J-20 fighters start patrols in East, South China Seas

by Akhil Kadidal & Amit Kalra

China's J-20 stealth fighters have started to patrol the East and South China Seas. (Chen Chang/VCG via Getty Images)

China's J-20 stealth fighters have started to patrol the East and South China Seas as part of routine training missions, state-owned media reported.

According to the Global Times newspaper, the announcement was made by Ren Yukun, head of the discipline inspection and supervision team and a member of the leading party group at the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

In a press conference on 12 April, Yukun reportedly said that it has become a training routine for Chengdu J-20s to fly “combat patrols” in the East China Sea and “alert patrols” in the South China Sea.

He added that these patrols are being undertaken after the J-20 switched to using “domestically developed engines”.

The aircraft were originally powered by Russian-made Saturn AL-31FN-series engines. Janes previously reported that the Saturns are starting to be replaced by indigenously developed Shenyang-Liming WS10C turbofan engines from at least September 2019. The Chinese engine is said to offer superior thrust in comparison with the Saturns.


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China's J-15 naval jet appears with indigenous WS-10 engines

by Akhil Kadidal & Prasobh Narayanan

China appears to have fitted at least one SAC J-15 naval fighter with a domestic WS-10B Taihang engine. The potential maturity of this powerplant could free China from its dependency on Russia for combat jet engines. (AFP/Getty Images)

A Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-15 ‘Flying Shark' naval fighter has been fitted with what appears to be a pair of domestically developed engines.

The aircraft was spotted in a video imagery of a hangar at an SAC factory. The footage was aired on 23 November during a China Central Television (CCTV) news report on the 10th anniversary of the J-15 starting sea trials on China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

Janes assesses that the new engine is a variant of the Liming WS-10 Taihang engine. There is a roughly even chance that the ‘B' variant of the Taihang has been installed in the jet. According to Janes Aero-Engines data, the WS-10B is potentially a more powerful version of the WS-10A. The thrust rating of the WS-10B is 135 kN (30,350 lb st).


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Rheinmetall demonstrates new UGV to British Army at AWE

by Olivia Savage

Pictured is Rheinmetall's Mission Master XT − Rescue UGV during a live trial at AWE 2022. (Janes/Olivia Savage)

Rheinmetall has demonstrated its new Mission Master unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) module at the British Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) Urban: Sustain and Protect (S&P) programme at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The UGV, known as the Mission Master XT − Rescue, was demonstrated in a live scenario for the first time at AWE on 22 November.

This module is designed for medical evacuation (medevac), meeting the AWE S&P hypothesis, which seeks a solution to enable medical specialists to autonomously identify and treat or extract casualties.

Basic medical equipment was fitted inside the module, including a moveable stretcher, oxygen masks and canisters, and a hot/cold box.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson told Janes at AWE that the system weighs three tonne in total and is capable of speeds of up to 40 km/h. It was developed in collaboration with the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, the spokesperson added.


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Australia's IFV decision to follow strategic review

by Kapil Kajal

Australia will consider the findings of the Defence Strategic Review before deciding on the tender for the Land 400 Phase 3 IFV project. Two platforms are competing for the tender – Rheinmetall's Lynx KF41 and Hanwha's Redback (pictured above). (Hanwha Defense Australia)

Australia has announced that the decision to supply 450 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to the Australian Army will follow a strategic review.

According to a press release by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD), the country will consider the findings of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) before deciding on the tender for the Land 400 Phase 3 IFV project.

Janes reported in August that Australia's DSR will urgently examine the posture, preparedness, and structure of the country's military and spending on new weapons and equipment from 2023–24 to 2032–33 and beyond.

The DoD said that the review will make recommendations on priorities for investing in Australia's defence capability to meet the country's security challenges over the next decade.

Pat Conroy, Australia's minister for defence industry, said that a procurement worth between AUD18 billion (USD12 billion) and AUD27 billion will undergo the DSR.


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China's J-20 stealth fighters have started to patrol the East and South China Seas as part of routin...

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