China to Ramp Up L-15 Trainer Production?
- An announcement [in Chinese] from the PRC’s ministry of defense seems to indicate that production of Hongdu’s L-15 Falcon light attack trainers may soon pick up. So far they haven’t delivered more than a few prototypes and early units. According to the ministry, Hongdu has improved its recruitment and training. The L-15 is intended for domestic use and export to Zambia and possibly other countries close to China such as Pakistan.
What Migration Says About China and the Constraints it Faces
- The Strategist: how America is underestimating China’s resolve and power. The author seems to take China’s ability to sustain 10+% defense spending growth as a given. But China’s internal constraints should not be papered over.
- For the last few years China’s millionaires have been increasingly voting with their feet to flee pollution and corruption, boosting real estate prices from the US and Canada’s west coasts to Australia and beyond. Some Chinese are also voting with their wombs by electing to give birth in the US so their children have American citizenship, which turns quite controversial in the case of Chai Jing, a popular anchor on state-owned CCTV. When many of the people who can do so seem to be setting up a plan B in Western countries, something has got to give. Chinese authorities recently announced they would reform by 2020 the hukou household registration system which restricts free relocation within the country. Yet that will be a tall order short of recognizing proper private property rights.
Space Spending Trends
- According to Euroconsult, global spending on space programs declined slightly to $72.1B in 2013, marking the first decrease in 2 decades. The US remains far ahead even though its spending is significantly dropping, while #2 Russia is ramping up its own space budget at a 30+% rate.
- Danish firm Terma A/S is suing Poland’s procurement agency for breach of contract as the Polish refused to accept the delivery of AN/ALQ-213 survivability kits to be added to their helicopters after tests raised false alarms.
- Alenia Aermacchi appointed Giancarlo Grasso as its Chairman, after a long career within parent group Finmeccanica.
- Iran has had to jump through hoops to try and maintain its aircraft while under international sanctions, but if you’re to believe their Fars news agency, they managed to keep their C-130 flying. They had a deadly C-130 crash in 2005, and an Iranian C-130E was shot down apparently by mistake by Armenia in 1994.
Wrapping Up Red Flag
- Today’s video shows the recent Red Flag exercise and its 160 aircraft, as seen by the UK’s Royal Air Force: