China launches ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan

by Ridzwan Rahmat & Jon Grevatt & Rahul Udoshi

Caption: According to the Japanese MoD, five of the missiles launched from within China on 4 August fell within Japan's exclusive economic zone. Some of the missiles also flew across Taiwan. (© 2022 MOD Japan/©2022 Janes)

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched a barrage of ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan on 4 August.

Janes analysis suggests that these missiles include the Dong Feng-15 (DF-15) and DF-16 family of short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs).

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) said a total of nine missiles were launched on 4 August from within China into waters southwest, northeast, and east of Taiwan between 2.56 pm and 4.08 pm Japan Standard Time.

This tallies with information provided by a Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesperson, who said in a press conference on 4 August that the missile launches started at 1.56 pm Taipei Standard Time.

The MND has not disclosed any information about the number of missiles launched, but various Taiwanese media reports indicate that up to 11 ballistic missiles may have been fired.


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Details emerge on mesh hybrid networking system for EU's UGV programme

by Alexander Stronell

Three THeMIS UGVs pictured during iMUGS testing in Belgium in June 2022. (Janes/Alexander Stronell)

Details on the mesh communications system in development as part of the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) programme, the European Defence Fund's (EDF) project for a common unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), have been revealed to Janes.

Speaking to Janes, an industry source familiar with the iMUGS communications effort provided details on the objectives and testing of the hybrid networking system.

The iMUGS sub-project for a mesh communications system is being undertaken by Finnish telecommunications company Bittium, part of the consortium of companies led by Estonia's Milrem Robotics.

“We are developing communications, which is based on mesh technology and which allows all the vehicles, the troops … [to be] part of one big network, and all the traffic is based on IP [internet protocol traffic],” the source told Janes. “There's no predefined structure, so you can add vehicles or nodes, and you can remove [them],” he added.


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China test-flies ‘improved' carrierborne UAV

by Akhil Kadidal

With several design changes and potentially a new engine, the AR-500CJ (depicted at the top) appears to be larger than the AR-500C variant, which first flew in 2020. However, AVIC has not disclosed the dimensions of the AR-500CJ. (Janes)

China has claimed the successful test-flying of a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) intended for service aboard the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy's larger surface vessels. This includes aircraft carriers.

In an announcement on its official blog on 10 August, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said that its AR-500CJ unmanned helicopter had made its first flight at Poyang in Jiangxi province.

The aircraft was developed by the company's China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI). According to AVIC, the AR-500CJ is a “comprehensive improvement” over the earlier lightweight AR-500B shipborne UAV developed by the company.


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RAF continues roll-out of A400M capabilities with first operational aerial refuelling

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.


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China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched a barrage of ballistic missiles into waters near Tai...

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