U.S. Army halts use of Chinese-made DJI drones over ‘cyber vulnerabilities’
NEW YORK — Reuters
Published Friday, August 04, 2017 5:09PM EDT
Last updated Friday, August 04, 2017 5:11PM EDT
The U.S. Army has ordered its members to stop using drones made by Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd because of “cyber vulnerabilities” in the products.
An August 2 Army memo posted online and verified by Reuters applies to all DJI drones and systems that use DJI components or software. It requires service members to “cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media and secure equipment for follow-on direction.”
The memo says DJI drones are the most widely used by the Army among off-the-shelf equipment of that type.
DJI said in a statement that it was “surprised and disappointed” at the Army’s “unprompted restriction on DJI drones as we were not consulted during their decision.”
The privately held company said it would contact the Army to determine what it means by “cyber vulnerabilities” and was willing to work with the Pentagon to address concerns.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs and Oppenheimer estimated in 2016 that DJI had about 70 per cent share of the global commercial and consumer drone market. Goldman analysts estimated the market, including military, to be worth more than $100-billion over the next five years.
The Army was considering issuing a statement about the policy, said Army spokesman Dov Schwartz.
The move appears to follow studies conducted by the Army Research Laboratory and the Navy that said there were risks and vulnerabilities in DJI products.
The memo cites a classified Army Research Laboratory report and a Navy memo, both from May as references for the order to cease use of DJI drones and related equipment.
The North Korea crisis will get more dangerous in August — it's also Trump's best chance for peace
August 2, 2017, 10:07 AM
While North Korea defies international sanctions by testing ballistic missiles powerful enough to range US cities thousands of miles away, the US's annual joint military exercises with South Korea look set to further stoke the burgeoning crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
"The situation is bad now, and it's going to get worse in August ... it's going to get much more dangerous in August," Joel Wit, a senior fellow at US-Korea Institute who previously worked on North Korea policy at the State Department, said on a call with reporters organized by 38 North, a website for informed analysis of the Korean defense situation.
August is when the American and South Korean militaries hold Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, one of the world's largest annual military exercises and the target of harsh rebukes from North Korea.
"That could create even more tension," Wit said. "I think we need to be to be very careful about aggravating the situation."
"But there's a bargain here," Wit added, "a quid pro quo here." North Korea has previously offered to suspend its nuclear development if the US and South Korea suspend their annual war games. In the past, the US has rejected this offer because the drills are legal and North Korea's nuclear development is not.
But with North Korea pushing closer to a nuclear-capable missile designed to accurately reach major US cities, Witt said it may be time to revisit that position.
"It's really the best point in time for a US president to do it," Witt said of peace talks with North Korea.
"Trump is insulated from any Republican criticism, which has stopped Democrats before," Witt said. "He thinks outside of the box. He might be the right person to do it."
Trump May Toughen Trade Threats on China
By Andrew Mayeda
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· U.S. officials consider using ‘big trade weapon’ from 1980s
· China expected to respond ‘tit-for-tat’ to trade penalties
President Donald Trump’s administration may be on the verge of ramping up its threats against China on trade. If the talk ever turns to action, there could be troubling consequences for the global economy.
U.S. officials are gearing up to investigate China over what the administration perceives to be violations of intellectual property, said a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the probe hasn’t been announced.
The administration is considering having the U.S. Trade Representative’s office investigate the matter under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the New York Times reported. The provision allows the president to impose tariffs to protect U.S. industry from foreign countries’ unfair trading practices.
If the U.S. launches the probe, it will be the latest of several the administration is conducting that could impact trade ties between the world’s two biggest economies. The Commerce Department is probing whether steel imports from China and other foreign producers threaten national security under another seldom used legal provision, section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act.
After sending warm signals toward China early in his presidency, Trump appears to be dialing up pressure on the Chinese government to change its ways. At the same time, he has been reluctant to pull the trigger on steep import tariffs or quotas that would risk retaliation. Trump recently backed away from threats to slap tariffs on foreign steel, after he took heat from Group of 20 nations and U.S. businesses that said the move would raise costs.
