Update: PLA aircraft fly into Taiwan's ADIZ on ‘anti-carrier' exercises
29 June 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
A large and varied force of Chinese military aircraft conducted an area denial and anti-carrier drill in Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and in the Philippine Sea on 21 June 2022. (Janes)
Twenty-nine Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on 21 June, in what was the third-largest air incursion of the zone by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force this year.
The flight paths, as revealed by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND), indicate that the aircraft operated in three separate groups.
The first group of six Xian H-6 strategic bombers conducted an unusually deep flight into the ADIZ. The bombers flew off Taiwan's west coast before turning into the Philippine Sea, MND data showed. The bombers were accompanied by one Shaanxi Y-9 electronic warfare (EW) aircraft and one Y-8 electronic intelligence (ELINT) aircraft. These latter aircraft have been identified less than 35 times in the ADIZ since 2021.
Janes assesses that this new flight path has not been attempted by the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) before. Citing experts, the Chinese state-owned newspaper Global Times
RAF continues roll-out of A400M capabilities with first operational aerial refuelling
11 August 2022
by Gareth Jennings
The view of the A400M receiver aircraft from the Voyager mission controller console. (Crown Copyright)
The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is continuing the process of rolling out the capabilities of the Airbus A400M C1 Atlas, announcing on 11 August the first operational aerial refuelling of the airlifter.
For the milestone, an A400M received fuel from an Airbus Voyager KC3 tanker via the centreline hose reserved for large aircraft receivers. The airlifter was refuelled 900 n miles southwest of Ascension Island, extending its 4,100 n miles range to accommodate the remaining 2,600 n miles to Mount Pleasant Airfield on the Falkland Islands.
“The execution of long-range air-to-air refuelling by front-line crews is a major milestone for Atlas. The ability of this aircraft to operate at significant range from the UK, demonstrates our enhanced and resilient force sustainment capabilities,” said Wing Commander Stuart Patton, Officer Commanding 30 Squadron.
Update: Taiwan reports underplay ‘hundreds' of PLA aircraft in live-fire drills
10 August 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
Taiwan said that the PLA flew 49aircraft into the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on 5 August whereas China has said that it is flying ‘hundreds' of aircraft into the ADIZ. (VCG via Getty Images)
China says it is dispatching hundreds of combat aircraft to the six live-fire zones around Taiwan. However, Taipei's daily air incursion reports show smaller figures.
assesses that this could partly be because of strains on the country's radar network.
China launched a four-day live-fire exercise around Taiwan from 4 August, in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on 2 August.
On the first day of the drills, the People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) Eastern Theatre Command said that it had “dispatched hundreds of fighters, bombers, and other multitype [aircraft] to the airspace in the north, southwest, and southeast of Taiwan Island”.
The PLA added that the aircraft are conducting “day and night” joint reconnaissance flights, air assault training, and support flights. All six live-fire zones are within Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
Chinese UAVs continue Taiwan incursions, says Taipei
10 August 2022
by Oishee Majumdar & Akshara Parakala
Norinco's Loitering Dragon FL5A (pictured above) is one of the UAVs identified by
in a propaganda video released by the PLA against the backdrop of its military exercises around Taiwan since 4 August.
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the country continues to face incursions by Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) even after a series of live-fire drills conducted by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) came to an end on 7 August.
The Kinmen Defense Command of the Republic of China Army (RoCA) announced on 10 August that one batch and one sortie of unidentified UAVs had entered over “the restricted waters” of the Beiding Island in Taiwan's Kinmen County on the evening of 9 August.
The RoCA troops stationed in the area fired flares to warn off the UAVs in accordance with standard operating procedures, the command said.
The MND has assured that the RoCA is capable of swiftly responding to such threats.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we speak with Neil Spencer on the value of OSINT in the commercial sector.
Neil Spencer is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for LifeRaft. He has more than twenty years of security indust...