Archive for December 2010

The Latest Clear Pics of J20 And Its Length

From a Chinese military website

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Chinese Fifth Generation Stealth Fighter J-20 Black Eagle

The J-20 #2001 prototype was photographed when it was preparing for high-speed taxi trial at the CAC airfield in late December 2010, wearing a distinctive dark green color scheme (RAM coating applied?). The prototype features a pair of all-moving tailfins and Russian 1.44 style ventral stabilizing fins, which shield the engine nozzles but might increase RCS. 

It also features an F-22 style forward fuselage, including Caret intakes but with DSI bumps installed at the upper inner corners, as well as a one-piece frameless canopy. However the canards appear to extend slightly above the plane of the main wings and there are four large underwing actuator fairings which might not be stealth optimized. First disclosed by US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in 1997 as XXJ, J-20 is the 4th generation multi-role fighter to enter the service between 2015 and 2018. Since 90s both CAC/611 Institute and SAC/601 Institute had been working their own designs for a twin-engine multi-role heavy fighter with stealth capability and maneuverability comparable to American F-22.



It was speculated that 601 Institute was working on a "tri-plane" design (J-18?) based on canard/conventional layout/V-shape tailfin while 611 Institute working on a design based on canard/tailless delta wing/all moving V-shape tailfin/lateral DSI/bump inlet layout. All designs were expected to feature an internal weapon bay to reduce RCS, which has been speculated to be <0.05m2 (head-on). J-20 also incorporates an advanced FBW system fully integrated with the fire-control and the engine systems. Its fire-control radar is expected to be AESA (Type 1475/KLJ5?). The aircraft may feature a "pure" glass cockpit (a single F-35 style color LCD display and a wide-angle holographic HUD).

Many of these subsystems have been tested onboard J-10B to speed up the development (see above). The exact type of engine powering J-20 prototypes is unclear, even though a Russian turbofan engine such as 117S or 99M2 (14t class) or D-30F6 (15t class) with an axisymmetric TVC nozzle has been speculated. It was reported in November 2006 that a T/W=10 17t class turbofan (WS-15/"large thrust") is being developed and will eventually power J-20. Russian assistance was also speculated in terms of software support for calculating the RCS of various designs. The overall performance of J-20 is thought to be superior to that of Russian T-50 (maneuverability & supercruise) but still inferior to that of American F-22 (electronics & supercruise). In August 2008 it was reported that 611 Institute was selected to be the main contractor for the development of J-20 and 601 Institute as the sub-contractor. Subsequently a full-scale metal mockup was built at CAC. 



One rumor in May 2010 claimed that 611 Institute started to construct the first prototype, which was expected to fly by the end of 2010, even though the full configuration model won't fly until a few years later. Currently two prototypes (#2001 & 2002) have been constructed and the first high-speed taxi trial by 2001 took place on December 22, 2010. 




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Chinese J-20 J-XX Fifth Generation Stealth Fighter Combination Of F-22 Raptor And T-50 Stealth Fighter Designs

The emergence of J-20 shook the media in the past ten years have no expectation on the aviation industry in China , J-20 seems to be a major step forward in the Chinese air force signals, it appears that that the PLA Air Force has grown up No longer need to rely on outdated Russian or Israeli fighter design. 

U.S. Defense News article said that the United States in 1990 had a secret test flight of the F-22 and its competitive model F-23 prototype. Five air superiority fighter currently in terms of whether China has caught up with the U.S.? Recently popular Chinese Web sites everywhere in the People's Liberation Army's newest jet fighter J-20 (F 20) obscure the picture. Some people think these pictures are fake; Also some people think that picture is real, and J-20 project has been well under way. Some analysts argue that these images may be the Chinese government has launched a product of information warfare.





The article said that some of the Internet forums in China have reproduced the J-20 picture, picture show that the aircraft has many typical characteristics of the shape of the Five machines, including the distinctive outline of the front nose, irregular triangular wings and a motor upgrade of the tail. Judging from the plane shape, the Chinese J-20 looks more like the U.S. Air Force F-22 fuselage and the front of the latter part of the Russian T-50 airframe combination.

J-20 has been shaken by the emergence of China's aviation industry more than a decade did not have expectations of the media, J-20 seems to be a major step forward in the Chinese air force signals, it appears that that the PLA Air Force has grown up no longer need to rely on outdated Russian or Israeli fighter design.

Article analyzed, the question now is, J-20 is the emergence of the United States dominate the world aerospace end? Analysts are still nervous F-22 and will be F-35 as a world-class, but when Russia's newest fighter T-50 flight and the Chinese J-20 appears, analysts knock on the status of the U.S. Air Force sound the alarm.

The Pentagon delayed production of F-35, but at the same time, China has been significantly accelerated the development of national secrets Five aircraft rate of progress.

Up to now, J-20 has not yet been flight. F-22 from the first flight to enter service with the U.S. military for 15 years, taking into account the high technology of China's quality control problems, J-20 high-volume service may take years or even longer, which will be the balance of power in the Pacific have some impact. From this we can see that the Chinese Air Force, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, to judge and assess the possible bias a little, but not a lot of bias. 



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Chinese Fifth Generation Fighter Have 117S Or WS-15 Engine? Still Unknown

The R & D projects in China-made engine has some defects, the engine can not be widely used in military aircraft. As we all know, the Chinese improved strategic bombers H -6 equiped with the Russian-made D-30KP engine, JF-17 fighter with the RD-93 engine, J -10 with the AL-31FN engine, J-11 with AL -31F engines.
According to the Russian Military industry News site on December 29 News reported that China's aviation enthusiasts, the 5th generation fighter first clear picture of the most amazing Christmas gifts. J -20 J -14 or code, or J-XX aircraft was taxiing at high speed, "passers, " found that after taking to the web. Perhaps this is to demonstrate transparency, perhaps the country's military strength increasingly strong and proud of China's industrial spun leakage. In short, the new aircraft's engines roar in the Tiger, and now the remaining question is what kind of new aircraft in the end with the engine.


World experts generally believe that China-made engine R & D projects has some drawbacks, not widely used in military aircraft. As we all know, the Chinese strategic bombers H -6 improved engine assembly of the Russian-made D-30KP, JF-17 fighter using the RD-93 engines, J -10 with the AL-31FN engine, use the AL J -11 -31F engines. In short, the engine of China in Russia there is heavy reliance on imports, this trend is likely will continue. According to Russian media and the United Kingdom, "Jane's Defense Weekly " unconfirmed information, Russia has for the Chinese J–14 provides its own prototype of the 117S engine the latest (5th generation Russian fighter T-50 also uses this type of engine) But the news has been questioned. However, on the other hand, the Chinese-made WS-15 engine with the same look less credible, because this engine is not perfect, can not be used to verify the assembly of new machines. In short, China's 5th generation fighter in the end use of the type of engine, is still unknown. 


