China's Defense/Military Breaking News Thread

Not sure if we have a PLASSF thread so posting this article here.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

China’s Strategic Support Force At 3
The Strategic Support Force’s future trajectory will be a critical bellwether of the PLA’s progress toward becoming a “world-class” military.

By Elsa B. Kania
December 29, 2018

The PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) has been a puzzle and apparent paradox over the first three years of its development. Established on December 31, 2015, this new force has been designed to leverage synergies and facilitate integration across Chinese capabilities for space, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum. In any future conflict scenario, the Strategic Support Force would be integral to the PLA’s plans to fight and win “informatized” warfare. The PLASSF’s Space Systems Department will enhance information support and intelligence for the PLA’s newly established theater commands, thus enabling future joint operations and power projection. At the same time, the PLASSF contributes to the PLA’s integrated approach to strategic deterrence, providing capabilities for space and information operations that can complement its existing arsenal. The Network Systems Department has consolidated cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare capabilities, which appear to be structured through bases that correspond with the five theater commands. After the past three years, such assessments about its force structure and missions can be made with greater confidence, and the PLASSF’s construction appears to be advancing considerably, though a number of uncertainties remain.

The PLASSF’s initial progress in its development can be evaluated partly through its own training activities and engagement in a number of joint training exercises. As a new force, the PLASSF has required new approaches, equipment, and even environments for training, yet has already started to contribute to the PLA’s “actual combat” training. For instance, there was PLASSF participation in the Stride series of joint training exercises between July and September 2016. The PLASSF again contributed, along with other “new-type” forces, to Stride at the Zhurihe training base in September 2017, reportedly “boosting the independent reconnaissance and multi- domain and dimension battlefield perception capabilities” for units participating, while creating an “informatized battlefield environment with satellites.” In its 2018 training, the PLASSF has concentrated upon high standards and consistency between training and actual combat missions, including in rapid response drills. In an exercise in May, one PLASSF department practiced such tasks as rapid transfer of a command post base, and forces tested their capability for communications confidentiality and assurance. Even as the Strategic Support Force becomes more active in such exercises, it may continue to confront challenges in training and the operationalization of its space and cyber capabilities in support of joint operations.

Notably, the PLASSF has also contributed to the PLA’s confrontation training, often acting as or supporting a “blue force” that simulates a potential adversary in order to enhance realism. For example, in past Stride exercises, the PLASSF has provided capabilities for electronic warfare and psychological operations. In May 2018, one PLASSF base engaged as a blue force in a training exercise with a brigade from the 83rd Group Army that involved intense electromagnetic confrontation. Similarly, in October 2018, one PLASSF base participated in confrontation training with a Central Theater Command Army brigade, which reportedly involved reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance, deception and counter-deception, and countermeasures in a complex electromagnetic environment. Acting as a blue force, the PLASSF undertook jamming and interference against the “red force.” The PLASSF’s experience in this ‘force-on-force’ training may contribute to its own combat capabilities, while also continuing to prepare the PLA for the challenges of a future battlefield on which the spectrum will be highly contested.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
At three, the Strategic Support Force is still in an early stage of its construction, which is playing out against the backdrop of historic and often highly disruptive military reforms. Looking forward, certain unanswered questions remain regarding the future direction of its force development.

How far has the PLASSF progressed in the creation of its own doctrine and concepts of operations?

As the PLA continues the process of revising its fifth-generation of operational regulations (作战条令), the PLASSF may be developing its own campaign guidelines (战役纲要) to direct its approach to primary combat missions of space and information operations. Potentially, its role may also be delineated in new joint campaign guidelines and perhaps a number of combat regulations (战斗条令). In the process, the PLASSF will have to devise new tactics, theories, and methods of warfighting. It will also be critical for the Strategic Support Force to create and improve mechanisms for coordination and integration in support of the PLA’s services and theater commands, which also possess their own cyber and electronic countermeasures capabilities.

How successful will the PLASSF be in recruiting top talent for highly technical missions, and how rapidly will it grow in size and capability?

As a new force, the PLASSF can draw upon the existing human capital ecosystems from the elements of the former General Staff Department and General Armaments Department of which it is primarily composed, but its future growth and capabilities will depend upon its success in talent recruitment and development. So far, the PLASSF has initiated agreements for strategic cooperation with at least nine different universities and companies that will facilitate academic exchanges, training, and talent selection. At present, the PLASSF is also recruiting hundreds of civilian personnel for specialties ranging from cyber defense to “aerospace artificial intelligence.” Meanwhile, the quality of education at the PLASSF’s Information Engineering University and Aerospace Engineering University will be critical to its cultivation of personnel for command and technical career tracks.

