New engine passes test and revs up space hopes

A next-generation engine, that will pave the way for lunar exploration, was successfully tested on Sunday. The engine, with a 120-ton-thrust using liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene, will enable the Long March 5 carrier rocket - which is expected to make its maiden voyage in 2014 - to place a 25-ton payload into near-Earth orbit, or place a 14-ton payload into geostationary orbit, experts said. The tests, which included seeing how the engine would respond to rotational speeds of nearly 20,000 revolutions per minute and temperatures of 3,000 C for 200 seconds, were held in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province. "The successful tests confirm the reliability of China's LOX/kerosene engine," said Lai Daichu, test commander. Tan Yonghua, head of Xi'an Aerospace Propulsion Institute under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, which developed the engine, said that the single engine currently used by Long March carrier rockets only has a 75-ton thrust, much less than the … [Read more...]

China prepares for moon launch with patriotic blast

China readied to launch its first moon orbiter Wednesday accompanied by a blaze of patriotic propaganda celebrating the country's space ambitions and technological prowess. Barring bad weather or technical problems, the Chang'e One orbiter will blast off from the southwest province of Sichuan and then spend more than a year surveying the moon's surface in preparation for an unmanned moon vehicle around 2010 and then a manned landing in future decades. Visitors walk among replicas of rockets at a theme park in Wuhu, east China's Anhui province, October 23, 2007 Even before the blast, state media celebrated Chang'e One, named after a mythical Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, as a display of the country's growing strength. "Without a doubt, the launch of the Chang'e One will again show the world that Chinese people have the willpower, confidence and ability to constantly scale the heights of science and technology," said one commentator on the Sina Web site … [Read more...]

Chinese firm under U.S. sanctions wins Turkey missile defence system tender

ISTANBUL - NATO member Turkey has chosen a Chinese defence firm that has been hit by U.S. sanctions to co-produce a $4 billion long-range air and missile defence system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, U.S. and European firms. The Turkish defence minister announced the decision to award the contract to China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) in a statement on Thursday. In February, the United States announced sanctions on CPMIEC for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act. It did not say precisely what CPMIEC had done, but Washington has penalised the company before. In 2003, Washington said it was extending sanctions on the firm for arms sales to Iran. It was unclear when those measures were first imposed. Officials at state-run CPMIEC, the marketing arm of China's missile manufacturing industry, could not immediately be reached for comment. Turkey, which has the second-largest deployable military force in the NATO alliance, … [Read more...]

China denies firm shipped missile trucks to N.Korea

Beijing said Wednesday Chinese companies were not involved in shipping missile launch vehicles to North Korea last year, denying a Japanese newspaper report that accused it of breaking UN resolutions. A North Korean missile is displayed during a military parade earlier this year in Pyongyang to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung. Photo: AFP The Asahi Shimbun report -- based on Japanese government sources -- is the most strident of recent claims that China has been involved in helping to arm its wayward ally Pyongyang. "China has been strictly implementing relevant Security Council resolutions and its own laws and regulations on non-proliferation export control," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in response to a question on the report. "Chinese companies did not export items that are banned by relevant Security Council resolutions or Chinese laws and regulations." Asked whether China may have exported the vehicles through companies from … [Read more...]

China launches telecommunication satellite

China successfully sent a telecommunication satellite, "ChinaSat 2A," into orbit on Saturday evening, using a Long March-3B carrier rocket launched from the southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The rocket blasted off at 11:56 p.m. Beijing time. The satellite, developed by China Academy of Space Technology, will be used to meet the demands for China's radio and TV broadcasting and broadband multimedia transmissions, according to China Satellite Communications Co. Ltd. Saturday's launch marked the 163rd mission of the Long March carrier rocket series developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. VietNamNet/Xinhuanet … [Read more...]

China launches new remote-sensing satellite

Source: XinhuaChina successfully launched the remote-sensing satellite Yaogan XIII Thursday (May 10) from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in the northern province of Shanxi, according to a press release from the centre. The satellite was carried into space aboard a Long March 4B carrier rocket which blasted off at 3:06 p.m. Beijing time, according to the centre. The satellite will be used to conduct scientific experiments, carry out surveys on land resources, monitor crop yields and help with natural disaster reduction and prevention. The Long March 4B carrier rocket was produced by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Thursday's launch is the 162nd mission of Long March series carrier rockets. The satellite, weighing only 9.3 kg, will be mainly used for data reception for the satellite-based vessel Automatic Identification System, optical imaging and various space exploration experiments in orbit./. … [Read more...]

N. Korea threatens war, Seoul unveils new missile

North Korea demanded Thursday that South Korea apologise for what it called insults during major anniversary festivities, or face a "sacred war", as Seoul unveiled a new missile to deter its neighbour. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un (C) waves at the end of a major military parade to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder and his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang, on April 15. Photo: AFP Regional tensions have risen since Pyongyang went ahead with a long-range rocket launch last Friday, defying international calls to desist. The event was to have been a centrepiece of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary Sunday of the "Day of the Sun", the birthday of Kim Il-Sung who founded the communist nation and the dynasty which still rules it. But the rocket, which the North said was designed to launch a satellite, disintegrated after some two minutes of flight. "The puppet regime of traitors must apologise immediately for their grave … [Read more...]

