UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!





Foreign Sources for PLA Laser Weapons Technology


China has invested heavily in its own military laser programs but may also benefit from foreign technology.[1] Chinese engineers appear to be familiar with current U.S. military laser developments and with the potential for lasers to destroy or disable targets.[2] A Chinese technical report from mid-2002 notes the effects of lasers on aluminum, a common material in missiles, aircraft, ships and ground vehicles.[3] One Chinese technical report indicates that the PRC has been investigating the effects of laser on a range of electro-optical sensors,[4] perhaps confirming PLA interest in using lasers to blind these sensors. 


There have been occasional reports of actual laser weapons, usually in the Hong Kong press.[5]  In late 2003 Taiwanese military sources reported that the PLA had deployed a "laser cannon" with a 100km range in the Nanjing Military Region. [6]  While this alarming report received no coverage in the U.S., if true it would handily precede U.S. intentions to deploy its first ground-based laser weapons by 2007 or 2008.[7] The U.S. hopes to test an airborne chemical laser in 2004 and is developing a range of military lasers to include air, naval and land-based solid-state lasers.  If it indeed exists, the PLA's laser would be useful for shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles, some PGMs and some ballistic missiles.  In addition, Internet sources indicate the PLA Army has a laser-radar (LIDAR) system small enough to place on an armored personnel carrier for chemical detection purposes.


  The Pentagon's Congressionally-mandated annual reports on PLA modernization have been warning about potential breakthroughs in laser weapons since their first issue in late 1998. In its 2002 report the Department of Defense stated, "China reportedly is focusing its laser weapon development on anti-personnel, counter-precision guided munitions air defense, and ASAT roles."[8]  Beginning with its 1998 report the Department of Defense noted the probable PLA use of ground-based lasers to damage satellites.  In its 2002 report the U.S. Department of Defense stated this observation as follows:


".China already may possess the capability to damage, under specific conditions, optical sensors on satellites that are very vulnerable to damage by lasers. Beijing also may have acquired high-energy laser equipment and technical assistance, which probably could be used in the development of ground-based ASAT [anti-satellite] weapons. [italics added] Given China's current level of interest in laser technology, Beijing probably could develop a weapon that could destroy satellites in the future."[9]


            One possible source for this possible PLA ASAT capability could be Russian nuclear-pump laser technology, in which the Russian apparently have succeeded in turning nuclear reactor energy into laser energy.  In 1999 the Cox Committee reported, "Based on the significant level of PRC-Russian cooperation on weapons development, it is possible that the PRC will be able to use nuclear reactors to pump lasers with pulse energies high enough to destroy satellites."[10] A likely source for this technology is the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics (RFNC-VNIITF) in Snezhinsk.  They conduct research on nuclear pumped lasers, high power microwave generators and laboratory X-Ray lasers.[11]


            In March 2003 the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry and the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics in Beijing signed an agreement to further bi-lateral cooperation on laser research.[12]  Mark Stokes has noted that in the PLA was interested in pursuing cooperation with the Agat Bureau in Byelorussia on adaptive optics, a particular requirement for focusing laser energy into a useable weapon.[13]


Russia is a potential rich source of military laser technology for China.  Since the 1960s several design bureaus have been developing laser weapons, to include Agat, NPO Astrofizika, NPO Almaz, and OKB Vympel.  Russia has produced or conducted research on free electron, gas and CO2 lasers and ultra-high frequency directed energy weapons.  For the future Russian laser research includes adaptive "membrane mirrors," which can be 10 meters wide and weigh only several hundred grams, for use in space.[14] In 1984 Russia used a laser to track the U.S. space shuttle and caused some malfunctions.[15]  In the early 1990s Western observers were surprised to discover the KDKhR-1N laser-based "chemical reconnaissance system." Russian ships have used lasers to ward off U.S. aircraft, and on occasion have blinded U.S. pilots. Developed in the 1980s it is a laser-radar on a tracked APC chassis configured to detect and classify chemical agents.  Russia markets a variety of laser tracking and designating systems.  One system marketed at the 2003 Moscow Airshow, the Nudelman Precision Engineering Bureau's PAPV uses lasers to locate enemy optics, like a sniper scope, and deliver a laser blast that blinds the sniper, or worse.[16] In July 1999 the then director of Almaz stated that Russia could have its first "defensive laser weapons" by 2008.[17]


