certain that the distinctive shape of the sail on the latest Type-039C Yuan class submarines is to increase survivability. The angled sides are a stealth defense; reducing the 'signal strength' of the submarine from the enemy's active sonar.

This was already the leading explanation, but evidence has come to light to reinforce this assessment. Chinese academics published an analysis in the Polish based Archives of Acoustics journal. They measured the impact of the designs on sonar stealth. Their study used strikingly similar sail designs.

The Stealth Trend

Angled stealth shaping is an emerging trend in submarine design. Similar principles will be found on Sweden's A-26 class the next German submarine, the Type-212CD class. The A-26's approach focuses on the sail in the same way as the Chinese sub. The 212CD takes it further but encasing the entire submarine in an angled outer hull. The additional outer hull will increase drag so it is clearly a trade-off the Germans feel comfortable making. Other submarines are expected to have similar thinking, but currently the Chinese boat is the only type in the water.

The trend reflects the growing importance of active sonar in undersea warfare. It is much more desirable to detect an enemy passively, by just listening, than at emit a sonar signal. Active sonar does this, bouncing sound off the target and measuring the rebounds. This means that the target can hear you long before you detect them, typically twice the distance.

During the Cold War, which is the era where most popular knowledge on submarines is rooted, passive sonar was king. However passive detection relies on the enemy submarine being noisy. As submarines have become ever quieter, passive detection has become less useful.

So active sonar is expected to play an increasing part in underwater warfare, even among submarines. At the same time, advances in uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs) offer navies a way to move the active sonar emitters away from the main submarine and onto an expendable drone. The tactics and technologies are still coming together, but the direction is clear. So it is not surprising that submarine designers are willing to sacrifice hydrodynamics to incorporate these new sail shapes.

Not An Invisibility Cloak

The size of the stealth features on the Chinese submarine suggest that it is intended to work against medium frequency sonars. It will be less effective against lower frequency sonars which have long wavelengths. But those only tell the enemy that something is there, not what it is.

They will also be less effective against short wavelength sonars such as those on a torpedo. But that is also where the submarine's other stealth feature, a rubberized anechoic coating, plays a part.

So we can deduce that the new stealth shaping is mainly aimed at complicating classification. Medium frequency active sonar can be used to classify or identify the target. With the new shaping the enemy will have difficulty determining the true nature of the submarine. This may cause delays or miscalculations which the submarine can use to its advantage.

The new shaping will only reduce the signal strength by a few decibels. Even so, combined with the sound absorbing rubber coating covering the flour side of the boat, it may be enough to save the submarine.



Chinese Navy's Suspected New Overseas Base In Cambodia Now Even Larger

There have been persistent reports of China attempting to expand the global reach of its Navy with a network of overseas bases. Ream in Cambodia has long been on that list. New evidence shows that a large dry dock is now under construction there. As the war in Ukraine shows, these facilities are strategically important.

China's new naval base at Ream in Cambodia is well documented. It will provide the Chinese Navy (PLAN) with a base at the southern end of the highly contested South China Sea. The base is still east of the Malacca Straight which separates the South China Sea from the Indian Ocean, yet is still strategically important. And a key part of China's construction of overseas bases.

However the base now appears even more expensive and capable than previous reports suggested. There is clear evidence of a new dry dock being constructed.

It is important to acknowledge that Cambodia has claimed that the rebuilding of the base at Ream, with Chinese Aid, is for their own navy. So it is possible that the dry dock is for the Royal Cambodian Navy, or even civilian use. However its size and construction make this a less likely explanation and few analysts are likely to accept it. Cambodia's small navy barely has any naval vessels over 50 meters (164 feet) in length.

Rapid Construction of the Chinese base in Cambodia

The dry dock is being built on reclaimed land adjacent to the previously identified new Chinese naval base. Work has progressed quickly since the first hints on 2022 and is already far enough along to be confident that it is indeed a dry dock.

The Cambodian government in Phnom Penh, and some Chinese sources, have denied that the base is for the Chinese Navy. However this argument is increasingly implausible. And there is now little doubt that it is a PLAN overseas base. Adding to this, the construction work shows tell-tale signs of being Chinese.
China's Most Capable Overseas Base To Date

The dry dock also shows that the base is larger than previously estimated. In August 2022 respected analyst Thomas Shugart was able to deduce about half of the facility. Since then the affected area has more than doubled, partly due to reclaimed land.

