China launched its first submarine in the 1970s and it is now safely kept in a museum for you to see. It was a joke; it was loud, could not fire missiles when submerged and it even exposed its crew to high levels of radiations.
But they did not take a lot of time to let the ball roll and are now known for their technology. The nation’s modern technology and subs even make the US nervous now and now that they are constructing the world’s largest submarine factory,
The nation’s modern technology even makes the US nervous and now that they are constructing the world’s largest submarine factory, who won’t be nervous?
The story doesn’t end at the subs. The US still lags behind China in a lot of areas and their weapons even have reliability issues. While their (the US) military hardware is still trying to catch up with the rest of the world, China just pushed the bar further. A ‘military modernization program’ pushed by the Chinese president Xi Jinping is driving things along and ahead.
A ship that can fly?
In the month of April, the world’s largest amphibious aircraft made its first test in China. It was the AG600 that was produced by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China. About the size of the Boeing 737, it is designed for marine takeoff and landing. The designers call it the ship that can fly.
Aviation Industry Corporation of China says that the machine will be used for rescue missions and to fight forest fires. It can scoop up 12 metric tons (13.2 tons) of water in 20 minutes. But taking into consideration Beijing’s maritime ambitions in the South China Sea, the plane, with room for 50 passengers and a range of 4,500 km can also serve the People’s Liberation Army pretty nicely. The hefty plane’s first flight over water is scheduled for later this year.
The hefty plane’s first flight over water is scheduled by the end of this year and is a stepping stone to greater things for China.
China has been making terrific progress in terms of fighter jets.
J-20 that went into service in March is packed with stealth technology, advanced radar and sensor capabilities, and even a nifty 360-degree helmet display that lets the pilot in charge see through the aircraft.
It is also bigger than the US’s F-22 Raptor. It can hold more fuel and can travel farther. While it might be secretive from the front, it isn’t from the side. China is even testing another advanced fighter jet i.e. the J-31 that does better in the stealth department and will possibly operate from aircraft carriers.
China even launched a new spy ship.
The CNS Kaiyangxing/ Mizar, the new spy ship is capable of conducting an all-weather, round-the-clock surveillance on multiple targets. While it was being unveiled, China shared an unusual amount of detail about the ship and the rest of its small intelligence fleet and mentioned that they have about a half dozen vessels while the US has at least 15. That openness was probably for the deterrence factor: Beijing wants other navies to know that, should they operate in disputed waters, its forces will be able to detect them. Vessels like this one lack firepower but can be more dangerous than warships.
And a really long range air to air missile.
Building a huge ship isn’t complete if it is not able to hit an enemy aircraft in a combat zone. From well outside that zone? That is a useful bonus.
China Daily reported in January about a new, long-range air-to-air missile that could hit high-value targets from up to 400 km away. That will really benefit China’s current range of less than 100 km for such missiles. It will also beat US capabilities in that department and China will be in the lead.