China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Japan has made a fairly decisive reaction to continuing ‘provocation’ by China’s airspace incursions.

It has made a massive order for 'Japanese Super F-15’s’. The upgraded latest versions of the F-15’s will complement the large fleet of F-35’s on order. The two types make a particularly potent force multiplication which is directly intended to counter China’s increasingly belligerent build up and muscle flexing in the S China sea area.

This together with the increased military co-operation between the various nations that are directly effected has to a large degree been as a direct result of China’s recent actions in that area.

The upgrade package is substantial.
The Government of Japan has requested the upgrade of up to ninety-eight (89 F-15J aircraft to a Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration consisting of up to one hundred three (103) APG-82(v)1 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar (includes 5 spares); one hundred sixteen (116) Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCP II) Mission System Computer (includes 18 spares); and one hundred one (101) ALQ-239 Digital Electronic Warfare System (DEWS) (includes 3 spares). Also included are Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) with software, training and support; Selective Availability Anti-spoofing Module (SAASM); ARC-210 radio, aircraft and munition integration and test support; ground training devices (including flight and maintenance simulators); support and test equipment; software delivery and support; spare and repair parts; communications equipment; facilities and construction support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; studies and surveys; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program cost is $4.5 billion.

The new AESA radar will provide the F-15JSI with impressive new air-to-ground capabilities and enable them to perform maritime patrol and interdiction missions. Japan is also developing indigenous hypersonic weapons which could also be carried, along with Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, another possibility. These aircraft would be very capable bomb trucks for the two varients of F-35 presently on order.

China, and the CCP, is by its own actions is forging an alliance that intends to counter the CCP's ambitions to rule the world with China as the principal superpower. In particular, with the CCP’s present policies, which do not conform to what is generally considered what human rights freedoms are presently strived for, by the West, and many other countries round the globe.
All that was announced about this time last year wasn't it?

Their youngest airframe must be 25 years old by now.
 
In light of the CCP’s aggressive expansion aims in the S China Sea there have been some decidedly robust responses.

Recent order for over a hundred F-35's. by Japan will give Japan 147. Combined with South Korean F-35's China will be facing over 300 F-35’s operating near their northern borders.

China's support for North Korea caused South Korea to become a major developer, manufacturer and exporter of modern weapons. Now Japan, with a larger population and industrial base than South Korea, has joined in matching China’s arms build up.

Her two Izumo class ships now being developed will carry the F-35b’s Japan has ordered and will be capable of carrying up to twelve of them.

Korea thinking of following suit.

Actions certainly have reactions
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
It would appear that exercising one's sovereignty feels good...


Even if banning a few Chinese phone apps is a bit pants.
 
All that was announced about this time last year wasn't it?

Their youngest airframe must be 25 years old by now.
Japan have been wanting to develop their own fighter to replace their older planes, but were taking so long to decide that they've been forced to come up with an interim solution.

Canada are replacing our existing F-18s, but they need upgrades to address obsolescence and new air safety regulations until the new planes come into service. The Japanese upgrades that are mentioned in the news story are similar to the ones that Canada will be doing with our F-18s. The US are also doing the same upgrades to their F-18s.

If you strip out the fluff from the story, what has been announced sounds like a routine life extension upgrade to keep the planes in service for now.
 
Japan have been wanting to develop their own fighter to replace their older planes, but were taking so long to decide that they've been forced to come up with an interim solution.

Canada are replacing our existing F-18s, but they need upgrades to address obsolescence and new air safety regulations until the new planes come into service. The Japanese upgrades that are mentioned in the news story are similar to the ones that Canada will be doing with our F-18s. The US are also doing the same upgrades to their F-18s.

If you strip out the fluff from the story, what has been announced sounds like a routine life extension upgrade to keep the planes in service for now.
Except for the major buy of F-35’s by Japan, and the continued fluffing around being done by Canada.

Even the Indian buy of Rafales, the first of which have just been delivered, is making Canada's present government’s concern for the nation’s security look positively feeble!!!
 