Electromagnetic Pulse/High Power Microwave/Radio Frequency Weapons


The PLA will very likely be able to employ Radio Frequency weapons in a variety of platforms for the purpose of attacking the electronic systems of an enemy's military systems and civilian electronic infrastructure. The family of Radio Frequency (RF) weapons included Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) and High Power Microwave (HPM) and are being developed as key future weapons for information warfare.  These weapons all seek to use or direct a form of radiation for use in degrading or destroying microcircuits, computers, radar and other sensors, communications networks, and other electronic systems, and are among the most highly sought after weapons for information warfare.[18] According to one PLA analyst, EMP weapons can be used to disable an aircraft carrier.  He notes, "The strong magnetic field and electromagnetic pulse caused by an explosion can destroy all important integrated circuits and IC chips.thus paralyzing the radar and telecommunications system of the aircraft carrier and vessels around it as well as the ship-mounted missiles and aircraft."[19] 


High Power Microwave weapons have the potential to produce the same effect as Electro Magnetic Pulse but without a nuclear explosion.  HMP also has advantages in that many counter-EMP measures do not work for HMP devices.[20] As such, they offer the means to decisively disrupt enemy forces.  If miniaturized, they can be reduced to the size of an artillery shell or missile warhead. It may be also possible to develop HMP weapons that combine the functions of a radar and weapon, in that it simply increases its power output as it approaches its target. Radio Frequency weapons are able to direct electronic radiation at a target but at much shorter ranges.[21]  China has sought to develop HPM weapons since the mid-1970s under the direction of an engineer who received his degree from Berkeley.[22]  A 1996 PRC conference on electronic warfare stressed the need for the PRC to develop HPM weapons and defenses against them.[23] The PRC may be developing a missile that uses a burst of RF energy to disable an incoming missile or aircraft[24] and is reported to have a "radio-flash" HPM bomb for use by the PLA Air Force.[25] A picture from the August 1997 issue of the PRC magazine Aerospace Knowledge shows a high-power microwave being used on troops.


During a 2000 interview with Aviation Week and Space Technology a U.S. Department of Defense official noted the PLA's interest in radio frequency weapons, that it was investing in this technology, but, ''a lot of it they are getting from other places.'' [26] Such weapons are being developed in the U.S., Russia, the PRC, Britain, Australia, and France. In early 2001 the U.S. Marine Corps unveiled a non-lethal HPM weapon designed to control hostile crowds.  The U.S. is developing HPM weapons to put on UAVs or the future Joint Strike Fighter.[27]  It is also to be expected that U.S. research in this area is a target for PRC espionage.  In fact, in 1999 the Select Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives reported, "During the late 1990s, U.S. research and developmental work on electromagnetic weapons technology has been obtained illegally by the PRC as a result of successful espionage directed against the United States.  Such technology, once developed, can be used for space-based weapons to attack satellites and missiles."[28]


            Russia is perhaps the leader in this area of weaponry and has build RF weapons for grenades, mortar and artillery shells.  At a Malaysian arms show in late 2001 Russia revealed two radio frequency weapons.  According to a Russian brochure, "Ranets-E" is a "radio frequency cannon [that] is capable of incapacitating an enemy's high precision weapons in a radius of 10 kilometres and ensuring all around defence in a 60-degree-angle sector." It is especially useful against PGMs. A second radio frequency weapon known as "Rosa-E" is designed to incapacitate an enemy radar out to 500km and "can be installed in an aircraft when produced in a modified casing weighing 600-1,500 kilograms."[29] The 2003 Pentagon report on PLA modernization notes that "Beijing may consider working with Russia to support research and development on a high-powered microwave system (HPM), referred to as Ranets-E, which would target the electronics onboard precision-guided weapons."[30]  


In 1997 General Robert L. Schweitzer told the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress that China had stated its "intention to purchase three RF weapons derived from Russian technology."[31] It is also reported that many Russian RF scientists are working for the PRC.[32] According to one report the PLA may be using a Russian technology called an Explosive Magnetocumulative Generator (EMG), which uses explosives to compress a charged coil, producing a powerful EMP pulse.  Another PLA EMP weapon is said to be a capacitor that uses plates that are highly charged prior to setting off explosives around them, producing an EMP pulse.[33] The DF-11 short-range ballistic missile may be armed with new EMP warheads.[34]


