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The international community has not only acknowledged China’s continuing rise as a world power but has also closely observed Beijing regain its place in the international community and grow to become a dominant player in the Far East.

Despite the difficulty in obtaining relevant information, Harpia’s Modern Chinese Warplanes series has filled an important void in recent years, focusing on the current situation, the structure of this growing force, its order of battle, and the latest types in service and under development.
Now, and in order to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force on 11 November 2019, this new book turns its attention to the history since Mao’s Communist Party took control of the country in 1949.

Chinese Air Power in the 20th Century examines the different periods, explains the political events behind them and they connect to military developments, individual structure and capabilities.

The title also includes an assessment of how the political climate influenced the design and development of the country’s major military aircraft including the fighters, attack aircraft and bombers created by the Chinese aviation industry after World War II. This also includes a number of design proposals which, for various reasons, were rejected or abandoned.

This comprehensive directory provides a lavishly illustrated, in-depth analysis and overview of the historical gestation of the PLAAF and its path to becoming the modern air arm we know today.

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Compared to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and Naval Aviation, the PLA’s Army Aviation is the least known und understood of the country’s air arms. Its formation was only approved in 1986 and it was established as the Army Aviation Corps in January 1988, using helicopters inherited from the Air Force. Beginning as a single regiment, the first true Army Aviation brigade was formed in 2009 and the force has now expanded to around a dozen frontline units operating hundreds of different helicopters. In its current form, Army Aviation has established itself as a major force in support of the PLA Ground Forces.

In April 2017 – and in parallel with China’s other two air arms – the Army Aviation began a dramatic reorganisation. The former PLA Group Armies were restructured, and the aviation units have undergone major changes. This trend has included not only the introduction of larger numbers of more modern helicopters, but also the establishment of newly numbered aviation brigades. Consequently, while the PLA Ground Forces generally face a reduction in numbers, the Army Aviation brigades will probably see expansion, not only in size but also in operational importance.

Complementing Harpia’s two fully revised volumes dedicated to the PLAAF and Naval Aviation, this uniquely compact yet comprehensive directory provides a magnificently illustrated, in-depth analysis and directory of modern Chinese Army Aviation air power. It is organised in four parts: the most important military aircraft and their weapons in service today; aircraft markings and serial number systems; recent modernisation efforts and structural reforms and orders of battle for the PLA’s Army Aviation.

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Russian military aviation has undergone several upheavals in the post-Soviet era. There have been two driving forces behind these changes. First, the Russian experience of air power in conflicts has led to an increasing integration of the various branches of the armed forces. Today’s VKS was created as a result of the absorption of the Air Defence Troops (VPVO) by the Air Force (VVS) in 1998, and then a merger of the Air Force with the Aerospace Defence Troops (VVKO) in 2015.
Meanwhile, Russia has adapted to financial realities, with insignificant defence spending throughout the 1990s followed by rapid expansion as the global price of oil increased since the beginning of the 21st century. Mass purchases of aircraft and helicopters began in 2009, and the proportion of modern equipment in Russia’s Aerospace Forces now exceeds 75%.
The fourth title in Harpia Publishing’s series on Russian military aviation details all fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and other aerial vehicles operated by Russia’s military air arms.
Like the previous volumes, Flashpoint Russia is a comprehensive reference work, presenting organisational structure and the quantitative potential of Russian military aviation.
The centrepiece of the book describes the current order of battle of the Aerospace Forces (VKS) and other operators of military aircraft in Russia and includes all the country’s aviation units.
Other chapters cover Russia’s approach to purchases of arms and military equipment, and priority air programmes for the next decade.

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In 2012 the original Modern Chinese Warplanes set the standard as a uniquely compact yet comprehensive directory of modern Chinese air power, combining magnificent illustrations and in-depth analysis.
Now almost six years later, much of the fascination that Chinese military aviation holds for the analyst and enthusiast still stems from the thick veil of secrecy that surrounds it. However, in the time that has passed since the first edition a plethora of new types, systems and weapons has been revealed. What is more, the structure of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has been completely revised by transforming the former Military Regions into Theatre Commands. In parallel, the general structure has been thoroughly modernised to cope with China’s latest challenges.

Consequently, this fully revised edition is organised in three parts: the most important military aircraft and their weapons found in service today; aircraft markings and serial number systems; and orders of battle for the PLAAF. The study includes the latest developments emerging from behind the ‘Great Wall’, including the J-20 stealth fighter programme, Y-20 strategic transport and the latest developments in UAVs that are equipping a rapidly modernising air arm.