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Japan have been wanting to develop their own fighter to replace their older planes, but were taking so long to decide that they've been forced to come up with an interim solution.

Canada are replacing our existing F-18s, but they need upgrades to address obsolescence and new air safety regulations until the new planes come into service. The Japanese upgrades that are mentioned in the news story are similar to the ones that Canada will be doing with our F-18s. The US are also doing the same upgrades to their F-18s.

If you strip out the fluff from the story, what has been announced sounds like a routine life extension upgrade to keep the planes in service for now.
It's not as if the JASDF doesn't have a requirement!

'In the 365 days to March, Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) fighter jets had to respond 847 times. In the four months since, such interceptions have only accelerated.

“Japan is surrounded by the sea. So the invasion comes from either the ocean or the sky. If the invasion comes from the air, it will happen all very fast,” Lieutenant Colonel Takamichi Shirota told CNN. Shirota leads a squadron of F-15 Eagle interceptor fighters based in Okinawa. His aircraft are being routinely called to identify ‘abnormal’ radar contacts.

'Most have been China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes. Most have been over the disputed Senkaku Islands, a group of uninhabited rocks between Japan and Taiwan. But Russia’s also been increasingly busy, also surging its aircraft towards Japan regularly. This has Tokyo on edge.'


 
An interesting factoid from the RAN deployment into the South China Sea.

'The crew of an Australian Army armed reconnaissance helicopter deployed from the HMAS Canberra and landed on the beach to confirm the men's identities and to deliver them food and water, the Australia Navy said in a statement.'

 
If accurate, the 'drift' could be turning into a 'drive'.

'As tensions between Taiwan and China continue to escalate, satellite images reportedly show amphibious armoured vehicles and mobile missile launchers massing at military bases near the island nation.

'Though Taiwan, a country of 25 million people, is happy as an independent democracy, Beijing insists it is a “breakaway province” and “inviolate” Chinese territory, repeatedly stating it will use force to bring the island back under China’s control.

'Now the images have shown the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) moving the military vehicles into the Eastern Theatre Command on China’s coastal cities across the strait from Taiwan, with missile launchers well within range to hit any targets in Taiwan.'

“We make no promise to abandon the use of force, and retain the option of taking all necessary measures,” Chinese leader Xi Jinping said in a recent speech.

'Under its ‘one country, two systems’ policy, Beijing insists Taiwan is part of its sovereign mandate. Which is why its so-called ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats have reacted with outrage at news this week that the US Health Secretary will visit the island to discuss its success in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Meanwhile, Chinese fighters and bombers have been engaged in a series of “combat readiness” exercises over the disputed South China Sea, with combat aircraft and naval vessels observed visiting illegal island fortresses in the Spratly Islands.'

<snip>

'It’s a scenario that could lead to “some kind of a military dust-up”, Asia Society Centre on US-China Relations analyst Orville Schell told CNBC.

'And Beijing’s options are rapidly narrowing

“Everything else having failed, President Xi may therefore feel compelled to put a premium on a military strategy in the Taiwan Strait,” said Michael Cole from the Global Taiwan Institute. “The two pillars of Beijing’s strategy towards Taiwan – coercion and incentivisation – have failed to arrest ongoing trends in Taiwan supporting independence and a democratic form of governance.”

'And Xi may have painted himself into a corner.

'He’s been whipping up nationalist fervour in an attempt to distract his people from growing economic and civil challenges. He’s proclaimed to his party colleagues that the “embarrassment” of Taiwan cannot be passed from “generation to generation”.


 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Winnie the Pooh is focussing on the big issues...


Yet another bumper harvest apparently, despite Covid and the floods over much of their most important agricultural land.

When there is trouble at home dictatorships tend to cause trouble abroad.
 

nanayon

Swinger
Japan have been wanting to develop their own fighter to replace their older planes, but were taking so long to decide that they've been forced to come up with an interim solution.

