F35 – F16 = T-50 Arms Race

Fifth generation fighter jets –

Chinese, Russian, Indian and US

Arms Race

If you can believe the press reports surrounding the J-35s https://www.f35.com/ lack of capability to compete with old birds and new birds alike, then you would seriously ask why would you buy one. Strategic defence capabilities in the 21st Century still demand air superiority because of the part that it plays in overall planning. Within the parameters of conventional warfare air strike capability is a very important component to a successful mission. The three largest defence contractors in the world are American corporations, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Gruman & Boeing.

Can anyone trust the Lockhead Martin sales pitch on this aircraft and in light of the fact that this is the world’s biggest fighter project.

http://www.migflug.com/jetflights/f-35-biggest-aviation-project-ever.html

http://thediplomat.com/2015/07/f-35-loses-dogfight-to-fighter-jet-from-the-1980s/   http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-f-35-cant-beat-the-plane-its-replacing-in-a-dogfigh-1714712248

The F-35 Lightning II was designed to be an affordable 5th Generation fighter

Production Costs

  • F-35A: $98 million
  • F-35B: $104 million
  • F-35C: $116 million

f13-09185pr__main factory__main

The claim made by Lockheed Martin – The F-35’s stealth capabilities are unprecedented in tactical fighter aviation. An integrated airframe design, advanced materials and other features make the F-35 virtually undetectable to enemy radar. Extensive analysis and flight test of the survivability of the F-35 with its combination of stealth, advanced sensors, data fusion, sophisticated countermeasures, and electronic attack demonstrate conclusively its superior advantages over legacy aircraft, is still yet to be proven in combat.

There are comparable aircraft that some say will outperform the F-35. China’s second fifth-generation stealth aircraft, the J-31 built by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation has many similarities in design and in performance. Because there is little technical data available it is still too early to assess how much better it may is compared to other similar multipurpose jets. It will be able to compete with F15, F16 & F18 and will will come close or at least match the F35 according to aviation experts.

Shenyang J-31

Shenyang_J-31_(F60)_at_the_2014_Zhuhai_Air_Show

Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA

Sukhoi_T_50_PAK_FA_by_nellenmellen

“The aircraft is equipped – just like the Raptor – with  top modern weapons, stealth technology and has supercruise at mach 1.6. Since it has not yet been revealed there is very much speculations about it and there is a lot of propaganda involved. For instance Vladimir Putin claimed that: “This machine will be superior to our main competitor, the F-22, in terms of maneuverability, weaponry and range” which you can choose to interpret in any way you want. But it is by many considered to be the best fighter in the world when it enters service with the Russian air force. The main points that are considered by many to be better with the PAK FA than with the raptor is its IRST, its engines and its 3D Thrust vectoring system (the Raptor does not feature IRST and only has 2D TV). The engine that is currently being developed by Saturn and is said to be the “fifth generation fighter engine” will be delivered in the coming years and just like any other tremendously expensive project there has been a lot of speculations about it. India is also currently developing a fifth generation fighter projected to be introduced in 2022, namely the HAL FGFA, which is an upgraded version of the PAK FA. It is claimed that it is supposed to have 43 improvements compared to the PAK FA, among others stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics.”

http://www.migflug.com/jetflights/fifth-generation-fighter-jets-a-chinese-russian-and-us-arms-race.html

The only way to verify the sales pitch by Lockhead Martin will be to test the J-35 in combat…but what an expensive way to confirm the capabilities.

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The Asian Century (Part Two)

Red Dragon Rising

  China 1 China 3

Prior to trying to formulate an informed opinion on China’s role in the first half of the 21st Century, a brief review of the make up of the current leadership of the P.R.C. related to global strategic defence, specifically the South China Seas region would assist the reader. The P.R.C. President and Premier are Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. Their roles are head of state and head of government and the leadership is commonly referred to as the Xi Li team. The Minister for Defence is Chang Wanquan. These three men will be responsible for the continued global positioning of the P.R.C. during Q1 of the 21st Century.