Russian Assistance For Thermobaric Weapons


            Russia is known to have provided at least one type of thermobaric weapon to the PLA and likely has provided additional technology. Thermobaric weapons are a class of weapons that destroy by generating heat and pressure.  Their main advantage is the ability to create a destructive effect relative to their size that far exceeds conventional high explosives. Fuel-air explosives (FAEs) are one kind of thermobaric weapon.  FAEs are usually missile warheads or bombs that create a cloud of atomized fuel, which is then ignited to create a great amount of heat and pressure.  China likely has FAE bombs for aircraft and is at least researching missile warhead FAEs for short and medium range missiles.  A particular danger will occur should the PLA start marketing thermobaric weapons, which would then have a greater chance of falling into the hands of terrorists.


            The PLA is now co-producing a Russian-designed personal thermobaric weapon called the SHMEL (Bumblebee).  It uses a shoulder-launched rocket loaded with an aerosol warhead that creates a fuel cloud which is later ignited, and is useful against buildings or reinforced bunkers. It has the range of about 300 meters and packs the destructive power of a 122mm artillery shell.  This weapon offers the prospect of total destruction when fired into a medium-sized house or an earthen bunker. It has been used by Russian forces in Chechnya.


            The PLA reportedly tried to steal the plans to make the SHMEL, but after caught, entered into a co-production arrangement to make 10,000 copies.[35]  By 2000 the SHMEL likely entered PLA Army service, which was when the accompanying photograph became available. Russia is now marketing thermobaric warheads for its guided anti-tank missiles, which may also interest the PLA.[36]  At the 2001 IDEX show in Dubai, a Russian source relayed that Russia was helping the PRC to develop thermobaric warheads for artillery rockets.[37] By 2001 information began appearing in Mainland military magazines indicating that indeed the SHMEL was being co-produced in the PRC.  In addition, the Russian KAB-1500 that PLA purchased in 2002 also comes in a version equipped with a thermobaric warhead.  


Foreign Assistance for Hypersonic Vehicles


The U.S. views long-range hypersonic strike aircraft as a transformational weapon and in mid-2003 revealed a concept for a 6,000 mph bomber. [38] Their development is being pursued in Russia, Germany, India and by the PLA. These aircraft can serve as low-earth orbit launch vehicles and be the successor to the strategic bomber and ICBM.[39]  Built on technology developed for the Space Shuttle and the now aborted X-33 single-stage-to-orbit test vehicle, a hypersonic strike vehicle could be as fast as an ICBM, but could also be recalled if necessary-and can strike again.  It could deliver highly accurate non-nuclear warheads, the destructive impact of which is compounded by their hypersonic speed.  Their speed and range would obviate the need for overseas bases.


             For the PLA, access to Russian technology may provide shortcuts to building their own hypersonic research and development capability. At the 1997 Moscow Air Show, former CMC Vice Chairman General Liu Huaqing was shown in PLA Pictoral viewing the Russian Raduga hypersonic test engine display.[40] This engine was designed for speeds up to Mach 6.5.[41]      In early 2001, a Russian report noted that China was negotiating to contribute to a novel hypersonic sub-orbital program of the Leninets Holding Company called AYAKS.[42]  Leninets officials at the 2001 Moscow Airshow confirmed China's interests.  AYAKS proposes a novel kerosene-fueled "magnetoplasmochemical" engine that would allow the vehicle to go from Russia to the U.S. in 1.6 hrs.[43]  NASA and some U.S. companies are familiar with this work but have chosen not to invest in it.  In addition, at the 2001 Moscow Airshow officials from the Molniya Company noted Chinese interest in their air-launched MAKS concept space plane.  The MAKS manned space plane weighs 27 tons with a crew of two and has a payload of 8.3 tons.[44] 


Possible Foreign Assistance for Unmanned Combat Vehicles


Unmanned combat vehicles are another military "transformation" technology being pursued by the U.S. the PLA and other countries.  Such platforms are being developed initially for air, land and underwater missions that are high risk for manned platforms.[45]  While there is plenty of debate, especially from pilots, unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) offer the potential to be able to outmaneuver existing combat aircraft and many surface-to-air missiles.  In the U.S., both Boeing and Northrup-Grumman are developing prototype UCAVs that will likely form the basis for a common U.S. Air Force and Navy UAV for strike and surveillance missions.  The U.S. Navy is developing unmanned underwater combat platforms while the U.S. Army envisions a range of wheeled robot vehicles for fighting and logistic missions as part of its Future Combat System program.[46] 