Canada are replacing our existing F-18s, but they need upgrades to address obsolescence and new air safety regulations until the new planes come into service. The Japanese upgrades that are mentioned in the news story are similar to the ones that Canada will be doing with our F-18s. The US are also doing the same upgrades to their F-18s.

If you strip out the fluff from the story, what has been announced sounds like a routine life extension upgrade to keep the planes in service for now.
Originally, Japan had wanted to buy F-22s but the US declined to export the F-22. Fairly understandable that the US would not want to export their top tier fighter. I seem to recall that Israel wanted F-22 as well. So that left Japan towards the long both of developing its own. But still needs to be upgradability even after the first enters service so in order for upgrades to be interoperable, some international partner would still be a benefit for cost reasons and being more on the same page strategically.
 

nanayon

Swinger
The locals in Okinawa are already up in arms about the present US military presence.
The strength of anti-base population in Okinawa is not as strong as is made out by MSM, or at least before the very recent Wuhan virus cases on the US bases in Okinawa (need a new measure to consider virus effect). But before that, an indication was the 2018 governor election. The anti-base candidate won but with 55.9% of the voters. It's a comfortable lead for winning an election but if used for gauging the strength of anti-base sentiment, 55% is not terribly high. If it was something like 70% voting for the anti-base candidate, then I think "up in arms" would be an accurate assessment.
 

nanayon

Swinger
In light of the CCP’s aggressive expansion aims in the S China Sea there have been some decidedly robust responses.

Recent order for over a hundred F-35's. by Japan will give Japan 147. Combined with South Korean F-35's China will be facing over 300 F-35’s operating near their northern borders.

China's support for North Korea caused South Korea to become a major developer, manufacturer and exporter of modern weapons. Now Japan, with a larger population and industrial base than South Korea, has joined in matching China’s arms build up.

Her two Izumo class ships now being developed will carry the F-35b’s Japan has ordered and will be capable of carrying up to twelve of them.

Korea thinking of following suit.

Actions certainly have reactions
There was one JASDF F-35A accident off from Misawa in which while four F-35As were conducting training, one F-35 unexpectedly nosed dive into the ocean in April 2019. It was flown by a veteran pilot but died in the accident. His remains were found 2 months after the accident. Debris of it was found on the waters. The main body of the aircraft was found at the bottom of the ocean but was deemed to deep to recover so no recovery of it was made. The whole JASDF F-35A, maybe around 15 aircraft at the time, fleet was grounded for a few months. So as a result, unless an extra is ordered to make up for its loss, Japan will hold 146 F-35s.

Of course the delivery of F-35s to the northeast will take time. 300 F-35s may not be achieved until after 2030 even. So while that goes on, PRC's work on EW capable aircraft and stealth aircraft such as J-20 and J-31 will continue. PRC WS-10 engines seem to be making improvements with signs of its installment into some aircraft such as J-10C. So far about 18 in service J-20s have been spotted. While production of J-20 is evidently slow but that is only the number of spotted, the total amount in service may be somewhat higher, perhaps about 30 aircraft. Although low production could be attributed to them waiting untel they finalize the development of a new more powerful engine such as WS-15 or some new WS-10 version.

Here is a video taken on August 2nd on the maintenance and modification work on JS Izumo.
 
 

nanayon

Swinger
On February 4th, 2020, twenty-eight F-15Js, thirteen F-2s, and four F-4s for a total of forty-five fighters from the JASDF conducted joint-training with two B-52s and six F-16s of the USAF in the airspace around Japan. The two B-52s and 13 F-2s conducted simulated strikes with the F-16s providing escort.

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/H31/20200206.pdf
US, Japan Bomber-fighter Integration Showcases Alliance, Global Power Projection
Misawa F-16 Pilots Integrate with Bombers, Koku Jieitai Counterparts


On April 22nd, a B-1B and four F-16s of the USAF conducted joint-training with seven F-2s and eight F-15Js of the JASDF in the airspace around Japan and over the Sea of Japan.

