|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Jan 07, 2017 11:19 PM EST|
(Photo : PLAAF) J-20s show-off.
(Photo : Getty Images) CNS Liaoning, China's only aircraft carrier.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has made a short list of its weapons the United States and its allies should fear in any upcoming war over the South China Sea.
A yearend review in the People's Daily, China's largest newspaper owned by the Communist Party of China, said 2016 "saw great strides for the Chinese military, with numerous achievements related to weaponry and equipment."
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The weapons list is led by the Chengdu J-20 low observable fighter, which China claims is a true stealth fighter that has turned the calculus of air superiority in its favor.
The story said the J-20 "filled a hole" in the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The J-20 is expected "to boost the fighting capacity of the Chinese air force, and help fulfill the mission of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity."
Some western military analysts insist the J-20 incorporates many features supposed to have been unique to the Northrop Grumman F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Chinese spies over the past decade successfully infiltrated Northrop Grumman to steal top secret plans for the F-35 and funnel them to China.
China's lone aircraft carrier, the CNS Liaoning (CV-16), recently concluded a heavily-hyped sortie that saw it and its escorts conduct live fire exercises in the Western Pacific. On its way home, the Liaoning battle group sailed close to Taiwan to show China's displeasure over Taiwan's warming relations with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
In an unusual move, China identified the Liaoning's escorting warships as the CNS Changsha (DDG-173), a Type-052D guided missile destroyer from the South Sea Fleet; the CNS Zhengzhou (DDG-151), a Type-052C guided missile destroyer from the East Sea Fleet; CNS Haikou (DDG-171), a Type-052C guided missile destroyer from the South Sea Fleet; the CNS Yantai (FFG-538) and CNS Linyi (FFG-547), both Type-054A frigates; the CNS Zhuzhou (549) , a Type-056 light frigate and the integrated supply ship, Gaoyou Lake.
The Liaoning and her escorts conducted reconnaissance, early warning, air interception, sea assault, air defense and anti-missile exercises. Carrying live ammunition, several Shenyang J-15 carrier-based multirole fighters performed strike exercises.
The Type-96B main battle tank is described as the pillar of the tank force of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force. Several of these tanks took part in the Masters of Automobile and Tank Hardware competition of the International Army Games held at he Alabino training range in Moscow in 2016. The Russians won this competition.
The "handsome, sturdy and durable tanks made a lasting impression during the competition," said the story.
The Type-96B features improved computer and digital communication systems that enable tank commanders to use common integrated battlefield intelligence from higher levels of command.
There might also be improvements to the Type-96B's engine, exhaust system, suspension and wheels but these haven't been confirmed. The engine of the Type-96B is said to be more powerful than the Type-96A, China's current MBT.
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