Will the Strategic Support Force’s structure remain in its current configuration for the long term, or will it continue to evolve in the years to come?

There is a possibility the PLASSF could separate into two distinct services, a “Space Force” and “Cyber Force,” based on its primary operational components, the Space Systems Department and Network Systems Department. Perhaps an early indicator of the potential for such a split is that the Network and Space Systems Departments, which both appear to be theater command deputy-leader grade organizations, each possess their own headquarters departments, seemingly indicating the capability to function autonomously. At this point, the PLASSF’s approach to command, control, and coordination across these departments remains unclear, which raises the question of whether the current structure will facilitate new synergies and deeper integration where required or create new organizational impediments to it.

The Strategic Support Force’s future trajectory will be a critical bellwether of the PLA’s progress towards fulfilling its ambition of emerging as a “world-class” military by mid-century. In this regard, the PLASSF’s progress and continued development merit further analytical attention in the years to come.

Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She is also a PhD student in Harvard University’s Department of Government, and her research focuses on Chinese military innovation and emerging technologies.


Junior Member
Registered Member
For quite some time, we see the global times english articles about the Chinese military being more and more informative and profesional. I believe global times could be in the near future a non official source of information by PLA for foreign audience. (Global times is quite recognisable)
Look here:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Mr. Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, came to Global Times with his colleagues today. We had an exchange of views. All we ask from them is: Please providing us more information.



China now has her own mother of all bombs.

China tests its own 'Mother of All Bombs'

China has tested its most powerful non-nuclear weapon, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs" by official media in a reference to a US munition used in Afghanistan.

In a short video published on the website of state arms manufacturer Norinco, the massive bomb drops on to a plain and produces a gigantic ball of fire and black smoke.

On social networks Wednesday, the official Xinhua news agency described the bomb for the first time, calling it the "Chinese version of the 'Mother of all Bombs'".

The bomb -- whose strength is only second to that of a nuclear weapon, according to the agency -- was dropped by a Chinese H-6K bomber.

No details on the date, location or range of the bomb blast were provided.

In 2017 the US dropped the most powerful conventional bomb in its arsenal, dubbed the "MOAB" -- the "Mother of All Bombs" -- in an attempt to destroy a tunnel network being used by the Islamic State (IS) group in the east of Afghanistan.

US president Donald Trump said at the time he was "proud" of his troops and congratulated them on their success.

The Chinese bomb is five to six metres long (16 to 20 feet), but weighs less than the American version, according to military analyst Wei Dongxu, who was quoted by the semi-official Global Times daily on Friday.

"The massive explosion that was generated would easily wipe out land fortifications," said Wei.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Junior Member
Registered Member
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Warships sink. Bases burn. F-35s die on the runway. Can $24 billion a year -- 3.3 % of the Pentagon budget -- fix the problem?
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
on March 07, 2019 at 5:53 PM
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

M1 tank at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

WASHINGTON: The US keeps losing, hard, in simulated wars with Russia and China. Bases burn. Warships sink. But we could fix the problem for about $24 billion a year, one well-connected expert said, less than four percent of the Pentagon budget.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

David Ochmanek

“In our games, when we fight Russia and China,” RAND analyst
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
said this afternoon, “blue gets its ass handed to it.” In other words, in RAND’s wargames, which are often sponsored by the Pentagon, the US forces — colored blue on wargame maps — suffer heavy losses in one scenario after another and still can’t stop Russia or China — red — from achieving their objectives, like overrunning US allies.

No, it’s not a Red Dawn nightmare scenario where the Commies conquer Colorado. But losing the Baltics or Taiwan would shatter American alliances, shock the global economy, and topple the world order the US has led since World War II.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

F-35 stealth fighters are hard to kill in flight, but lined up on the runway, they’re easy targets.

Body Blows & Head Hits

How could this happen, when we spend over $700 billion a year on everything from thousand-foot-long nuclear-powered aircraft carriers to supersonic stealth fighters? Well, it turns out US superweapons have a little too much Achilles in their heels.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Robert Work

“In every case I know of,” said
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, a former deputy secretary of defense with decades of wargaming experience, “the F-35 rules the sky when it’s in the sky, but it gets killed on the ground in large numbers.”