            The PLA has long demonstrated its interest in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and it would make it highly likely that the PLA would seek modern foreign UAV technology, in particular from Israel and Russia.  Early PLA long range UAVs like the Chang Hong-1, were simply copied from U.S. FIREBEE reconnaissance UAVs shot down over PRC territory during the Vietnam War.  The latest version was marketed at the 2000 Zhuhai show.  During the 1990s PLA developed series of short range UAVs for target proactive purposes and for tactical reconnaissance and ELINT missions.  Modern short range UAVs revealed at the 2000 Zhuhai Airshow like the W-30 and W-50 bear a strong resemblance to early Israeli tactical UAVs like the Searcher.  In addition, the possibility of such cooperation is also suggested by Israel's prominent display of UAVs at successive Zhuhai Airshows.[47]  In addition, Israel's sale of its HARPY anti-radar drone also entails a transfer of UAV design and control technologies that would be useful for future PLA UAVs. 


The PLA also has an interest in developing far more sophisticated UAVs. At the 2002 Zhuhai show the Guizhou Company unveiled an updated version of its WZ-2000 long-range UAV concept that draws heavily from the Northrop Grumman GLOBAL HAWK UAV.[48]  It is also possible that Russia may be a source for other long-range UAV concepts.  In the 1980s and 1990s the Russian developed UAVs with 12-24 hour endurance equipped with advanced long-range radar.  In recent years the Sukhoi Bureau has been looking for "partners and customers" to develop its S-62 concept UAV.  The S-62 is a 8,500kg, 50m wingspan UAV that can loiter at over 60,000ft for 24 hours.  It would be able to carry large radar or optical payloads for strategic reconnaissance missions.[49]  Then at the 2003 Moscow Airshow Sukhoi displayed models of their ZOND series of UAVs.  The ZOND-2 is a GLOBAL HAWK-size UAV that featured a large triangular phased array radar over the fuselage, while the ZOND-1 had the same aircraft with an under-fuselage synthetic aperture radar (SAR).  A Sukhoi official said these UAVs were being developed with "company funds,"[50] an indication that they may be using foreign funds.


The PLA may also be developing Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs). At the 2000 Zhuhai Air Show the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) revealed a computer virtual aircraft simulation system that it claimed was in production to train pilots for the Shenyang J-8 and the Chengdu J-7.  BUAA engineers said that this system was going to be slaved to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), perhaps indicating that BUAA may also be involved in UCAV research.[51]  In late 2000 reports after the Zhuhai show indicated that the Guizhou WZ-2000A stealthy drone may form the PLA's first UCAV[52] for the purpose of penetrating and suppressing enemy defenses.  The successful U.S. employment in Afghanistan of an armed PREDATOR UCAV may have spurred the PLA toward the near-term development a similar unmanned combat aircraft.[53] 


            PRC unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) are also under development. The U.S. Navy envisions such vehicles performing anti-ship, anti-submarine and mine-sweeping missions in cooperation with manned ships and submarines. Sponsored under the "863" program, in 1997 the PRC revealed an unmanned underwater vehicle that featured artificial intelligence and automatic controls.[54]  It has the ability to reach depths of 6000 meters.  This UUV was developed with assistance from Russia.[55] Such a craft could form the basis for unmanned underwater combat vehicles (UUCVs).


Possible Foreign Sources of Stealth and Counter Stealth Technology


            While it is not new technology, the development of radar evading stealth as well as counter-stealth technology remain critical elements of future warfare.  PRC expert Cao Benyi has stated, ".it is necessary for China to make every effort to develop stealth technology, to develop stealth, and to do what is necessary to enable China's stealth technology to catch up with the world's most advanced level of such technology in a short time."[56]  As Cao suggests, the PRC is investing heavily in stealth and counter-stealth technology.  At the 1998 Zhuhai Air Show the Chinese company Seek Optics revealed its work on coatings designed to deflect radar energy, and on computer programs for aiding the design of stealthy objects.  By using imported supercomputers and commercial "finite element analysis software," the PRC is believed to be able to calculate the radar reflectivity of shaped objects.[57] There are also reports that China may apply stealth coatings to improve the penetrating capability of combat aircraft like the Xian JH-7 strike fighter.[58]  Stealth coatings will also likely be used to improve the capabilities of future land-attack cruise missiles. A 2001 report cited a Pentagon source as estimating the PLA would have a stealthy cruise missile operational in 2003.[59]

