Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina

Cina. Caccia Y-20 stealth operativi nella zona si Shangai.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

219-08-20.

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J-20 vs F-22: how China’s Chengdu J-20 ‘Powerful Dragon’ compares with US’ Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

«China’s most advanced jet is one of the few fifth-generation fighters in active service. Here’s how it compares to its closest US counterpart.

China’s new J-20, officially named Weilong or powerful dragon, is one of the world’s most advanced fighter jets and the country’s answer to the American F-22 Raptor.

In mid July the PLA Airforce released a video of a nighttime training exercise involving the stealth fighter as a demonstration of its combat readiness.

The Chinese warplane was developed by the Chengdu Aerospace corporation, which began testing them in 2011 before the first planes entered service in March 2017.

So far a few dozen J-20s have been produced for the PLA although the manufacturer is continuing to build more.

The F-22 Raptor was developed by Lockheed Martin for the exclusive use of the US Air Force. Exports even to America’s closest allies are banned to protect its stealth technology.

Its maiden flight was in September 1997 and it entered service in December 2005. In 2011 production was terminated because of the high costs involved and lack – at the time – of any aircraft that could challenge its dominance.

America is planning to upgrade the fighter in future but for now it remains, along with the Weilong, one of the most advanced fifth generation fighters in the world.»

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China ‘nearing mass production’ of J-20 stealth fighter after engine problems ironed out

«Improved power train will give Chinese jet ability to fly undetected at supersonic speeds, on par with United States’ F-35.

A new and improved engine designed to make China’s J-20 stealth fighter a world-class combat jet should be ready for mass production by the end of the year, military sources have said.

The WS-15 engine features cutting-edge single-crystal turbine blades and has been in development for several years, but Chinese technicians have struggled to get it into mass production.

However, many of the problems – which largely related to blades overheating at top speeds – have been ironed out in ground tests and trial flights, putting the goal of a consistently high quality product in sight, sources told the South China Morning Post.

Beijing is keen to have a stealth aircraft capable of competing with the best in the world as tensions rise in the Asia-Pacific and the United States ramps up deployment of its F-22 and F-35 fighters in the region.»

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No Stealth for You: India Says It Can ‘Track’ China’s New J-20 Fighter

«The J-20’s short-range capabilities naturally lead to the question—what exactly happens when two stealth fighters clash? If their stealth qualities are robust, both aircraft may only be able to detect each other within 50 miles or less—at which point air combat maneuvers could prove important. As U.S. stealth aircraft are one of the chief military threats to China, it seems reasonable to assume the J-20 would be designed to have a fighting chance against them.

In January 2011, the maiden flight of a large, dagger-like grey jet announced that China had developed its first stealth aircraft—the Chengdu J-20 “Mighty Dragon.” Six years later, after several substantial revisions, J-20s entered operational service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force.

As radar-guided missiles from fighters and ground-based launchers threaten aircraft from dozens, or even hundreds of miles away, stealth capabilities are increasingly perceived as necessary for keeping fighter pilots alive on the modern battlefield.

But just how good is the J-20? And what is its intended role? After all, America’s first stealth fighter, the F-117 Nighthawk, was not even really a fighter and lacked any air-to-air capability whatsoever…..

While details on the J-20’s radar remains elusive (presumably a low-probability of intercept AESA radar), it also mounts arrays of electro-optical and infrared sensors with 360-degree coverage, reportedly designed to fuse sensor data to form a common “picture” and even share it with friendly forces via a datalink—technology seemingly modeled on the advanced sensors found on the American F-35. Such sensors could be particularly useful for detecting radar-eluding stealth aircraft.»

Analisi Difesa. 2019-08-18. Cina: i caccia J-20 assegnati ai reparti operativi nell’area di Shangai

I media statali cinesi hanno rilasciato per la prima volta l’immagine (foto di apertura)  di un caccia multiruolo di quinta generazione Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) J-20 con il numero di serie di un’unità di combattimento della People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), suggerendo che l’aereo è pronto per il servizio in prima linea.

L’immagine, rilasciata dall’emittente di stato China Central Television (CCTV) alla fine di luglio, mostra l’aereo con il numero 62001, indicando che è stato assegnato alla nona brigata aerea del PLAAF con sede a Wuhu, che opera sotto il Teatro orientale del PLA Comando.

Le immagini satellitari commerciali catturate a marzo 2019 hanno mostrato tre J-20 alla base aerea di Wuhu, suggerendo che l’aereo ha operato lì dall’inizio del 2019 o alla fine del 2018.

È probabile che i caccia stiano sostituendo i Su-30MKK assegnati alla 9a Brigata aerea, che si ritiene sia una delle principali unità da combattimento all’interno del PLAAF.

La base aerea di Wuhu si trova vicino al fiume Yangtze a circa 280 chilometri nell’entroterra da Shanghai. La base ospita la 7a e la 9a Brigata aerea. Quest’ultima ha ricevuto il Su-30MKK nel 2001.

Assegnare il J-20 a tale unità di combattimento è una mossa significativa perché le due precedenti unità PLAAF note per operare il J-20 erano legate alla valutazione operativa e all’addestramento tattico.

Come riportato in precedenza da Jane, la 176a Brigata aerea della base aerea di Dingxin è l’unità operativa di prova utilizzata per valutare il J-20 e svilupparne le tattiche d’impiego e la 172a Brigata aerea della base aerea di Cangzhou è l’unità di addestramento iniziale per preparare gli istruttori e sviluppare le modalità di formazione.

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Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina, Geopolitica Asiatica

Cina. Isole artificiali adesso armate anche con aeroplani militari.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-08-13.

2019-07-28__Cina_Isole__001

Nel breve volgere di pochi anni la Cina ha costruito una serie di isole artificiali nel Mare Cinese del Sud. Adesso sta completando il loro armamento: dai supporti logistici aeroportuali, ai sistemi missilistici antiaerei ed antinave,  missili da crociera ed aerei da guerra.

«The J-10 jets have a combat range of about 500 miles (740 kilometers), putting much of the South China Sea and vital shipping lands within reach»

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La loro utilità dipende strettamente dalla tipologia del conflitto configurabile.

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Nel corso di una guerra nucleare, essendo obiettivi fissi, sarebbero facilmente distrutti anche solo con il lancio di una testata nucleare balistica. Ma, ovviamente, una situazione di questo tipo vedrebbe coinvolte tutte le realtà militari in una reciproca distruzione.

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Diversa la situazione nel caso di un problema militare locoregionale. Sicuramente una flotta allo stato dell’arte, quale quella americana, avrebbe la possibilità di penetrare il Mare Cinese del Sud, ma ciò avverrebbe pagando uno scotto severo. Se nel conflitto locale fosse invece coinvolta un’altra potenza locale, la supremazia cinese sarebbe schiacciante.

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Una unica considerazione.

Anni fa, le isole artificiali non esistevano: adesso invece vi sono.

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China building aircraft hangars on disputed islands in South China Sea, says US think

«China appears to be building reinforced aircraft hangars on reclaimed islands it controls in a disputed area of the South China Sea, according to a US think tank.

Satellite photographs taken in late July show the construction of hangars on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly chain of islands and some have already been completed, according to a report by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Although no military aircraft have been spotted, each of the three small islands would soon have enough hangar space for 24 fighter jets, plus three to four larger planes, the think tank said. …. The hangars, in three different sizes, could accommodate any plane used by China’s air force, the think tank said. …. These include the J-11 and Su-30 fighters, H-6 bombers, the H-6U refuelling tanker and the air force’s largest aircrafts –the Y-20 and Il-76 transport planes.»

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South China Sea: Satellite image shows Chinese fighter jets deployed to contested island

«A satellite image obtained by CNN shows China has deployed at least four J-10 fighter jets to the contested Woody Island in the South China Sea, the first known deployment of fighter jets there since 2017.

The image was taken Wednesday and represents the first time J-10s have been seen on Woody or any Chinese-controlled islands in the South China Sea, according to ImageSat International, which supplied the image to CNN.

The deployment comes as tensions remain high in the South China Sea and Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to meet United States President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit in Japan next week.

Analysts who looked at the satellite photo for CNN said both the placement of the planes out in the open and accompanying equipment is significant and indicates the fighter jets were on the contested island for up to 10 days.

“They want you to notice them. Otherwise they would be parked in the hangars,” said Peter Layton, a former Royal Australian Air Force officer and fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. “What message do they want you to take from them?”

Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, said the deployment is designed to “demonstrate it is their territory and they can put military aircraft there whenever they want.”

“It also makes a statement that they can extend their air power reach over the South China Sea as required or desired,” Schuster said.

The J-10 jets have a combat range of about 500 miles (740 kilometers), putting much of the South China Sea and vital shipping lands within reach, Schuster said.

The four planes are not carrying external fuel tanks, the analysts said. That suggests they were to be refueled on the island, so the plan may be to keep them there awhile. ….