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The Clearest Pictures Of Chengdu J-20 J-XX Fifth Generation Stealth Fighter Jet - Latest Update








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Chengdu J-20 J-XX Fifth Generation Stealth Fighter Jet - Latest Update





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India orders study on J-20



Two days before retiring from service, Air Marshal SC Mukul, the chief of India's Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) has instructed a Group Captain-rank officer at HQ IDS to prepare a report on the recently revealed Chinese stealth fighter prototype. The report will be India's official assessment of what, by all accounts, is a Chinese fifth generation platform.



The study will, of course, rely mostly on open source material -- photographs, graphics, unofficial assessments -- on the J-20, though a source of mine indicates that the the officer entrusted with authoring the report will also take inputs from the IAF Directorate of Operations, the Directorate of Naval Aviation, the advanced projects and AMCA divisions of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL), the Aircraft Research & Design Centre at HAL, apart from the R&AW. The report will be provided to the Indian Air Force and the office of the National Security Advisor. The HQ IDS orders studies on foreign weapon programmes as a matter of routine. These assessments, obviously remain classified though files on Pakistan's air force strength did leak in 2007.



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UCAVs: The Future of Air Warfare For PAF

Courtesy::Grandstrategy



The Indian Air Force is projected to induct a large number of 5th generation fighter aircraft within the timeframe of 2025. This poses serious challenges for the numerically smaller Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The paper suggests UCAVs as a possible solution in countering India’s military aviation threat to Pakistan. Pakistan can develop UCAVs in the same manner they developed the JF-17. The argument is in favor of UCAVs to supplement 4th generation fighters and enumerates an active and specific solution for PAF.
Introduction:

Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAVs) are a category of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that are designed to fire munitions and are characterized by increased autonomy of operation. Key attributes coupled with UCAVs, as defined in conventional military jargon, include an unmanned counterpart of a manned attack or fighter aircraft. This necessitates such capabilities as range, high speeds and a significant weapon load. Another key salient of UCAVs is the broad requirement for UCAVs to survive engagements rather than be used in one-way kamikaze strikes. UCAVs operational today are largely restricted to small, lightly armed derivatives of more conventional UAVs.[1]

UCAVs are an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionize air warfare. While the 5th generation of combat planes today is the pinnacle of military aviation, UCAVs present paradigms that can supplement if not supplant them. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who discuss a potential 6th generation inevitably mention unmanned aircraft as a possible key salient.[2]




This paper focuses on UCAVs in a function as air-to-air combat vehicles focused on air superiority missions. The paper is in exclusion of other roles such as air-to-ground and Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR). It is recognized that UAVs are highly effective in both these roles and this exclusion in no way implies the belittlement of these key aspects to UCAV and UAV technology.

The paper considers the advantages, disadvantages, technology and politics and how this relates to Pakistan and her threat perception. It offers a specific solution tailored for the Subcontinent.

The Advantages of UCAVs

Long Range Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Combat

The world is increasingly converging towards long range air-to-air combat, not only with increasingly sophisticated radars[3] that negate stealth[4], but also AAMs like the ASRAAM and the A-Darter that provide an improvement in range of IR-based missiles (Defense Industry Daily, 2010). Pilots engaged in BVR combat perhaps have the least value added to combat; essentially, they monitor their sensor-suite, communicate with controllers and then fire a missile which then takes over the task of actually destroying the target. An F-pole style maneuver or other similar maneuvers are limited by the G-forces that the pilots can sustain. Dodging incoming BVR missiles, fired from enemy aircraft is again limited by the G-forces the pilot can handle. The case for a UCAV in this form of combat is arguably the strongest after ISR. 


Short Range within Visual Range Combat:

To consider WVR combat, let us visualize what is achievable with the state-of-the-art at present in the form of the F-35. We will later consider how much better a UCAV can exploit these advantages than a manned pilot.

In a post-merge scenario where a large number of friendly and enemy aircraft are embroiled in a dogfight, identifying friend-or-foe and firing at a target can become both critical and yet complicated. When a fraction of a second counts, the human pilot has to analyze his MMI and make a quick choice. The F-35 helps this critical process by providing an MMI that keeps track of all aircraft embroiled in the fight and displaying them in the most user-friendly method possible.

The process sounds difficult, but is only so for a human. A computer can analyze aircraft shapes easily. Situational awareness, whether human or computer-enabled, allows a fighter aircraft to assign missiles for targets as soon as a picture of the battle-space has been formed. With HOBS missiles, the execution is relatively simple even for a less maneuverable combat aircraft.

Another element added by the F-35 is interconnectivity or swarm logic. Once situational awareness has been achieved by man or machine and the fighter aircraft knows where the friends or foes are, and at the same time can communicate with the rest of the friendly fighter aircraft who also share the same picture of the battle-space, computers can execute complex plays in a team format. This creates a veritable soccer match were one side knows exactly what is going on in the entire football field and the location of its players. As a result, they can significantly outplay the opposing team. Such strategies may include providing cover fire, cross fires, gambits and other game-theory based plays[5]. All such maneuvers can take place pre-programmed and at speeds, G-forces and time frames not possible by human operators. Swarm tactics have already been demonstrated by US aircraft manufacturers in their UCAV programs (Jaquish, 2004). 

Can a human operator compete? Kasparov may or may not be able to beat Deep Blue on a given day. However, to do so while sitting in a fighter cockpit, facing G-forces and in the time constraint of fractions of a second, the victor becomes all too obvious.

Human operators can always be put in the loop where necessary, but a UCAV can easily handle many tasks autonomously, and like an attack dog, only need to be pointed at the enemy. The UCAV can take off, fly a designated route, destroy targets and awaiting instruction or flying back to base, dodging missiles and being fully aware of many factors pilots often forget – being aware of status of weapons, fuel supply, location of enemies and friendly forces, ground units and whether weapons doors are open or closed. It can think of all this simultaneously and do so without mistakes, under any amount of stress, either physical or sensory.

Low Costs:

UCAVs can be manufactured and operated at a tiny fraction of the cost of manned fighters. Quality pilots are a rare commodity and are hard to find, train and keep operationally ready. They also take a considerable amount of lead-time to train effectively. Another aspect is the low maintenance and operational costs due to not having a requirement to constantly fly aircraft. This also means that many important systems do not need to be as reliable or have high MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure). After all, if the UCAV is not endangering a pilot’s life, does not fly frequently and is cheap to manufacture, they need not be as durable. UCAVs need only be flown during wartime or during high tension periods.