            The PLA is already demonstrating its ability to apply stealth technology. In 2002 and 2003 the PLA demonstrated its application of stealth principles to naval warship design in three stunning new ships, the No. 168 and No. 170 class air defense destroyers and a new "Type 054"frigate. With very smooth hull sides and an application of radar-absorbent materials, these ships could prove to be nearly as stealthy as Taiwan's French-made LAFAYETTE-class frigates.  In fact, Taiwanese authorities investigating corruption charges surrounding the sale of the French frigates believe that France gave the PRC classified data on the LAFAYETTE frigate to mollify its opposition to the sale.[60]  Russia is another potential source for naval stealth technology given the PLA's relationship with Russia's naval builders.  Russia has experience in building stealthy ships such as the Project 17 Talwar class frigates for India, and in 2003 unveiled its even stealthier Project 20830 destroyer.   

            The PLA is also applying stealth concepts to combat aircraft. At the 2002 Zhuhai Airshow, a new stealthy advanced air-superiority fighter concept was revealed briefly in a promotional video.  Thought to be a product of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, this design features a chiseled nose, flat fuselage surfaces and internal weapon carriage in a manner similar to the stealthy U.S. Lockheed-Martin F/A-22A.  Another area of possible PRC interest is in "plasma stealth," which uses a charged ion field in or around an object that absorbs radio frequency energy, such as from radar, creating stealth.  Russia developed this technology and apparently was to apply it to both contending Mikoyan Article 1.44 and Sukhoi Su-37 Berkut 5th generation fighters.  PRC reports note that Russia is now working on its second generation of plasma stealth technology.[61]  The Russians have determined that plasma stealth may be unsuitable for low-altitude platforms, but are developing applications for use on high-speed high-altitude cruise missiles.[62]  It is possible that the PLA could obtain this technology as part of new Russian supersonic cruise missiles, reverse engineer it, and apply it to future PLA missiles and combat aircraft.

Due to the critical importance of stealth for future U.S. combat platforms, it is to be expected that China would also devote considerable energy to the development of counter-stealth technology.  One area of long-term PLA interest is Metric-Wave radar technology.  This radar technology dates back to the 1930s and uses large radio frequency wavelengths, whereas most passive stealth technology is designed to counter far smaller wavelengths of modern radar.  At the 1998 Zhuhai show the 23rd Institute of the China Aerospace Co. was marketing their "J-231" metric-wave radar which its claimed had "high anti-stealth" capability.[63]  The PLA has several types of Metric-Wave radar and even employs one on its latest No. 170 class destroyer, which will likely carry the PLA Navy's first high frequency active phased array radar. When combined with modern computers, metric-wave technology has great counter-stealth potential.  In fact, at the 2001 Moscow Airshow Russian company marketing such improved metric-wave radar complained bitterly that China had stolen its technology.[64]


The PLA is also known to be interested in bi-static radar, which uses separated transmitter and receiver, and multi-static radar, as a means to defeat stealth.  The PLA is also reported to be interested in other novel counter-stealth detectors such as Passive Coherent detection.  This technology is able to discern disruptions in broadcast television signals or cell-phone signals to find moving bodies.  In the scandal that followed 2002 U.S. accusations of their sale to Iraq, the Ukrainian government confirmed that it had sold its KOLCHUGA passive radar to the PRC.  With a radius of action of 600km, the KOLCHUGA is advertised as being able to detect and recognize the PATRIOT missile, F-15, F-16, F-22, MIRAGE-2000, RC-135, E-2 and E-3 AWACS and the F-177 and B-2 stealth bombers.[65] These are all weapon systems that would be used by the U.S. and Taiwan to defend against a PLA attack on Taiwan. 


Foreign Inspiration for Advanced Naval Platforms


            As is the U.S., the PRC is developing advanced naval platforms that seek to improve upon the monoplane hull. In October 2000 the PRC launched its first SWATH ship.[66]  SWATH ships use two long submerged torpedo-like hull forms arranged in a catamaran fashion.  Their advantage is that they allow a crew to perform a mission in weather twice as heavy as could be done on a monohull ship.[67]  The U.S. Navy has five SWATH ships for hydrographic and surveillance missions, and built its super-stealthy experimental 560 ton Sea Shadow combat ship on a SWATH hull form.  In the late 1980s there were U.S. concepts of much larger combat ships and even aircraft carriers based on the SWATH design.  Now the U.S. is developing the SLICE concept, which allows for even greater performance in heavier weather. 