China to launch natural disaster monitoring satellite

China will launch the first of eight satellites to monitor environment and natural disasters from the countrys north Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre this week, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The satellite "Environment 1", an optical satellite, will be sent into orbit by a Long March 2C carrier, according to local media. It will monitor most of the country and send back data daily, making up for the countrys earth observation data shortage, said Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of Environmental Protection. The satellite will work as a constellation with seven other satellites yet to be launched. Its observational footprint is 720 km. It is expected to forecast and monitor natural disasters such as flooding, drought, typhoon, landslide and earthquake, Wu said. P.V … [Read more...]

U.S. Marines declare initial F-35 squadron ready for combat

Two U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters complete vertical landings aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) during operational testing May 18, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph Dunford has declared an initial squadron of 10 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35B fighter jets ready for combat, marking a key milestone for the Pentagon's biggest weapons program, the Pentagon said on Friday. The decision makes the Marines the first U.S. military service to declare an "initial operational capability" for the stealth supersonic F-35 fighter under the $391 billion arms program that first kicked off in 2001. Lockheed is developing three models of the jet, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, or Lightning II. Early technical challenges delayed the Marines' move by three years from its original target. But U.S. officials say the F-35 program has been meeting its schedule and lowering costs for the past five years. The Marine Corps' F-35B model can take off from warships and … [Read more...]

Lockheed to buy Sikorsky for $9 billion; reviews options for IT business

Aircraft technicians assemble S-92A helicopters at Sikorsky Global Helicopters in Coatesville, Pennsylvania October 16, 2014. Lockheed Martin Corp said Monday it would buy Sikorsky Aircraft, the helicopter unit of United Technologies Corp, for $9 billion, and would review the possible sale or spinoff of $6 billion in other information technology and services businesses. The Pentagon's largest supplier said the net cost of the Sikorsky deal was around $7.1 billion, taking into account tax benefits resulting from the transaction. Lockheed also reported higher earnings and revenue for the second quarter. The deal, first reported by Reuters on Sunday, cements Lockheed's dominance in weapons making and opens key foreign markets for the company, which has annual revenues of $45 billion. It already dwarves its nearest competitors, the defense business of Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp. It comes just months after UTC said it would explore alternatives for Sikorsky, which accounted for … [Read more...]

China arrests former senior energy executive after graft probe

A former senior executive at the state-run China Southern Power Grid has been arrested for suspected bribery, the state prosecutor said on Tuesday, the latest official to fall victim to the government's battle against graft. Qi Dacai was a vice president and director at the company until he was put under investigation for corruption by the ruling Communist Party in March. The state prosecutor said that its branch in the southern province of Guangdong had approved the arrest, and that the probe was still ongoing. It gave no further details. China Southern Power Grid did not respond to a request for comment. The Communist Party has targeted several big state-owned firms for graft inspections this year, including China Southern Power Grid, China Power Investment Corp and State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. The anti-graft efforts at state firms coincides with the expected roll-out of ambitious new guidelines to overhaul China's inefficient state sector. Chinese President Xi Jinping … [Read more...]

China’s hottest phone maker? Here’s the upstart chasing Xiaomi

A OnePlus One smartphone. Xiaomi Corp. became one of the world’s most valuable startups by selling cheap, features-packed smartphones to its home market of China. OnePlus is trying to match that success by doing the opposite. The Shenzhen, China-based OnePlus sold more than a million units of its debut device, the One, last year by favoring overseas markets such as U.S., the U.K. and India. Almost two-thirds of those phones were shipped abroad, where a $299 price tag, an invite-only sales system and an easy-to-pronounce English name fostered early buzz. The company expects to more than triple sales this year. "We are going to be a lot more aggressive in our international expansion," Pete Lau, OnePlus co-founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview. "Some companies look at overall sales volume. We look more at word of mouth." OnePlus’s early push abroad shows the growing confidence Chinese smartphone makers, including Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei … [Read more...]

‘Made in China’ nuclear reactors a tough sell in global market

As China signs global deals to export its nuclear power technology, it faces a huge obstacle: it still needs to show it can build and safely operate these reactors at home. Aided by foreign technology acquired during three decades of development, China has the highest number of reactors being built and ambitions to export its home-grown models to an overseas market worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Premier Li Keqiang told an annual parliamentary meeting this week that the China aimed to increase its share of global sales in a range of advanced industries, including implementing major projects in nuclear power. And in a sign of progress on exporting its own nuclear technology, China signed a preliminary agreement last month to sell its flagship Hualong 1 reactor to Argentina. But despite state media describing the deal as the model's "maiden voyage", China has not yet built Hualong 1, raising questions about the country's capacity to deliver reactors for the global … [Read more...]