This means that their subsystems can be built more cheaply, a key cost element particularly in combat aircraft engine technology. However, some caution needs to be placed as to how far reliability can be compromised as this can be a double-edged sword with accidents and mishaps also effecting costs (Lewis, 2002).

UCAVs may also be cheaper because many expensive elements in a modern fighter relate to the pilot. For instance, cockpit glass is an exceedingly expensive item. Ejection seats, life support systems, cockpit avionics and targeting systems and the sheer space, bulk and weight savings all go to make UCAVs significantly cheaper than manned alternatives[6].

Due to modern network centric warfare, not all UCAVs need have sensors. Expensive AESA radars for instance can be avoided in but a few aircraft within a “pack”. These can often be a manned fighter that orchestrates the package, perhaps preferably a twin-seater, or even be managed by ground controllers / radars or airborne AWACS.

A small UCAV built from an existing parts bin of spare parts can lower costs significantly. We shall discuss further about this aspect later in the paper.

Quantity versus Quality:

Most nations including the United States and China are increasingly fielding sharply smaller quantities of later generation fighters because of the cost and complexity. UCAVs can be produced cheaply, at a small fraction of the cost of modern fighters and can be mass produced for war. As Joseph Stalin once said, quantity has a quality all its own. As modern 5th generation aircraft increasingly resemble flying Tiger tanks, a cheap, simple solution may just prove be the equivalent T-34 equivalent in modern warfare.

Kamikaze:


UCAVs can go into combat disregarding whether they need to come back or not. While fighter pilots may have similar patriotism, operationally air forces for moral and morale reasons prefer to have an exit strategy unless in the most extreme of circumstances. UCAVs make kamikaze strategies practical not only during desperate phases of the war but viable from Day 1. In BVR combat, this becomes an interesting aspect as there is always a tradeoff between the distance a fighter shoots its missile from (and thus how effective this shot will be), and how likely the plane is to come back intact. 

This proposition is even more tenable because UCAVs may prove to be significantly cheaper than their manned enemies and the tradeoff would favor the UCAV operator. Most vitally, UCAVs employing such tactics would have a drastic impact on the enemy’s psychology. The Rand Corporation expresses this doctrine best in the following words:
Aerospace power will tend to perform best when the desired outcome involves affecting adversary behavior rather than seizing and holding terrain.
-RAND Corporation


The Disadvantages of UCAVs


Tackling the Problem of Jamming:

One of the first responses to proposals for UCAVs is whether they will be able to communicate in the event of jamming by the enemy. When we discuss UCAVs, we often have the image of a Predator operator sitting in some trailer guiding the plane and wonder what would happen to the Predator if that link was lost. The first element to consider is that today’s Air-to-Ground based UAVs such as the Predator need a high proportion of the human element because of the vagaries of today’s COIN and CAS operations. High bandwidth data transfer such as video streaming is assumed to be an integral part of UAV operation. This does not have to be true for UCAVs. Identifying friend-or-foe can be significantly easier in an air-to-air battle, particularly with mature IFF technologies. This is true particularly in a Pakistan-India scenario, where the direction of enemy inbound fighters is well known and the environment is best described as sensor rich.


The end result is that, a highly autonomous UCAV will not need constant connectivity but will need to be assigned a task and given instructions for post-task completion. For instance, if after destroying enemy aircraft no other enemy aircraft are found in the vicinity and no instructions are forthcoming from friendly forces, the UCAV may simply be programmed to return to base. In case of fear of electronic warfare incapacitating or overriding the UCAV, a controller may pre-program the UCAV to not accept signals from a specified time period forward. To accomplish the given mission and either go back to base or move to a specific geographical area deep inside Pakistani territory and receive specific directional signals for further instructions.


In this scenario, a UCAV can still be jammed from being operationally effective, but manned aircraft will suffer to the same extent as the UCAV. Even a 5th generation aircraft without AWACS or other auxiliary support will be vulnerable. Another point is that modern communications, even Link 16 is exceedingly hard to jam. Directional communication links are also increasingly mature and near ideal for UCAV use.


Human Element:

Despite all the advantages of a UCAV, the human element cannot be fully substituted, whether one with Artificial Intelligence (AI-UCAV) or a more conventional model. There will always be an opportunity for a fighter pilot to think outside the box. This will continue to remain a weakness of UCAVs. Carlo Kopp mentions the two ideological extremes in UCAV literature, one looking at UCAVs as a “dumb RPV” while the other trying to build a James Cameron’s “Terminator” and suggests a moderate approach between them may be most appropriate (Kopp, 2001).


Reasons Why the West is Being Held Back


Their Politics:

Many technology choices made by the United States and her allies are not based on merit alone but are made because of political reasons. USAF officers for instance, would not like UAVs to take over jobs of their pilots. An example is the Congressional deadline for the USAF to field a third of its force as UAVs by 2010 (Jaquish, 2004). The USAF considered a Predator that can fire its own missile a bad idea and this was not overturned until the CIA used them with great success. Even when forced to fly UAVs, they have insisted on using pilots to fly the UAVs. The US Army proved otherwise when they began using NCOs instead. Another glaring example of the organizational hubris of the US armed services is in their Joint Vision 2020. There is not one mention of UAVs or UCAVs, nor a single picture of one in a paper that has over 50 images of tanks, submarines, fighter jets, warships, transports and refugee camps[7]. William Lewis (Lewis, 2002) also complains about the long lead times in acquisition and procurement within the US armed services.


This bias in the USAF and perhaps in other Western air forces is a key reason for why UAVs in general and UCAVs in particular, have not made breakthroughs in the scale anticipated with technologies now available. History has shown that it often takes a major shock in the form of a war to change perceptions, as was seen in WWI, WWII and to a lesser extent the subsequent wars up to Gulf War II. What we do know is that the people closest to knowing the feasibility of technology in building operational UCAVs are putting their money in this technology. Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics have spent their own hard cash in researching and developing new UCAVs without formal requests or interest from the USAF.


The Technology behind UCAVs


The technology for fielding real UCAVs has many critical areas that are already proven and mature. Many of the technologies are in fact only waiting to be integrated together. Consider the example of autopilot computers that can now takeoff, fly to a destination and land a commercial aircraft. This technology is operational in the commercial airline industry and is considered mature today. Pilots can merely take control when something untoward happens and requires out-of-the-box thinking.


An American Global Hawk today can take off, fly around the world, accomplish its ISR mission and come back to base making a perfect landing, with no manual input. A JSF is being designed with the ability to visually track a large number of targets, identify and categorize them without any human input. Modern missiles can defeat maneuvering fighters by employing multiple tactics, even being able to come back in case it missed the designated aircraft in its first pass. Again, all this is accomplished without input from a human.