From China’s point of view, a more aggressive stance from the U.S. will be met in kind as the government gears up for a vital leadership transition at the 19th Party Congress later this year, according to Victor Shih, a professor at the University of California in San Diego.
"One can basically expect tit-for-tat behavior from China through the congress," Shih said. "Perhaps China will begin a national security or cyber-security investigation on U.S.-made high-tech products. Perhaps even more."
Trump has previously backed down from threats, such as his campaign pledge to brand the nation a currency manipulator. He’s said the reason he stood down from using that tag was because of a promise of cooperation from Chinese officials to help rein in North Korea.
“So far, it’s all been posturing, with little action,”’ said Scott Kennedy, a U.S.-China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Pressure is building to do something, so the U.S. doesn’t look like a complete paper tiger.”
The U.S. sometimes uses section 301 to launch trade complaints against other countries through the World Trade Organization. But the law also gives the administration broad authority to levy punitive tariffs without going to the WTO, said Warren Maruyama, a former USTR general counsel and trade partner at Hogan Lovells in Washington.
The U.S. has seldom used that part of the law since the 1990s. China could likely challenge any action at the WTO and would probably win, but it may not bother with legal niceties and instead find a way to simply retaliate in kind, just as it has done in the past, Maruyama said.
“It’s a sledgehammer,” he said. “301 was the big trade weapon for the United States during much of the 1980s and into the early 1990s.”
Any U.S. tariff hikes on China that fall foul of WTO rules or go around the system could unleash retaliation, Michael Froman, a U.S. Trade Representative from the Obama administration, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
If the U.S. moves away from resolving trade disputes through the WTO and instead starts taking unilateral action, “it will just lead other countries to retaliate against us or, perhaps even worse, imitate us, and take action on their own without regard to international obligations,” Froman said.
To be sure, some U.S. companies will be heartened that the administration is taking measures to level the playing field. In a report earlier this year, USTR said China hadn’t done enough to lift barriers to U.S. exports and investment, despite promising to open up when it joined the WTO in 2001. USTR said Chinese companies continue to benefit from the theft of trade secrets, and government policy often forces foreign companies to transfer technology.
The question is whether U.S. officials are willing to risk a trade war as they up the ante. The International Monetary Fund warned last month that “inward-looking” policies could derail a global recovery that has so far been resilient to raising tensions over trade.
“We can try to hit China with punitive tariffs,” said Maruyama. “The downside of course is they can hit back.”
US detects 'highly unusual' North Korean submarine activity
By Zachary Cohen and Ryan Browne, CNN
Updated 7:54 PM ET, Monday July 31, 2017
Washington (CNN) The US military has detected "highly unusual and unprecedented levels" of North Korean submarine activity and evidence of an "ejection test" in the days following Pyongyang's second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this month, a defense official told CNN on Monday.
An ejection test examines a missile's "cold-launch system," which uses high pressure steam to propel a missile out of the launch canister into the air before its engines ignite, preventing damage to the submarine or submersible barge that would launch the missile.
Carried out on land at Sinpo Naval Shipyard, Sunday's ejection test is the third time this month -- and fourth this year -- that North Korea has conducted a trial of the missile component that is critical to developing submarine launch capabilities, according to the US defense official
Coupled with reports of increased submarine activity, news of another ejection test comes amid concerns over North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears to have the range to hit major US cities on Friday.
Experts believe if Friday's test had been fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it could have threatened cities like Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago.
President Donald Trump told reporters at his second full Cabinet meeting that his administration will be able to take care of North Korea but offered no specifics about what he plans to do.
"We will handle North Korea. We are gonna be able to handle them. It will be handled. We handle everything," Trump said after a reporter asked him about his strategy.
Asked if the US would strike first, Trump's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that "all options are on the table," adding that Trump would not "broadcast" his decisions.
North Korea's submarine fleet is believed to encompass about 70 subs, though the majority are quite old and likely cannot fire missiles.
When taken together, these developments are concerning because North Korea says it is trying to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.