The Paracels sit in the north-central portion of the 1.3 million-square-mile South China Sea. They are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, but have been occupied by China since 1974, when Chinese troops ousted a South Vietnamese garrison.

The past several years have seen Beijing substantially upgrade its facilities on the islands, deploying surface-to-air missiles, building 20 hangars at the airfield, upgrading two harbors and performing substantial land reclamation, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

Woody Island has served as a blueprint for Beijing’s more prominent island-building efforts in the Spratly chain to the south, AMTI said in a 2017 report.»

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China lands military plane at third Spratly Island, just 12 nautical miles from Philippines

«China has deployed military aircraft to a third outpost in a disputed South China Sea island chain, a move which will alarm rivals who believe Beijing has ramped up its military presence in the region.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative published images showing a military aircraft, a Shaanxi Y-8, at Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands.

The plane was “designed as a military transport aircraft, but some variants are used for maritime patrol or signals intelligence,” said the think tank, which is part of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The photographs reveal the first deployment of military aircraft on the island, which hosts one of three runways in the strategically important Spratlys. Military aircraft have now landed on all three of the airstrips, the AMTI said.

The organisation said that a naval patrol aircraft landed at Fiery Cross Reef two years ago, while two Xian Y-7 military transport aircraft were seen on Mischief Reef in January.»

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The Real Problem with China’s South China Sea Bases

«China has built some islands in the South China Sea. Can it protect them?

During World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually. Moreover, over time the islands became a strategic liability, as Japan struggled to keep them supplied with food, fuel and equipment. The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do they really represent an asset to China’s military? The answer is yes, but in an actual conflict the value would dwindle quickly. ….

China has established numerous military installations in the South China Sea, primarily in the Spratly and Paracel Islands. In the Spratlys, China has built airfields at Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross, along with potential missile, radar and helicopter infrastructure at several smaller formations. In the Paracels, China has established a significant military installation at Woody Island, as well as radar and helicopter facilities in several other areas. China continues construction across the region, meaning that it may expand its military presence in the future. The larger bases (Subi, Mischief, Fiery Cross and Woody Island) have infrastructure necessary for the management of military aircraft, including fighters and large patrol craft. These missiles, radars and aircraft extend the lethal reach of China’s military across the breadth of the South China Sea. ….

Missiles

Several of the islands serve as bases for SAM systems (including the HQ-9, with a range of 125 miles, and perhaps eventually the Russian S-400) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs). These missiles serve to make the South China Sea lethal for U.S. ships and aircraft that do not have stealth capabilities, or that do not enjoy a layered air-defense system. The SAM installations, buoyed by networks of radars, can effectively limit the ability of enemy aircraft to enter their lethal zone without significant electronic-warfare assistance. The GLCMs can add another set of launchers to China’s A2/AD network, although not necessarily with any greater effectiveness than missiles launched from subs, ships or aircraft.»

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Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Geopolitica Asiatica

South Korea. Costruirà una portaerei leggera.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-08-05.

South Korea 001

«The Chinese navy has two carriers. Another is under construction. Beijing’s fleet could possess as many as six aircraft carriers by the mid-2030s, experts told state media. They could be a mix of conventional and nuclear-powered vessels.

Even the smallest Chinese carrier displaces around 60,000 tons of water, making it twice as big as South Korea’s own, future flattop»

«The South Korean joint chiefs of staff decided on July 12, 2019 to acquire an assault ship capable of operating fixed-wing aircraft, Defense News reported. The vessel presumably would embark vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighters»

«South Korea is getting an aircraft carrier. The vessel could help Seoul’s navy to compete with its main rivals, the Chinese and Japanese fleets.»

«Seoul for years has mulled a purchase of F-35Bs to complement the country’s land-based F-35As»

«“The plan of building the LPH-II ship has been included in a long-term force buildup plan,” a spokesman for the joint chiefs told Defense News, using an acronym for “landing platform helicopter.”»

«“Once a preliminary research is completed within a couple of years, the shipbuilding plan is expected to be included in the midterm acquisition list,”»

«The new LPH will displace around 30,000 tons of water, roughly twice as much as the South Korean navy’s two LPH-Is displace. The older assault ships embark only helicopters. A 30,000-ton vessel easily could operate a dozen or more F-35Bs plus other aircraft.»

«The $6-billion acquisition include three Aegis destroyers armed with ballistic-missile interceptors and three submarines equipped with their own launchers for land-attack missiles.»

«The new ships could help Seoul’s navy to expand beyond its current, largely coastal mission. The main threat to South Korea is North Korea, specifically the North’s huge force of artillery that in wartime quickly could demolish Seoul and endanger millions of people.»

«The navy currently possesses three of the Sejong the Great-class destroyers that it acquired between 2008 and 2012. «The 11,000-ton-displacement destroyers are among the most heavily-armed in the world and boast 128 vertical missile cells for SM-3 air-defense missiles and Hyunmoo-3C cruise missiles.»

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Nell’Asia dell’est e del sud est è in corso da tempo un riarmo di notevole consistenza.

Se quello cinese è adeguato ad una potenza locoregionale con malcelate ambizioni globali, gli altri stati stanno attentamente ponderano soprattutto la loro difesa.

Le attuali rivalità nippo-koreane sembrerebbero essere solo formali.

I punti nevralgici sarebbero essere la North Korea, per la sua impredicibile politica, e la Cina, per la sua prevedibile ambizione marittima.

Sotto sotto, ci sarebbe anche da valutare l’ipotesi di una volontà di portare la cantieristica sudkoreana allo stato dell’arte.


The Diplomat. 2019-07-26. South Korea Moves Toward Medium-Sized Aircraft Carriers: Why?

Earlier this week, South Korea announced its intention to include a medium-sized aircraft carrier in its naval expansion plans. The decision to construct the ships comes at a time of high tension with Japan, and takes place more generally in context of accelerated Japanese and Chinese aircraft carrier construction. Reportedly, the ship will displace 30,000 tons, making it somewhat larger than the Japanese Izumos. Designing the ship from the keel up to operate the F-35B may also remedy the need for the compromises that required extensive refitting in the Japanese ships.

Such a vessel would lock South Korea into the acquisition of the F-35B, except in the unlikely event that South Korea developed its own advanced STOVL fighter aircraft. The ROK has already agreed to acquire the F-35A, although it has also pursued a related project for a fifth-generation fighter. There is no indication that the KFX fighter would have STOVL capabilities, however. Presumably, the construction of this carrier would put to bed rumors about refitting the Dokdo-class to operate the F-35B, a plan that would have seriously strained the smaller vessels.

Although South Korea has never constructed a military vessel of this size, the shipbuilding industry is sufficiently sophisticated that upsizing from the Dokdos should not present any serious challenges. It is fair to say that Japan is unlikely to share the design characteristics of the Izumos. However, the Spanish Juan Carlos and the Italian Cavour and Trieste could provide ready models if South Korean shipbuilders sought the advice of their European counterparts.

Indeed, this new ship will join a growing family of vessels, including the Juan Carlos, the Izumo, the Cavour, and the Trieste, intended to operate the F-35B as their primary combat capability. The Turkish Anadolu (based on the Juan Carlos) was intended for the same purpose, but Turkey has been excluded from the F-35B project. The large American amphibious warships of the Wasp and America classes also operate the F-35B, as do the British Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. The South Korean decision may provide additional ammunition to advocates of refitting the Canberra class amphibs (yet again based on the Spanish Juan Carlos) to carry the Joint Strike Fighter. 

The timing of the announcement of the decision to build this vessel resonates uncomfortably with the renewal of tensions with Japan over World War II history, but competition with Tokyo probably remains mostly in the arena of prestige. This decision may also reflect increasing confidence that South Korea’s primary security problems do not involve North Korea. Fighters launched from carriers aren’t intrinsically worth more than fighters launched from land bases, although the presence of a carrier would complicate North Korean targeting problems. More likely, however, South Korea envisions using the ship in a blue water role, contributing to multi-national military and humanitarian operations, and safeguarding ROK interests in the distant abroad.

Whether this spurs additional construction on the part of Japan is an open, interesting question. Notwithstanding the diplomatic irritation that has resurfaced over the past months, Japan does not seem to regard South Korea as a meaningful security threat, or as a competitor for prestige. If happier relations return, the two navies could share lessons learned, and perhaps even act in concert to manage regional security affairs.

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National Interest. 2019-07-23. South Korea Is Getting an Aircraft Carrier (Armed with F-35s?)

The South Korean joint chiefs of staff decided on July 12, 2019 to acquire an assault ship capable of operating fixed-wing aircraft, Defense News reported. The vessel presumably would embark vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighters.

South Korea is getting an aircraft carrier. The vessel could help Seoul’s navy to compete with its main rivals, the Chinese and Japanese fleets.

The South Korean joint chiefs of staff decided on July 12, 2019 to acquire an assault ship capable of operating fixed-wing aircraft, Defense News reported. The vessel presumably would embark vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighters.