Diffusion of Technology Worldwide:

The technology to build manned fighter aircraft has traditionally remained within a handful of nations such as Russia, USA, China, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This monopoly of technology has been a major issue particularly vis-à-vis the West and the Rest of the World. UAV and UCAV technology on the other hand, has been far more diffused throughout the world. Smaller countries and countries with little previous record of aircraft manufacture, such as Israel, Austria, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey, among others are making significant contributions. For instance, Camcopter, a product by a small, hitherto unknown Austrian company Siebel, has sold a large number of its UAVs including over 80 to the UAE (Wezeman, 2007). What is even more interesting is that a number of parts will be manufactured by such an unknown as the UAE Research and Technology Center. It may also be noted that even within the US military-industrial complex, it is General Atomics as opposed to Boeing or Lockheed Martin that has stolen the lead. From these examples and a number of others, the technology behind UCAVs is realizable by firms outside of the traditional countries and corporations that had earlier dominated military aviation. The UAV industry is by all indications Schumpeterian and remains wide open to any country or company.


Golden Opportunity to Pull Ahead:

If the Pakistan Air Force can do better and avoid institutional and political barriers that the West is plagued with, they can make a relative leap in capabilities and meet their goals and objectives far better than a linear and asymmetric solution could. Pakistan has achieved a significant milestone with the JF-17. With a UCAV, Pakistan will have achieved the next major milestone. Pakistan’s aircraft manufacturing industry would remain relevant rather than become outdated and relegated to obsolescence. Pakistan does not have the technology or the resources to build an expensive and complex 5th generation plane. A UCAV however, is a far more achievable goal. As we shall see later, the technologies involved allow far greater flexibility and can be said almost ideally suited to Pakistan’s military-industrial complex’s strengths.


Pakistan’s Threat Scenario 2025


Before considering an active solution and the technologies relevant to that solution, it may be helpful to first consider the threat scenario for Pakistan. A 15 year forward plan may be relevant to our discussion. This is based on the perceived change in the quality of the threat in Pakistan’s neighborhood in that timeframe and allocates time to field a response for Pakistan’s aeronautical industries.


India will begin to field PAKFA fighter jets from Russia and may also develop her own from technology bought from the Russians. While the latter may be discounted as another employment opportunity for DRDO and related third-rate Indian bureaucracies, PAKFA and any specific design built for India by the Russians will provide a challenge that would be wholly new to the subcontinent: a 5th generation fighter. Further, it may not be farfetched to imagine a JSF purchase for the IAF, given the blossoming long-term partnership developing between India and the United States.


While the credentials for the JSF are still unclear and the jury may be out on its air-to-air combat capabilities, the PAKFA is a clear threat. The PAKFA was designed to counter the F-22 in air combat. The threat is perhaps best defined as reasonable stealth, super cruise, high altitude and high speed. The PAKFA takes BVR combat to a new level that the airframe of the JF-17, by design, cannot compete with. BVR missiles launched from a high-high profile aids missile range and speed, and reduces the threat, range and effectiveness of Pakistani BVR launches in response. With AWACs and refuelers in the sky, such threats would be a menace, particularly with longer ranged BVR missiles from Russia.


A major political and geo-strategic to consider is the War on Terror (WOT) in Afghanistan may be winding down by then and aid from the United States and other Western countries are likely to dry up. Pakistan’s Afghanistan leverage vis-à-vis the international community could be drastically reduced. In a worst case scenario, sanctions may once again be imposed in one form or another.


By 2025, India could field PAKFAs and perhaps even JSFs in the hundreds, drastically changing the military balance in the Subcontinent. Pakistan can either go bankrupt attempting to counter this new threat or she can become obsolete, back to a decade similar to the 1990s. Or Pakistan can develop UCAVs.


In the next section of this paper we consider UCAVs as a solution to Pakistan’s air defense needs.


Possible UCAV solutions for Future Air Combat


Establishing a requirement first requires the establishment of a doctrine. This is a critical weakness for the European Union were divergent needs are hard to align and researchers often have to work on the basis of practicality (Freitas, et al., 2009). As concerns PAF, there is a clear threat scenario and easier possibilities of establishing a doctrine. Based on an outlined doctrine, we can consider a number of possible UCAV solutions for the PAF in tackling the future threat scenario of an Indian PAKFA and other possible 5th generation aircraft.


Let us start with a quick recap of possible strategies. The general approach has been to counter India’s provocative procurements on a largely symmetric basis. Increasing number of manned fighter jets have been reciprocated by increases in Pakistan’s inventory of manned jets. Purchase of AEW assets have been matched by an equivalent purchase. Nuclear tests were responded to with equivalent nuclear tests as were ballistic missile tests. However, this asymmetry is increasingly impractical because of differing size and economic development between the two countries.


Meanwhile, India is now slated to acquire a large number of 5th generation planes in a 50-50 partnership with the Russians. Instead of attempting to break the bank and procure increasingly complex (and expensive) 5th generation fighters with the added exponential increase in maintenance and other operational costs, a solution may be to respond asymmetrically.


Two possible scenarios appear within a broad asymmetric strategy – positive asymmetry or negative asymmetry. Examples of implementing a negative asymmetric scenario against an IAF fielding significant numbers of 5th generation fighters would be to push back defenses further away from the border, rely more on LR-SAMs and resort to hardening major assets against the inevitable.


A strategy of positive asymmetry is also possible. This would imply responding asymmetrically but in a more proactive, aggressive and positive manner. This paper will outline such a strategy. As an example of such a strategy, Pakistan can choose to skip the 5th generation concepts and move towards combining the most practical of the 3rd, 4th and 5th generation with concepts deriving from the 6th generation; a simplified UCAV to supplement PAF’s 4+ generation fighters. This approach will not be unique. Japan for instance, may choose to skip the 5th Generation concept with its i3 fighter concept (Perrett, 2010).



A Practical UCAV for Pakistan


The attempt forward will be to propose a solution in the form of a UCAV for the PAF. We will first focus on some basic parameters that need to be fulfilled. The focus will then shift to defining a specific solution that meets those requirements in a most balanced manner.


We identify the following characteristics as imperative for the discussed UCAV solution:


1. Unmanned Platform

2. Simple construction and achievable technology
3. Simplified single-engine buildable in Pakistan
4. Relatively Low Cost
5. Economy and asymmetry in sensor load
6. Using parts bin of existing aircraft and from industry partners
7. Designed for high altitude, high speed f-pole BVR combat
8. Structure can operate in and sustain high G-forces
9. Artificial Intelligence
10. Network centric
11. Swarm & Group Tactics
12. Low Observable
13. Combat Air Patrol efficiency
14. Interceptor suitability


A specific solution to fulfill the above requirements is investigated next. For purposes of this paper, the designation used will be J-UCAV or Joint UCAV, assuming a partnership at least with China, if not with other countries such as Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, Italy, and more. The proposed solution is in the form of a well-swept delta, single-engine UCAV.