Pyongyang has long maintained the ability to legitimately threaten the United States with a nuclear attack is the only way to protect itself against any US-led attempts at regime change.
Land-based and submarine-based missiles are considered two-thirds of what is known as the "Strategic Triad," a theory that a state must have land, air and sea-based nuclear attack capabilities to successfully deter an enemy from trying to attack it.
The current US intelligence assessment is that the missile program aboard submarines remains in the very early stages.
CNN reported earlier this month that North Korea had sent a diesel-powered Romeo Class sub on an unprecedented patrol and had been outfitting its Gorae Sub with a possible missile launch demonstration tube.
Two US defense officials told CNN at the time that the North Korean Romeo-class submarine was engaged in "unusual deployment activity" in the waters off the coast of Japan and was patrolling farther that it has ever gone, sailing some 100 kilometers out to sea in international waters.
The submarine's activity was different than the typical training activity usually observed closer to shore, according to the officials.
That activity caused US and South Korean forces to slightly raise their alert level, according to one official
The US military pays close attention to North Korean submarine activity following the 2010 Cheonan incident where a North Korean sub torpedoed a South Korean Naval vessel.
Last summer, North Korea conducted what experts believed was its first successful submarine missile test, firing a missile called the the KN-11 or Pukguksong-1.
Chinese president oversees military parade in show of might
By Gerry Shih, Associated Press
BEIJING July 30, 2017, 10:14 PM ET
China's military has the "confidence and capability" to bolster the country's rise into a world power, President Xi Jinping said Sunday as he oversaw a large-scale military parade meant to show off the forces at his command to foreign and domestic audiences.
Live state television broadcasts showed Xi, dressed in fatigues and speaking from an open-top jeep, telling his troops that China needed a strong military "more than ever" as it moved "closer to the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."
Xi, who commands the People's Liberation Army as chairman of the Central Military Commission, has frequently spoken of his "China Dream" to restore China to a leadership position in international affairs with a modern, far-reaching military force to match.
The parade at the Zhurihe military training base in China's Inner Mongolia region was also a sign domestically of how Xi has enhanced his control over the PLA, just as he has over every other political power base within the sprawling Communist Party, ahead of a pivotal party congress this autumn.
A Communist Party "princeling" fond of deploying revolutionary lore and nationalistic rhetoric, Xi declared the PLA ready to defeat all "invading enemies" as he celebrated the 90th anniversary of the PLA's founding. It was the first time a parade has been held to mark the occasion.
"The PLA has the confidence and capability to defeat all invading enemies and safeguard China's national sovereignty, security and development interests," Xi said as he inspected troops, armored vehicles, missiles and aircraft, hailing each formation by shouting "Comrades, you've worked hard!"
"We need to build a strong people's military more than any other time in history," Xi said, who served briefly in the military as an aide to the defense minister and last year assumed the title of commander in chief of the military's Joint Operations Command Center, whose insignia he wore on the camouflage battle dress.
The forces addressed him as "Chairman Xi" as they rumbled past. The parade was blanketed by state media coverage and streamed for foreign audiences on YouTube, which is blocked inside China.
On display were advanced weaponry including a new Dongfeng-31AG variant of the nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile and the Dongfeng-21D "carrier killer." Several H-6K bombers, the long-range aircraft recently involved in exercises near Japan and the South China Sea, were shown flying by overhead.
Xi has emphasized combat readiness for the PLA long criticized as a corrupt bureaucracy with scant combat experience and pushed for an ambitious modernization program to make it a leaner force capable of projecting power overseas.
Xi ordered 300,000 troops cut from the world's largest standing army two years ago while overseeing investments in aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and stealth fighters with the goal of surpassing the United States in regional and even global influence.
Although China has framed its growing military as a force for stability and peace, its expanding footprint and assertive posture in contested regions like the South and the East China Seas have worried neighboring nations and U.S. allies in the Pacific.
Xi has been similarly emboldened on the domestic front as he took on powerful figures within the influential military establishment. He ordered anti-corruption campaigns that took down top-ranking generals and creating new battle theaters that placed trusted officers in command and shunted aside others.