Even the hottest jet has to land somewhere. But big airbases on land and big aircraft carriers on the water turn out to be big targets for long-range precision-guided missiles. Once an American monopoly, such smart weapons are now a rapidly growing part of Russian and Chinese arsenals — as are the long-range sensors, communications networks, and command systems required to aim them.

So, as potential adversaries improve their technology, “things that rely on sophisticated base infrastructure like runways and fuel tanks are going to have a hard time,” Ochmanek said. “Things that sail on the surface of the sea are going to have a hard time.”


Junior Member
Registered Member
(That’s why the 2020 budget coming out next week retires the carrier USS Truman decades early and cuts two amphibious landing ships, as we’ve reported. It’s also why the Marine Corps is buying the jump-jet version of the F-35, which can take off and land from tiny, ad hoc airstrips, but how well they can maintain a high-tech aircraft in low-tech surroundings is an open question).

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Anti-aircraft Stryker variant chosen by the US Army for its Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (MSHORAD) mission: 4 Stinger missiles on one side, two Hellfires on the other, with a 30 mm autocannon (and 12.7 mm machinegun) in between (Leonardo DRS)

While the Air Force and Navy took most of the flak today at this afternoon’s Center for a New American Security panel on the need for “A New American Way of War.” the Army doesn’t look too great, either. Its huge supply bases go up in smoke as well, Work and Ochmanek said. Its tank brigades get shot up by cruise missiles, drones, and helicopters because the Army largely got rid of its mobile anti-aircraft troops, a shortfall it’s now hastening to correct. And its missile defense units get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming fire.

“If we went to war in Europe, there would be one Patriot battery moving, and it would go to Ramstein. And that’s it,” Work growled. “We have 58 Brigade Combat Teams, but we don’t have anything to protect our bases. so what different does it make?”

Worst of all, Work and Ochmanek said, the US doesn’t just take body blows, it takes a hard hit to the head as well. Its communications satellites, wireless networks, and other command-and-control systems suffer such heavy hacking and jamming that they are, in Ochmanek’s words, “suppressed, if not shattered.”

The US has wargamed cyber and electronic warfare in field exercises, Work said, but the simulated enemy forces tend to shut down US networks so effectively that nothing works and nobody else gets any training done. “Whenever we have an exercise and the red force really destroys our command and control, we stop the exercise,” Work said, instead of trying to figure out how to keep fighting when your command post gives you nothing but blank screens and radio static.

The Chinese call this “system destruction warfare,” Work said: They plan to “attack the American battle network at all levels, relentlessly, and they practice it all the time.”

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The USS Harry S. Truman, which the Pentagon proposes retiring early to save funds for new kinds of weapons.

The $24 Billion Fix — And Cuts

So how do you fix such glaring problems? The Air Force asked RAND to come up with a plan two years ago, and, surprisingly, Ochmanek said, “we found it impossible to spend more than $8 billion a year.”

That’s $8 billion for the Air Force. Triple that to cover for the Army and the Navy Department (which includes the US Marines), Ochmanek said, and you get $24 billion. Yes, these are very broad strokes, but that’s only 3.3 percent of the $750 billion defense budget President Trump will propose for the 2020 fiscal year.

Work was less worried about the near-term risk — he thinks China and Russia aren’t eager to try anything right now — and more about what happens 10 to 20 years from now. But, he said, “sure, $24 billion a year for the next five years would be a good expenditure.

So what does that $24 billion buy?

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

A B-1 bomber test-fires a LRASM missile, the anti-ship variant of Lockheed’s JASSM

To start with, missiles. Lots and lots of missiles. The US and its allies notoriously keep underestimating how many smart weapons they’ll need for a shooting war, then start to run out against enemies as weak as the Serbs or Libyans. Against a Russia or China, which can match not only our technology but our mass, you run out of munitions fast.

Specifically, you want lots of long-range offensive missiles. Ochmanek mentioned Army artillery brigades, which use MLRS missile launchers, and the Air Force’s JAGM-ER smart bomb, while Work touted the Navy’s LRASM ship-killer. You also want lots of defensive missiles to shoot down the enemy‘s offensive missiles, aircraft, and drones. One short-term fix there is the Army’s new Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (MSHORAD) batteries, Stinger missiles mounted on 8×8 Stryker armored vehicles. In the longer term, lasers, railguns, and high-powered microwaves could shoot down incoming missiles much less expensively.

