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  • China Makes An IDEX Splash
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 3:21 PM on Feb 24, 2009

    There is a lot of Chinese-developed hardware making its international debut at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi. That's important in itself, because - although Chinese officials are usually careful about what they say to spies and reporters - I was told several times that anything on show here is not only in service but available for export.

    The biggest single piece of new hardware is Norinco's AR-1A 300-mm multiple launch rocket system. It is superficially similar to Russia's Smerch, and Smerch developer Splav reportedly assisted with the design of the rocket rounds. However, there are differences: Norinco claims a much greater range - 130 km versus 90 km - and the rockets are loaded as a complete pallet.

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    Poly Technologies is also here with information on its A100, another 300 mm MLRS. Both use a jet-thruster trajectory control system to improve accuracy.

    Norinco also brought the Yitian short-range air defense (Shorad) system.

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    Mounted on a WMZ551 6X6 armored chassis, Yitian carries eight canister-launched TY-90 infra-red homing missiles, and two radar systems: a rotating-antenna acquisition radar on top and a tracking radar below it. It also has an electro-optical tracking system. The missile can receive course updates in flight, so that it can be launched even if humidity or smoke obscure the target from its own seeker.

    On show in model form was the LD2000 ground-based close-in weapon system, similar in principle to the Raytheon Centurion:   a naval-type CIWS gun mounted on a heavy truck for the defense of critical targets against rockets, artillery, cruise missiles and other threats.

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    However, LD2000 has a larger gun - a 30 mm, seven-barrel weapon firing 4200 rounds per minute, including an armor piercing discarding sabot round. It is also teamed with an Intelligence and Command Vehicle (ICV) with a tracking radar. A Norinco brochure shows three LD2000 fire units and one ICV providing a shield around a mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile.

    Finally, also new to the international scene is Poly Technologies' FT bomb family, combining inertial and satellite guidance like the US JDAM.

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    One difference:  according to a Chinese official, the satellite subsystem can receive signals from GPS, Russia's GLONASS or China's Beidou satellites. The FT-1 is a 500 kg weapon and the FT-3 weighs 1000 kg.

    Tags: ar99, idex, china

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