Seoul for years has mulled a purchase of F-35Bs to complement the country’s land-based F-35As.

“The plan of building the LPH-II ship has been included in a long-term force buildup plan,” a spokesman for the joint chiefs told Defense News, using an acronym for “landing platform helicopter.”

“Once a preliminary research is completed within a couple of years, the shipbuilding plan is expected to be included in the midterm acquisition list,” the spokesman added.

The new LPH will displace around 30,000 tons of water, roughly twice as much as the South Korean navy’s two LPH-Is displace. The older assault ships embark only helicopters. A 30,000-ton vessel easily could operate a dozen or more F-35Bs plus other aircraft.

Acquiring a carrier represents “a symbolic and meaningful step to upgrade the country’s naval capability against potential threats posed by Japan and China,” Kim Dae-young, an analyst with the Seoul-based Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, told Defense News.

The new flattop is part of a wider naval buildup in South Korea. The South Korean government on April 30, 2019 approved plans to acquire new destroyers and submarines for the country’s fast-growing navy.

The $6-billion acquisition include three Aegis destroyers armed with ballistic-missile interceptors and three submarines equipped with their own launchers for land-attack missiles.

The new ships could help Seoul’s navy to expand beyond its current, largely coastal mission. The main threat to South Korea is North Korea, specifically the North’s huge force of artillery that in wartime quickly could demolish Seoul and endanger millions of people.

But looking beyond the North Korean threat, South Korea clearly has ambitions to develop a far-sailing “blue-water” navy.

The South Korean navy in 2019 operates 68 major warships including 16 submarines, 12 destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 corvettes and 14 amphibious warfare ships. The fleet also includes scores of patrol boats, mine-warfare vessels and auxiliaries.

The three new Sejong the Great-class destroyers and three new Dosan An Chang-Ho-class submarines apparently will expand the fleet rather than replace older vessels.

“The new Aegis destroyers will be outfitted with an upgraded missile launch system which will allow them to intercept ballistic missiles,” Yonhap news agency reported. “They will also represent a marked upgrade in detection and tracking abilities.”

The navy currently possesses three of the Sejong the Great-class destroyers that it acquired between 2008 and 2012. The 11,000-ton-displacement destroyers are among the most heavily-armed in the world and boast 128 vertical missile cells for SM-3 air-defense missiles and Hyunmoo-3C cruise missiles.

At present the American-made SM-3 is most effective as a terminal- or boost-phase missile-interceptor, meaning it possess the speed, range and altitude performance to hit enemy ballistic missiles when they’re first launching or in their final seconds of flight.

But the U.S. Missile Defense Agency plans to modify the SM-3 and test it for the most difficult, mid-course-phase intercepts, when an interceptor must climb outside of the atmosphere. Exo-atmospheric interceptions require special sensors and other capabilities.

Among Asian powers, Japan is also equipping its destroyers with SM-3s for missile-defense missions.

South Korea however is unique in fitting its submarines with launchers for ballistic land-attack missiles. The 3,400-ton-displacement Dosan An Chang-Ho-class subs will come with vertical launchers that can fire Chonryong cruise missiles and Hyunmoo-2 ballistic missiles.

The boats’ land-attack capabilities could help Seoul to target Pyongyang’s 13,000 artillery pieces, potentially minimizing the damage that North Korea could inflict on the south.

More than 30 million people including hundreds of thousands of foreigners live within range of North Korea’s artillery. Barrages in the opening hours of a full-scale war could kill or injure 250,000 people, the U.S. Defense Department estimated.

The new submarines during wartime also would hunt North Korea’s own large but aging fleet of subs. Pyongyang operates around 70 undersea vessels, including around 20 Soviet-designed Romeo-class attack boats and scores of midget submarines.

South Korea’s carrier will sail into crowded seas. Japan’s cabinet on Dec. 18, 2018 approved a plan to modify the Japanese navy’s two, 27,000-ton-displacement Izumo-class helicopter carriers to embark F-35B stealth fighters.

The modifications should result in the Japanese fleet operating, for the first time since World War II, flattops with fixed-wing aircraft.

The Chinese navy has two carriers. Another is under construction. Beijing’s fleet could possess as many as six aircraft carriers by the mid-2030s, experts told state media. They could be a mix of conventional and nuclear-powered vessels.

Even the smallest Chinese carrier displaces around 60,000 tons of water, making it twice as big as South Korea’s own, future flattop.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina

Cina. Portaerei in costruzione ed in progetto. Un indicatore strategico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-07-13.

Oceano Indiano 001

Il piano cinese di costruzione di portaerei, ed ovviamente degli aeroplani ad esse connessi, potrebbe essere assunto come indice delle ambizioni strategiche della Cina.

Per una difesa locoregionale del mare Cinese del Nord e di quello del Sud le portaerei potrebbero essere un utile mezzo, ma sicuramente non sarebbero essenziali. La costruzione e l’armamento delle isole artificiali è già un deterrente di tutto rispetto, specie poi da quando vi sono stati impiantati i sistemi S-400.

Lo scenario muta radicalmente qualora la Cina intendesse sorvegliare la sicurezza delle rotte commerciali che si dipanano lungo lo Stretto di Malacca per addentrasi nell’Oceano Indiano alla vola dell’Africa e, in maggior quota, verso il Canale di Suez. Almeno sei portaerei dotate di vere catapulte, ed affiancate ciascuna da una sua propria flotta di appoggio, sarebbero necessarie. Da molti punti di vista, la propulsione tradizionale dovrebbe essere sufficiente.

Ma a regime, quando la Cina vorrà trasformarsi in potenza globale, poter disporre di portaerei a propulsione atonica sarà mandatorio.

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«Carrier 00X or 004 (formerly known as “003”): This designation has been used to refer both to China’s first eventual nuclear powered aircraft carrier»

«Currently there is no confirmation as to what will follow aircraft carrier 003 in the coming years»

«It is widely accepted that the PLAN will be pursuing a nuclear powered carrier which may emerge by the mid to late 2020s, and is sometimes referred to as “004” or as “00X.”»

«Recent rumors have suggested Dalian shipyard is currently undergoing rework or retooling of some sort to enable construction of the eventual nuclear powered aircraft carrier»

«Presumably this ship will be both larger and more capable than 003»

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Con questo grossolano metro di misura, si potrebbe inferire una presenza effettiva della marina militare cinese nell’Oceano Indiano attorno al 2025, e l’assunzione di un ruolo globale una decina di anni dopo


The Diplomat. 2019-06-22. A Mid-2019 Guide to Chinese Aircraft Carriers

In recent months, a number of new developments and interesting pictures and rumors have emerged in relation to the Chinese Navy’s (PLAN’s) aircraft carrier projects. Pictures tracking CV-16 Liaoning over the past year as well as carrier 002 at Dalian shipyard demonstrate both vessels have reached various milestones in recent months. Pictures of carrier 003 being built at Jiangnan shipyard similarly give new insights into its potential final size.

This piece will review these recent developments in context of what has been previously rumored for the PLAN carrier program. Projections of future carrier development and procurement trajectories will also be considered, including the topic of carrier airwings.

Which carrier is which?

It is first necessary to understand which name refers to which carrier. In the past, a number of English language publications have used the names “001A” to refer to the ski jump carrier built in Dalian, and “002” to refer to the catapult equipped carrier currently being built in Jiangnan. Indeed, these names have continued to be used, even among some Chinese state affiliated media.

“001A” and “002” were in use for a number of years prior to 2018 in the Chinese defense watching community as well; however in 2018 this designation system was turned on its head when a photograph of a China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation meeting revealed the designation of “002 aircraft carrier.”

designation system had become obsolete in Chinese military watching circles, and the current series of designations are used instead:

– CV-16 Liaoning (sometimes referred as carrier 001): As China’s first aircraft carrier in service, this vessel was once commonly known as the Varyag. No change in name or designation.

– Carrier 002 (formerly known as “001A,” and is also sometimes referred to as CV-17, and may be named Shandong once commissioned): This ski jump carrier is derived from the CV-16 design, and is China’s first domestically built carrier which was launched from Dalian shipyard in 2017 and has been undergoing sea trials since mid 2018.

– Carrier 003 (formerly known as “002,” and is also sometimes referred to as CV-18): Currently under construction at Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai, this will be China’s second domestically built carrier and China’s first aircraft carrier equipped with catapults.

– Carrier 00X or 004 (formerly known as “003”): This designation has been used to refer both to China’s first eventual nuclear powered aircraft carrier, or a second conventional carrier equipped with catapults.

A range of recent and current news articles, commentaries, and analyses continue to use the older and obsolete “001A/002” naming system, however in the Chinese PLA watching community those designations are not considered up to date or valid.