To reinforce his political position, Xi has extracted televised vows of loyalty from top generals while holding frequent events to show his affinity and support for the military, including a troop inspection in Hong Kong in June and a ceremony to present citations to 10 officers last week.
Reinforcing the propaganda value of his appearance at the review, extensive footage of the event was broadcast at the top of every hour Monday by state broadcaster CCTV.
On Sunday, Xi issued another call for loyalty as he instructed his amassed 12,000 troops to "unswervingly stick to the fundamental principle and system of the party's absolute leadership over the army," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
"Always listen to and follow the party's orders," Xi said. "And march to wherever the party points to."
China shows off newest weapons in huge military parade
By Steven Jiang, CNN
Updated 5:59 AM ET, Sun July 30, 2017
Beijing (CNN) Chinese leader Xi Jinping presided over a major military parade Sunday, hours after US President Donald Trump renewed his criticism over Beijing's failure to rein in North Korea.
The parade, long anticipated but only officially announced Saturday, was part of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). It was also viewed as a potent reminder of Xi's firm grip on power ahead of a key Communist Party meeting this fall, where a major leadership reshuffle is expected.
Unlike previous public displays of its growing military might, China held Sunday's event at the remote Zhurihe military base in Inner Mongolia -- instead of in the center of Beijing.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said Zhurihe -- Asia's largest military training center in the middle of a desert and complete with life-size mockup targets such as Taiwan's presidential palace -- was selected to highlight the PLA's combat readiness, but he emphasized that war-zone trainings had been long scheduled.
The parade marked the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army.
"They have nothing to do with the current situation in the region," Col. Ren Guoqiang said in a statement.
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday and claimed it could reach all of the United States. Trump had been pressing Beijing,
Pyongyang's only major global ally that provides an economic lifeline to the regime, to use its leverage to make North Korea halt its nuclear and missile programs.
"I am very disappointed in China," Trump said in a two-part tweet Saturday. "Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"
Dressed in camouflage, Xi -- who is the head of the ruling Communist Party and the 2 million-strong PLA, in addition to state president -- inspected 12,000 troops in various formations from an open-top military jeep.
More than 100 planes flew overhead and almost 600 types of weaponry were on display for the occasion — nearly half of which were making their debut in public, according to the Defense Ministry.
In a brief speech, Xi expressed his pride in the military and demanded the troops' continued "absolute loyalty" to the party.
While he made no mention of Trump's tweets -- and China has consistently dismissed similar criticisms in the past -- Xi alluded to an increasingly important role for the PLA as tensions flare around the globe.
"The world is not peaceful and peace needs to be defended," he said. "Our heroic military has the confidence and capabilities to preserve national sovereignty, security and interests... and to contribute more to maintaining world peace."
"Trump has cornered himself on the North Korea issue," said Zhang Baohui, a professor of political science at Hong Kong's Lingnan University. "North Korea defies him -- the only action he can take now is with US-China relations. I think we might see some kind of unilateral measure on trade, but China may be ready for this."
Analysts like Zhang have been watching closely developments in China's arsenal as the PLA becomes more willing to flex its muscles in the region, especially in China's territorial disputes with its neighbors.
Attracting the most attention Sunday was the J-20, China's newest-generation stealth fighter that could potentially rival the F-22 or F-35 in the US military.
"It's evidence that it's operational -- it's a statement," Zhang said. "It will give China's air force an advantage over neighboring countries' air power."
Perhaps coincidentally, the last weapons rolled out at Sunday's parade were China's own nuclear warhead-capable ICBMs, which state TV announcers proudly called "symbols of a major power."
Zhang said China showed off the DF-31AG mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, an upgrade to the DF-31A that was introduced in 2009.
"The AG version has better off-road ability and is believed to carry multiple warheads," he said. "The DF-31A is fitted with one warhead. Deploying multiple warheads on China's strategic missiles gives them better abilities to penetrate US missile defense."
The Romeo class submarines are direct descendants of the WW2 era German Type 21 submarine. They are OLD..