It appears that an additional quay may be constructed on the western side of the dry dock although this is less progressed. The increase in berthing will also be significant.

Increased Strategic Importance Of The Base

The war in Ukraine reminds us that the ability to perform maintenance and repairs on warships is critical to sustain combat operations. China will not want to face the same challenges that Russia does currently in the Mediterranean.

The base is one of several throughout the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Africa. The first, and best known, is in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. That base is heavily fortified and situated next to a much smaller U.S. Navy base. In 2021 China was accused of clandestinely building a special military facility at a port in UAE. That work stopped but there have been unconfirmed reports that it may have resumed in 2023. In addition there have been reports of Chinese plans to build a naval base in Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. This will extend operations into the Atlantic. Most recently there have been reports from U.S. sources of a plan to build another base in Oman, although whether this would be a port facility is unclear.

The base in Ream is at least the same size as the one in Djibouti. And the main pier, which appears almost complete, is about the same size in both; large enough to accommodate an aircraft carrier. Given the footprint of the construction activities it is possible that the base will actually end up being larger.


The base has grown considerably over the last 18 months, with a pier large enough for aircraft carriers already in place. The new dry dock is being built on reclaimed land. Chinese involvement is indisputable, but Cambodia denies that it is for the Chinese Navy (PLAN).


China will commission the most advanced aircraft carrier Fujian in 2025 with electromagnetic catapults for fifth-generation J-35 fighters

China will commission the most advanced aircraft carrier Fujian in 2025 with electromagnetic catapults for fifth-generation J-35 fighters

A photo of China's second-generation aircraft carrier Fujian has appeared in the public domain. It will enter service with the Navy of the People's Liberation Army of China in 2025.

Here's What We Know

The Fujian, aka Type 003, is China's third and most advanced aircraft carrier. The giant warship is close to its first sea trials and is already ready to test its deck fighter launch system.

It will be the first aircraft carrier in service with the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy equipped with electromagnetic catapults. A photo published on Chinese social networking site Weibo shows that the covers have been removed from the catapult ahead of the test.

The J-15T catapult deck fighter is expected to be used for the test. Pilots have been practising taking off and landing from a ship using a ground-based catapult system for several years. The Fujian will also carry the J-35 fifth-generation fighter, J-10, KJ-600 aircraft and Z-18 helicopters.

The J-15T is a modernised variant of the fourth-generation J-15 Flying Shark fighter. The latter is now in service on two active aircraft carriers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, Liaoning and Shandong, which are equipped with obsolete Russian-made take-off ramps.

As for the fifth-generation J-35 fighter, it is in development. It is believed to be a competitor to the US F-35C Lightning II, which uses a catapult for takeoff and lands using an airfinisher.

The Fujian will have a length of 313-318 metres. By comparison, the USS Gerald R. Ford, the world's largest aircraft carrier, is 337 metres long. The Chinese ship will have a displacement of 80,000 tonnes, an increase of 20,000 tonnes compared to the Liaoning and Shandong.


China heeft een Type 052DL-klasse destroyer te water gelaten met 's werelds grootste verticale lanceersysteem voor YJ-21 hypersonische antischipraketten.

Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company heeft een nieuwe destroyer van de Type 052DL-klasse te water gelaten. Het evenement vond plaats op 30 augustus 2023.

Dit is wat we weten

De nieuwe destroyer is de voorlaatste van 10 Type 052DL-klasse schepen voor de marine van het Chinese Volksbevrijdingsleger. Het heeft een totale waterverplaatsing van 7.500 ton en is uitgerust met een 64-cels verticaal lanceersysteem. Het is het grootste ter wereld en typerend voor Chinese oorlogsschepen.

Het verticale lanceersysteem kan verschillende soorten raketten lanceren. Dit zijn onder andere de YJ-21 ballistische antischipraket met hypersonische manoeuvreerkop. Zoals gebruikelijk is informatie over het Chinese wapen geheim. Er wordt aangenomen dat de raket een bereik heeft van 1.500 kilometer en een snelheid van Mach 9 (3,1 km/s).