Carrier 003

For many years now, the ship now known as 003 was rumored as a conventionally powered, catapult equipped aircraft carrier. The full displacement of 003 had been given across a range anywhere between 75,000 tons to 85,000 tons. It has been accepted for a few years now that 003 will very likely use electromagnetic catapults to launch aircraft, forgoing steam catapults. However, it is not yet known what type of conventional propulsion arrangement the vessel will use to facilitate the electric power for its electromagnetic catapults, though some form of steam propulsion has been described in the past.

003 is currently being constructed at Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai. The first pictures of 003’s modules made their way onto the internet in June 2018. Since then, more pictures have emerged showing additional modules emerging and undergoing assembly. Of note, a satellite photo contracted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) provided a useful estimate for the beam of one of the hull modules, giving it at ~41 meters, consistent with what would be expected for a carrier of this size, however it was incorrectly named “002” using the older obsolete designation.

The construction of 003 had been rumored to be somewhat unique, whereby the ship’s modules would first be assembled at a staging area into “super blocks” of very large and complete hull sections. Those “super blocks” would then be transported by water to a drydock elsewhere in the shipyard for final assembly of the super blocks and assembly of additional flight deck sponsons and topside modules such as the island. Finally, the ship would be launched from drydock for fitting out.

As of mid 2019, none of the “super blocks” have yet to be transported to a drydock as they are still in assembly. The first “super blocks” may be transported to a drydock in late 2019 or by mid 2020 at the latest. After drydock assembly is complete, 003 is likely to be launched overall in 2021. Assuming it takes two years of fitting out and sea trials, the current estimated commissioning the carrier 003 is the year 2023.

Carrier 002

Construction of aircraft carrier 002 at Dalian shipyard was first photographically confirmed in early 2015. The ship was launched in April 2017, and began sea trials one year later in April 2018. Recent pictures of 002 from May this year have revealed tire marks on the landing strip, indicating that aviation trials with fixed wing aircraft (J-15s) have begun. Carrier 002 is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2019.

002 is a ski jump-equipped carrier derived from the design of CV-16 Liaoning. The ship enjoys various modifications from Liaoning, such as a significantly redesigned island and overall smaller island footprint, as well as redesigned, larger weapons elevators. Similar to Liaoning, 002 is only capable of accommodating ski jump launched J-15 fighters and helicopters at this time. It is unknown if future catapult compatible fighters will be designed to operate from ski jump carriers like 002 and Liaoning.

Carrier 002 can be thought of as another “bridging carrier” toward the PLAN’s ultimate and preferred carrier configuration of fielding large catapult-equipped vessels instead. However the vessel is still very much designed and equipped as a warship commensurate with its size and role, and will likely supplement CV-16 Liaoning in the role of developing aircraft carrier proficiency as well as doubling wartime aircraft carrier availability if a crisis emerged in the near future requiring the use of CV-16 or 002 in anger.

Liaoning

CV-16 Liaoning, also known as the ex-Varyag, is an aircraft carrier purchased from Ukraine when it was half finished and overhauled and refitted into a combat capable vessel. While it is often described as a “training carrier” in commentaries and media (both English and Chinese), it is clear that the vessel itself is fitted with the requisite sensors, weapons and facilities to be a combat capable warship. However, given the PLAN’s relative inexperience in operating aircraft carriers, CV-16 has served a predominantly training role.

CV-16 returned to Dalian shipyard in mid 2018 for maintenance and refit, where the island structure was altered and presumably additional upgrades were made internally. After its refit, Liaoning participated in the PLAN 70th anniversary naval review. And more recently, Liaoning and an escort force including a 901 comprehensive resupply ship passed through the first island chain into the western Pacific, presumably for a training deployment. It will likely be another few years yet until Liaoning will have to return to a shipyard for a major overhaul.

Beyond 003

Currently there is no confirmation as to what will follow aircraft carrier 003 in the coming years. It is widely accepted that the PLAN will be pursuing a nuclear powered carrier which may emerge by the mid to late 2020s, and is sometimes referred to as “004” or as “00X.” Recent rumors have suggested Dalian shipyard is currently undergoing rework or retooling of some sort to enable construction of the eventual nuclear powered aircraft carrier. Presumably this ship will be both larger and more capable than 003.

However, there currently is a lack of any firm indications for carrier plans between 2019 and the mid to late 2020s. One widely circulated rumor suggests that a second conventional, catapult equipped carrier similar or identical to carrier 003 will be constructed, however it is not yet known which shipyard may build this vessel or when construction could conceivably begin. It is possible that Dalian shipyard could build this second conventional catapult carrier, but it has also been rumored that Jiangnan may build this ship without significant pause immediately after work on the current 003.

It is not known whether a second conventional catapult carrier would be described as a “second 003” or as “004.” Taking all of the above into account however, it seems likely that at least one additional conventionally powered catapult equipped carrier will be constructed before work on the PLAN’s first nuclear powered carrier begins. In the longer term, Chinese carrier production will probably settle on a single class or design in the form of a nuclear powered super carrier. Chinese military and government media have stated the need for six carriers in past years, and it is possible this number could be exceeded by the mid 2030s when Chinese nuclear carrier production may be well in its stride.

Finally, a reference must be made to the state of Chinese carrierborne aircraft. At present, only 24 J-15 airframes have been confirmed to be produced for regular service, with a number of prototypes also confirmed to be in existence, including the J-15D electronic warfare variant, as well as a catapult test bed variant. It is not known if additional in service J-15s have also been produced, and it is not yet known if a catapult compatible J-15 variant will be mass produced to serve aboard carrier 003 when it is projected to enter service around 2023.

As written in the past, the 5th generation Chinese carrierborne fighter will be a highly modified variant of the FC-31 fighter. It is currently expected to make its first flight in late 2019 or in early 2020. The aircraft has dubbed with various names including “J-35” and J-XY,” however the final designation is not known. Additionally, it is not known how long the development cycle for this aircraft may take, though some suggestions have placed an in service date by 2025 at the earliest.

A fixed wing airborne early warning and control aircraft called H-600 or KJ-600 is also in late stages of development and is likely to make its first flight within the next couple of years. This aircraft adopts the proven and mature configuration of the E-2 family.

Summary

As of mid 2019, Chinese carrier development has begun to reach a new stage, whereby work on ski jump carriers like CV-16 and 002 will soon end. Soon, all expectations and focus will be on the catapult carriers like 003 and its successors and their related air wings.

Going forwards, it may be wise to re-evaluate and consolidate the designations used for Chinese carriers, so as to avoid identity confusion.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Russia, Stati Uniti, Unione Europea

Turkia. Arrivati i primi Sistemi S-400.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-07-12.

Dardanelli 001

Ebbene, è proprio così!

Mentre gli Occidentali si baloccano con il ‘clima‘, l’abbandono del carbone entro il 2050, tutti presi a congratularsi gli uni con gli altri per le ferme prese di posizioni su problemi quali gli lgbt, i transessuali, le perversioni pedofiliche, se sia o meno congruente con il femminismo l’uso di tacchi 12, e tutti i media liberal si danno un gran da fare a dire tutto il male possibile di Mr Trump, quasi fosse lui il nemico da combattere, gli eventi proseguono il loro decorso.

Quelli’uomo che i liberal odiano perché omofobo, identitario, sovranista, recalcitrante ad assimilare il rule of law che assomma il credo liberal socialista, ha appena ricevuto dalla Russia la prima fornitura di Sistemi S-400, lo stato dell’arte nel settore della difesa aerea contro aeromobili e missili.

Volenti o nolenti però, si apre adesso un severo problema del settore meridionale della Nato, e proprio con la Turkia che ha il controllo dei Dardanelli.

L’Unione Europea è adesso compresa tra le basi russe di Kalinigrad e quelle turke di Murted. Forse, Frau Merkel potrebbe anche mobilitare il proprio esercito di frombolieri armati con le nuove catapulte che tirano massi anche a cinquecento metri. Ferma posizione delle front-hole tedesche: non gliela daremo più.


Turkey to deploy first S-400 to Syrian border

«Turkey plans to deploy the initial battery of S-400 air defence missiles, due to arrive from Russia this week, to Şanlıurfa province along the Syrian border, the Turkish pro-government Milli Gazete newspaper reported

Following detailed field analyses, Turkey’s military decided to deploy the first battery of the Russian missile system to Şanlıurfa’s Birecik district, which is considered the midpoint of Turkey’s 910-km border with Syria, according to Milli Gazete. It is also near the Syrian village of Ashme, which is home to the tomb of Süleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. 

Some analysts see this move from Turkey as aligned with its broader thinking on the S-400 deal. In an analysis for the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, columnist Seth Franzman argued that Turkey’s S-400 purchase was less about defending itself than about Syria. 

“Turkey wants the S-400 not because it needs it to defend its airspace but because it will give it leverage over Russia’s role in Syria,” Franzman wrote. “Russia is willing to concede some issues in northern Syria in return for closer cooperation with Turkey.”»