Here is the Wikipedia page on the Romeo class sub.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A submarine of the Romeo class
Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard, Gorky
Wuchang Shipyard (Wuhan)
Guangzhou Shipyard (Canton)
Jiangnan Shipyard (Shanghai)
Bohai Shipyard (Huludao)
Mayang-do Naval Shipyard (North Korea) - Assembly site of North Korean kits from China.
People's Liberation Army Navy
Korean People's Navy
Bulgarian Navy (Historical)
Syrian Arab Navy (Historical)
Preceded by: Whiskey class submarine
Succeeded by: Foxtrot class submarine
1,475 tons surfaced
1,830 tons submerged
Length: 76.6 m (251 ft 3 in)
Beam: 6.7 m (22 ft)
Draught: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: Two diesels delivering 2.94 MW (4000 shp) with two electric motors driving two shafts.
15.2 knots surfaced
13 knots submerged
Range: 14,484km (9,000 miles) at 9 knots
Complement: 54 men (10 officers)
processing systems: sonar and radar
& decoys: MRP 11-14
8 × 533mm (21in) torpedo tubes. Six located in the bow and two in the stern.
14 × 533mm (21in) anti ship or anti submarine torpedoes (including Yu-4 and Yu-1 torpedoes) or 28 mines
A Soviet Romeo-class submarine, 1986
The Project 633 class (known in the West by its NATO reporting name as the Romeo class) is a class of Soviet diesel-electric submarine, built in the 1950s. At the end of World War II, the Soviets obtained several German Type XXIs, from which they were able to obtain certain key technologies. These technologies assisted in the design of the Zulu- and Whiskey-class. Further improvements on the design led to the Romeo class, which was designed by Lazurit Central Design Bureau ("Lazurit" is the Russian word for lazurite).
Only 20 of the Soviet Union's originally intended 56 were completed between October 1957 and the end of December 1961 because of the introduction of the nuclear submarine into the Soviet Navy.
By today's standards Romeo class submarines are considered obsolete, but they still have some value as training and surveillance vessels.
2 Chinese Type 033 Romeo-class and its variants
3 See also
5 External links
Currently using Romeo class submarines in an operational capacity:
North Korea operates 20 Romeo class submarines. Seven were directly imported from China between 1973 and 1975, and the remainder locally assembled with Chinese supplied parts between 1976 and 1995. One apparently sank in an accident in 1985. Four Chinese imported units are based on the western coast. Ref: North Korea navy Wikipedia page, which say 20 ROMEO class subs WIKIPEDIA
Egypt operates four of an original eight Romeo class submarines that are upgraded variants of the Chinese design.
Currently using Romeo class submarines in non-operational capacities (ie training):
Russia and the Soviet Union had 20 Romeo class vessels in service. These vessels are no longer used as combat vessels in the Russian Navy, although one or two remain in service as immobile training facilities.
China has operated an estimated 84 of the Type-33 submarine (Romeo) during the Cold War. Most have been scrapped, but 13 are still in use for training.
No longer using Romeo class submarines in any reported capacity:
Bulgaria operated one Romeo class submarine (Slava) until it was decommissioned in 2011; it was the last remaining of four boats that were exported from the Soviet Union.
Syria has decommissioned the three Romeo class submarines that it imported from the Soviet Union.
Algeria has decommissioned its two Soviet Romeo class submarines.
Chinese Type 033 Romeo-class and its variants
A Chinese Type 033 submarine
Under the 1950 Sino-Soviet Friendship and Mutual Assistance Treaty, the Soviets passed to China (and later to North Korea) the documentation necessary to produce Romeo submarines in 1963. The Chinese variant is known as the Type 033 Romeo. A total of 84 Type 033 submarines were built in China from 1962 to 1984, plus several exported to other countries.
