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2015 in review and 2016 in prospects!

Akasa

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2015 has been a major year for PLA watchers. As we wrap our heads around the hordes of new UAVs, aircraft, and other combat systems, let's take a look back at our 5 greatest hits of 2015 (for this forum section):

5. Hypersonic drone

In September, it was reported that the Chinese have tested a Mach 4 capable drone from a H-6 carrier aircraft. The drone is equipped with a revolutionary combined tubojet-ramjet engine. The Chinese have been reported to be developing (and possibly have tested) scramjet-powered vehicles as well as variable-cycle engines.
03-china-hypersonic-aircraft.jpg


4. DF-5B MIRV ICBM
Although US defense analysts have been predicting this for quite some time now, it came as a bit of shock when the DF-5B made its appearance at the Chinese VJ-Day parade sporting a new nose cap (which is indicative of the use of multiple independent re-entry vehicles).
PLA's new DF-5B liquid-fuel ICBM operated by Second Artillery Corps 1.jpg


3. DF-26 ASBM/IRBM
Coming almost as a complete surprise during the Sept. 3 parades, the DF-26 is apparently an IRBM that can also function as an anti-ship ballistic missile, thus placing any potential vessels within >3000 km of the Chinese coastline at risk of attack. Perhaps what is even more surprising than its appearance is the fact that the missile has been confirmed as operational.
landscape-1441206660-df26-980.jpg


2. Divine Eagle UAV
The Divine Eagle is probably the first of its kind, incorporating a plethora of sensors (including seven AESA radars) and comprehensive datalinking capabilities to detect multiple low-observable aircraft, ground targets, naval targets, and share that information amongst key PLAAF assets. With a wingspan of 40-50 meters, it is the largest UAV built so far.
Chinese-catamaran-drone-Shendiao-2.jpg


1. J-11D "Sino Super Flanker"

The J-11D flew on April 29, 2015, and represented, along with the J-16, the next-generation of Chinese Flanker derivatives. Equipped with an AESA radar from the 14th Institute, airframe enhancements, extra hardpoints, and next-generation ECM/EW equipment, 140 kN engines, and other enhancements, this provides the PLAAF with an unprecedented tool for air dominance.
j-11d_2.jpg


Other notable mentions:
- EW variant of J-16 flew
- CH-5 UCAV flew (payload: 900 kg)
- First flight of Long March 6
- First flight of Long March 11
- Type 001A module assembly
- Type 901 AOR launched
- Possible larger (land-based) variant of YJ-18 spotted
 
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Akasa

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2016 seems like another big year for PLA observers. Based on rumors and/or explicitly stated plans, here is a glimpse of what may materialize in the coming year:

Coming soon in 2016:

1. FC-31 v2.0
AVIC has stated that the improved variant of the FC-31 will fly in 2016. From scale models, it appears to have an one-piece canopy, extensive fuselage refinements including clipped wings and updated vertical stabilizers, new engines with "stealth nozzles", and an EOTS-like sensor.
quoc-gia-chau-a-nao-la-khach-sop-dau-tien-cua-31-trung-quoc.jpg


2. J-20 entering initial production
It was widely rumored that J-20 prototype #2017 is the last prototype before LRIP begins. If so, 2016 may be a major year for both Chengdu and PLAAF.
j-20_2017.jpg


3. Long March 7 flight
The Long March 7 will be one of the CNSA's next-generation lift vehicles, bridging the gap between the light Long March 6 and the heavy Long March 5. It will have a max LEO payload of 13500 kilograms. It might also be the basis of a new man-rated rocket that will replace the Long March 2F.
lm-7.jpg


4. Long March 5 flight
The Long March 5 will be the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built by the Chinese. It will make use of two cryogenic rocket engines, a first for China, and have a maximum LEO payload of 25000 kilograms, paving the way for a future space station.
pdtEUqp.jpg


5. Improved Sharp Sword UCAV
An improved prototype of the Sharp Sword stealth UCAV is rumored to fly in 2016. The slow pace of the program suggests that the Sharp Sword is being placed on the back burner.
Lijian_2view.jpg


Other possible appearances in 2016:
- EW variant of the J-15S
- Catapult-capable variant of the J-15, with upgraded avionics and weaponry
- Type 055
- Launch of Type 001A

Did I miss anything? Feel free to add!
 
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Sanchez

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In 2015:
1) J-16EA (EA-18G equivalent)takes off
2)Batch production of J-10C (2xxx)starts
3)Chinese HGV multiple tests
4)Mobile launches of DF-41
 

Beast

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2015 is quite a sad year for PLA. Nothing significant except DF-5B which kill slayer of claiming China has limited nuke warhead and no MIRV.

I hope in year 2016, Y-20 will enter service and in large number of every year 20 produced.
 

Martian2

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China launched 3 Type 093G SSNs (each with 24 VLS) in April 2015

China Daily announced the launch of 3 Type 093G SSNs in April 2015.
Reference: Navy to get 3 new nuclear subs - China - Chinadaily.com.cn
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China reportedly completes 3 advanced nuclear attack subs — RT News
qkSaVdp.jpg

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Deagel says that each Type 093G SSN is equipped with up to 24 VLS (ie. vertical launch system) tubes. Deagel and Global Security state the YJ-18 ASM (ie. anti-ship missile) with a maneuverable warhead and a terminal Mach 3 speed can be carried in each VLS.

The prospect of 3 Type 093G SSNs carrying a total of 72 YJ-18 ASMs is quite terrifying. A coordinated strike with salvos of YJ-18s should frighten naval capital ships.
Reference (Global Security): Type 093 Shang-class Nuclear Attack Submarine

Type 093G

HUmihI5.jpg

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Huludao Shipyard has completed the construction of three Type- 093 submarine | Errymath

cAbxzKW.jpg

China's "Huludao Shipyard has completed the construction of three Type 093G nuclear-powered attack submarines" with a Vertical Launch System (VLS).
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ChineseTiger1986

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China launched 3 Type 093G SSNs (each with 24 VLS) in April 2015

China Daily announced the launch of 3 Type 093G SSNs in April 2015.
Reference: Navy to get 3 new nuclear subs - China - Chinadaily.com.cn
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China reportedly completes 3 advanced nuclear attack subs — RT News
qkSaVdp.jpg

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Deagel says that each Type 093G SSN is equipped with up to 24 VLS (ie. vertical launch system) tubes. Deagel and Global Security state the YJ-18 ASM (ie. anti-ship missile) with a maneuverable warhead and a terminal Mach 3 speed can be carried in each VLS.

The prospect of 3 Type 093G SSNs carrying a total of 72 YJ-18 ASMs is quite terrifying. A coordinated strike with salvos of YJ-18s should frighten naval capital ships.
Reference (Global Security): Type 093 Shang-class Nuclear Attack Submarine

Type 093G

HUmihI5.jpg

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Huludao Shipyard has completed the construction of three Type- 093 submarine | Errymath

cAbxzKW.jpg

China's "Huludao Shipyard has completed the construction of three Type 093G nuclear-powered attack submarines" with a Vertical Launch System (VLS).
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It looks like the Type 093G will have the quantity of the Type 052D.
 

Martian2

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China unveiled Sky Wing 2 stealth UAV in January 2015

The original Chinese Sky Wing reconnaissance UAV had a round engine nozzle. In the upgraded Sky Wing 2 (see article below), China installed stealthy flat engine nozzles.

The Sky Wing 2's F-22 style flat engine nozzles (for stealth in the X-band radar and infrared spectrums) have important ramifications for China's manned stealth aircraft.

The Chengdu J-20 heavyweight stealth fighter currently has round engine nozzles. However, if it is upgraded like the Sky Wing 2 then it would match the F-22 in rear-profile stealth.

The Shenyang J-31 medium-weight stealth fighter would become superior in stealth to the F-35. The F-35 has a round somewhat-stealthy LOAN engine nozzle. The F-35 is unlikely to have a maximum-stealthy flat F-22 engine nozzle. The F-35 has a short 600 mile combat radius. A flat engine nozzle imposes a 15% penalty on fuel efficiency. This would severely reduce the F-35 combat radius to an unacceptable 510 miles. There is no way an F-35 based on a carrier can survive within 510 miles of the Chinese coast.
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China's Sky Wing UAV Gets New Engines | Popular Science

V7UNKEB.jpg

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If you haven't seen it yet, the following two infographics are my concise analysis of the stealth features on the Lijian (ie. Sharp Sword) and Tian Yi 2 (ie. Sky Wing 2) UAVs.

China's Lijian and Tian Yi 2 Stealth Drones

p2iFaiK.jpg


QlmQnK6.jpg
 
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cnleio

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As far as i knew, in 2016 there will be more new aircrafts fly to the sky in China. Of course the importance is the J-31 v2.0 and J-20A stealth fighter out.
 

cirr

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My wish list for 2016 is quite long and certainly includes the confirmed flight tests of the following scramjet:

003426c5tqt5itufi9v3iu.gif.thumb.jpg


Thrust:over 10kn(2222.22 pound)
Weight:less than 2000kg
Length:5m
Fuel:kerosene

:coffee::enjoy::cheers:

For comparison

51A Waverider.aspx

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Hypersonic scramjet-powered flight test demonstrator
Contractors: Boeing, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Power Plant: JP-7 fueled/cooled SJY61 supersonic combustion ramjet
Thrust: 500 - 1,000 pound class
Length: Full stack 25 feet; Cruiser 14 feet; Interstage 5 feet; Solid rocket booster 6 feet
Weight: Approx. 4,000 pounds
Fuel Capacity: Approx. 270 pounds JP-7
Speed: 3,600+ miles per hour (at Mach 6)
Range: 400+ nautical miles
Ceiling: 70,000 + feet
Crew: ground station monitored
Unit Cost: Unavailable
Initial Flight Test: May 26, 2010
Inventory: Four purpose-built for flight test, not designed for recovery (one vehicle expended as of Feb. 1, 2011)

Tiny Waverider。:lol::lol:
 
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