The centrepiece consists of almost 100 fully illustrated pages detailing the organisational structure of the air force, providing an easy-to-use review of all known flying units, their equipment and their markings.

No other book has ever attempted to present this level of accuracy in this way: Modern Chinese Air Power portrays the PLAAF in a degree of detail that was previously unavailable.

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Due to China's strong dependence/reliance on its economic development but also due to its rising political ambitions with the aim to resume a central role in the regional and global affairs, it is vital for China to show some sort of military presence in its area of influence. Consequently, within the past decade, China's military - in both strategic considerations and the modernisation of procedures and material as well - has undergone some of the most profound reforms since its establishment and the Chinese Navy and its Naval Air Arm play an ever more increasing role to achieve these goals.

The 2016-released National ‘white paper' has emphasized a greater focus on the seas and clearly stated that China's has to establish itself as a major maritime power. Consequently, the PLN will shift its focus from 'offshore waters defence' to an 'open seas protection'. That means in parallel to the PLAAF's modernisations, the changes for the PLN - and concerning the scope off the book the Naval Aviation - will be probably even more dramatic when the Naval Aviation creates a modern, capable 'Blue Water' force. In terms of modern systems, the PLNAF will steadily increase its naval capabilities by introducing more modern multirole-capable systems but most important by the establishment of an indigenous carrier force.

Similar to the original Modern Chinese Warplanes and Flashpoint China books, this uniquely compact yet comprehensive directory serves as a magnificently illustrated, in-depth analysis and directory of modern Chinese Naval Air Power.

It is organised in four parts: the most important military aircraft and their weapons found in Naval Aviation service today; aircraft markings and serial number systems; the recent modernization efforts and structural reforms and orders of battle for the People's Liberation Naval Air Force.

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Robust to the point of supporting operations on unprepared runways and in an environment with 36°C temperature and humidity at 100 per cent. Independent to operate without any ground support and taking off from narrow and short runways from border Army Battalions. Technological for integrating in a 4th generation cockpit the most modern technology including Datalink, HOTAS, Head-up Display, night and thermal vision and use of up to 1,500kg of conventional and guided weaponry with also ballistic protection for pilots.

Unlike other models in its class that were born for advanced training being converted to combat employment, the genesis of Embraer's turboprop single-engine EMB-314 Super Tucano is a robust attack aircraft capable of staying weeks in continuous operation with high availability index and attending to the most varied types of missions. And holds almost nothing from it predecessor EMB-312 Tucano. The two .50 inches machine guns installed inside the wings allow a superior combination of 130 types of armament positioned at five external points under the wings and fuselage.

With more than 250 units produced and performing missions ranging from armed reconnaissance, escort, COIN and even air defense, Super Tucano is used by Brazil and 11 other countries. Manufactured under license in the USA, Colombia, Afghanistan, Dominican Republic, Mauritania and Brazil itself have already made real use of the Super Tucano in various occasions. The US may become the next Embraer turboprop operator on close air support flights with a contract that can reach 300 airplanes.

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The modern aircraft carrier is without doubt one of the most exciting and hazardous operating environments in the field of warfare. The ‘flattop’ is a symbol of global military power without parallel, and it remains a capability beyond reach of all but the most well equipped navies. With the detail, precision and accuracy expected of Harpia Publishing, this latest volume provides a force report of the various air components and associated vessels fielded by those select nations that field fixed-wing-capable aircraft carriers.

While the United States maintains a carrier fleet the size of which is almost incomparable to that of its rivals, the coverage of this book also extends to the smaller nations that only possess a single carrier: Brazil, France, Russia and Spain. Meanwhile, full coverage is given over to the navies that are in the process of expanding their burgeoning carrier aviation capabilities, through the introduction of new, indigenously designed carriers and aircraft, namely the Asia-Pacific rivals China and India. Within Europe, chapters are devoted to Italy, currently with two carriers in commission, and the United Kingdom, which will make a historic return to carrier aviation this year. Since the scope of this volume extends to navies operating any carrier that routinely embarks fixed-wing air power, US Navy amphibious assault ships and US Marine Corps aviation assets are also included.

Drawing upon a cadre of authors who are experts in their field, Carrier Aviation in the 21st Century continues Harpia’s reputation for providing unprecedented detail and extensive technical specifications, as well as detailing the structure of all the air arms and the individual units that currently embark on board carriers. Illustrations include specially commissioned artworks and diagrams to help illustrate how carrier air power remains an essential element of modern warfare.