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200423.pdf
US, Japan bomber-fighter integration demonstrates dynamic force employment


On May 12th (2020), eight F-15Js and eight F-2s of the JASDF conducted joint-training with two B-1s of the USAF in the airspace over the Sea of Japan and around Okinawa.
https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200512.pdf


On May 27th, eight F-15Js and eight F-2s of the JASDF conducted joint-training with two B-1s of the USAF in the airspace over the Sea of Japan and around Okinawa.
https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200527.pdf
US, Japan Bomber-fighter Integration Demonstrates Commitment, Enhances Readiness


On June 17th, twelve F-15Js and four F-2s of the JASDF conducted joint-training with two B-52s in the airspace over the Sea of Japan and around Okinawa.
https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200618.pdf
https://www.stripes.com/news/pacifi...japan-days-after-deploying-to-alaska-1.634212


On June 19th, two B-52s of the USAF and two F/A-18Gs of the USMC conducted joint-training with four F-2s of the JASDF in the airspace over the Pacific Ocean.

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200623.pdf


On July 17th, twelve F-15Js and four F-2s of the JASDF conducted joint-training with two B-1s of the USAF in the airspace over the Sea of Japan and west of Kyushu.
https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200720.pdf


On July 27th, twelve F-15Js and three F-2s of the JASDF conducted joint-training with a B-1 of the USAF in the airspace around Japan.

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200728.pdf
https://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/Ne...ining-with-koku-jieitai-in-vicinity-of-japan/


On August 7th, six F-15Js and eight F-2s of the JASDF conducted joint-training with a B-1 of the USAF in the airspace above the Sea of Japan and around Okinawa.

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200811.pdf
 
Seoul cannot continue to sit on the fence for long in the ongoing US-China tug-of-war


Seoul aren't sitting on the fence. They're exactly where they want to be.

Just because not picking a clear side is inconvenient for others doesn't mean they haven't made a choice.
 
I agree it looks like photo-stitching errors. If the dam had actually "deformed" in reality by as much as the bottom photo makes it look, it would almost certainly have collapsed by now. At the least there would be huge cracks in the face of the dam with water squirting out through them.

If there are problems with the dam, it would most likely be at the foundations where it's not readily visible. Large dams often have inspection tunnels and sensors in them to look for this.
While there's more than enough other news to fill the headlines, the flooding in China, while getting very little coverage in western press outlets, continues to worsen. Interested to see what the economic effect is on China.

'Months of sustained downpours have battered China with floods unseen in decades, displacing millions and testing the limits of the world’s largest hydroelectric dam.

'Such rainfall is far from over, according to Chinese officials who, in a rare admission, said grim challenges are ahead.

'July and August usually bring some of the heaviest rains in China, which swell the flood-prone Yangtze River. Yet, Zhou Xuewen, the vice minister of water resources tasked with containing floods, said the rain season will continue through September, with a “very high likelihood” of severe floodings, according to a recent State Council Information Office press conference.

'The flooding since June has affected at least 63.5 million people and caused close to 179 billion yuan ($25.9 billion) in direct economic losses, according to authorities. Stormwaters have overwhelmed more than 600 Chinese rivers and destroyed harvests in 1.14 million hectares (more than 2.8 million acres) of arable land in the lower reaches of the Yangtze.

'Typhoons and more rains are expected to befall northern China in the coming weeks.

'The Three Gorges Dam saw its water rise to 16.81 meters (55.15 feet) above warning level on Aug. 20, the highest peak since the dam was commissioned in 2003. It’s predicted to climb by another 3.7 meters (12.1 feet) on Aug. 22. Eleven discharge gates were opened on Aug. 20 to ease pressure on the dam.

'While Beijing has consistently asserted that the site, built along the upper reaches of Yangtze River, has shielded surrounding regions from flooding, experts have raised concerns that the structure has made matters worse.'


 

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