China is developing a reusable space plane that will be able to take off from a conventional runway and capable of taking people into space.
The aircraft is being designed to transport passengers into near space and also to deliver astronauts and supplies to China’s new space station, China Central Television reported Thursday.
"The project is in the primary stages of development," Zhang Hongwen, head of the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation was quoted as saying by China.org.
Unlike Boeing X-37, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), the Chinese Space plane can take-off from a conventional runway.
The X-37 is an uncrewed spacecraft. It is boosted into space by a launch vehicle, then re-enters Earth's atmosphere and lands as a space plane.
The progress is being made on the development of solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can set up a local area network (LAN) by flying at altitudes between 20 and 100 kms. The UAVs would be able to fly perpetually due to their ability to absorb sunshine above the level of clouds, would be used for remote image sensing and meteorological observation, Zhang added.
"The drones are due to be tested before the end of this year," said Zhang.
China has seen an increase of over 70 percent in its defense exports from 2012 to 2016 when compared to 2007-2011 overtaking Germany, France and the UK during the time. According to Chinese PLA Army run media publication, Chinamil, Barter trade and flexible payment terms have helped China to become the third largest weapon supplier in the world
China's defense budget in 2018 will be 1.1069 trillion yuan ($174
State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) has said it plans to speed up the process of developing nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines. CSIC manufactures ships and submarines and has made China's first conventionally-powered aircraft carrier which is currently undergoing mooring tests
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) signed a purchase agreement with a domestic leasing company China Huarong Financial Leasing Co., for the purchase of 30 C919 large passenger aircraft, taking total orders to 815
China has stationed J-10 and J-11 fighter jets in the Western Theater Command covering Tibet which it claims are third generation plus aircraft to counter India's third generation fighters. India has prepared its air base in the North Eastern part of country bordering Tibet so that its front-line its Su-30MKI fighter jets can operate there
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