China B

Xi Jinping is one of the three wise men (Mao & Deng are the other two) and he is focused upon positioning China for Q2 of the 21st Century with domestic and international foundations that have been constructed or are being constructed by China. With his quasi-Maoist values he is changing China. He has gained more power than his predecessors with a strong power base in the P.L.A. He is the key figure of the Fifth-Generation leadership in this renaissance period or golden age of the P.R.C.

Xi is changing the growth mode and improving quality and efficiency at the center, the economy will be driven by consumption, investment and exports instead of only by investment and exports. China will shift from relying on secondary industries alone to reliance on the primary, secondary and tertiary industries, turning away from resource consumption and toward technological progress through innovation. With the 13th five year plan (2016 – 2020) Xi is driving the industrialisation, informatisation, urbanisation and agricultural modernisation. The weakest link is agriculture which Xi is transforming agricultural development with agricultural technology innovation.

China C

Li Keqiang is the driving force behind China’s positive efforts to promote political reforms such as decentralization of government and the positioning of government to be efficient and streamlined to meet the needs during this transitional phase stage two of China’s global dominance, stage one being the one that Deng Xiaoping implemented. China’s economic development is now in the transitional period from export driven to domestic demand and makes up the other component of the Li leadership, and that is of development.

China D

Chang Wanquan was born 1949 in Nanyang City, Henan Province,
home of ancient strategist, Zhuge Liang. Rise to power possible from President Hu Jintao (2003-2013) and anit-terrorism background. Writings and speeches demonstrate support for President Hu’s “scientific development” effort, Confucian in nature, and a heavy emphasis on training. Partly due to his leadership background in military technology, including the manned space program, Chang has been a strong advocate of rapid modernization in PLA military equipment and of the integration of a combined operations supreme command, with an emphasis on better operational coordination among the army, navy, land forces, and missile forces in warfare.

Chang has had direct influence in the continued pursuit of China’s space programe via the Second Artillery Corps which is the strategic ballistic missile force of the PLA, and it maintains China’s nuclear arsenal. The ultimate end goal is to move away from the S.A.C. control of the space progame, have an independent organization that will still have a collaborative role with the military. Hainan Island (space programe and a Deep Blue for the Navy and physical location of GhostNet) is a critical geographical location for both military and space operations.

Whilst a single decision-maker does not decide upon military strategies, policies, and weapons development, Chang is part of the apex in the decision making process. Chang is diverse in his roles and is involved in various military and space related activities. He was the commander of the manned space mission named Shenzhou VII. Chang advocates certain strategies such as the importance of Shih in Chinese military strategy. “Instead of using military force to subjugate another society or to defeat an enemy’s army, Shih operates to convince an opponent to yield without battle.

Whilst Chang is Minister for defence and the P.R.C. military strength is increasing along with a space programe, Chinese preference for psychological warfare over weaponry and firepower, victory without fighting, nonviolent stratagems, and deception still exists in the 21st Century. China’s ancient and modern history has demonstrations of great violence; however, Chinese rhetoric today promotes peace in the world and a defensive posture. Chang has made statements that whilst pursuing peace the P.R.C. will defend it’s assets with force.
Chang’s birthplace Henan Province is historically significant because it is the “cradle” of Chinese civilization due to its proximity to the Yellow River.However, maybe more importantly, many in Nanyang City consider it the home to the greatest military strategist and public official during the Three Kingdoms Period, Zhuge Liang (181-234 AD). Zhuge Liang often quoted Confucius and reflected an undercurrent of Taoist thought in his attitudes toward life and work, and stressed the importance of military preparedness, training, and the need for strong allies as consultants.

Chang joined the P.L.A. in 1968 and has risen through the ranks with various roles such as and not limited to: Chief-of-Staff of the 140th Division, 47th Field Army, Division Commander of the 61st Division of the 21st Group Army, Director of the General Armament Department, Director of the Campaign Teaching and Research Office at the National Defense University. Chang’s credentials are not technical; instead, he is a trainer. His role is likely not the technical management of the latest weapon systems in the PLA arsenal, but instead, is to make the P.L.A. qualified to operate in an “informationalized” environment with high-technology equipment.

