Do people really believe that North Korea, all by itself has the capability to design, manufacture and launch a nuclear weapon or are the North Koreans’ doing the same thing that Apple, and so many other “American” companies do; did the North Koreas’ make it, or is it Made In China?

Any idea where the Chinese got the technology; that came from America


Photos Show China Has
Removed Secret Equipment
From US Spy Plane

By Pamela Hess
April 3, 2001

WASHINGTON (UPI) - Chinese officials have removed equipment from a U.S. Navy spy plane that made an emergency landing at a Chinese base after a mid-air collision with a fighter jet March 31, a former intelligence official who has seen classified satellite photos of the base told United Press International Tuesday.

  The source also echoed the fears of many Pentagon officials that the Chinese are unlikely to ever return the plane.

"The chances of getting this airplane back are pretty close to nil," he said.

  The official said he had seen four images from two KH-11 "Keyhole" satellites, which are clear enough to see details -- including racks of the plane's equipment sitting on the tarmac around the aircraft and damage to the EP-3's propeller, engine and wing.

  The EP-3 was forced to make an emergency landing on Hainan Island after a Chinese fighter sent out to intercept the aircraft instead collided with it.

  The Chinese fighter and its pilot are still missing. China has blamed the United States for the incident, saying the aircraft violated its airspace.

  The sun-synchronous KH-11s pass over the Earth at an altitude of around 500 miles twice a day, taking high-resolution snap shots. The electro-optical pictures have better than one-meter resolution and are beamed to a U.S. ground station in near-real time.

  The EP-3 is an electronic signals surveillance aircraft and is loaded with sophisticated equipment used to collect intelligence on an adversary's weapons, command and control capabilities and operations. The equipment is mounted on metal racks inside the shell of the 100-foot long plane, which carries a crew of 24.

  The EP-3 could not have landed in a better place for China or a worse one for U.S. military intelligence. Hainan island is host to one of China's largest electronic-signals-intelligence complexes and is manned by experts who can glean critical information on the aircraft's capabilities if they gain access to the Navy's EP-3, also a "SIGINT" collector, Pentagon sources said. Hainan is also home to a major Chinese satellite-communications intercept facility.

  The United States claims that the aircraft, because it made an emergency landing, should be considered sovereign territory like a U.S. embassy and is therefore off limits to the Chinese.

  President Bush Monday warned China against "further" tampering with or damage to the aircraft.

  "The airplane itself, military aircraft of all countries in situations like this, have sovereign immunity. That is, no other country can go aboard them or keep them," said U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Dennis Blair said Sunday in a press conference.

  However, the Navy presumes Chinese boarded the plane shortly after it landed on a military base on Hainan Island. The last radio message from the crew said it was being ordered to shut down its operation.

  In the event of just such a landing, the crew was trained to destroy classified paperwork and wipe clean computer memories, and may have even physically destroyed some of the equipment.

  "If I were them I would have been pitching stuff out the back," said a U.S. intelligence official.

  The Chinese military is well-known for its ability to reverse engineer sophisticated equipment -- that is, deconstruct a finished product to discern how it works, its capabilities and recreate it for their own use, the official said.

  Pentagon officials say they are concerned the aircraft will never be returned. They speculate that China will say it is holding it as evidence of U.S. violation of international law.

They made clear Tuesday that even if the Chinese strip and dismantle the aircraft in order to reverse engineer it, the U.S. would still -- for political reasons -- demand its return.


China accuses U.S. plane of ramming fighter jet


  President George W Bush was facing his first international crisis last night after a Chinese fighter jet and a U.S. spy plane collided over the South China Sea.

  The top secret EP-3, with 24 crew on board, was forced to land on the Chinese island of Hainan where it was immediately placed under heavy guard.

  The Chinese F-8 fighter fell into the sea and searchers have found no trace of the pilot.

  While Washington tried to play down the seriousness of the incident last night, China was accusing America of invading its airspace and ramming one of its jets.

  U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Colonel Dewey Ford said: 'The planes actually bumped into each other.'

  Pentagon officials insist the aircraft - a Navy surveillance plane described as the most sensitive in the U.S. inventory - was flying in international airspace when it was suddenly approached by two Chinese fighters.

  The fighters flew within a few feet and appeared to be preparing to force the EP-3 to land.

  In an effort to get away, the American pilot suddenly changed direction.

  But one of the Chinese fighter pilots did not react quickly enough, causing the two planes to 'bump' in midair.

  While no Americans were injured, the plane was too badly damaged for the pilot to return to base in Okinawa, Japan.