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Russian S-400 defense systems arrive in Turkey despite US warning

«Turkey’s Defense Ministry says the first shipment of a Russian missile defense system has arrived in Turkey, a development that could move the country closer to U.S. sanctions.

The ministry said the first delivery of the S-400 air defense systems arrived on Friday at an air base near the capital, Ankara ….»

* * * * * * *

Si deve prendere atto che adesso gli equilibri militari nel Medio Oriente siano cambiati.

È anche un chiaro messaggio ad Israele ed a quanti abbiano ambizioni egemoniche in tale scacchiere, a partire da Mr Macron, che ha tante parole e ‘buoni principi’ ma nessun missile degno di nota.

Senza forze armate è impossibile fare politica estera.


China Org. 2019-07-12. 1st LD: Russian S-400 defense system delivered in Ankara

ANKARA, July 12 (Xinhua) — The first batch of Russian S-400 air defense systems was delivered in Turkish capital city of Ankara on Friday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

Within the purchase contract signed between Turkey and Russia, the first shipment of S-400 arrived at Murted Air Base, formerly called the Akinci Air Base, located in northeastern suburb of Ankara, the ministry said in a written statement.

In December 2017, Ankara and Moscow signed a 2.5-billion-U.S.-dollar agreement for two batteries of the S-400 system, Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system. Turkey is the first NATO member country to acquire the system. Enditem

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Stati Uniti

RQ-4A abbattuto. L’America si interroga sulla crescita degli avversari.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-06-28.

Iran 001

Negli arsenali bellici convivono armi da attacco e da difesa. Si alternano periodi nei quali un sistema di difesa sia più potente di quelli da attacco, e viceversa.

Nella prima metà dell’ottocento, il cannone caricato a mitraglia era un’arma di attacco, ma anche di difesa, ovviamente, che imperava sovrano. Con la seconda metà dell’ottocento comparvero i fucili a retrocarica e le prime mitragliatrici.

I diari e le relazioni dell’allora capitano Hofmann dal fronte nippo-russo nel 1905 furono sottostimati dallo stato maggiore tedesco: descrivevano gli effetti devastanti ottenuti da nidi di mitragliatrici con gli assalti della fanteria. La Germania entrò in guerra, WW1, con 12,000 mitragliatrici, portate in poco meno di sei mesi ad oltre 100,000: avevano imparato rapidamente. Nessuna fanteria era in grado di superare gli sbarramenti delle mitragliatrici.

Dobbiamo alla energia di sir Winston Churchill, l’aver patrocinato lo sviluppo del carro armato inglese, che segnalò le sue potenzialità alla battaglia di Cambrai nel dicembre 1917. Nel 1918 fu l’elemento che consentì lo sfondamento dell’8 agosto.

La seconda guerra mondiale segnò in campo navale il tramonto delle corazzate a favore delle portaerei, mentre l’aviazione divenne arma sovrana.

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Dotata di portaerei, nel tempo a propulsione nucleare, gli Stati Uniti divennero militarmente egemoni a livello globale.

Negli ultimi due decenni molte nazioni iniziarono a progettare e costruire sistemi missilistici capaci di identificare ed abbattere gli aeroplani, individuare, colpire ed affondare le portaerei.

Marchingegni molto costosi, quali gli aerei da caccia oppure le portaerei potevano essere neutralizzati da un razzetto del costo di poche decine di migliaia di dollari.

Aerei e navi furono dotate di armamenti anti – missile, ma almeno al momento attuale non sono in grado di bloccare un attacco ben coordinato.

La progettazione e la costruzione di missili antiaerei ed antinave richiede personale altamente qualificato ed un know-how per nulla improvvisabile. Le tre superpotenze ne hanno pieni gli arsenali.

Tuttavia anche nazioni piccole e non particolarmente ricche hanno cercato di dotarsi di sofisticate armi anti-aeree, sia acquistando quelle che le superpotenze erano disposte a vendere, sia progettandole e costruendole in proprio.

L’Iran è una di queste e, si direbbe, ha lavorato particolarmente bene.

«Once the dust cleared, it turned out that one of the enduring lessons from the past week occurred at about 22,000 feet»

«The Iranian downing of an RQ-4A Global Hawk on Thursday is thought to have been the first time one of the Pentagon’s surveillance workhorses has been shot out of the sky. Aside from the fact the incident nearly risked taking the United States and Iran to war for a few hours, it was also stark evidence of an escalation in Tehran’s military capabilities»

«They work …. The incident highlights that when the Iranians really make investment, it can really count …. We knew that with ballistic missiles, but it appears the case with air defenses too»

«The RQ-4A isn’t a clay pigeon. At $110 million each, the Global Hawk needs three people to remotely pilot it and its sensors. Wider in wingspan than a Boeing 737, it has a Rolls Royce engine moving it along at around 500 miles per hour as it hoovers up signals and images normally at 65,000 feet to keep out of the way of surface-to-air missiles. Even if they get too close, it has a radar-warning receiver, a jamming system and releases a decoy, towed behind it»

«But its destruction is a sign of Iran’s quiet focus»

«A few years ago this would have been a surprise, but now their new air defense gear looks a lot more impressive

«The IRGC said it used a “3rd of Khordad” surface-to-air missile system, images of which have been circulating now on social media as a symbol of Iranian prowess against the staggering unmanned technology the Americans unleash in the stratosphere every day»

«The Khordad 3 was first unveiled in 2014, has a range of up to 75 kilometers, and can hit as far up as 30 kilometers»

* * * * * * *

L’epoca in cui i droni da 100 milioni potevano volare sicuri è finita.

Ma non ci si faccia soverchie illusioni. Lo stesso ragionamento vale anche per aerei da caccia e cacciabombardieri.

L’America è adesso di fronte ad un dilemma: contro stati quali l’Iran potrebbe sicuramente vincere una guerra nucleare, ma da un conflitto combattuto con armi locoregionali avrebbe un gran filo da torcere.

È cambiata un’poca e la storia ha voltato pagina.


Cnn. 2019-06-25. What shooting down a $110M US drone tells us about Iran

Once the dust cleared, it turned out that one of the enduring lessons from the past week occurred at about 22,000 feet.

The Iranian downing of an RQ-4A Global Hawk on Thursday is thought to have been the first time one of the Pentagon’s surveillance workhorses has been shot out of the sky. Aside from the fact the incident nearly risked taking the United States and Iran to war for a few hours, it was also stark evidence of an escalation in Tehran’s military capabilities.

“They work,” said Jeremy Binnie, Middle East and North Africa editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly, of Iran’s air defenses. The incident “highlights that when the Iranians really make investment, it can really count,” he told CNN.

“We knew that with ballistic missiles, but it appears the case with air defenses too.”

This image released by the U.S. military’s Central Command shows what it describes as the flight path and the site where Iran shot down a US drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, June 20, 2019.

The RQ-4A isn’t a clay pigeon. At $110 million each, the Global Hawk needs three people to remotely pilot it and its sensors. Wider in wingspan than a Boeing 737, it has a Rolls Royce engine moving it along at around 500 miles per hour as it hoovers up signals and images normally at 65,000 feet to keep out of the way of surface-to-air missiles. Even if they get too close, it has a radar-warning receiver, a jamming system and releases a decoy, towed behind it.

But its destruction is a sign of Iran’s quiet focus. Binnie pointed out the size of the aircraft makes it “not a tough target in that respect”, he said. “A few years ago this would have been a surprise, but now their new air defense gear looks a lot more impressive.”

While America’s military is by no means threatened in the long term by Iran, instances like the downing of the drone show that Tehran can sometimes have an outsized effect with narrowly-focused efforts, and is an adversary certainly capable of keeping its opponents off balance. The US would win any conventional conflict in the short term, but should be wary that Iranian ingenuity (or deviousness, if you’re in Washington) will stop any conflict from being a “cakewalk.”

Despite the dispute over precisely where it happened, there’s no doubt the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps managed to destroy one at 4:05 a.m. on June 19. The US military has released video to support its claim that it happened 34 kilometers from the nearest Iranian land mass, and showed a flight path that suggests the spy drone never entered Iranian territory. Conversely, Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif tweeted coordinates for the attack that put it well inside Iranian territory — near the city of Kouh-e Mobarak.

The IRGC said it used a “3rd of Khordad” surface-to-air missile system, images of which have been circulating now on social media as a symbol of Iranian prowess against the staggering unmanned technology the Americans unleash in the stratosphere every day.

The Khordad 3 was first unveiled in 2014, has a range of up to 75 kilometers, and can hit as far up as 30 kilometers, Iranian state-backed media has said. Janes concluded the strike was likely from a mobile vehicle, given the US contention the missile was launched from 70 kilometers away, and there is no Iranian facility matching that location. In short: Tehran took out a US spy drone from the back of a fancy truck.

While the US has massively improved its drone fleet since the Global Hawk first came to the Navy 13 years ago, with the MQ-4C Triton about to join service, Iran also has more advanced missiles than the one that took down the drone last week.

