China's Air Force Wants to Make Sure It Can Beat America in a War: Study



David Axe

Security, Asia

A new study could help to cue American military planners to U.S. forces' vulnerabilities in a war with China, as well as to China's perceptions of its own weaknesses.


The Chinese air force aims not just to compete with the U.S. Air Force, but to defeat it. All in pursuit of a uniquely Chinese strategy.


That's the conclusion of a new study by Scott Harold, an analyst for the California-based think tank RAND.


Harold's study could help to cue American military planners to U.S. forces' vulnerabilities in a war with China, as well as to China's perceptions of its own weaknesses.


Harold lists the Chinese air force's strategic goals as: the defense of Chinese airspace, the prosecution of a conflict over Taiwan and the projection of power in the East and South China Seas inside the first island chain in order to prosecute claims to disputed land features and maritime spaces.


To achieve these goals, Beijing's air arms relies on new and old technology -- some that the Chinese government legally acquired or developed on its own, others of which it copied or stole.


"Chinese military aerospace power is a mix of legacy capabilities derived from the Cold War era; hardware procured from Russia and Ukraine; copies and knock-offs of Russian airframes produced by kit or through reverse-engineering; a small but growing number of fourthand fifth-generation fighter-bombers that appear to have been developed based in part on stolen designs for U.S. airframes; advanced, but nonstealthy, ballistic and cruise missiles; and a growing, largely indigenously developed portfolio of space and antispace capabilities," Harold writes.

“中国的军事航天力量是冷战时期遗留下来的各种能力的混合体。从俄罗斯和乌克兰采购的硬件;通过逆向工程生产的俄罗斯机身的复制品和仿制品;第四代和第五代战斗轰炸机数量虽少,但在不断增加,其研发似乎部分基于窃取来的美国机身设计;先进但非隐形的弹道和巡航导弹; 空间和反空间能力也在不断增长,而且很大程度上是自主开发的。”哈罗德写道。

For example, Chinese aerospace firms purchased, then copied, Su-27 fighters from Russia. "After receiving such technologies, sometimes in limited quantities, China has often sought to reverse-engineer them to produce them indigenously, a process Chinese analysts today describe as 'IDAR,' or 'introduce, digest, absorb and re-innovate.'"


Perhaps most notably, Chinese hackers have stolen data related to the United States' F-35 stealth-fighter program. This information might have influenced the development of China's J-20 and J-31 stealth fighters.


Copying and stealing are expedients. "When purchase or stealing/copying are not feasible, China has sought to innovate solutions to its military problems," Harold explains.


China for example is a world-leader in hypersonics technology. And for good reason. Chinese leadership decided that super-fast munitions are uniquely valuable to the country's defensive anti-access strategy, which aims to prevent U.S. forces from operating near to China... No other country -- not even the United States -- invests in hypersonics to extent that China is doing.


Likewise, the Chinese air force essentially ignores whole classes of technology that it has decided do not suit its main missions. "China has not chosen to put money into space-based satellites for ballistic missile early warning [the way the United States has]," Harold quotes an expert as saying.


Understanding the Chinese air force's approach to technology can help the U.S. Air Force to plan its own means of defeating the Chinese air arm in battle, Harold explains. "A deeper knowledge of China’s military aerospace strengths and weaknesses can help steer the USAF away from areas in which China has robust capacity and toward areas where its weaknesses could be better exploited."


For instance, the Chinese air force most directly copies the U.S. Air Force when it comes to fighters and fighter operations. The U.S. Air Force fields a "high-low" mix of many multi-role F-16s and F-15s and, at present, somewhat fewer specialized F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.

例如,在战斗机和战斗机作战方面,中国空军最直接地模仿美国空军。美国空军拥有多用途F-16和F -15战斗机的“高低”组合,目前专业的F-22和F-35隐形战斗机略少。

Similarly, China is deploying large numbers of conventional J-10 fighters -- which some analysts claim Beijing based on Israeli technology -- alongside a few stealthy J-20s.