  At first, U.S. officials believed the Chinese had deliberately bumped the spy plane to force it to land, but Pentagon officials later acknowledged the collision was an accident.

  President Bush has demanded the crew be treated well and returned to American hands immediately.

  Last night, U.S. sources said the initial reaction from China had been 'positive' with indications that the crew could be released today.

  However, the Chinese have also said the American plane was illegally in Chinese airspace and was responsible for the accident.

  'A Chinese aircraft was conducting normal flight operations six miles south of Hainan island when a U.S. plane suddenly veered towards it,' the foreign ministry in Beijing said.

  'The nose and left wing of the U.S. plane hit the Chinese plane and caused it to crash. China is now searching for the crew.'

  The statement also threatened further 'representations' over the U.S. plane entering Chinese airspace and landing without permission.

  Pentagon sources said the Chinese were asking for compensation for the crash.

  'They'll try to drag this out as long as possible,' said one source.

  For China, the capture of an EP-3 is a major intelligence coup.

  Sources say the four-engine aircraft contains intelligence gathering computers, cameras, sensors and eavesdropping equipment that is far more advanced than anything China has developed.

  And while the Chinese argue about compensation, they can also keep hold of the EP-3, allowing technicians and scientists to conduct a detailed analysis.

  Mr Bush has asked the Chinese to allow the U.S. to fly out a substitute crew and repair team to fly the plane back to its Japanese base immediately. But Chinese officials are stalling on this issue.

  The incident could not come at a more sensitive time. Despite major objections from China, Mr Bush is currently considering the highly delicate and potentially explosive policy of selling weapons to Taiwan.

  A confidential review by the U.S. Navy has just concluded that Taiwan needs a significant infusion of new weapons - including a sophisticated radar system - if it is to continue to maintain a realistic defence against Chinese threats of invasion.

  At the same time, China is continuing a military build-up which appears to be directed against Taiwan.

  In fact, sources say the EP-3's flight was almost certainly undertaken to gather information about that build-up.


China Gets a Reverse Path to Secrets
BY Rodger Baker and Viktor   
April 13, 2001

Rodger Baker and Viktor Gobarev are senior analysts for an Internet service based in Austin, Texas, that provides intelligence reports to corporate customers. Terese Schlachter contributed to this report


  There are clear winners and losers stemming from the incident in Hainan. The People's Liberation Army has gained valuable knowledge and technology from the United States with which to protect its secrets and understand how Washington uses its own. The Chinese government has put a finer point on its geopolitical position.

  China is undergoing a major modernization of its military forces, focusing most heavily on developing a navy capable of operating from its 7,400-mile shoreline far out into the South China Sea. Some of the technology on board the U.S. Navy EP-3 could play well into their efforts. Beijing has been working to overcome its deficiency in protecting and intercepting military communications and radar traffic--two things the EP-3 was designed to do. The electronic capabilities they might steal would have taken them years to develop on their own.

  The U.S. spy plane on Hainan island could provide Beijing not only with technology and information to help hide its own military activities from the U.S. and others but also with critical knowledge of how to monitor other countries' military operations and gauge their motives. Although an increasingly difficult task, technological know-how gained from reverse engineering--breaking down and reformulating the electronic components and other high-tech eavesdropping devices--could propel China and its military further toward its long-term goal of being a major conventional military power.

  The EP-3 system is designed to detect and classify a wide range of electronic signals, from satellite transmissions to radar waves. That technology could be used to block China's own emissions and prevent the U.S. and others from listening in. By knowing the frequencies the U.S. zeros in on, Beijing can set about developing effective counter measures.

  It's likely that missions flown by the EP-3 were specifically for information gathering of this sort. U.S. crew members were most likely listening for emissions from a new class of submarine--two vessels specifically. One is a Russian designed Kilo-class submarine, equipped with anti-ship weapons. The other is a more powerful, 6,000-ton Victor III submarine. It is designed to launch cruise missiles while submerged, a feat the Chinese navy has long been incapable of mastering. If it has in fact launched such a sub, U.S. aircraft carriers in the area would become vulnerable. Thus the mission, and thus the Chinese insistence that the U.S. stay away. Sources inside China confirm that the Chinese military's sharp reaction to the incident was because of Beijing's desperation to keep the tests under wraps. The technology gleaned from the U.S. spy plane may help them do just that.

  One of China's main military objectives is in the area of intelligence. "Beijing's highest priority for strategic modernization is in the realm of information," says Mark Stokes of the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute. "One of the most important pillars in China's quest for information dominance is denying an adversary information on [military] plans, force deployments and vulnerabilities."