Het 64-cels verticale lanceersysteem is ook ontworpen voor YJ-18 anti-scheeps kruisraketten, HHQ-9 lange-afstands luchtdoelraketten en CJ-10 kruisraketten. Toekomstige aanpassingen aan de Type 052DL klasse destroyers zullen de schepen naar verwachting bewapenen met HQ-26 lange afstands grond-lucht raketsystemen.

Het arsenaal van destroyers van deze klasse omvat een 130 mm kanon, Type 1130 close-in wapensysteem, torpedolanceerinrichtingen en HQ-10 luchtdoelraketsysteem voor de korte afstand. Het kan Z-9C of Ka-28 helikopters dragen.



Taiwan Is Building Up an Anti-Invasion Naval Force in Its Arms Race Against China

In the event of a Chinese invasion, Taiwan's number one priority will be sinking the country's transport ships to keep troops off the island.

One of the most dangerous places in the world right now is the Taiwan Strait. Free, democratic Taiwan stands just over 100 miles off the coast of authoritarian China, with the latter openly building up the military strength necessary to take the island by force.

The war in Ukraine has reminded the world just how destructive modern warfare is, and how having the necessary weapons is crucial in stopping an invasion. But is Taiwan buying the right weapons?

An F-16 fighter of the Taiwan Air Force lands on a stretch of Sun Yat Sen Freeway near Hua Tan.

Today's Republic of China military has one job: defend Taiwan from invasion. Everything else is a distant second. China's refusal to rule out reuniting the two Chinas by force, and its persistent military buildup over the last three decades—with particular emphasis on forces useful in a cross-strait invasion—make defending the island its overwhelming, and arguably only, priority.

Still, Taiwan continues to spend its underfunded defense budget on what amounts to a distraction—such as large warships, amphibious ships, and other less-than-useful weapons platforms. In the old days, the Kuomintang, the party of Nationalist China that evacuated to the island in 1949, maintained strong land and sea forces on the premise that someday it would retake the island. That was never actually a viable proposition, but since China couldn't invade the country, it was a relatively harmless gesture.

It's not so harmless anymore. Guided-missile destroyers and amphibious assault ships, useful in crossing the Taiwan Strait going west, are not useful in stopping a crossing going east. China's overwhelming superiority over Taiwan in aircraft carriers (3-0), surface warships (56-26), and submarines (33-2), means Taiwan cannot hope to halt an invasion in a big fleet action. Taiwan's amphibious fleet, 31 ships strong, would face an air and sea environment so lethal it could not hope to even redeploy the army from one part of the island to another.

The Right Weapons

CM-11 tanks fire artillery during the two-day live-fire drill, amid intensifying threats from China in Pingtung county, Taiwan, September 7, 2022.

A recent survey from the Oryx blog, a Dutch open-source intelligence defense analysis site, shows that Taiwan is buying many weapons that can successfully oppose an invasion. On the ground, Taiwan is upgrading more than 900 older tanks, including 450 CM-11 tanks (American-made M60 main battle tank hulls with M48 tank turrets) and 460 M60A3 tanks. While newer tanks are available, the lighter CM-11 and M60A3 tanks can more easily traverse Taiwan's mountainous road network, especially bridges. While the older 105-millimeter M68 gun is less powerful than the world standard 120/125-millimeter, the Chinese Marine Corps will initially land lightly armored ZBD-05 amphibious assault vehicles armed with 30-millimeter guns and anti-tank missiles. The M68 will make easy work of China's amphibious vehicles, and the older tanks carry more ammunition (55 rounds) than those with bigger guns (40 rounds).

Anti-invasion naval forces are where Taiwan is making the most progress, and for good reason.

In the event of an invasion, Taiwan will need to defend its airspace for as long as possible, preventing Chinese air power from striking its forces on the ground. The Republic of China Air Force will eventually field a force of more than 200 F-16V Fighting Falcons, the largest F-16 fleet in Asia. While the F-16V is not stealthy like China's J-20 fighter, it includes advanced radar and avionics that are as good as, if not better than, the J-20. That's in addition to more than 140 older Mirage 2000 and F-CK-1 fighters.