The X-47 Pegasus is a design that broadly appears suitable for Pakistan’s requirements. The design features a simple, single engine, well-swept, diamond-shaped delta. The large delta provides low wing-loading, ideal for high altitude flight and maneuverability. The high sweep mitigates the delta’s drag, allowing a classic high-high aerodynamic profile to counter the PAKFA. Inherent structural integrity of the diamond-shape delta simplifies construction and allows the design to be strengthened for high G-forces  at a smaller weight and cost penalty.


While a tailless design appears most efficient in terms of drag and RCS, developing a maneuverable fighter may prove problematic and high-risk from the perspective of keeping the project within the meager budget and time constraint of the PAF. A proportionately small twin tail is proposed instead (not illustrated). This twin tail may or may not be supplemented by thrust vectoring. Developmentally, this suggests a safer choice and allows greater control authority. 

A single engine solution is proposed for the J-UCAV to be cost effective in acquisition and maintenance. As discussed earlier, since UCAVs do not need to fly frequently because of pilot training requirements and has to maintain a simple, cost effective solution. Simplicity of design and manufacture is important since the J-UCAV must be built in, and afforded by Pakistan.

The J-UCAV design proposed in this paper makes the hypothetical assumption of using an RD-93 or a WS-13 / WS-12 size engine. Taking a standard fighter aircraft engine as the benchmark can help allow the program to use the engine parts bin of an existing system. Assuming the stringent requirements for metallurgy, advanced composites and other advanced materials and manufacture processes can be relaxed, degraded or substituted to an extent, the UCAV engine can then perform adequately in the same thrust range with the tradeoff of degraded MTBF and reliability in lieu of low cost and simplicity.


A problem faced by a high-sweep delta design is poor CAP performance. This problem exists because of higher cruise speed as a result of sweep and greater drag because of delta wings. The solution proposed thus compromises our CAP requirements. To alleviate this issue and allow the J-UCAV better CAP performance, one possible solution is using non-movable, disposable canards. The reasoning behind such a solution is explainable as a fighter does not need to pull high Gs while on CAP, nor does it need to fly particularly fast. In fact, the slower and higher it can fly the better. Such flight profiles allow a balanced tradeoff between fuel efficiency and endurance, on the one hand, and potential kinetic energy from the high altitude profile. Adding high aspect ratio disposable canards can help slow and high flight profiles. In case of a threat, the fighter can dispose its canards in-flight and engage.


The diagram indicates possible locations for such canards. The canards may be added to the wing tips and / or forward of the wings. In the latter case, one anticipated issue is of clearance during disposal; avoiding the disposed canards from hitting the airframe. Some possible solutions are listed below:
1. Having an ejector mechanism that pushes the canards away from the airframe.
2. Building the forward disposable canards with light composite material and coating them with softer material to avoid damage in case of accidental collision.
3. Carefully planning disposal flight profile. For instance, a high angle-of-attack release profile, particularly possible with thrust vectoring, may allow seamless separation.

DSI intakes may also be incorporated to decrease RCS, increase performance, and reduce weight and costs. A possible improvement to DSI intake design that PAF, PAC Kamra and Chengdu engineers can look into may be a variable DSI. At first glance, this sounds contradictory given that DSI intakes are meant to supplant variable intake designs. However, a DSI bump that can enlarge or contract using pneumatic, hydraulic or other mechanisms can improve flight performance in a wide variety of flight profiles. These can possibly be significantly cheaper and lighter than more traditional variable inlet designs and simultaneously be stealthier. However, given Pakistan’s budget constraints, any J-UCAV program should not be stalled because of risky technology choices and men better qualified than this author can perhaps decide better whether to pursue such technologies.


Using off-the-shelf parts from existing platforms can reduce such development risks further and reduce costs and time. The F-117 program is testament to the usefulness of this strategy. The approach can be extended to the maximum possible parts from the JF-17 and Chinese combat aircraft, UAVs and UCAVs. A UCAV designed around an RD-93-class engine can possibly use a large number of subsystems from the JF-17; the landing gear is a possible example.



Other technology choices for the J-UCAV may include a 360 degree sensor suite similar to the F-35 and asymmetric sensor payloads. The latter implies that only a portion of the UCAVs / manned aircraft in a pack will have expensive systems such as AESA radars installed. Others will be more dispensable missile careers. This strategy is sometimes referred to as cloud shooting (Perrett, 2010) and is similar in concept to naval engagements. The Japanese concept is illustrated and shows relevance to our strategy with the exception that instead of 6th generation manned fighters guiding UCAV swarms, 4th generation fighters available to PAF may provide the equivalent UCAV guidance authority.

Given the ability today of remotely launching AAMs and the highly sensor rich environment over Pakistani air space in the time-frame of deployment, such auxiliaries would provide cheap force multipliers for Pakistan. There is some discussion among observers that at least some of PAF’s Mirage and F-7 fleets have been upgraded in a similar manner to launch BVR missiles using input from external sensors through the C4I network. While there is doubt about the feasibility and usefulness of maintaining older jets in this role with due consideration to pilot training and maintenance costs, J-UCAVs would provide ideal substitutes and appear to be perfect platforms for this role.

In the Grande Strategic view, PAF can use large numbers of J-UCAVs as a cheap and ideal counter for IAF and any other air force that seeks to undermine Pakistani airspace. They could form a picket line that are the first to deal with enemies and are reinforced with manned fighters where necessary. Such J-UCAVs would require very low maintenance, near zero training costs and may be cheap enough to not worry about being put outside hardened shelters, a valued commodity for PAF. Armed with 2 BVRs and 2 WVRs, J-UCAVs could prove to become the foot soldier of the skies, lightly armed and yet overwhelming in their numbers.
In Conclusion

UCAVs are an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionize air warfare. While the 5th generation of combat planes is today the pinnacle of military aviation, UCAVs present paradigms that can supplement if not supplant manned fighters of the 4th and 5th generations. People who discuss a potential 6th generation inevitably mention unmanned aircraft as a likely salient. Unlike the 5th generation of aircraft that are extremely expensive and complex to build and maintain UCAVs provide the potential of finding an equivalent solution with significant reduction in complexity and cost.