The other big fix: toughening up our command, control, and communications networks. That includes everything from jam-proof datalinks to electronic warfare gear on combat aircraft and warships. The services are fond of cutting corners on electronics to get as many planes in the air and hulls in the water as possible, Ochmanek said, but a multi-billion dollar ship that dies for lack of a million-dollar decoy is a lousy return on investment.

In the longer run, Work added, you want to invest heavily in artificial intelligence: not killer robots, he said, but “loyal wingmen” drones to support manned aircraft and big-data crunchers to help humans analyze intelligence and plan.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Of course, you have to find the money for new stuff somewhere, which means either raising the defense budget even further — unlikely — or cutting existing programs. Ochmanek was unsurprisingly shy about specifics, saying only that the services could certainly squeeze out $8 billion each for new technologies.

Work was a little harder-edged. He said cutting a carrier and two amphibious ships over the forthcoming 2020-2024 budget “seems right to me.” He argued the US Army has way too many brigade combat teams — tanks and infantry — and way too little missile defense to protect them. And he bemoaned reports the US Air Force will retire the B-1 bomber, one of its few long-range strike aircraft: If the Air Force doesn’t want them, he said, give them to the Navy, revive the old VPB “Patrol Bomber” squadrons, and load them with Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles to sink the Chinese navy.

Pentagon leaders should challenge the armed services to solve very hard, very specific problems, Work said: Sink 350 Chinese navy and coast guard vessels in the first 72 hours of a war, or destroy 2,400 Russian armored vehicles. Whoever has the best solution gets the most money. Those are hardly easy goals, Work said, but they’re also doable with technology now in development.

The immediate problems could be fixed with technology already in production, Ochmanek said. For $24 billion, “I can buy the whole kit,” he said. “It’s all mature technologies and it would scare the crap out of adversaries, in a good way.”
Last edited:

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
The USS Harry S. Truman, which the Pentagon proposes retiring early to save funds for new kinds of weapons.
Not going to happen...

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The head of the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee told Defense News Thursday he would block the early decommissioning of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman when it comes before congress this spring.

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., told reporters he there was no chance the measure would be endorsed in his subcommittee this year during the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act markup.

“This is really a 2021 issue in terms of timing, when the Truman has to go into its refueling,” Courtney said. “So I think in terms of it getting any endorsement in the seapower mark this year I think is zero.”


Senior Member
A SHORAD system consisting of four MANPADS-class missiles with at best 10km range… not exactly a Pantsir S2, is it?
Last edited:


New Member
Registered Member
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Soldiers assigned to a radar station with the air force under the PLA Southern
Theater Command checks the radar system after a heavy snow on December
20, 2018. ( by Xu Hangchuan)

Chinese arms companies recently made multiple terahertz radiation radar systems with a technology seen by experts as an efficient air-to-ground reconnaissance tool and a potential counter to stealth aircraft.

A prototype terahertz radiation radar was successfully developed by a China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) team led by scientist Li Yuanji, and a second-generation prototype is already in development, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday, citing a statement released by CETC.

The development of terahertz radiation radar is a global challenge, according to the CETC statement.

The CCTV report said that terahertz radiation has wavelengths between those of infrared rays and microwaves, a wide spectrum that would render current stealth technologies obsolete, making the radar able to detect stealth aircraft.

Stealth aircraft usually use composite materials and radar wave-absorbing coatings, so normal radars cannot effectively detect them, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Monday.

Terahertz radiation, on the other hand, could penetrate those materials and expose metallic parts within the aircraft, lifting its cover, Wei said.

He also noted that a terahertz radiation radar could also clearly trace the outline of an object, making it possible to even tell what type of object it is.

Experts said the terahertz radiation decays very fast in the air, meaning, the effective range of the radar is likely low and not sufficient for detecting an advanced stealth fighter jet in time before it launches attacks from beyond visual range.

While the anti-stealth aspect of the technology still needs time to be ironed out, the technology can be used for air-to-ground reconnaissance at great efficiency, Wei noted.

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) successfully developed China's first terahertz radiation video synthetic aperture radar, Beijing-based newspaper Science and Technology Daily reported in December 2018.

The CASIC radar uses terahertz radiation to see through complicated environments like smoke, smog and dim lights, and can efficiently detect ground infantry targets in camouflage and disguise, the newspaper said, noting it has a stronger penetration capability than infrared vision devices.

When placed on an aircraft or a drone, the radar would allow operators to clearly see battlefield situations and deliver precision strikes on targets that would be otherwise difficult to detect, Wei said.
Targets will have nowhere to hide, said the newspaper.