IT firms set high targets for 2015

Illustrative image (Source: After ending last year with encouraging results, several IT firms in Ho Chi Minh City have set higher business targets this year. Dang The Tai, general director of CMC System Integration Saigon Ltd, said his company achieved revenue of 659 billion VND (30.9 million USD) last year compared to 543 billion VND (25.48 million USD) in 2013. The figure is expected to reach 725 billion VND (34.02 million USD) this year, Tai said. CMC Saigon is currently one of the two largest Vietnamese companies capable of providing all IT and telecommunication services and solutions, he said. It accounts for 60 percent of market share in the south in providing professional IT solutions and services for customers in the fields of finance, banking and the stock market. Le Minh Chau, pre-sales manager of Meganet, which specialises in network solution, equipments and infrastructure, said the company has set a target to achieve 10-15 billion VND (469,263 USD- … [Read more...]

Man charged with trying to take U.S. military documents to China

A former Connecticut resident and Chinese citizen who allegedly worked on the F135 engine was charged with trying to take sensitive documents about military technology to China, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Tuesday. Yu Long was en route to China in November via Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey where customs officers found proprietary documents in his luggage that included equations and test results used to develop titanium for U.S. military aircraft, prosecutors said. Yu Long was arrested two days later in Ithaca, New York. U.S. defense officials have sounded the alarm in recent years about increased efforts by China, Russia and other countries to gain access to U.S. military technologies. Between 2008 and earlier this year, Yu Long worked as a senior engineer for a Connecticut defense contractor. He had said he worked on the F119 and F135 engines, which are used in U.S. fighter aircraft and manufactured by United Technologies Corp. Yu Long … [Read more...]

Lockheed, Pentagon ink $4.7 billion deal for eighth batch of F-35 fighters

U.S. Navy test pilot Ted Dyckman makes a successful landing of a Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35C Joint Strike Fighter on an aircraft carrier using its tailhook system, while off the coast of California, November 3, 2014. The Pentagon said on Friday it had awarded Lockheed Martin Corp a contract valued at $4.7 billion for an eighth batch of F-35 fighter jets that lowered the average price per jet by 3.5 percent from the last contract, and 57 percent from the first batch. The Pentagon's F-35 program office said the deal includes 29 jets for the United States and 14 for five other countries: Israel, Japan, Norway, Britain and Italy. Once production of those jets is completed, more than 200 F-35s will be in operation by eight countries, according to the office that runs the $399 billion F-35 program for the Pentagon. The Pentagon has signed a separate contract valued at $1.05 billion for an eighth batch of engines built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), … [Read more...]

Lockheed, Pentagon reach $4 billion deal for more F-35 jets

A Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter flies toward its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in this U.S. Air Force picture taken on January 11, 2011. Lockheed Martin Corp and U.S. defense officials have reached agreement on the terms of a contract worth about $4 billion for an eighth batch of 43 F-35 fighter jets, sources familiar with the deal said on Thursday. The contract will lower the cost of the radar-evading warplane by about 3 percent and includes jets to be built for the U.S. military, Britain and other U.S. allies, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly. The cost of the U.S. Air Force model of the plane, which accounts for 27 of the 43 aircraft, will go down by nearly 4 percent, said one of the sources. Both sides had expected to reach a deal in May or June, but the negotiations slowed after a June 23 engine failure on an Air Force jet grounded the entire F-35 fleet for several weeks. Lockheed Chief Financial Officer … [Read more...]

Apple’s rivals hope its iWatch makes ‘wearable’ work

Masayoshi Son, president of SoftBank Corp., demonstrates a Fitbit Flex wearable device. Photo: Bloomberg Know what a "Wearable" is? Most top tech executives would struggle to define it. Now they're hoping that Apple will do it for them. Next week, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is expected to stride into the market for wearable accessories that link wirelessly up to phones and create a template for other firms that have struggled to create products consumers would want to be seen in. Rival electronics makers have been marketing hundreds of wearable products over the past year, but have little to show for it in sales despite huge hype for accessories seen as a critical boost to the vast but increasingly saturated market for mobile phones. Executives at Europe's big consumer electronics trade fair this week in Berlin readily admit to hoping that Apple can crack the missing code for everyone. Where the U.S. innovator leads, its rivals plan to follow by bringing their own improvements or by … [Read more...]

First domestic exchange-traded fund to track VN30 Index

HCM CITY (VNS) - Fund manager VietFund Management is planning an initial public offering for the country's first domestic exchange-traded fund early in the third quarter, providing investors with a low-cost investment channel to expose to the attractive Vietnamese equity market. An ETF is a fund traded on the stock market. And most ETFs track an index like stock and bond indexes, a commodity, or a basket of assets like an index fund. They are an attractive investment because of their benefits like market exposure, low costs, high transparency, no foreign ownership limit, and trading like a single listed stock, Nguyen Thi Viet Ha, head of research and development at the HCM Stock Exchange, said. Tran Thanh Tan, CEO of VietFund Management (VFM), said he had applied for setting up the first local ETF. "Our fund, the ETF VFMVN30, will track the VN30 Index, which consists of 30 companies listed on HOSE in terms of market capitalisation, free float, and liquidity." The VN30 index … [Read more...]