The PAF has until now not considered UCAVs in the air-to-air role. With the systematic addition of net-centric warfare with platforms such as Erieye, ZDK03, ground radars, future planned communication satellite and the necessary middleware for a superior C4I, Pakistan has managed to transform the battle environment to one were UCAVS can multiply the effectiveness and flexibility of the entire air defense system.

While nations struggle to keep their 4th generation aircraft operational and can barely dream about 5th generation solutions, UCAVs provide an interesting paradigm shift that cannot be ignored by those entrusted with the defense of their nations and peoples. For some like Pakistan, UCAVs may be the only realistic way to counter a large number of PAKFAs and possibly other 5th generation planes sitting across the border in belligerent India, whose stalwarts dream about “cold starts” and “surgical strikes”, and are only kept at bay by the strength of arms and the courage of the Pakistani soldier; whether on land, in the depths of the seas, or up high over the towering mountains and skies above.

 

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Countering IAFs 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft



In the next decade all Air Forces are focusing on the Stealth Technology available in the 5th Gen aircraft. The IAF burnt by colossal failures with reference to indigenous aircraft and engine manufacturing was left with a huge gap. It has tried to fill the void which was left by the inability of the IAF to produce the LCA. That void is being filled by three level of purchases, the MCRC, the purchase of Russian PAKFA (called FGFA in Bharat) and possible direct purchase of aircraft from the US.

 
Within the next quarter century, the IAF is projected to have many 5th generation fighter aircraft. The Chinese Ari Force is Light Years ahead and faces no threat from Delhi. The PAF has taken note of the IAF numbers and is taking appropriate measures to deal with the situation.
The IAF in 2025 will have the PAKFA in service, provided the Russians can produce the aircraft and provided that they are not another generation of Flying Coffins.




The PAF Countermeasures are as follows:
  1. Begin the slow progress of mastering the technology so that it can be inculcated into existing Aircraft.
  2. Jointly design and build Aircraft with China with approach 5th generation and beyond.
  3. Purchase US aircraft with a bit older technology, and then upgrade those aircraft at lesser cost.
  4. Work with Indonesia, and Turkey in developing local military technologies to counter the threats.
  5. Use less expensive ways to deal with the incoming threat.
  6. Bank on Missiles to counter the threat.
  7. Bring incremental improvement to the JF-17 Thunder in Blcoks of fifty. This will keep the JF-17 thunder infused the latest technology for the next fifty years.
  8. Start production of the FC-20s based on the J-10B and work with the Chinese on the production of the J-11s.
  9. Enhance the UAV technology to the next level and design and produce Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAVs),
  10. One expensive option is to build X-47 Pegasus class, to counter India’s military aviation threat to Pakistan.
  11. Work with the Chinese to jontly build the WS-13 engine so that it can be used on the UCAV’s.
  12. Continue development of the Babur Cruise missile and use to to build UCAV’s.
  13. This mixture of response will not only be a potent defense against the IAF, but it will be eliminate the attempt of the IAF to intimidate Pakistan.
The first UCAV’s were autonomous cruise missiles, something that the U.S. and Germany have been fielding since the 1940′s. In Europe, several UCAV’s are known as robotic warplanes ( the Neuron, the Barrakuda and the Corax) are under development. These UACV concepts had their origins in the US,  and Europe wants to remain competitive with the American Aviation industry. All the programs have stealth features playing in the same league as the American J-UCAS (Joint Unmanned Combat Aerial System). The US  program includes the Boeing X45C and the Northrop Grumman X47B Pegasus . These European projects are the first foreign competitors for the American UCAV.
These major UCAV’ systems are in play:
  1. The six nation $480 million European effort has a produced a flying prototype.
  2. The joint German-Spanish, Swiss, Barrakuda conducted its first taxi tests on the 26 January 2006.
  3. The British Corax UACV. The UK perceives the Joint Strike Fighter as the last manned platform for its Air Force, which will eventually replaced by an UCAV. The Corax, which undertook its maiden flight already in 2004.
  4. China is making UCAV by adopting the old F-7 designs. China is using the J-6 and J-7 into target drones. Pakistan which already has the old F-7s can to this cheaply.
The UACVs have the following advantage:


  • Greater maneuverability – in modern day fighter aircraft human tolerance is the limiting factor for the number of g forces the plane can pool during rapid manoeuvres, with UACV this bottleneck is eliminated so they can be very manoeuvrable indeed.
  • Less weight – this can affect many things like endurance time, acceleration, payload and so on. One or two pilots and all the stuff you put in the cockpit can weight quite a bit.
  • Better aerodynamics – you don’t need the cockpit canopy.
    Situational awareness – as Clerik said you can create very good virtual cockpit on ground that is superior to anything you can fit in an aircraft. SA is most important for air superiority missions, I think, and as air-to-air battles are pushed to BWR there is no benefit of having your Mark I eyeball on the actual aircraft.
    No crew fatigue – on the ground pilots can control their UACVs in greater comfort and rotate during mission.
  • Lower price – often the flying unit can be made cheaper. All that fancy plane-human interface gear, life support, ejection seats and whatnot costs big $, but in case of UACV you only need the plane-human interface part and with that it is one for many planes and can bee cheaper as it doesn’t have to endure all the stresses and such. You need gear for communicating with UACVs instead, but some means of communication are already in place, so no big change there.
  • Pilots are out of harms way – UACVs will save pilots lives. Pilot is very expensive to train and hard to replace quickly.
  • Long Range Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Combat
  • Short Range within Visual Range Combat:
  • Low Costs:
  • Quantity versus Quality:
  • Kamikaze possibilities
The Disadvantages of UCAVs
  • Tackling the Problem of Jamming:
  • Human Element
  • Lag – radio communications can travel only so quickly but reaction time is critical for air engagements.
    Single point of failure – if the enemy takes out the command centre, all the UCAV’ are neutralized too.
Those who espouse following the C-47 route for the PAF are living in a fools paradise. The US will not share that technology with Pakistan and it will be too expensive for the PAF. The best route for the PAF will be to work with the Chinese and the Europeans to develop these unmanned systems.



Courtesy: Rupee News

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The Complete Inside Story OF "Indigenous" Dhruv/ALH-----Special Report




From the design to the provision of components and ammunition the involvement of foreign companies in the development of the ALH is considerable. At least 29 companies in nine countries across four continents have been involved with the development, licensed production or supply of components or munitions for the ALH. Ten of these companies are based in six EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK). Other companies involved include a number based in Israel and the USA. Since its inception, the ALH has been a collaborative effort between the German company Messerschmitt-Bölkow Blohm (now Eurocopter Deutschland) and HAL:




"One thing should be clear. Though it is India's, if not Asia's, first de novodesigned helicopter, it is not ‘indigenous’ in the Indian sense of the term, but a collaborative effort of HAL and specialists from Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, who built the Eurocopter, which the Advanced Light Helicopter resembles."


