While there’s a lot of talk about the United States and Russia, China’s also seeking to make itself a dominant superpower. Part of that effort is its drive to develop technological
10. Xian Y-20 Heavy Strategic Airlifter
Xian Aircraft Corporation is soliciting the help of Russia and the Ukraine to build its new strategic airlifter also known as Kunpeng, named after a legendary bird in Chinese mythology. The plane, an upgrade fro its Y-8 transports, can carry Type 99 series tanks and other large combat and support vehicles with a payload capacity of 60 to 66 tons. This rivals what previously only the United States, Russia, and the Ukraine could manufacture. It may not be that different from other countries’ strategic airlifters, but it’s major in that it gives China the heavy military transport capability that it previously lacked.
9. H-6K Long-Range Strategic Bomber
The Xian H-6K bomber can carry six anti-ship or land attack cruise missiles. Its precision-guided munitions could make it a threat because it increases China’s capability to launch long-range and stand-off attacks such as an attack against U.S. carrier battle groups and priority targets throughout Asia. The aircraft can carry CJ-10A cruise missiles with either conventional or nuclear warheads. Potential improvements include its search and attack radar, fire control, weapon precision, and navigation. The bomber can also fly longer than previous Chinese bomber models. These secret weapons that China is developing would heighten China’s ability to be a superpower.
8. CV-16 Liaoning Aircraft Carrier
China’s sole aircraft carrier is actually a refurbished Ukrainian-built carrier once owned by the Soviet Navy. Instead of plans to turn it into a casino, it ended up becoming the property of the People’s Liberation Army which turned it into a modern aircraft carrier. The 67,000-ton ship can carry 2,500 crew members and about 40 aircraft. It uses a ski jump instead of a catapult to launch aircraft. For now, it’s thought to be more of a training ship.
7. Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark
The Shenyang J-15, nicknamed the “Flying Shark,” is another weapon based off of Soviet and Ukrainian designs. It’s thought to be based on a Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-33 but carries domestically-produced engines, radars, and weapons and uses Chinese technologies. Its Russian-made engines are believed to be less powerful than the United States’ F-35 fighter.
6. Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines
China is expected to launch Jin-class submarines that, if ever there is a war, could be a threat against the United States. The Pentagon believes the nuclear-powered submarines are armed with JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles that have a range of about 4,600 miles. That means it could hit all 50 states if launched east of Hawaii. The JL-2 three-stage missile could carry three to six warheads each with 90 kilotons of power or a single warhead of 250 to 1,000 kilotons. That would definitely make these secret weapons that China is developing a threat to U.S. interests.
5. Type-052D Luyang III Guided Missile Destroyer
The Luyang III multipurpose vertical launch system gives it a multitude of uses including launching anti-submarine rockets, surface-to-air missiles, land attack missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles. It’s expected to boost the power of China’s military by replacing its older Jianghu I/II. There’s talk the ship may have two vertical launch systems with the ability to launch 96 new missile interceptors and eight Eagle 12e anti-ship cruise missiles. There is also a helicopter landing platform.
4. Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles
China is believed to be testing DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles that could attack aircraft carriers and other large ships based in the Pacific Ocean. The missile features a maneuverable warhead that could travel as far as 2,485 miles. This means carriers at many U.S. bases in the region would be vulnerable from this land-based system. It would also boost China’s defenses.
There are questions whether these secret weapons that China is developing will be operational anytime soon. The system of relay stations, sensors and command and control centers that identify, track and hit ships is complicated and just one mishap would stall the process.
3. Kongjing-2000 Airborne Early Warning Aircraft
The Kongjing is believed to be able to track 60-100 aerial targets as far as 248 miles away at the same time. It would allow weapons systems more time to command targets and respond to threats.
2. SC-19 Anti-Satellite Missiles
China drew the attention of other countries when it blew up a Chinese weather satellite with a kinetic kill vehicle in 2007. The missile’s believed to be a modified DF-21 ballistic missile with a kinetic kill vehicle attached. The kill vehicle is fitted with an imaging infrared sensor. There’s concern about anti-satellite missiles because the resulting space debris could interfere with future space missions. Debris from the 2007 test flew close to the International Space Station in 2011. China’s rulers state they don’t plan to launch a war in space, but there’s speculation they and other nations are researching the ability to do so.
1. Cyber Warfare Capabilities
China’s reportedly gathering its cyber warfare capabilities into one unit as part of its push to build a modern military with less reliance on ground troops. These operations could include cyber missions against military or civilian targets like jamming battlefield electronics or enemy computer networks. The United States already suspects China of hacking U.S. computer systems. Cyber warfare remains a top concern.