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The idea of a Coast Guard is one that has blurred in recent decades, with US Coast Guard vessels serving as far away from home as the Persian Gulf on a regular basis. Still, the Chinese Coast Guard's upcoming 10,000 plus ton super high-endurance cutters are clearly another sign of the country's extra-territorial ambitions.

For some prospective, America's largest non-icebreaker Coast Guard vessel is the Legend Class National Security Cutter, with a displacement of about 4,500 tons fully outfitted. Once China's massive cutters comes online, some predict they will push well over 12,000 or even close to 15,000 tons with all her systems installed. That is about three times the displacement of the National Security Cutter.

In other words, China's new class of Coast Guard vessels are freakin' huge. So big in fact that they will outsize America's Ticonderoga Class Guided Missile Cruisers by as much as 50%.

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There are two of these ships currently under construction at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. One has already received paint and appears to be ready for its sub-systems and missionized gear to be installed, while the other is still in an early stages finishing.

Reports state that these ships will be able to hit 25 knots and will be outfitted with 76mm naval cannons, two secondary gun turrets, two anti-aircraft CIWS mounts as well as being able to carry at least a pair of large Z-8 multi-role helicopters. These helicopters, somewhat akin to a CH-53 Stallion, could move a lot of personnel and material very quickly without a port available.


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The very existence of Japan's notoriously large, extremely long endurance, 9,000+ ton displacement, Shikishima Class Coast Guard patrol ships, of which there are two in service.
From Why China Is Building The World's Largest "Coast Guard" Cutter

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Crowdfund A Flying Jet-Powered Drone

Today a drone, tomorrow a rocket replacement?
 
JetQuad Concept Art
JetQuad Concept Art. Fusion Flight


By all appearances, JetQuad looks like a supercharged version of the iconic quadcopter body, where a central structure houses controls and four peripheral engines that power the vehicle for stable flight. In action, however, it’s a very different beast. According to designer and Arizona State University PhD candidate Alexander Taits, the JetQuad of traveling at almost the speed of sound, and reaching altitudes up to 33,000 feet.
But Taits' JetQuad Kickstarter project is not really about making a new recreational aircraft. Instead, it’s a test platform for another way to get to space.
In the video for his Kickstarter campaign, Taits explains the advantages jets bring over rotors.
"There is another application of the JetQuad, and that is the development of airbooster technology. JetQuad is nothing more than a small-scale version of an atmospheric booster stage for modern launch vehicles. One day, we hope to build much larger JetQuads that are capable of lofting even the heaviest of launch vehicles and boosting them out into orbit."
As shown in the video, previous single-engine jet boosters that Taits has made suffer from stability issues. Quadcopters, and likely quadjets, counter instability by having four engines operating simultaneously, creating a much smoother flying craft. The fuel needs of four engines are much greater than that of one, which is a major design constraint that could be better understood with a working scalable model.
The Kickstarter campaign ends January 31st, and is seeking $15,000, primarily for jet parts and electronic components. Backers pledging over $100 will get small toy quadcopters, and backers pledging $500 or more will be invited to the JetQuad’s first launch in Phoenix, Arizona.
[Engineering.com]



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