It is not clear what configuration of armaments and components will be incorporated into the variants of any ALHs that might eventually be exported to Myanmar, but it is incumbent on governments to ensure that components produced or otherwise originating from within their jurisdiction are not incorporated into military helicopters transferred to Myanmar. The section below provides illustrative examples of key foreign involvement in the development of the ALH.



Core foreign components for the ALH include helicopter engines and rotor blades, as well as hydraulics, cockpit displays, vibration dampers and other "mission-critical parts". In addition, European firms have contributed to the offensive military capability of the attack helicopter version: variants of the ALH have incorporated rocket launchers of Belgian origin, and machine guns and missiles of French origin.




European and US firms have been involved in designing and developing the aircraft and its components. As a consequence — not least with major structural components like engines and rotors — it would be difficult, if not impossible, for HAL to source adequate alternative components from non-European or non-US suppliers. Similarly it may be difficult for HAL to manufacture such components itself without technical support from those firms.



Letters were faxed to each of the companies mentioned in this report, noting the reports that the Government of India was in negotiations with the Government of Myanmar to supply the ALH, and requesting information about their involvement in the development of the ALH through the manufacture and supply of components, technology and/or assistance. The letters also asked about the terms of the licences under which such transfers were made, including any restrictions applied to re-export.



Many of the companies’ responses summarised below specifically state that the contracts conform to their government’s requirements. Nevertheless, should such transfers of the ALH from India go ahead over the coming months, it is likely that military equipment, components and technology supplied from EU and US manufacturers incorporated into the ALH will end up in an embargoed destination. There is no suggestion that these companies will have broken current laws or regulations or deliberately violated the EU arms embargo on Myanmar. However, in almost all of these cases, the exports would not have been permitted from the country where the controlling company is based if they were supplied direct to Myanmar.

 

The following section illustrates the scale of involvement of non-Indian companies in the design.


The European Union


Belgium

Forges de Zeebrugge FZ


Variants of the ALH have incorporated rocket launchers produced by the Belgiam company, Forges de Zeebrugge FZ.For example, the photo below shows the FZ nameplate on the rocket launcher mounted on ALH on display at Farnborough International, UK on 14 August 2006.



 



Forges de Zeebrugge FZ confirmed that they have contracts with both HAL and the Indian Army, which have been approved by the Belgian authorities and are subject to end-use agreements. Confidentiality clauses contained within the contract prevented fuller disclosure of any details surrounding the nature of the deal.


France

Turbomeca


The French company Turbomeca (now part of the Safran Group) has undertaken both the direct export of engines from France to India but has also established licensed production and technology transfer arrangements with HAL to produce engines for the ALH. In February 2003, it was announced that Turbomeca and HAL had signed three major contracts. These included a contract for the supply of TM 333 2B2 engines for application on the HAL helicopter; and another contract for the repair and overhaul licence for the TM 333 2B2. The HAL website states that the ALH continues to use the "Turbomeca TM 333-2B2 Twin Turbo-shaft Engine 746 kw (1000 SHP)".



Turbomeca confirmed that it has three contracts with HAL, two of which cover the supply, repair, servicing and overhaul of the TM333-2B2 engines for the ALH. The company also stated that all its contracts were regulated by the appropriate French export licensing authorities. However in its response to our enquiries the French Government stated that the engines in question are not classified as war material by the French regulations and do not appear in the list of items subject to the Myanmar embargo. In our view, this interpretation is wrong because non-listed items in the EC Dual Use Regulation if incorporated into military items bound for embargoed destinations become licensable, that is subject to the embargo (for more on this see the section on EU export controls on re-exports over military equipmentbelow).

It would therefore appear that the French Government places no restrictions on the transfer of equipment fundamental to the operation of the ALH notwithstanding the fact that it is clearly also used as a military aircraft.


GIAT Industries (Nexter) and MBDA


In July 2006 defence news service Shepherd Rotorhub quoted Hindustan


Aeronautics' chairman Ashok Baweja describing a weaponisation programme was under way for the ALH. This was to include a 20mm gun from the French company GIAT and rockets from European missile manufacturer MBDA. In December 2006, GIAT (now renamed Nexter) announced that it had been awarded a contract by HAL for:



"the supply of 20 THL 20 turrets that will equip the Indian Armed Forces' Advanced Light Helicopter. The order covers the development phase of 20 turrets. The first deliveries will take place in 2008…."



In March 2007 Jane's Information Group reported that HAL signed a deal with MBDA in July 2006 for the supply of air-to-air Mistral missiles for armed versions of the ALH.



Nexter has confirmed that it does supply products to HAL for the ALH. This currently includes twenty ‘THL 20’ 20mm Helicopter turrets. The company also stated that all of its exports are regulated and approved by the appropriate French export licensing authorities and that any additional contracts to supply the ALH that were not stipulated in the original contract would require a further export licence.


Germany

Eurocopter Deutschland (formerly MBB) and now wholly owned by Eurocopter


Eurocopter has been involved (originally as MBB) with the development of the ALH since at least July 1984. In November 1995, it was reported that Eurocopter had submitted a proposal to the Indian Defence Ministry to "co-produce the ALH designed by HAL. It plans to set up production facilities in India to manufacture the ALH for both local and export markets."In 2006 both companies were advertising their mutual co-operation: Eurocopter noting that it was supplying rotor blades for the ALH, and HAL announcing that "Eurocopter, the helicopter manufacturer owned by EADS, has been cooperating with HAL for over four decades … India was the first nation with which Eurocopter signed a licence agreement for technology transfer." Amnesty International wrote to Eurocopter in March 2007 asking for clarification over its role in the development of the ALH. As of 25 June 2007, the company had not responded.



SITEC Aerospace



SITEC Aerospace manufactures a range of components and complete assemblies for flight/engine controls for various types of aircraft. According to company literature on display at Farnborough International 2006, SITEC provides components for the ALH.



SITEC Aerospace confirmed that they supply parts for the ALH, but that they do not export these directly to HAL, but supply them to another unnamed German manufacturer who subsequently incorporates these items into other systems for the ALH.


Italy

Elettronica Aster SpA


The Italian company Elettronica Aster SpA on its website describes HAL as a major customer. According to the "Company and Program Overview", Elettronica Aster SpA has produced and supplied the ALH with a brake system.