  The EP-3 landing provided the perfect opportunity to push forward with that priority. And China is equipped with one skill that will make it happen: a mastery of reverse engineering. Reverse engineering has come in handy to the Chinese on a number of occasions, most recently when it reportedly pilfered U.S. nuclear weapons secrets.

  The extent to which China can reverse engineer the EP-3's onboard systems will probably depend on two factors: how much the crew destroyed before landing and how much of the aircraft's high-tech systems are software-based versus hardware-based. The software is the prize because it is computer code that allows the aircraft to process what it is listening to, while the hardware is not as important from an intelligence perspective.


AKULA! The Soviet Shark
Original article for SUBSIM Review
by Neal Stevens Nov. 1999

  The shark. The most feared creature in the sea. Silent and lethal, this killing machine of nature can strike at a moment’s notice. The Russian word for shark is akula. In NATO, Akula is the designation given to the newest and most technologically advanced attack submarine of the Russian Navy. The Akula class submarine is Russia’s answer to the American Los Angeles class fast attack subs. Common opinion holds that Russian submarines are noisy and technologically inferior to their American and British counterparts. Expert opinion, however, knows what lies behind the traditional Russian veil of secrecy. With the Akula, the former Soviet Union has caught the US in the undersea arms race.

Construction History

  The Akula class nuclear submarine is officially deemed Project 971 Shuka B (shuka is an aggressive breed of fresh water pike). Soviet naval engineers designed Akula as the follow-up to the Victor and Sierra classes to set a new standard in stealth and serve as the vanguard of the modern Russian Navy. First of her class, the K-480 (named Bars, Russian for panther) was laid down in 1982 at the Komsomol'sk Shipyard on the Amur River (Eastern Russia) under the authority of the Malakhit Design Bureau. The Soviet Navy launched Bars in 1983 and commissioned her in December 1984. Most of the first eight Akula class submarines were built in Komsomol’sk until activities there ceased in 1993. The remaining submarines have been built or are under construction at the Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk (Northern Russia near Arkhangel’sk), now the primary shipyard for the Russian Navy.

  With the Russian economy presently in disarray, shipyard activities face spiraling uncertainty. Production of most surface ships has halted. Output of Akula submarines remained steady at one-to-two a year until 1995. Funding delays and shipyards strikes have delayed completion of additonal units. To illustrate this, consider the Akula submarine Gepard. Her keel was laid down in 1991 with the sub scheduled to enter active service in 1996. According to the Severodvinsk daily Severny Rabochy, Gepard is still in the yard. The sub's crew was scheduled to arrive on board in early 1998 while the Gepard is still under construction. Western experts puts the total number of Akulas at around 13~14. At current building rates, perhaps one new nuclear submarine will be delivered every three years.

Unique Design

  When discussing the actual physical characteristic of a piece of Russian military hardware, one must always keep in mind the degree of security the government imposes on information. It is generally believed that an Akula displaces an estimated 7500 tons surfaced, 9100 tons submerged, with a length of 108-113 meters and a beam of 13.5 meters. Intelligence believes propulsion is derived from a pressurized water reactor with a model OK-650 b high-density reactor core, generating a total of 200 mwt and a shaft power of 43,000 hp. The uranium fuel is highly enriched, producing substantially more power than American submarine reactors. Some sources credit Akula with two reactors. Thomas Jandl, director of Bellona USA (a Norwegian-based environmental group), says, "My colleagues tell me that the Akula has only one reactor, as opposed to older Russian subs, which had two. The Akula does not follow the two-reactor tradition." Whichever the case may be, the Akula is capable of underwater speeds of 35 knots (claimed) and this, too, may be a conservative rating.

  The Akula uses a double hull construction. The living spaces, torpedo tubes, and most of the machinery exists within the stronger inner hull. The ballast tanks and specially adapted gear are located between the inner and outer hulls. Double hull construction calls for greater propulsion requirements and includes limber holes for the free-flooding sections between the hulls. These holes are an inherent source of unwanted noise. Akula class submarines, however, incorporate limber hole covers that can be closed to reduce or eliminate this tattletale. Offsetting the extra weight, double hull construction dramatically increases the reserve buoyancy of a submarine by as much as three times over that of a single hull craft. The greater capacity for absorbing enemy fire and still being capable of reaching the surface must have a very good effect on the morale of the 80 crewmen.