Navy cadets pass a Tuo River missile corvette, 2015.

Anti-invasion naval forces are where Taiwan is making the most progress, and for good reason: an invasion of the island will stand and fall based on how many troops China can rush to the island, and the number one priority of the war will be sinking transports. Small, heavily armored missile boats capable of hiding in small fishing ports and then unleashing barrages of missiles at amphibious transport ships, are ideal. Taiwan is building 12 Tuo River-class corvette catamarans, each equipped with eight Hsiung Feng II subsonic and eight Hsiung Feng III supersonic anti-ship missiles. Another 30 Kuang Hua IV fast missile boats will carry four more Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles.

Taiwan's big naval acquisition will be the construction of eight indigenous diesel-electric attack submarines. No one will sell Taiwan attack submarines, due to Chinese political pressure, so Taiwan is designing and building its own. Eight submarines, equipped with American Mk-48 ADCAP heavyweight torpedoes and UGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, will cause People's Liberation Army Navy admirals many sleepless nights.

The Wrong Weapons

yushan class amphibious platform dock ship

The first of three Yushan-class amphibious platform dock ships. Exactly why Taiwan needs such ships, when it lacks the means to protect them at sea, is a mystery.

Among ground weapons, Taiwan is buying 108 M1A2T (T for Taiwan) main battle tanks, a variant of the U.S. Army's M1A2 SEPv2. The M1A2T will weigh approximately 71.2 tons, a factor that will impede its tactical mobility in a mountainous country like Taiwan. Taiwan can certainly use a modern main battle tank, and there are factors that are desirable—like the M1's firepower and protection—but the tank will be restricted in where on the island it can operate, and China will make educated guesses about where and when it might defend the island.

While Taiwan is making many good naval decisions, it is also making a veritable fleet of bad decisions. The island republic maintains four ex-U.S. Navy Kidd-class guided-missile destroyers. The four destroyers, each more than 40 years old, are outdated and require a total of about 1,400 crew. Each carries just four anti-ship missiles. Taiwan's main reason for keeping these destroyers in service seems to be just to say it has destroyers.

A pair of Standard surface-to-air missiles on a Mk-26 twin-arm missile launcher. The launchers equip four ex-U.S. Navy Kidd-class destroyers in the Republic of China navy.

Another questionable segment of the fleet is the flotilla of ex-U.S. Navy Knox- and Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates. All 16 have crews of more than 200, yet carry half or less than half the anti-ship missile armament of the smaller, more agile Tuo River class.

Finally, Taiwan has a bafflingly high number of amphibious ships: 31, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Taiwan does garrison a handful of islands near mainland China, and it claims some disputed islands in the South China Sea, but the number and type of ships is far greater than its requirements. The new Yushan-class amphibious platform dock is a particularly bizarre example of a large, expensive ship that would be quickly destroyed in a conflict, taking hundreds of Taiwanese sailors and marines with it.

The Takeaway
Until recently, Taiwan spent just 2 percent of GDP on defense, compared to 3.5 percent for the United States. The invasion of Ukraine seems to have jolted Taiwanese officials to action, with the number set to rise to 2.4 percent in 2023. Will it be enough? If Taiwan trims wasteful programs and sets realistic expectations, sure. If not, Taiwan may some day wake up to a sky darkened by Chinese missiles and fighter jets, armed with weapons it does not need.



Citaat van: Enforcer op 21/08/2023 | 17:47 uurDit "Ook besloot de regering geen cijfers meer te publiceren over de ongekend hoge jeugdwerkloosheid in het land." gaat ook nog wel een probleem worden, wanneer men geen toekomst ziet.

Of ze die cijfers nou wel of niet publiceren, ik geloof die Chinese cijfers sowieso niet. Ik ben nou al een paar keer in Chinese steden geweest waar op papier miljoenen mensen moesten wonen maar waar ik savonds laat wel om 11 uur op de snelweg kon wandelen omdat er geen hond te bekennen was. Uiterst curieus volkje :annoyed:


Dit "Ook besloot de regering geen cijfers meer te publiceren over de ongekend hoge jeugdwerkloosheid in het land." gaat ook nog wel een probleem worden, wanneer men geen toekomst ziet.