Chang’s rhetoric often is close to that of Zhuge. In his published article “Ancient Thought of Military Management in China and Its Inspiration” is said to be a work designed to revitalize Confucian teachings and thinking. Chang understands why the P.R.C. has used force against its neighbors at least 12 times since 1949 and why in 1950, Mao committed his people to fight the United States, not because of any threat to China’s survival but to resist U.S. expansion on China’s periphery. China’s culture developed its own world order and attitudes toward warfare over nearly three millennia and through its history of survival, evolution, domestic conflicts, and defenses against foreign aggressions, China’s distinctive culture has shaped and limited strategic choices and profoundly influenced China’s interactions with other states.

Chang may not fully understand the complex nature of China’s strategic rival, the U.S.A. but he has much to draw upon to drive the military and space programes, and protect the P.R.C. through the 21st Century. He is a vital part of the P.R.C. triangle, Xi – Li – Chang.

China’s long history has seen evidence of both a defensive and offensive culture. Additionally, the writings of Sun Tzu and others offer a method of statecraft that is secretive and deceptive.
Many analysts do not understand the motivations, priorities, and perspectives of Chinese decision-makers, especially regarding China’s space programe. The programe has a duality – it is for defence as much as it is for economics.

China’s strategic culture has converged around Tao three additional
important ideas that emerged from prehistoric Confucian thought and belief:
Shih, Hsing, and Li. Any analysis of China’s strategic culture and uses of force must begin with an understanding of these four faces of Chinese
Shih-strategy. The defining theme in Sun Tzu’s The Art of Warfare, the essence of Shih was the dynamic power that emerged in the combination of men’s hearts, military weapons, and natural conditions.

Shih-strategy, which converged Shih along three broad dimensions of warfare: the people, the context, and the enemy. Shih-strategy concentrated the power of the people in the soldiers and their weapons. The power of context appeared in opportunity, timing, and logistics. The enemy’s power lay in the relative skill, competence, and will of the opposing force.

Hsing as a military term is described as the deployment and employment of forces. Hsing is explicitly the tangible, visible, and determinate shape of physical strength and Hsing is static.

Li refers to self-interest or material gain and carries a definite priority for the present. arising from materialistic thought and theory, Li-strategy does not recognize intangible human factors as important elements of power. Instead it focuses on visible, material assets and enemy forces

Sun Tzu’s famous metaphor is a strategic message that the method of draining the water was more important than the amount of water behind the dam.

Brave Budget Behest

Lip Service

or

Action

Prevention is better than cure…

heck we all know that

and prevention in the short-term may be the more expensive option.

But over the lifetime of something it may be the cheaper alternative.

http://www.economywatch.com/features/world-economy-2014-recovery-strengthening.29-01.html

Who said that there was going to be a bubble burst in America in 2017 ?

http://www.economywatch.com/features/post-financial-crisis-lack-of-reforms.22-11.html

If there are systemic flaws in America will they blame the Obama era or will they leave him alone, not because he was the first African-American President but more so that he tried to make it matter and in two terms tried to make a difference.

The mid terms are coming up in America and one questions who is there to replace the current president and to take on the responsibility of leading the country through challenging turbulent seas. There is not one strong leader who can lead in America, not because there aren’t any dynamic leaders of vision and strength, but because there are other influences in America and the president is merely one person at the apex.

Budget requests & demands from a myriad of sources for all worthwhile programs from health & education to defence and cyber-security. I have no bias towards America but what I do have is a keen interest in where they are headed and how they are hopefully going to be proactive rather than reactive during the remainder of the Obama era.

What will political science academics and foreign policy analysts anticipate will be the word from the State Department & the White House during 2014 & the end of the second term ? Will it be not what is said but what is not said that will be of importance. One questions what the Middle East will look like in 2017 and will  the American people be involuntarily dragged into another global conflict.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hed1nP9X7pI&feature=share

Whilst the words well delivered as they may have been by Barack Obama have a positive spin, that spin one questions.

Let us hope & pray that a dead cat bounce does not happen.

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