  An Akula has a very distinctive profile; a broad beam, sleek lines, and the conspicuous stern pod which houses a hydrophonic towed array. Hull material is high strength steel. The Akula does not have a titanium hull after many problems with that material during early construction. Diving depth approaches 500 meters, possibly ten percent more, placing the Akula ahead of the American Los Angeles class. The engineers have taken great care to blend the sail into the hull producing superior hydrodynamic qualities. The result makes American submarines look blocky and piecemeal in comparison. Decreased water resistance adds knots to an already potent powerplant.

  The combination of a high-density reactor and streamlined hull contours make the Akula class capable of speeds that outperform NATO submarines. Careful study of Akulas captured on film reveals another velocity weapon. Parallel sections of small-diameter tubing running down the hull are thought to be a system that, when the need arises, can emit a polymer substance that may greatly enhance underwater speeds under combat conditions.

  The Akula is quite capable of gunning as well as running. Armed with four 533mm and four 650mm torpedo tubes, Akula deploys twice as much ordnance as the Los Angeles class. Loadout consists of twenty SET 53 torpedoes, four SS-N-21 nuclear cruise missiles, four SS-N-15 nuclear torpedoes, and ten ultra-heavyweight SET 65 ASUW torpedoes. Both the SET 53 and SET 65 torpedoes are wireguided and possess active, passive, and wake-homing capabilities. The SET 65 pack a 900kg punch, enough to take out a carrier with one unit.

  Significant modifications were made to the original Project 971 Akula design beginning with the fifth unit. Classified as "Akula II", these modifications include a four-meter extension that may accommodate VLS tubes and advanced technology sensors.

Tactics and Defense

  Known countermeasures are the standard gas-producing decoy units, a holdover from the German Pillenwaffer, sonar jamming, and an ingenious acoustic decoy commonly referred to as the nixie. The nixie is a small torpedo that emulates the sound signature of the parent sub. Once launched, the nixie veers from the submarine’s track at three knots. The emissions coming from the nixie obscures the actual noise generated by the creeping submarine. While the tracking submarine is deceived into tracking and launching on a decoy, the Akula may silently alter course and counterattack. At the very least, a nixie will force the NATO submarine to track multiple targets, uncertain which is the Akula.

  However, even more intriguing is the layman’s theory that the newer Russian subs can actually operate at lower sound levels than documented. Learning of the spectacular achievements of US sub quiteness from the Walker revelations (see below), Soviet military doctrine may dictate that all submarines routinely emit a level of noise that exceeds their minimum capability. The theory follows that NATO submarines track, record, and catalogue the Akulas at these artificial sound levels and US naval intelligence may be misled into believing that the profiles represent the best the opposition can do. In the event of actual conflict, doctrine would then direct the Russian submarines to shift into a combat mode of silent running and eliminate the false noise levels, effectively disappearing from NATO’s view. "The submarine versus submarine engagement profile is a lot more complicated than the simple comparison of radiated noise, which is too often used to oversimplify relative effectiveness," a Navy expert said. "Other equally important factors include tactical handling and sonar performance, and even non-acoustic sensors must be taken into account."

Gains Through Borrowed Technology

  As we have seen, the Russian naval mindset stresses performance over stealth. The Akula follows a line of boats that can outdive, outrun, and outshoot American subs in most categories. The notable exception is quietness. One American submarine captain described the acoustic profile of a seventies Russian sub as similar to that of a "threshing machine". American submarines are capable of a highly touted degree of stealth that no Russian sub can match. That is, until Akula. Western intelligence experts had expected the US lead in submarine acoustics to last well into the 21st century. The advent of the Akula class has many NATO military planners convinced that US subs have lost the advantage they enjoyed since the end of the Second World War.

  Originally, the Soviet fast attacks (Victor class) were deployed in the sixties off the US coasts to shadow US boomers. When this strategy failed because the boomers were too quiet, the Soviet fast attacks received reassignments to escort their own boomers and provide retaliation deterrent against US fast attacks. To overtake the Americans, Russian engineers adopted and improved the machinery rafting designs that had proven successful in damping the turbine noise on American nuclear submarines. However, as one high-ranking American officer cautiously stated during an interview, the Russian technology may achieve a high level of noise suppression initially but degrades after service. The signature of an Akula grows more prominent with age, whether through inferior design, materials, or maintenance.

  Other reported Russian design innovations included three separate anechoic coatings on the hull. The most significant achievements in reducing radiated noise were obtained through espionage. The spying efforts of American naval personnel John Walker and radioman Jerry Whitworth made the Soviet Union’s military chiefs aware of how far advanced American submarines were. Substantial efforts to marginalize the sound profile of the Akula can be traced to intelligence gained from the Walker spy ring. A separate but equally empowering sequence of events for the Russians was the illegal sale of propeller milling technology by the Japanese firm Toshiba and the Norwegian firm Kongsberg. The combined results generated a steep drop in broadband acoustic noise profiles.