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EMB-312 Tucano: Brazil’s turboprop success story is set to become the definitive English-language reference work on this revolutionary Latin American aerospace product. Written by an expert in the field, this book recounts the story of Embraer’s EMB-312 turboprop trainer, the first aircraft in its class to offer a cockpit and controls equivalent to its fighter contemporaries, as well enough power to match the high-speed manoeuvres of comparable jet trainers.

Cheap to fly, capable of operating from unprepared runways and with limited maintenance requirements, the Tucano was Embraer’s first design to be built under license outside Brazil, and more than 660 units were produced for service in 16 countries, seven of which have taken it into combat. Although it is best known as a trainer, this remarkable aircraft has also provided front-line air defence in countries including Paraguay and Honduras. After almost 35 years of service, it remains in widespread use today.

This lavishly illustrated story of the first-generation Tucano includes accounts of Embraer’s path to global success, service of the EMB-312 in its native Brazil, including with the air force’s display team, licence production for the Royal Air Force and for export as the Shorts Tucano, and a detailed breakdown of every worldwide operator, past and present. Also included is the story of how the EMB-312 began its evolution towards the EMB-314 Super Tucano, which Harpia will cover in a separate book at a future date. Appendices, in typically thorough Harpia style, include a four-view drawing and a full inventory of EMB-312 units and insignia.

With the level of accuracy and insight familiar to Harpia’s regular readers, this unique aircraft profile also includes specifications, and details of training syllabuses, upgrades, avionics and weapons.

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Following on from Harpia Publishing’s acclaimed two-volume Russia’s Warplanes series, author Piotr Butowski takes on the subject of the myriad weapons that ensure these aircraft are a force to be reckoned with. For the first time in the English language, this volume presents a detailed account of all the types of weapon currently used on board Russian-made aircraft and helicopters, including Cold War-era munitions, the various weapons used by Russian aircraft during the Syrian campaign, and the latest precision-guided stores currently in development.

The contents of this work encompasses the strategic air-launched weapons that comprise a vital element of Russia’s nuclear forces, including little-known free-fall bombs, strategic and theatre-level air-to-surface missiles, and future projects such as exotic hypersonic weapons. Significant coverage is given over to the uniquely diverse range of tactical air-to-surface missiles, including details of their production, guidance methods and applications, with exhaustive tables of specifications. Study of Russian air-to-air missiles includes close-combat, medium-range and long-range types, while inclusion of helicopter-launched missiles extends the scope of the work to anti-armour weapons. As well as free-fall and guided bombs, offensive stores under scrutiny include rockets of all types, while a chapter on naval weapons includes important stores ranging from anti-submarine torpedoes and missiles to depth charges and various types of mine. Not neglected are the guns and gun pods that make up an important part of Russian aircraft’s arsenals.

Clearly written and illustrated with both photography and artworks, Russia’s Air-launched Weapons provides the most comprehensive single-volume study of its subject currently available. Drawing upon the author’s extensive research, declassified information, and interviews with specialists, it provides a plethora of data on a fascinating and important area of military study. This book is an essential addition for anyone interested in Soviet military aircraft and their use in combat and provides an ideal companion volume to Russia’s Warplanes volumes 1 and 2.

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Following the success of the first offering in the series, Harpia Publishing presents the second volume of Russia’s Warplanes, completing what has become a standard reference work on the subject. Once again researched and written by the acknowledged expert in the field, the book draws upon the author’s unrivalled connections within the Russian aerospace industry to conclude this comprehensive directory of the country’s latest military aviation hardware.

The result forms an essential companion to Volume 1, which detailed tactical combat aircraft, attack and transport helicopters, reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, and special mission aircraft including airborne command posts and relay aircraft. Between them, the two works present in full detail the fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters that equip the various Russian air arms, as well as those developed for and operated by foreign states in the post-Soviet era.

Alongside technical descriptions for each military aircraft – and every significant sub-variant – currently available from Russia’s aerospace industry, or otherwise in large-scale service, Piotr Butowski provides historical background and accurate data relating to production and operators around the world. Full coverage is extended to upgrades, as well as the new avionics and advanced weapons that these introduce.

The second volume in the series is dedicated to long-range bombers – including the
Tu-95MS and Tu-160 that recently made their combat debuts over Syria – maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, strategic transport and tanker aircraft, theatre transports, and trainers. The work provides authoritative accounts of Russia’s current and future strategic bomber programmes, as well as other fascinating types including the world’s largest military transport, the An-124, and the new-generation Yak-130 advanced trainer and light attack aircraft.