Ten days before the incident, Iran unveiled an upgrade which has nearly double the range and is also homegrown — the product of a series of reverse-engineering feats and technology purloined over the years by the sanctions-strapped country.

Binnie said the Iranians had either bought or developed radar technology that had helped them improve targeting at a distance. “We do not really understand how these guidance systems are working,” he said.

The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system completes its inaugural cross-country ferry flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

Binnie added that the angle of attack of the missile seemed to suggest it had approached the drone from the west, rather than chasing it from behind, suggesting it may have been relatively efficiently guided towards the drone by its launcher.

This isn’t the first time Iran has hit US technology. It took down a RQ-170 stealth drone in 2011 and reportedly reverse-engineered it to create its own variants from the wreckage.

There didn’t appear to be much left of the RQ-4A to pore over, but the interception at 22,000 feet belies a nation, in the words of President Trump, “going through hell.”

It was just one very expensive pilotless drone, but its downing nearly took the US to war in the region yet again, exposing just how important these flashes of the unexpected are.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Stati Uniti

Iran. Abbattuto un drone americano MQ-4C Triton. Con una cerbottana.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-06-21.

MQ-4C Triton

«The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is an American high-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under development for the United States Navy as a surveillance aircraft. In tandem with its associated ground control station, it is considered an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Developed under the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program, the system is intended to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Triton builds on elements of the RQ-4 Global Hawk; changes include reinforcements to the air frame and wing, de-icing systems, and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suites allow ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location, and classification.» [Fonte]

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Lo MQ-4C Triton drone ha un costo unitario ufficiale di circa 186 milioni Usd, ai quali dovrebbero essere aggiunti i costi della sala controllo e delle relative telecomunicazioni.

Ufficialmente, potrebbe volare fino ad altezze di diciassette kilometri, con una velocità di crociera di poco più di 600 km/h.

*

La sua progettazione, costruzione e messa in linea è stata seguita con tripudi di gioia da tutta quella generazione americana allevata nei videogiochi e nell’idea che i robot avrebbero alla fine surrogato l’essere umano.

Quando si scorre la lista dei dispositivi elettronici di bordo ci si domanda come si sia potuti riuscire a mettere così tanta roba in un così piccolo spazio.

Poi, l’intelligenza artificiale vi regna sovrana: fa tutto o quasi tutto lei.

Nei suoi primi impieghi militari nella guerra civile mediorientale lo MQ-4C Triton svolse molto bene i suoi compiti di ricognizione, e tutta la stampa occidentale inneggiava a questo gioiello della tecnologia. Nel chiuso delle loro enclavi tutte queste brave persone si congratulavano a vicenda, dandosi titoli altisonanti e pomposi.

*

Però lo MQ-4C Triton ha un problema non da poco:

lo si abbatte con una cerbottana.

Fino a tanto che lo si usa per perlustrazioni in tempo di pace, funziona benissimo. Già per sorvegliare i guerriglieri islamici in Siria non era poi il meglio possibile.

Ma mandarli a sorvegliare il Mare di Hormuz oppure anche ad addentrarsi nella regione del Hormozgan è un altro paio di maniche. Anche se non dotata di contraeree allo stato dell’arte, l’aviazione iraniana te li abbatte senza fare nessuna fatica.

Se poi li si volessero utilizzare contro una grande potenza aerea, quali la Cina o la Russia, quelli li distruggerebbero pochi istanti dopo il decollo. Droni e tutte le illusioni ad essi legate.

Ma mica che questo sia il primo!

«The U.S. military has in recent days confirmed an attempt by Iran to shoot down a U.S. drone last week as well as the successful shooting down of one on June 6 by Iran-aligned Houthi forces in Yemen.»


Reuters. 2019-06-20. Iran shoots down U.S. military drone in Gulf region

Iran has shot down a U.S. drone which the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday was flying over southern Iran, raising fears that a major military confrontation could erupt between Tehran and Washington.

Guards website Sepah News said the “spy” drone was brought down over the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, which is on the Gulf.

While Iran’s state news agency IRNA carried the same report, identifying the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk, a U.S. official said a U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton had been shot down in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

The MQ-4C Triton’s manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, says on its website that the Triton can fly for over 24 hours at a time, at altitudes higher than 10 miles, with an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles.

Earlier, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command, Navy Captain Bill Urban, said no U.S. aircraft were flying over Iran on Wednesday.

The U.S. military has in recent days confirmed an attempt by Iran to shoot down a U.S. drone last week as well as the successful shooting down of one on June 6 by Iran-aligned Houthi forces in Yemen.

A senior Iranian security official said on Wednesday Iran would “strongly respond” to any violation of its airspace.

“Our airspace is our red line and Iran has always responded and will continue to respond strongly to any country that violates our airspace,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security council as saying.

Tension between Iran and the United States has spiked since last year when President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers and reimposed sanctions on it.

Concern about a military confrontation has increased since attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week and on four tankers off the United Arab Emirates on May 12, both near the Strait of Hormuz, a major conduit for global oil supplies.

The United States and its regional ally, Saudi Arabia, blamed Iran for the incidents. Iran has denied responsibility.

The U.S. military has sent forces, including aircraft carriers, B-52 bombers and troops to the Middle East. However, Trump said he does not seek war with Iran.

Iran said last week that it was responsible for the security of the Strait of Hormuz, calling on American forces to leave the Gulf.

In protest at Trump’s “maximum pressure”, in May Iran said it would start enriching uranium at a higher level unless other European signatories to the nuclear deal protected its economy from the U.S. sanctions within 60 days.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Putin, Russia

Russia. Varato il Belgorod, Project 09852.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-05-28.

2019-04-25__Belgorod__001

Il segreto militare più gelosamente custodito dal Kremlin è come faccia Mr Putin a sfornare in continuazione sofisticati sistemi d’arma, allo stato dell’arte, ma spesso anche precursori, spendendo quattro rubli.

Il 23 aprile è stato varato il Belgorod, Project 09852 KC-139 Belgorod (KS-139 “Белгород”).

Covert Shores ne riporta il dettaglio tecnico sia di questo sottomarino sia del suo armamento.

«One of the largest submarines in the world, the unique Project 09852 KC-139 Belgorod (KS-139 “Белгород”) will play a key role in building military infrastructure deep under the Arctic as well as carrying the new Poseidon Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo. She is an unfinished OSCAR-II cruise missile submarine which is being converted to serve as a Special Missions host submarine (known as Project 09852). It will be crewed by the Russian Navy but operated under GUGI, the secretive Main Directorate Deep Sea Research organization. In order to conduct covert special missions, it will carry a deep diving midget submarine, large payloads and the new KANYON (Status-6) strategic nuclear torpedo weapon. The project started in 2010, with the refit commencing in 2012, and is expected to be completed this year.»

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«Pr09852 Belgorod Specifications (Provisional)

Displacement: greater than 14,700 tonnes surfaced (est. 17,000 tonnes), 24,000 tonnes submerged (estimated 30,0000 tonnes)
Length: 184 meters

Beam: 18.2 meters

Speed: < 32 knots

Range: Unlimted

Endurance: Approximately 4 months

Operating depth: Estimated as 500-520 meters per OSCAR-II SSGN

Propulsion: nuclear (2 x pressurized water reactor OK-650M.02 with a capacity of 190 MW driving two steam turbines and twin screws. Plus at least two outboard thrusters.

Crew: TBC. estimated 110

Armament: 6 x Poseidon (KANYON) nuclear torpedoes (if fitted), 6 x 533 mm (21″) torpedo tubes with up to 28 torpedoes»

* * *

«Russia has launched the Project 09852 Special Mission Submarine KC-139 Belgorod at the Sevmash Shipyard, located in Severodvinsk in northern Russia, on April 23»

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«It is reportedly the first nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying the nuclear-capable underwater drone “Poseidon,” alternatively referred to as an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), or simply an intercontinental-range, nuclear autonomous torpedo»

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«The Belgorod is slated to enter service with the Russian Navy in 2020 following nuclear reactor and dockside trials»

*

«The submarine, based on the 949A Oscar II-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine (SSGN), while crewed by the Russian Navy, will be operated by the Main Directorate Deep Sea Research (GUGI) organization»

* * * * * * * *

«Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research (Military Unit 40056).

The Defense Ministry Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research 10th Department (or the submarine intelligence service) was established in 1976, responsible for Russian ‘underwater engineering’. Hydronauts [“Deep-sea spetsnaz”] is a term that is relatively new, even to long-time students of Russian military affairs. A check of sources within the Russian military indicates that the topic is rarely discussed in the open press, if at all. The force, which uses submarines, is an Army and not a Navy unit. The force’s focus is to bug communications cables, install movement sensors, and collect the wreckage of ships, aircraft, and satellites from the seabed. These divers work at depths of 3000-6000 meters in miniature submarines.