Leading the Undersea Arms Race

  Rapid gains are not won without some setbacks. Four Soviet-era submarines have been lost with the loss of over 500 men. There have been ten known nuclear accidents and many lesser accidents involving fires. Some of the blame, no doubt, is due to the acquisition of technology through espionage rather than painstaking research that includes thorough comprehension. There have been no known accidents of the Akula class boats operating from the Northern and Pacific Fleets, which leads one to believe the Russians have survived their lengthy trials and have produced a world-class product. Although Western military buffs are often quick to dismiss the former Soviet Union as technologically inept, the Akula class has raised serious doubts of who is leading whom.

  This turnaround was painfully evident when US officials recently acknowledged for the first time that US submarines could not readily locate an Akula submarine operating off the coast of the USA. "It is difficult to find the most advanced Russian Akula class submarines when they operate at tactical speed or less," Admiral Jeremy Boorda said. Other military experts sounded the alarm as early as 1988. Anthony Batista, senior staff member of the Armed Forces Committee declared, "The Akula is the best submarine in the world today." A recent report from the Office of Naval Intelligence noted that the improved Akula submarines could indeed surpass the quieting of the Los Angeles class at tactical speeds. On August 9, 1995, during a lobbying effort on behalf of the Seawolf and the following Virginia class submarines, retired Vice Admiral E.A. Burkhalter announced that the $7 billion-per-year Russian program had produced "the Akula submarine, which is quieter than Seawolf." In an effort to raise public awareness, Martin Marietta, a leading defense contractor, ran ads featuring the Akula class in a number of newspapers including the San Diego Union-Tribune. While it may be difficult to separate the hype military supporters chronically use to "talk up a potential threat, in order to justify their own building programs" from the actual capabilities obscured by Russian secrecy, one impression remains: America can no longer claim uncontested dominance of the oceanic strata.


After A Decade Long Wait, China And Russia Ink 'Super Jet' Military Deal

Kenneth Rapoza, Contributor

  China finally gets her wish: 24 Sukhoi SU-35s from Russia, with love. And a warning: don't you dare try and reverse engineer this beast.

  A recent official visit to Moscow brought back some new souvenirs for the Chinese military.

  How about a reported 24 Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jets, and four submarines from Russia.

  China‘s new president Xi Jinping was in Russia this week to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Both sides agreed to two arms-sale contracts in which China will buy Russian Sukhoi made fighter jets, Xinhua and Agence France Press reported on Monday.

  Move up tMove down

China has been itching to buy the planes since the 1990s and has been in hot pursuit since last March.

  Russia’s Interfax confirmed the existence and date of that agreement back in February, but didn’t speculate on sales numbers. This month, official talks trimmed the order down to 24 planes from an initial discussion of 48 Sukhoi Super Flankers. The Russians are said to have more confidence that China can’t copy their engines, and are also said to need the SU-35 orders because Russia’s Defense Department is ordering follow-on buys of new upgraded Sukhoi SU-35s instead.

  The deals raised concern among some regional defense players — namely India. China Central Television reported on Sunday that the purchase deals were signed before President Xi Jinping’s ever stepped foot into Russia. The military deal marks the first time in a decade that China had bought large military technological equipment from Russia, according to official television.

  Meanwhile, the four Lada-class diesel-electric submarines will be jointly designed and built by both countries, with two of them to be built in Russia and the other two in China.

  “The Su-35 fighters can effectively reduce pressure on China’s air defense before Chinese-made stealth fighters come online,” Li Hong, secretary-general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said in a Xinhua newswire story. Li said the recent purchases and joint building plan serve as an indicator of the evolution of the overall China-Russian strategic partnership.

  “It is the natural, well-deserved fruit of bilateral defense cooperation, and both sides have made it clear that the bilateral strategic partnership is not targeting anyone,” Li said.

  The Sukhoi SU-35 is a single seat super maneuverable, acrobatic fighter plane. Russia is the only Air Force to fly the SU-35. At altitude, its top speed is Mach 2.25 compared to Mach 2 for the U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon, another multirole fighter aircraft made by General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin. The SU-35 is designed by Sukhoi and built together with Komsomolsk Aircraft Production Association, aka knappo, Russia’s largest aircraft maker. Both are part of United Aircraft Corporation.