            It is not clear that the PLA is going to adopt the SWATH platform for naval missions, but its advanced research and development so far makes that option possible. Another advanced naval platform the PLA may be considering is a semi-submersible platform that allows the majority of the hull to be under the surface to maximize stealthiness.  One PRC magazine carries an artist's impression of a twin asymmetric-hull semi-submersible aircraft carrier.[68]  This carrier is armed with short take-off aircraft, missiles, what look like advanced guns, and is powered by what appears to be a hydro-magnetic drive.  While it is not clear that this concept bears any relationship to an ongoing PLAN program, it serves to illustrate that very advanced concepts for naval warfare are possible in the PRC. 


Russian Assistance for Supercavitating Underwater Weapons


            Supercavitating underwater weapons move through water at very high velocities, at speeds up to greater than sound. They are able to do so because they form an air bubble, or cavitation, around the structure. Once launched, there is little defense against such high-speed underwater weapons.  They are envisioned for use as torpedoes, anti-torpedoes, anti-mine or as missiles that travel underwater and then air-launch near the shore to defeat anti-missile defenses.[69] Russia is a leader in supercavitation technology and in 1977 fielded the Shkval (Squal) rocket torpedo, which can achieve speeds up to 200kts, or 100 meters per second (230 mph) through water. An advanced version of the Shkval is reportedly capable of 300kts speed.[70] This version reportedly was being tested on the Russian Oscar-class SSGN Kusk that sank in August 2000.  The U.S., France and Germany also have supercavitating weapons research programs. 


            In August 1998 the PRC was reported to have purchased 40 Shkval rocket torpedoes from Kazakhstan.[71] This could indicate that the PLA also has programs underway to develop supercavitating underwater weapons.  A Taiwanese source notes that the PLA has used these weapons to aid the development of its own supercavitating weapons, which may be in testing.[72] Developing such weapons would be consistent with the PLA's efforts to adopt new technologies and to build weapons that exploit the weaknesses of the U.S.  U.S. sources reportedly have confirmed that a PLA Navy Officer perished on the Kursk when it sank.[73] There is speculation that he was there to observe the testing of a new version of the Shkval.   









[1] Mark A. Stokes, "China's Directed Energy Weapons, Appendix 4," in China's Strategic Modernization, Implications for the United States, Carlisle: U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, 1999, pp. 195-213.

[2]See article by Guo Jin of the China Aero Space Chanchun Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics in Guangxue Jingmi Gongcheng [Optics and Precision Engineering], February 1996, pp. 7-14, in FBIS-CST-96-015, February 1, 1996; Ding Bo, Xi Xue, and Yan Ren, "Beam Energy Weaponry, Powerful Like Thunderbolts and Lightning," Jeifangjun Bao, December 25, 1995, p. 7, in FBIS-CHI-96-039, February 27, 1996, pp. 22-23.

[3] Jiang Shaoen, Li Wenhong, Liu Yonggang, Hu Xin, Yu Yanning, and Yu Ruizhen, Laser Fusion Research Center, The Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics, Mianyang, " Xingguang II Laser Heat, Shock, Rarefaction Waves on Aluminum Target," Shanghai Zhongguo Jiguang  July 1, 2002, pp 621-624, in FBIS  CPP200209230001.

[4] Zhong Hairong(Graduate School of National University of Defense and Technology, Changsha), Liu Tianhua, Lu Qisheng, Wang Yunping, Liu Zejing, Xu Xiaojun (Institute of Science of National University of Defense and Technology, Changsha), "Laser-Induced Damage of Photoelectric Sensors Viewed," Mianyang Qiang Jiguang yu Lizi Shu, August 1, 2000, pp. 423-428, in FBIS CPP20030514000221


[5] "Hong Kong Paper Says China Developing Killer Satellites, Laser Weapons," Tai Yang Pao, April 30, 2001, in FBIS, CPP20010430000046.


[6] Brian Hsu, "Defense sector warns of Chinese laser-cannon threat," Taipei Times, December 22, 2003, p. 2. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2003/12/22/2003084494


[7] "Anti-artillery laser successfully tested," Associated Press,  November 10, 2002.