Amnesty International wrote to Elettronica Aster SpA in March 2007 to ask for clarifications as to its involvement in the development of the ALH. In its reply dated 15 March, the company had no comment on the specifics of its supply of components for the ALH, stating only that Elettronica Aster SpA’s "export activity is regulated by the rules called out in the Italian Law no.185/’90 (with amendment DDL 1927), establishing the regulation for weapons import/export/transit."


Sweden

Saab AB


Saab Avitronics, the South African joint venture company owned by Saab AB (Sweden) and Saab Grintek (South Africa, itself part owned by Saab AB), has been awarded a multi-million dollar export contract from HAL for the supply of self-protection equipment for installation on the ALH for the Indian Armed Forces.



Amnesty International wrote to Saab AB on 1 June 2007 asking for clarification over its involvement with the ALH. Saab AB replied saying: "All export approvals from the concerned authorities are in place. The export licences are supported by an end-user certificate."


The United Kingdom


APPH Precision Hydraulics


At the 2004 Farnborough arms fair, the UK company APPH Precision Hydraulics Ltd displayed its Hydraulic Package as the following:



"HAL Advanced Light Helicopter Hydraulic Package designed and manufactured by APPH Ltd"



Amnesty International wrote to in March 2007 to ask for clarifications as its involvement in the development of the ALH. As of 25 June 2007, the company had not responded.



FPT Industries Ltd


In 1993 it was reported that FPT Industries Ltd had been awarded a contract to supply floatation equipment for the ALH under development by HAL. FTP Industries is part of GKN Aerospace Services Ltd. In 1997, it was reported that FPT Industries’ self-sealing fuel tank systems were being used in the ALH. In 2007, the FPT Industries website stated that: "FPT equipment is fitted to a range of helicopters including ALH".


In 1997, the then GKN Westland Aerospace Ltd (renamed GKN Aerospace Services Ltd in 2001) was awarded a contract to supply the internal gearbox BR715 for HAL’s ALH.



GKN Aerospace Services Ltd confirmed that they have supplied fuel tanks, floatation equipment and related gaskets and seals for the ALH, but that these are subject to end-use certificates stipulating that they would not be re-exported. The company stated that future supplies for the ALH would be for components and kits for fuel tanks that would be assembled locally in India, but would again be subject to similar end-use undertakings. However, while the UK Government normally requires the presentation of end-use documentation as part of the licensing process, it does not as a rule then include explicit end-use restrictions as a conditionon the export licence. If this is the case in this instance, what force those end-use undertakings have is unclear.



Other third-country involvement in the ALH:

The United States

It should be noted that the US embargo on Myanmar does not specifically mention indirect supplies, nor does it place controls on civilian components that are incorporated into military systems. However, indirect supplies of US military components or other controlled items are subject to re-export controls under the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) system which specifically states that re-export of US-controlled content can only take place with the express permission of the US Government. Section 123.9 "Country of ultimate destination" provides that:


"(a) The country designated as the country of ultimate destination on an application for an export licence, or on a shipper's export declaration where an exemption is claimed under this subchapter, must be the country of ultimate end-use. The written approval of the Department of State must be obtained before reselling, diverting, transferring, transshipping, or disposing of a defense article in any country other than the country of ultimate destination as stated on the export licence, or on the shipper's export declaration in cases where an exemption is claimed under this subchapter. Exporters must ascertain the specific end-use and end-user prior to submitting an application to the Office of Munitions Control or claiming an exemption under this subchapter. End-use must be confirmed and should not be assumed."


However, it is not clear whether components supplied by US companies for the ALH have been specifically designed or adapted for military use. If not, they may fall outside this specification.



Aitech Systems Ltd


In September 2005, it was reported that Aitech Systems Ltd, a US company, had announced it had "received the first production order from the Lahav Division of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) for Display & Mission Computers" for inclusion in the glass cockpit of the ALH. The Lahav Division of IAI is under contract to HAL to develop and provide the avionics system for the HAL.

Deliveries for the first production of Display and Mission Computers were due to be completed by May 2006:


"Aitech will build 400 Display & Mission Computers for the ALH program, to be delivered over the next several years. In addition, Aitech is under contract to IAI to provide the next generation of Display & Mission Computer."


Amnesty International wrote to the company in March 2007 asking for clarifications over its involvement with the ALH, but has yet to receive a reply (as of 25 June 2007).



Lord Corporation


In January 2004, it was reported that Lord Corporation had announced that it had been "awarded the first production contract for its active vibration control system" for the ALH. Lord Corporation had been supplying other parts (such as elastomeric bearings) for the main tail rotor and parts for various "isolators", which together formed part of an anti-resonance isolator system aimed at reducing vibrations in the aircraft." The report also stated that "Lord would supply the vibration dampers for these aircraft with user approvals."



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India's Launch of GSAT-5P Telecommunication Satellite Fails

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Chinese Type 022 Stealth Fast Attack Craft



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Chinese DF-21C Anti-ship Ballistic Missile





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Chengdu J-20 Fifth Generation Fighter Jet - Latest Update

 SOURCE IS CHINESE INTERNET:
 





In August 2008 it was reported that 611 Institute was selected to be the main contractor for the development of the fifth-generation stealthy J-20, and that 601 Institute was the sub-contractor.

Now 611 Institute has started to issue manufacturing drawings for constructing the first prototype, which is expected to fly by 2011.


The only Russian input is AL-31F Engine for prototype which is replaced by WS-15 Chinese Engine in serial production.

The latest news suggested first Chengdu J-20 Fifth Generation Fighter had been built at CAC.


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China Deployed J-11B Fighter Jets in Tibet To Counter India







China deployed J-11B jets in Tibet to counter India’s recent movement of Su-30MKI jets near China.


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Chengdu J-20 Clearest Pictures Revealed







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China Reveals Fighter Aircraft Carrier Ambitions


China has stated publicly for the first time its intention to acquire two or more indigenously designed and built aircraft carriers for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

A brief reference to the strategy has appeared in an annual report from the the State Oceanic Administration (SOA). Although it was published in May, the reference was buried at the end of the 570-page document and has only now been picked up by news outlets in the Asia-Pacific region.


A translation of the SOA's 2010 Ocean Development Report, published by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on 19 December, stated: "In 2009, China put forward an idea and plan for building aircraft carriers. These indicate China has entered the historical era of building a maritime superpower."

The translation continued: "Building China as a maritime power is the mission of China in the whole 21st century, and 2010 to 2020 is the critical period for accomplishing this strategic mission, with the goal to place China among mid-tier maritime powers."


In addition, unconfirmed reports published by the several newspapers in the region are suggesting that construction of a conventionally powered carrier (CV) may have started.


Japan's Asahi Shimbun stated on 17 December: "Construction has already begun at six military affiliated companies and research institutes in Shanghai and other locations."



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