The Chinese Type 033 incorporated some improvements over the original Romeo, including noise reduction of 20 dB. Sonar on board was also continuously upgraded: the original Soviet sonar was first replaced by domestic Chinese Type 105 sonar, which consequently was replaced by H/SQ2-262A sonar built by No. 613 Factory. Today most of the Type 033 subs have been retired or preserved, with a few remaining in service for training purposes. A total of six Chinese Romeo class submarine variants were developed:
Type 6633: Original Chinese built Romeo, China was to have assembled these Romeos from knock-down kits provided by the Soviet Union, 6 were planned, but only 2 were completed. The construction program came to a complete stop when the USSR stopped delivery of parts following the Sino-Soviet split. Construction of the 3rd unit at Wuhan was stopped, and available parts were diverted to complete the first pair, but many parts had to be developed indigenously. The primary improvement of Type 6633 over the original Soviet boats is the use of domestic Chinese batteries, which had slightly superior performance to that of the original Soviet batteries.
Type 033: Complete domestic production in China was achieved in 1967, and subsequently the project was renamed the Type 033. However, experience from deployment of completed boats in warmer climates proved that the original Soviet refrigeration and air conditioning system designed for subarctic and arctic area was woefully inadequate for subtropical and tropical regions, so redesigns were needed to improve refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and all boats to be stationed in tropical and subtropical regions went through such a refit. In September 1969 construction of new Type 033s, with improved air conditioning and refrigeration capability, began at Huangpu Shipyard in Guangzhou, eventually, 13 units were completed.
ES5A: Upgraded Type 033, with improvements mainly involving the replacement of equipment of Soviet origin with domestic Chinese systems, which includes: QZHA―10 (Type 779) attack periscope and QDYA―10 (Type 778) general purpose periscope. Addition of H/SQG-2 ranging sonar, Type 063 communication systems, and countermeasure systems. Domestic Chinese Type 801 sonar replaced the original Soviet MARS-24 sonar. The only difference between the Type 801 sonar and the MARS-24 sonar is that there are 24 transducer elements for the Type 801 as opposed to 12 in the original MARS 24, so the Chinese sonar had better accuracy. Domestic Chinese H/SQZ-D reconnaissance sonar (with Type 105 transducers) replaced the original Soviet system, the performance of the SQZ-D is almost identical to the original Soviet sonar it was developed from, except for the sector of scan, which is increased by 15 degrees. Additional noise reduction measures were also adopted. This is the type China originally sold to Egypt in the 1980s.
Type 033G: Development of the ES5A, with the incorporation of the capability to launch acoustic homing torpedoes; analog computers installed to achieve automation of, and speeding up of, torpedo fire control calculations that were previously manually calculated. All Chinese Romeos were converted to this standard. The NATO reporting name for this type is rumored to be the Wuhan-class.
Type 033G1: A single Type 033G was modified to carry 6 YJ-1 (CSS-N-4) anti-ship missiles, this variant is called Type 033G1, with the rumored NATO reporting name of Wuhan A. The missile had to be fired while the boat was surfaced, with a total exposure time on the surface of less than 7 minutes. The most significant improvement, however, is the reduction of noise level by 12 dB.
ES5B: Development of the Type 033G, primarily intended for export. This is an upgrade package for Romeo submarine users. The primary improvement of this class is the ability to launch wire guided torpedoes and anti-ship missiles (AShM) while submerged. The program originally begun in the mid-1980s, and Egypt is reported to be the only customer when China won a contract to upgrade its Romeo-class submarine fleet, including both Soviet built and Chinese built units. This is the last type of Chinese Romeo class submarine; with noise reduction of 20 dB to 140 dB in comparison to the 160 dB of the original Soviet Project 633 submarines acquired by China.
China closes east seas for military drills but says little
By The Associated Press
BEIJING July 28, 2017, 12:33 AM ET
China has closed off a swath of ocean off its east coast for military activities, but has said little about what the exercises entail.
A notice from the government of the eastern port city of Lianyungang says a roughly 40,000-square-kilometer (15,000-square-mile) section of the Yellow Sea was off-limits to commercial shipping from Thursday through Saturday.
The notice sourced to the People's Liberation Army says only that "large-scale military activities" are being held between Lianyungang in Jiangsu province and the Shandong province port of Qingdao that is home to the navy's North Sea Fleet.