These submarines were officially referred to as “nuclear deep-water station” and abbreviated AU. Sailors call them “kids” – assigned to the Ministry of Defense and worked on the instructions of the Main Intelligence Directorate. Only the 1986 were the submarines added to the lists of the navy. However, the management of their activities was still carried out directly from Moscow.

Project 1910 nuclear powered deepwater stations were designed to perform specific tasks in the depths of the oceans, and were intended to replace the previous generation of deep-towed vehicles “Seliger”.

In 1979, for basic maintenance and operation of the ACS carriers at the Northern Fleet at Gadzhiyevo [Bay of deer] initiated the formation of the 29th separate brigade of submarines.

According to the site editor MilitaryRussia Dmitry Kornev, in 1980-2000 years of the machine with the main management of deep-sea research carried out special missions in the Japan Sea, the North Atlantic and the Arctic. The 45707 military unit was stationed in the city of Peterhof Leningrad region. Structurally related to the General Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry deep-sea research.

Izvestiya was told by former naval officer and hydronaut Vladimir Ashik that his colleagues’ job was to collect intelligence information about enemy equipment, protect and service Soviet deep-water communications lines, and bring up from the bottom the wreckage of secret equipment left behind after tests or accidents.

In the early 2000s the Defense Ministry’s special center in Moscow was reorganized to form the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research, whose work was classified.»

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Solo a scopo esplicativo del lavoro svolto:

«According to figures from the Comptroller’s Office auditors, the hydronauts were the most highly paid employees in the military — they were receiving 500,000-600,000 [rubles] a month. For comparison, the commander of a motorized rifle brigade in Siberia and the Far East receives no more than 80,000 rubles a month, while the commander of a strategic bomber base with the rank of colonel receives no more than 180,000.»

*

Ufficialmente, questo nuovo sommergibile servirà per una migliore esplorazione pacifica dei fondali oceanici e per la preservazione delle specie animali che vi albergano.

Ciò che farà non interessa nulla a nessuno: è per questo motivo che non si rilasciano particolari.


The Diplomat. 2019-04-23. Russia Launches Project 09852 Special Purpose Submarine

The first nuclear-powered submarine reportedly capable of carrying the Poseidon underwater drone was launched on April 23.

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Russia has launched the Project 09852 Special Mission Submarine KC-139 Belgorod at the Sevmash Shipyard, located in Severodvinsk in northern Russia, on April 23. It is reportedly the first nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying the nuclear-capable underwater drone “Poseidon,” alternatively referred to as an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), or simply an intercontinental-range, nuclear autonomous torpedo.

The Belgorod is slated to enter service with the Russian Navy in 2020 following nuclear reactor and dockside trials. The submarine, based on the 949A Oscar II-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine (SSGN), while crewed by the Russian Navy, will be operated by the Main Directorate Deep Sea Research (GUGI) organization. The submarine, according to the website Covert Shores, will carry a deep diving midget submarine for covert special missions. It is expected to be deployed under the Arctic and used for the covert installation of a Russian underwater sonar network.

During the April 23 launch ceremony, Vice-Admiral Alexei Burilichev, Head of the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research of the Russian Ministry Defense (MoD), specifically singled out the Arctic as a future area of operations for the sub: “With the advent of this ship in the fleet, the Russian Federation will increase its ability to study the oceans, including the Arctic,” he was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.

The submarine was laid down at the Sevmash Shipyard in July 1992 but its construction was suspended in 1997. Work on the unfinished 949A Oscar II-class SSGN began again in 2012 following a redesign of the sub undertaken by the Rubin Central Design Bureau in St. Petersburg as a special purpose submarine. With a reported lengths of 184 meters, the Belgorod is set to become the Russian Navy’s largest submarine by its length. (The sub has a reported  displacement of around 15,000 tonnes when surfaced.)

There is no official confirmation that the new sub will carry the Poseidon UUV, also known under Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6 or “Kanyon” by the U.S. intelligence community. As I reportedly previously, the Russian Navy is expected to receive up to 30 Poseidon UUV with the first batch slated for delivery in the late 2020s. It remains unclear the UUV serves only as a nuclear-warhead delivery platform or could be used for other purposes including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

According to a Russian defense industry source, the Project 09852 submarine will be able carry up to six Poseidon UUVs, although as mentioned previously, some sources cited eight. “Two Poseidon-carrying submarines are expected to enter service with the Northern Fleet and the other two will join the Pacific Fleet,” a Russian defense industry source told TASS news agency in January. “Each of the submarines will carry a maximum of eight drones and, therefore, the total number of Poseidons on combat duty may reach 32 vehicles.”

The second Poseidon-carrying sub will reportedly be the Project 09851 submarine Khabarovsk, purportedly a downsized variant of the Borei-class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. The sub is slated to be launched in the spring of 2020 and handed over to the Russian Navy in 2022, according to another source.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Cina

Cina. Il nuovo aereo J20 potrebbe essere operativo con fine anno.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-05-22.

Mare Cinese del Sud 001

Il caccia cinese J-20 è un aereo da caccia stealth di quinta generazione sviluppato dall’azienda aeronautica cinese Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group negli anni duemila e dal 2016 in fase di preproduzione. Ha una velocità massima di 2,100 km/h con velocità di crociera di mach 1.83 Mach. Il raggio di azione varia dai 1,300 ai 1,700 km, con una velocità di salita di 300 ms.

Si riporta che dovrebbero essere quasi equivalenti agli F-35 americani, che però continuano a presentare molti malfunzionamenti.

Secondo alcune fonti, la Cina avrebbe già schierati quasi cento J-20.

La Cina avrebbe oltre 100 caccia stealth J-20 in servizio

«Il caccia da superiorità aerea di quinta generazione Chengdu J-20 in Cina continua a dominare i titoli sin dall’entrata in servizio nel marzo 2017, anni prima che gli analisti occidentali prevedevano fosse pronto al combattimento e recenti informazioni indicano che circa 100 aviogetti da combattimento d’élite potrebbero aver già lasciato linee di produzione. Il J-20 rappresenta il primo caccia di quinta generazione stealth ad entrare in servizio fuori degli Stati Uniti, ed è un analogo diretto dell’F-22 Raptor statunitense entrato in servizio nel 2005. La struttura della piattaforma da caccia bimotore fu progettata per facilitare lunga autonomia, carico utile elevato, quota operativa elevata, alta velocità e manovrabilità, ottimizzandolo così per le missioni di combattimento aria-aria avanzato, come il Raptor. Il J-20 è uno dei tre caccia cinesi della nuova generazione dell’Aeronautica dell’Esercito di Liberazione del Popolo (PLA), insieme al caccia multiruolo leggero di 4.ta++ generazione J-10C e al cacciabombardiere J-16, con comparabili sistemi di guerra elettronica, di avionica e armi, ma privi dell’avanzato profilo dalla ridotta sezione radar del J-20. Questi tre aviogetti svolgono ruoli altamente complementari e la loro sinergia darà al PLA una capacità operativa considerevolmente maggiore della loro mera somma.»

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«J-20 deployments would mean ‘greater threat’»

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«China may declare its first stealth fighter operational this year as it also develops long-range bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons»

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«Fielding the J-20 would add to what’s already the region’s largest air force and world’s third largest, with more than 2,500 total aircraft including 1,700 combat fighters, strategic bombers, tactical bombers and multi-mission tactical and attack aircraft»

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«Chinese engineers report successful testing of a solid-fuel ramjet missile engine, and they suggest this will enable the J-20 to carry future Mach 5, 300 kilometer-range air-to-air missiles»

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Questa notizia dovrebbe essere incastonata in altre, di simile importanza.

La Cina costruisce isole artificiali anche alle Scarborough Shoal.

Cina, Usa, Mare Cinese del Sud. Punto della situazione.

Mare Cinese del Sud e Mare di Okhotsk. Il problema delle portaerei americane.

Cina. Starebbe (potrebbe) trasferendo armamenti atomici nelle isole artificiali

Per il momento, almeno, la Cina vuole avere il pieno controllo del mar Cinese Meridionale.

È una più che ragionevole ambizione: per i cinese è solo un problema di sicurezza.

Poi, si vedrà.


Bloomberg. 2019-05-05. China’s Stealth Jet May Be Ready This Year, U.S. Commander Says

– Head of Air Force’s Pacific Command sees China testing limits

– J-20 deployments would mean ‘greater threat,’ Brown says

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China may declare its first stealth fighter operational this year as it also develops long-range bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons, part of a regional buildup by Beijing that the U.S. is closely monitoring, according to the U.S. Air Force’s Pacific commander.

General Charles Brown, the head of Pacific Air Forces, said the stealthy J-20 fighter could “possibly” be operational this year, a move he said would signal “greater threat, greater capability” for China in the Pacific. He went on to emphasize that U.S. efforts to counter those developments include rising deployments of next-generation F-35 jets and continuing overflights of strategic areas such as the South China Sea.

