Ten Chinese defense companies are among the exhibitors at the 14th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference in Kuala Lumpur this week. (Wendell Minnick)
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KUALA LUMPUR — Ten Chinese companies exhibiting at the Defense Services Asia (DSA) exhibition here this week are pushing wares as diverse as armored vests, missiles and submarines.
The predominant Chinese defense companies exhibiting were China Electronics Technology Group Corp. (CETC), China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. (CPMIEC), China Shipbuilding Trading Co. (CSTC), and Poly Technologies.
The Chinese companies did not come without political baggage. Poly Technologies, for example, was accused of attempting to ship weapons to Zimbabwe during the 2008 election crisis there, but the South African government refused to allow the ship carrying the cargo to unload the arms.
A total of five different UAVs were being offered, though only Poly Technologies provided a model of its multipurpose tactical reconnaissance UAV system, the ASN-209.
The fixed-wing ASN-209 has become a common sight at Asian and Middle Eastern defense exhibitions. Developed by the Xi’an ASN Technology Group, the ASN-209 is a medium-altitude, medium-endurance aircraft with a range of 200 kilometers and a 10-hour endurance. Egypt is reportedly the only foreign country that has procured it.
CPMIEC endorsed its SH-1 and SH-2 fixed-wing tactical reconnaissance and battlefield surveillance UAV systems. The SH-1 is only 2 meters in length, is launched by ejection or rocket, and can be retrieved by parachute or net-capture. The missions can last four to six hours depending on the payload (average 30 kilograms). The SH-2 is only slightly longer at 2.15 meters, with flight duration of six to eight hours and range of 100 kilometers.
The most sophisticated UAV being marketed for the Southeast Asian market was CPMIEC’s jet-powered WJ-600. Exhibitors revealed that the UAV, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., comes in a standard WJ-600 with a duration of two and a half to three hours at an altitude of 1,200 meters, and a new WJ-600A with a duration of three and a half to five hours at 8,000 meters. Both can be outfitted with synthetic aperture radar, information relay payload, electronic warfare package, and a variety of “mini land-attack” weapons. However, the mission payload for the UAV is only 130 kilograms.
Shenzhen-based ALLTECH (Keweitai Enterprise Development Co.) was the only Chinese company promoting a vertical rotor UAV. Equipped with a camera, the KWT-X6P is described by its maker as a “hexacopter” capable of conducting crowd surveillance and search-and-rescue missions. It also has commercial applications.
CETC did not shy away from promoting its Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Kill, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4KISR) product line.
CETC made no attempt to disguise a resource base of 47 research institutes and 26 enterprises that specialize almost entirely in electronics, microwave and information engineering. The brochure illustrated a strong proclivity in “C4KISR solutions” for air forces, navies and armies. Defense News was able to obtain a copy of CETC’s 96-page air force/air defense catalogue and the 125-page army catalogue, but was denied a copy of the navy catalogue.
The air force/air defense catalogue contained 16 land-based air defense radars, six battlefield surveillance radars, 18 electronic warfare radars and communication systems, along with a new battlefield intelligence processing system and two new synthetic apertur radars (SARs) — the JY-201 multiband airborne SAR system and JY-203 UAV-borne SAR system. CETC also exhibited a model of the JF-17 fighter’s KLJ-7 airborne pulse doppler fire-control radar. According to the CETC catalogue, the X-band radar has a range of 105-kilometer up-looking, 85-kilometer down-looking, and can track 10 targets simultaneously.
The army catalogue contained seven airborne radars, 15 land-based air defense radars, 24 electronic warfare systems, and a new “national military communication solution” and “strategic communication system solution.”
Other systems being offered by Poly Technologies included the road-mobile JH-16 long-range 3D S-band air surveillance radar and the road-mobile S-band phase and frequency scan (PFS) weapon-location radar. The PFS is a medium-to-long-range radar with electronic counter-countermeasures.
CPMIEC is offering anti-ship missiles, including the new CM-802AKG (air-to-ground) missile, revealed at the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow, and the older short-range C701AR, and the longer-range C704/C705 anti-ship missiles.
CSTC provided models of the 2,880-ton C28A corvette and the P20C high-speed patrol craft.
However, the CSTC catalogue offers a new product — that is, to “undertake design and construction” of conventional submarines that have the capability of “underwater launching” of missiles, according to the catalogue.
This appears to be the first time CSTC has offered the international market a submarine construction option. If true, it will join a variety of European countries with that capability, with the potential of competing against them in the international submarine market. ■