The U.S. Air Force emphasizes realistic training in war-like conditions. The Chinese air force has begun organizing its own training along the same lines. The implication is that China intends to wage an air-superiority campaign roughly the same way the United States does -- and is planning to defeat the U.S. Air Force on the U.S. Air Force's own terms.



译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46587.html   译者:Jessica.Wu


Alex2 days ago

ok... lets think about this... the US has thousands of battle-hardened veteran pilots from the Air Force, Navy, and Marines using THE MOST ADVANCED fighters on the planet and a country that is trying to copy the hardware and has maybe a dozen pilots that have actually seen combat... yea ok... Who would you pick to win??




Until china spends 500+ billion on military like us does, you have nothing to worry about. When the bulk of china's money goes to investments and opening trade routes throughout the world. Wars and conflicts cost trillions and unmeasurable damage to business long term wise, now why would they even want to burn money like the usa they don't have a FED that keeps printing money out of thin air.



KarlD2 days ago

I doubt it could "beat" us, but politically it might convince us that it's not worth our losses to defend Taiwan, and that's its end goal. The goal of war isn't specifically to "win"; it isn't baseball or football, it's to achieve your political goals.



Mark2 days ago

our forces are spread all over the world all theirs are right there. Slight difference.




I am all American, my iPhone is made in China, so is my Nike shoes, LCD/LED television, 99.99% stuff in my house is made in China.



Robert2 days ago

What would be the point of going to war with China? Population reduction? What else is there?



John2 days ago

I learned nothing new



Mark2 days ago

How is it that the super powers of the world even consider war an option? Good grief, the devastation would be unreal.



shad2 days ago

When people ask why we (U.S.) spends so much on the military this is why. We don't live in a world that wants peace with us, we have relative peace because of our strength.



Greg Morris2 days ago

NONE, ZERO of our military and tech information should be on an open network like this internet!!! It mostly should be done the old fashioned way, by hand and paper, and under very high security!!!



Abby2 days ago

Our pilots are better. Pilots win dogfights, not jets.



Ray Rock2 days ago

Aircraft are only part of the equation. U.S. military pilots are far better trained and prepared than the aviators of any other nation.

These types of planes are expensive to fly and maintain, the fuel alone is very costly. U.S. pilots get significantly more flying time and training than the pilots of any other military we’re likely to face.



john2 days ago

Keep buying Chinese products? There using there money to take over America?



Scott2 days ago

The arms dealers are winning. Anytime that happens, WE lose.




If I'm looking for articles on U.S. national security that have zero credibility, I read the Nationa Interest.



KeithB2 days ago

The National Interest is the marketing arm for the Military-Industrial Complex. Their message: Buy more weapons. A lot more.



Mike2 days ago

I had Chinese last night. Sesame Chicken with Pork Fried Rice.



Commish2 days ago

The Military Industrial Complex paid for this fine article, and reminds us all that no amount of defense spending is too high!




Why is this even news? What country creates an air force so they can lose a war? Of course they try to win. Taliban doesn't even have an air force and they are still trying to win. So what's the point?



Bradley2 days ago

I interviewed for a job at Intel, our leading chip/CPU manufacturer. I was stunned that everybody was Chinese and could hardly speak English!




China’s copies and then improves the technology so be aware is not just a copy problem



Captain Downer2 days ago

They can't even make a quality car, motorcycle, or even sheet of steel without western guidance.



Why in a war between U.S., China, or Russia would the losing side not push the nuclear buttons?



my2cnts2 days ago

While Americans keeping up with the Kardashians China keeping up with technology



Donald2 days ago

When all you can really do is steal others' technology, you'll never be cutting edge. China's always been and still is second rate. They have no respect for international law or anyone. It's all about them always.



MICHAELW2 days ago

The whole world knows that they can never be trusted. We must never forget Pearl Harbor!


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