“My sense of the way the Chinese operate is somewhat incremental,” Brown said in an interview this week at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “They’ll continue to push the envelop to figure out does anybody say or do anything — if you don’t push back it’ll keep coming.”

Fielding the J-20 would add to what’s already the region’s largest air force and world’s third largest, with more than 2,500 total aircraft including 1,700 combat fighters, strategic bombers, tactical bombers and multi-mission tactical and attack aircraft, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency said in a report earlier this year.

In its annual report on China’s military, the Pentagon said that “the J-20 may have begun active service in small numbers, possibly with a testing and training unit.”

“Chinese engineers report successful testing of a solid-fuel ramjet missile engine, and they suggest this will enable the J-20 to carry future Mach 5, 300 kilometer-range air-to-air missiles,” according to the report published Thursday.

China’s J-20 fighter is part of a modernization effort that’s been “closing the gap with Western air forces across a broad spectrum of capabilities, such as aircraft performance, command and control and electronic warfare,” according to Defense Intelligence Agency report.

Brown also said he thinks China is moving to develop dual-use bombers that would be “similar to our bombers” in terms of being able to carry nuclear weapons and non-nuclear precision-guided weapons. “I don’t think it would be too far off the mark to say they could do that as well,” Brown added, without indicating whether China may have a stealth bomber capability.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, in a statement Wednesday for the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said a Chinese long-range bomber “if successful, would make it only one of three nations” to “possess a nuclear triad” of land, sea and air-based nuclear capabilities.

Combat Experience

The U.S. has a number of ways to counter China’s build up, Brown said. That includes being unpredictable in deployments of the B-1B, B-52 and B-2 bombers. The B-1B, Brown said, is now qualified to carry a new Lockheed Martin Corp. anti-ship missile, a few of which have been stockpiled in the Pacific region.

Brown, a four-star general who has logged more than 130 combat flight hours out of 2,900 overall, was on the U.S. East Coast this week to speak with Asia experts about the challenges facing his command. He started in the job more than eight months ago after serving as deputy commander of U.S. operations in the Middle East and head of the air war against Islamic State in 2015-2016.

A key issue for Brown in his latest post is “how do I gain a greater understanding of how China operates — not only their equipment capability — but how they operate, how they command and control. I want to understand what makes their blood pressure go up” so as to avoid miscalculations.

“Their propensity to fly out over the water has increased over the years,” he said.

Taiwan’s F-16s

It’s not just the U.S. noticing the increased Chinese capability, Brown said. He touched briefly on the State Department and Pentagon’s review of a potential sale of new F-16s to Taiwan. President Donald Trump’s advisers encouraged Taiwan to submit a formal request for the jets. That request would need to be converted into a formal proposal by the Defense and State Departments, and then Congress would have 30 days to decide whether to block the sale.

“There’s been a little increase in tension there recently, which may be the impetus” behind Taiwan’s request, Brown said. The Beijing government considers Taiwan’s fate a “core interest” — more important than almost any other issue, and has increased pressure on countries and multinational companies to avoid actions that could imply sovereign status for the island.

The U.S., wary of antagonizing China, hasn’t sold advanced fighter jets to Taiwan since President George H.W. Bush announced the sale of 150 F-16s in 1992. The Obama administration rejected a similar Taiwanese request for new jets, agreeing in 2011 to upgrade the island’s existing fleet.

Brown has more than a passing familiarity with the F-16 — he said it’s his favorite military aircraft of the numerous ones he has piloted. In addition to the F-16, he has flown the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, V-2 tilt-rotor Osprey, AC-130U gunship, B-1B, B-2A and B-52H bombers, C-130J transport and KC-135 tanker, among others.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Senza categoria, Stati Uniti, Unione Europea

Trump ed Orban. Esiste anche la Nato, ed è quella che ha le armi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-05-14.

2019-05-14__Orban__001

«U.S. President Donald Trump warmly welcomed Viktor Orban to the White House on Monday, saying the far-right Hungarian leader was “respected all over Europe.”»

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«The pair sat down for talks about NATO and trade, less than two weeks before European parliamentary elections in which far-right parties are expected to make a strong showing»

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«Orban’s hardline stance against migrants has attracted criticism from other European leaders, but appeared to find a more sympathetic audience in Trump»

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«You have been great with respect to Christian communities, …. You have really put a block up and we appreciate that very much»

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«People have a lot of respect for this prime minister, he’s a respected man. He’s done the right thing, according to many people, on immigration.»

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«Don’t forget they’re a member of NATO, a very good member of NATO»

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«The two leaders were due to discuss Hungary’s plan to buy medium-range missiles from the U.S.»

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Secondo le ultime prospezioni elettorali il partito popolare europeo e quello socialista assieme dovrebbero perdere circa un centinaio di eurodeputati. Se così sarà, avrebbero perso la maggioranza, subendo una severa batosta.

Stranamente, sembrerebbe che a ben pochi possa interessare il cercare di capire come abbiano fatto ad inimicarsi e disaffezionare una così larga quota di Elettori.

Il comportamento tenuto nei confronti dell’Ungheria di Mr Orban spiegherebbe molto della mentalità che ha portato a questo risultato.

Stretta osservanza ideologica, rigidità comportamentale ed una tediosamente fastidiosa supponenza sono stati elementi cardini che hanno portato alla disfatta: quanti non la pensassero come loro sarebbero bollati di comportamento eretico e bollati con l’ostracismo.

Ma senza Realpolitik ci si condanna alla estinzione: una eutanasia ben poco ‘eu‘ e molto ‘kakà‘. Una morte tormentosa e tormentata.

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Non solo.

Un’altra caratteristica dei liberal socialisti è un esasperato solipsismo, che impedisce loro sia di guardare il futuro sia la realtà.

Fossero diversi, non andrebbero incontro alla disfatta elettorale.

Quindi, ci si curi ben poco di quanto affermano al momento gli eurodirigenti uscenti di carica e gli eurodeputati, ben pochi dei quali potranno ritornare nel parlamento europeo o sulle poltrone della Commissione: il parere degli sconfitti non conta poi più di tanto.

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Un tema da sempre glissato dagli eurocrati è la divisione del mondo tra le superpotenze atomiche: ed ora alla America ed alla Russia si è unita anche la Cina.

Si voglia o meno, la Nato ha costituito elemento calmierante la pace mondiale, che si manterrà sotto la condizione che i diversi gruppi atomici restino in equilibrio.

Sotto questo punto di vista, di non poca importanza, se è vero che al momento l’Ungheria fa parte dell’Unione Europea, sarebbe altrettanto doveroso ricordarsi che essa è incardinata nella Nato, di cui funge da postazione avanzata, unitamente ad altri paesi dell’ex est europeo.

Mr Orban gradirebbe anche ospitare sistemi missilistici a medio raggio americani, magari anche comprandoli.

L’Unione Europea non dispone di forze armate degne di quel nome, non ha forze atomiche e neppure dispone di missili anti-missile. L’armamento atomico inglese è ben poca cosa, e quello francese ancor meno, sempre poi che riescano a farlo funzionare.

Che poi gli Stati Uniti brucino dalla voglia di difendere questa Europa sarebbe cosa tutta da dimostrare.

Ma senza forze armate efficienti è impossibile esercitare una sia pur minima politica estera.

Vedremo come i nuovi eletti, Commissione Compresa, affronteranno codesta situazione, ma intanto gli anni sprecati non saranno recuperati facilmente.


Euro News. 2019-05-14. Trump praises Orban for protecting Christians from migrants

U.S. President Donald Trump warmly welcomed Viktor Orban to the White House on Monday, saying the far-right Hungarian leader was “respected all over Europe.”

The pair sat down for talks about NATO and trade, less than two weeks before European parliamentary elections in which far-right parties are expected to make a strong showing.

Orban’s hardline stance against migrants has attracted criticism from other European leaders, but appeared to find a more sympathetic audience in Trump.

“You’re respected all over Europe. Probably like me a little bit controversial, but that’s okay,” Trump told Orban at a brief news conference. “You’ve done a good job and you’ve kept your country safe.”

In 2015, Orban erected a razor-wire fence the length of Hungary’s southern border to prevent migrants, most of whom travelled from Muslim countries, entering from Serbia.

“You have been great with respect to Christian communities,” Trump told Orban. “You have really put a block up and we appreciate that very much.”

Hungary missile plan

Asked if he shared European concerns about Hungary backsliding on democracy, Trump said: “People have a lot of respect for this prime minister, he’s a respected man. He’s done the right thing, according to many people, on immigration.”

Orban said: “From the people, by the people, for the people, this is the basis for the Hungarian government. We are happy to serve our nation. We have a new constitution accepted in 2011 and its functioning well.”

Trump interjected: “Don’t forget they’re a member of NATO, a very good member of NATO.”

The two leaders were due to discuss Hungary’s plan to buy medium-range missiles from the U.S.