Archive for the ‘hardware’ Category

China flexes military hardware muscle

November 6, 2008

China‘s unprecedented display of military hardware at the country’s primary airshow was a warning to industry rivals of its global ambitions as a defence manufacturer, analysts said.

By Guy Newey, AFP

A visitor passes advertising for a Chinese-made attack aircraft ... 
A visitor passes advertising for a Chinese-made attack aircraft at the China Airshow 2008 in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai on November 5. The country’s unprecedented display of military hardware at its key airshow has served as a warning to industry rivals of its global ambitions as a defence manufacturer, analysts have said.(AFP/File/Mike Clarke)

As a pair of its fourth-generation J-10 fighter planes made a first public appearance, buzzing past eager crowds at Airshow China 2008, the trade stands hummed with talk of the new missile systems and other equipment on display.

Some analysts believe China’s ability to copy overseas technology, witnessed in countless industries over the past 20 years, could soon be powering its defence complex.

“Ten years ago they did not have any modern aircraft industry at all, now they have started to produce copies of our plane,” said one Russian defence official, who would only speak on condition of anonymity.

“They will do exactly the same they have done with textiles and toys — learn how to make it, make it cheaper and then undercut the market.”

He said China was possibly 10 years away from developing its own military aircraft engine — it currently uses engines made by Russian defence giant Sukhoi — but once it had, it would stop purchasing overseas technology.

“They will stop buying anything from abroad and push cheap Chinese fighters to the third world countries,” the official added.

While the European Union and the United States continue to have sanctions on the export of military equipment to many of the world’s countries — including China — Chinese manufacturers face few such restrictions.

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Defense Trade Currents

March 16, 2008

By William Hawkins
The Washington Times
March 16, 2008

The legacy of the draconian cuts in military force levels and procurement during the 1990s continues to cast a pall over U.S. national security planning. That American soldiers and Marines have been overstretched by repeated deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan is well-known, and steps are being taken to expand their strength.
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It is not just the combat forces, however, but the defense industry upon which they depend for arms and equipment, that also needs to be reconstituted.
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The “procurement holiday” of the Clinton administration cost the defense industrial base a million jobs. The Pentagon promoted a consolidation of firms and elimination of “excess” capacity. This reform was supposed to improve efficiency but it also reduced domestic competition. Now, to stimulate competition, or even just access sufficient capacity, foreign firms are invited to supply U.S. forces with hardware.
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The most recent example is the awarding of a $35 billion U.S. Air Force contract for 179 new KC-45A aerial refueling tankers based on the Airbus A330 airliner built by European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). Boeing has built every previous USAF tanker and has won contracts for its KC-767 tankers from Japan and Italy. But it lost the military competition at home to the foreign firm that is also its main global rival in the commercial airliner sector.
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The USAF contract comes at a critical time for EADS. Its A380 “superjumbo” airline project is well behind schedule, and there have been problems in the Airbus A350 midsized airliner project (crucial to its future battles with Boeing), and in its A400M military airlifter.
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EADS is Europe’s largest defense contractor yet is much smaller than Boeing because Europe went on an even deeper disarmament slide after the Cold War and has done little to reverse course.
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The once-mighty NATO armies deployed to stop a Soviet blitzkrieg across Germany have melted away to where they can hardly maintain a few brigades in Afghanistan to fight lightly armed insurgents. European firms are desperate for American taxpayers to bail them out with military contracts. .
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The question is: Can the United States depend on a steady supply of production, including decades of space parts and upgrades, from foreign industries in decline — and where military investment and research are funded at only a fraction of what America devotes to defense?

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China says US exaggerates military threat

March 6, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s official Communist Party mouthpiece on Thursday said a Pentagon report exaggerated Chinese military capabilities to justify US sales of military hardware to Beijing‘s rival Taiwan.

Chinese soldiers are seen here during a ceremony in Nanjing, ...
Chinese soldiers are seen here during a ceremony in Nanjing, in December 2007. China’s official Communist Party mouthpiece on Thursday said a Pentagon report exaggerated Chinese military capabilities to justify US sales of military hardware to Beijing’s rival Taiwan.
(AFP/File/Liu Jin)

“The report maliciously exaggerates China’s ability to wage computer warfare and its space capabilities,” said a commentary in the People’s Daily news headlined, “An Outmoded Report.”

“These reports by the US Defence Department have been used in the past as a pretext to justify continued weapons sales to Taiwan,” it said.

The editorial marked the latest salvo in a verbal tit-for-tat since the Pentagon report earlier this week expressed a range of concerns about China’s growing military might.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080306/wl_asia_afp/
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