[8] DoD PLA Report 2002, p. 33.

[9] Ibid, p. 32.  

[10] Report of the Select Committee On U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns With The People's Republic of China, Volume 1, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1999, pg. 209.

[11] B. Vodolaga, Deputy Director for International Relations, Institute of Technical Physics, Presentation of the Center, THE RUSSIAN FEDERAL NUCLEAR CENTER VNIITF SNEZHINSK, CHELYABINSK REGION.

[12]Andrei Kirilov, " Russia, China to cooperate in laser technologies," ITAR-TASS, March 11, 2003, in FBIS


[13] Stokes, p,. 209.

[14] Lyudmila Pankova, a research officer, a corresponding member of the K.E. Tsiolkovsky Academy of Cosmonautics, "Space Technologies of the Future," Aviapanorama, No. 2, 2003, pp. 39-41.

[15] Steven J. Zaloga, "Red Star Wars," Jane's Intelligence Review, May, 1997, p. 207.

[16] Interview, Moscow Airshow, August 2003.

[17] "Russia Will Have Defensive Laser Weapons Ten Years From Now, Kommersant, July 17, 1999, p. 3

[18] Stokes, p. 201.

[19] Ye Jian, "Armchair strategy: Using a Bomb to Deal With Aircraft Carrier," Jiefang Ribao, February 12, 2000.

[20] Stokes, p 201.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Timperlake and Triplett, p. 131; evidence of PRC familiarity with HPM weapons technology is seen in, Luo Ji, Tian Qingzheng, and Jiang Haozheng (Beijing Institute of Technology), "Analysis and Tests of Non-Lethal Microwave Warhead Binggong Xuebao, May 1, 2001, pp. 173-177, in FBIS CPP20010829000160.

[23] Lin Zheng of the Ministry of Electronics Industry Information Institute, "Proceedings of '96 Conference Sponsored by the Journal Fire Control & Command and Control, October 1996, pp. 16-21, in FBIS-CST-97-012.

[24] Ibid., p. 113.

[25] Peng Kai-lei,"PLA Has Developed Heavy-Duty Microwave Weapons in a Bid to Improve Weapons and Equipment of its Airforce," Wen Wei Po, October 15, 2002, in FBIS CPP20021015000055. 

[26] Robert Wall, "Directed-Energy Threat Inches Forward," Aviation Week and Space Technology,  October 30, 2000, p. 70.

[27] David A.  Fulghum, "Pentagon Reveals Mobile Pain Ray," Aviation Week and Space Technology, May 7, 2001, p. 83.

[28] Select Committee Report, p. xiii. 

[29] "Russia Offers New Types of Radio Frequency Weapons," Pr Newswire, October 25, 2001.

[30] DoD PLA Report, 2003, p. 38.

[31] Radio Frequency Weapons and the Infrastructure, Statement by Lieutenant General Robert L. Schweitzer (retired) before the Joint Economic Committee, United States Congress, June 17, 1997.

[32] Kenneth Timmerman, "U.S. Threatened With EMP Attack," Insight Magazine, May  , 2001, p.

[33] Charles Smith, "Electro-magnet threats," www.WorldnetDaily.com, February 16, 2000.

[34] Brian Hsu, "China Builds New Missile Platforms to Deter US Forces," Taipei Times, May 7, 2001.

[35] Barbara Opall, "China Seeks Arms for World-Class Military," Defense News, October 13-19, 1997, p. 98; "Russian Official on PRC 'Strategic Cooperation,' Arms Trade," Moscow Interfax, November 6, 1997, in FBIS-TAC-97-310.

[36] Vyachesslam Dudka and Yuri Parfyonov, "For Attack and Defense," Military Parade, March 2001, www.milparade.com/2001/44/03_02.shtml 

[37] For this point the author thanks a source who attended UAE's bi-annual International Defense Exhibition in March 2001.

[38]Peter Almond, "US plans 6,000mph bomber to hit rogue regimes from edge of space," Sunday Times, August 3, 2003; Craig Covault, "Hypersonic Strategy Sets Stage for 'Next Great Step,'" Aviation Week and Space Technology, March 26, 2001, p. 28.

[39] For a useful overview of U.S. efforts see, David Baker, "Global Hyperstrike," Air International, October 2001, pp. 208-212.

