Showing posts from February, 2018

Chinese warships return to South China Sea as Indian Navy continues heavy deployment around Maldives

A Chinese warship flotilla that had entered the Indian Ocean, reportedly heading for the Maldives Islands, has turned around and returned to the South China Sea, say highly credible Indian Navy sources. On Tuesday, Reuters quoted Chinese website to report that eleven Chinese warships had entered the Indian Ocean “amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island chain of the Maldives now under a state of emergency”, clearly suggesting gunboat diplomacy at work.

However, Indian Navy sources say that, while a Chinese flotilla, including a destroyer and a frigate, had indeed crossed into the Indian Ocean through the Sunda Strait, it turned around and returned to the South China Sea through the Lombok Strait. The four straits of Malacca, Sunda, Lombok and Ombai Wetar are used by China’s People’s Liberation Army (Navy), or PLA(N), to cross between their bases in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

That leaves the PLA(N) with three warships in the vicinity -- its routi…

US Navy won't stop patrols in South China Sea

U.S. forces are undeterred by China's military buildup on man-made islands in the South China Sea and will continue patrolling the strategic, disputed waters wherever "international law allows us," said a Navy officer aboard a mammoth U.S. aircraft carrier brimming with F-18 fighter jets. Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins told The Associated Press on board the USS Carl Vinson that the Navy has carried out routine patrols at sea and in the air in the region for 70 years to promote security and guarantee the unimpeded flow of trade that's crucial for Asian and U.S. economies.

"International law allows us to operate here, allows us to fly here, allows us to train here, allows us to sail here, and that's what we're doing and we're going to continue to do that," Hawkins said Saturday on the flight deck of the 95,000-ton warship, which anchored at Manila Bay while on a visit to the Philippines. When President Donald Trump came to power, Southeast Asian officials …

US is considering sending heavily armed Marines to Asia to counter China

On the heels of President Donald Trump's recently unveiled National Security Strategy, which called Russia and China "revisionist powers," the Pentagon is thinking about sending additional Marine Expeditionary Units to Asia, military officials told the Wall Street Journal .
MEUs are Marine detachments that sail around on amphibious assault ships like the Wasp and America-class. Essentially small aircraft carriers that can carry troops, the ships are capable of waging war on land, air, and sea.

An MEU can range from 1,000-2,200 strong and deploys for around seven months - usually entirely at sea. The goal of an MEU is to provide a quick reaction force of soldiers to respond to everything from natural disasters to security threats.

The shift in forces to Asia also comes after Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis releasedhis National Defense Strategy, which stated that "the great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of US national security."


China sea crisis with Japan

If war is to break out, then Ishigaki would be the front line. This is the island where Japan feels the most under threat from China and the place it will be installing missiles and troops amid clashes at sea, accusations and recriminations. While international attention is on whether Games diplomacy in South Korea, with the presence of Kim Jong-un’s sister and henchmen present for the Winter Olympics, will lead to peace breaking out, tension between China and its neighbours have continued to grow.

Throughout last year, while Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un traded public insults, Beijing has been quietly bolstering its presence on the extraordinary chain of artificial isles it has been building in waters near and far taking advantage of what it calls "the strategic window of opportunity.” Three airfields have been put into its seven bases in the disputed Spratley chain. There, and elsewhere, aerial photographs from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington rev…

China wants to start testing drone ships in the South China Sea

China has begun building a test field for unmanned ships, according to the government-authorized site China Internet Information Center. The Wanshan Marine Test Field, which began construction on Saturday, is being built in the South China Sea off Zhuhai, which is adjacent to Macau, and not far from one of the world’s busiest shipping ports, Hong Kong.

Ships will use the 225 square nautical miles to test technology including autonomous steering and obstacle avoidance. The project, which the center reported "will be the largest of its kind in [the] world" and China's "main base" for unmanned ship technology, is a joint initiative of a number of organizations including the local Zhuhai government and Wuhan University of Technology. The university has been developing unmanned ship technology for Chinese authorities for several years.

Just a week earlier, China completed its first test of unmanned surface vessels in nearby Dongguan, in the Pearl River Delta. The 22…

The Growler’s Triumph - S400

With Qatar now getting in line to buy Russian S-400 missile systems, the list of those eyeing a purchase keeps growing. The system’s superior capabilities have catching the eye even in markets that traditionally look Westward. Five nations have now been confirmed to be in various stages of negotiation to buy the S-400 Triumf, or the SA-21 Growler as it is known by NATO. Contracts have already been signed with two: China and Turkey are awaiting deliveries. India, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are still in talks with Russia, ironing out specifics of the deals.

Turkey is a NATO member, and the Gulf’s arms market has long been a closed shop for American and European suppliers. Why, then, are they now buying or planning to buy sophisticated weapons from the West’s designated “adversary”, Russia? In the case of Qatar, it could be a political statement: having recently found itself squaring up to Saudi Arabia at the cost of its diplomatic relations with other Gulf neighbors and Egypt, it could be s…

Taiwan Is Bringing Back Cold War Missiles to Deter China

Taiwan’s armed forces will rely on a missile system that was first developed nearly 60 years ago for frontline defense on their Pacific coastline against intruding Chinese aircraft. The Taipei-based China Times revealed that the American radar- homing guided MIM-23 Hawk surface-to-air missile will soon be deployed to fend off low-flying Chinese fighters and bombers. Launch pads and silos will be installed on key outlying territories, including Orchid Island and Green Island. The islands are strategically located on Taiwan’s southeastern coast close to routes used by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force for what Taiwan claims have been  constant breaches of its airspace.

Taiwanese forces on Orchid Island will be able to intercept aircraft flying along the east coast and can also control activity in the adjacent Bashi Channel. Analysts say the Hawks can fill a defensive void and give Taiwan more leverage in a silent war of attrition with China that it seemed to be losing. But the defe…