The exercises come days ahead of commemorations of the PLA's 90th anniversary, specifics of which have not yet been announced.
China has lately stepped-up navy exercises conducted further from home ports, including those involving its sole operating aircraft carrier and its battle group. On Thursday, the Chinese and Russian navies were wrapping up an initial set of drills in the Baltic Sea near St. Petersburg.
The eight-day "Joint Sea 2017" exercises include the Chinese missile destroyer Hefei and missile frigate Yuncheng and were focused on joint rescue missions and "ensuring maritime economic activities," China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.
China preparing for potential crisis with North Korea - report
July 25, 2017 / 12:14 AM / 10 hours ago
(Reuters) - China is preparing for a potential crisis with North Korea by increasing its defences along their shared border, including establishing a new border brigade and building bunkers for civilians, the Wall Street Journal reported.
China has been strengthening its defences along the North Korean border since Pyongyang's first nuclear test in 2006, including building a fence along parts of the border and stepping up patrols.
China has also realigned military forces in the country's northeast, the report added, citing Chinese military and government websites and Chinese and foreign experts.
The Chinese government has repeatedly said there can be no military solution for the North Korea issue.
China is in the midst of a broad military reorganisation and modernisation programme.
On Monday, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told reporters he could not answer a "hypothetical" question on what China's military would do in the event of a clash on the Korean peninsula.
China has long worried about its porous borders and potential for war or unrest to spill over into China, and had stepped up border defences in other troublesome areas, such as with Myanmar and Central Asian nations.
China Carries Out Flight Test of Anti-Satellite Missile DN-3 missile highlights growing space warfare capabilities
BY: Bill Gertz
August 2, 2017 5:00 am
China recently carried out a flight test of a new anti-satellite missile that highlights the growing threat of Beijing's space warfare capabilities.
The flight test of the Dong Neng-3 direct ascent missile was tracked by U.S. intelligence agencies on July 23 from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia, in northwestern China, said U.S. defense officials familiar with reports of the launch.
The officials said the launch was not successful and the DN-3 appeared to malfunction in the upper atmosphere after the launch at night.
The launch took place after Chinese authorities posted a notice to airlines to avoid flying near the flight path of the missile. The missile's flight was captured in photographs and video by several Chinese internet users near the Jiuquan facility.
Despite the failure, China's space warfare program is said to be advancing rapidly as an asymmetric warfare weapon that will allow a less capable Chinese military to defeat the U.S. military in a future conflict.
The Pentagon's annual report on the Chinese military states that in December the Chinese created a new Strategic Support Force that will unify space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities.
"The PLA continues to strengthen its military space capabilities despite its public stance against the militarization of space, " the report said.
Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command and a space warfare expert, said both China and Russia are advancing space-war fighting capabilities.
"China right now is ahead of Russia because they've been on a consistent path for a longer time," Hyten said in an interview in Omaha last week.
Hyten said the U.S. military currently has a "very robust space capability."
"And the threats that we face are actually very small," he said.
However, the significant U.S. advantage in space is eroding and satellites are becoming more vulnerable to attack.
"We have very old space capabilities too, very effective space capabilities, but they are very old and not built for a contested environment," he said.
The space warfare threat is "a much nearer-term issue for the commander after me, and for the commander after that person, it will be more significant because the gap is narrowing quickly and we have got to move quickly to respond to it," Hyten said.
In addition to several direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles, China is developing ground-based lasers that can blind or damage orbiting satellites, as well as small robot satellites that can maneuver, grab, and destroy orbiting satellites.
Asked how to deal with China's space warfare threats, Hyten said: "It's not very complicated. You treat it as a war-fighting domain. And when you do that, the answers are not that complicated. You have to have increased maneuver capabilities on our satellites. We have to have defensive capabilities to defend ourselves. These are just war fighting problems."
Hyten said space defense requires moving much faster than current acquisitions processes in the Pentagon and military have allowed, something that is hindering the overall modernization of U.S. nuclear forces.