[40] PLA Pictoral, October, 1997, p. 11.  The author was able to briefly observe General Liu's delegation at the 1997 Moscow Air Show. 

[41] Brochure, "Hypersonic Flying Testbed," Raduga State Machine Building Design Bureau.

[42] "Leninets Company and Chinese Government Delegation Sign Agreement to Participate in Creation of Hypersonic Flying Apparatus," Vedmosti, April 23, 2001, in Roy's Russian Aviation Resource, www.royfc.com/news/apr/2301apr02.html

[43] Nikolai Novichkov, "Russia In the Forefront of Aerospace Technology," Military Parade, May-June 1994, pp. 68-71.

[44] Brochure, "MAKS, Multipurpose Aerospace System," Molniya Joint Stock Company, obtained at the 2001 Moscow Airshow.

[45]Matthew Brzezinski, "The Unmanned Army," The New York Times Magazine, April 20, 2003, p. 38; for a negative assessment of UAVs, see Loren Thompson, "UAVs: How Revolutionary?," Defense News, December 2-8, 2002, p. 17.

[46] A useful description of Navy and Army visions for unmanned systems is contained in book by Popular Science, 21st Century Soldier, New York, NY: Time Inc. Home Entertainment, 2002.


[47] Author observation at the 1996, 1998 and 2000 Zhuhai Shows. 

[48] The main similarity between the WZ-2000 and the Global Hawk is in their fuselage shape that incorporates a satellite communication antenna in the forward nose area. 

[49] Altaf Karimov, "High-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Air Vehicles: Unique and Effective," Military Parade, August 2003, p. 28.

[50]Interview, Moscow Airshow, August 2003.

[51] "China uses Zhuhai air show to unveil plethora of unmanned air vehicles," Flight International, November 21-27, 2000, p. 21.

[52] Hui Tong, "Report on the 2000 Zhuhai Air Show," Chinese Military Aviation,, www.concentric.net/~Jetfight.

[53] Interview, Taipei, Taiwan, December 2001.

[54] Guo Fu and Qian Jiang, "The Submarine Robot Searches The Dragon's Palace," Jiefangjun Bao, December 7, 1997, in FBIS, March 18, 1998.

[55] "Deep Sea Robot Created for Use in Mining," Xinhua, May 22, 1997, in FBIS, FTS19970522000806.

[56] Cao Benyi, "Future Trends in Stealth Weapons," Modern Weaponry (COSTIND), no. 11 (8 November 1992), in Pillsbury, Chinese Views of Future Warfare, p. 357.

[57] David A. Fulghum, "Small Stealth Designs Within China's Grasp," Aviation Week and Space Technology, June 7, 1999, p. 28.

[58] Yihong Zhang, "Beijing develops new radar-absorbing materials," Jane's Defence Weekly, February 24, 1999, p. 3.

[59] David A. Fulghum, "Counterstealth Tackles U.S. Aerial Dominance," Aviation Week and Space Technology, February 5, 2001, p. 56.

[60]Sofia Wu, "Lawmaker Concerned About Possible Leakage Of Mirage Secrets," Central News Agency, June 30, 2001.

[61] Qu Dongcai, "Development of Stealthy Cruise Missiles and Analysis of Major Stealth Technology," Aerospace China, October 1, 2000, in FBIS CPP20010322000191.

[62] Douglas Barrie, "Russians Eye Plasma Fields To Cut Cruise Missile RSC" Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 21, 2002, p. 62.

[63] Brochure, 23rd Institute.

[64] Interview, Moscow Airshow, August 2001.

[65] Brochure, "Topaz, The Joint Stock State Holding Company," obtained at the Moscow Airshow, August 2003.

[66] Bingqi Zhishi, January 2001, p. 3

[67] Lockheed Martin brochure, Advanced Ship Design and Technology.

[68] Xiandai Jianchuan (Modern Ships), April 2001, p. 49.

[69] Steven Ashley, "Warpdrive Underwater," Scientific American, May 2001, p. 72.

[70] Rupert Pengelley, "Grappling For Submarine Supremacy," Jane's International Defense Review, July 1996, p. 53.

[71] Robert Karniol, "China buys Shkval torpedo from Kazakhstan," Jane's Defence Review, August 26, 1998. p. 6.

[72] Interview, Taipei, December 2001.

[73] Ashley, p. 79.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list