"So it goes back to the same question we talked about on the nuclear modernization piece: Can we go fast enough as a nation to stay ahead of our adversaries. We have to go fast," he said.
In opening remarks to a Stratcom conference on deterrence, Hyten said the military is ready to respond to attacks in space.
"We'll provide strategic deterrence [in space]," he said. "If deterrence fails, we’ll provide a decisive response."
Adversaries are planning to use an array of strategic weapons, whether nuclear or conventional forces, or space and cyber forces.
"Mass disruption to our power grid, to our financial institutions with cyber-attacks or space attacks are now constant concerns," Hyten said. "And our potential adversaries study this as well, learning from us. Demonstrating an advanced understanding of how to leverage nuclear, space, cyber, anti-access/area denial, electronic warfare, the information spectrum to exploit our vulnerabilities."
The U.S. military does not have a deployed anti-satellite missile. However, in 2008 the military used a modified SM-3 anti-missile interceptor to shoot down a falling intelligence satellite as it reentered the atmosphere. The operation, code-named Burnt Frost, showed that the Pentagon could rapidly retool for anti-satellite warfare. The operation came a year after China's major anti-satellite test on the weather satellites.
The Air Force also developed the ASM-135 during the 1980s. The anti-satellite missile was launched from an F-15 jet.
Congress banned anti-satellite missile tests against targets in space in 1985.
Michael J. Listner, a space expert, said the latest DN-3 test shows China is developing space weaponry while pursuing soft power initiatives aimed at banning such arms.
"It's unclear when such a system will become operational, but the question remains once its ASAT reaches operational capability whether current strategies to ‘deter' the use of ASATs will be effective, to include the idea of resilience to discourage interference," said Listner, head of the company Space Law and Policy Solutions.
"It is clear like the situation in the South China Sea that China's intentions for outer space should be gauged by their actions, including the continued development of ASATs, and not their propaganda."
Rick Fisher, senior fellow in Asian military affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the Chinese military is seeking to "exercise denial and then dominance in low earth orbit (LEO) and then to extend control into the Earth-Moon system."
"Since the early 1990s China has developed four, possibly five, attack-capable space-combat systems," he said. "China may be the only country developing such variety of space weapons to include: ground-based and air-launched counter-space weapons; unmanned space combat and Earth-attack platforms; and dual-use manned platforms."
Harsh Vasani, a scholar at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations at Manipal University in India, says China's ASAT program is closely linked to its anti-missile defense systems.
The difference between an ASAT missile and anti-missile interceptor is different software and control algorithms used by each missile to detect, track, and home in on either an orbiting satellite or a missile warhead.
"China has been making impressive headway in its ICBM program and in theory, these ICBMs can target U.S. intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites," Vasani stated in the Diplomat in January.
"A brief survey of recent tests by Beijing confirms that China is rapidly improving its counter space program and making advances in its anti-satellite systems," he noted.
China destroyed a weather satellite in space in 2007, causing tens of thousands of pieces of orbiting debris and sparking international condemnation.
Since 2007, China's ASAT missile tests have been against notional targets and in several cases were disguised as anti-missile interceptor tests, according to U.S. officials.
China tested a DN-2 in 2013 that traveled 18,600 miles in space where U.S. intelligence satellites are located.
The DN-3 was tested in October 2015, and again in December 2016. That DN-3 test was masked as an anti-missile interceptor test.
"The Chinese believe that the greatest threat to them comes from the United States," Vasani said.
"To counter the United States' conventional strength and gain strategic parity, Chinese strategists believe, Beijing will need to strike at the U.S. Achilles heel----Washington's over-reliance on satellites for [command, control, communications, computer, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance]. Beijing plans to exploit the vulnerable space infrastructure of the United States in the case of a war."
Thanks for starting the open source thread.
It is helpful for me to have a threat like this last a week or two, like HC does. and then replace it with a new thread.,
One small blurb that is lost in cyberspace last week, had the Reagan, Vinson and one other carrier group headed to the Korean area.