Вот текст из International Defence Review за август 2002 года. К сож. только на английском...
China's modernization efforts are complex and far-reaching, aiming
to achieve improved warfighting capabilities without overdependence
on imported systems, writes Yihong Zhang
The perceptions shaping China's current military posture date from
about 1995. Bejing then became increasingly aware that Taiwan's
status as a separate nation, whose independence has never been
recognized, may one day achieve true independence. China made the
strategic decision of "speeding up preparation for military
conflicts and reinforcing the military deterrence against Taiwan",
according to its own military treatises.
The 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis raised military tension to a high
level during a series of missiles tests by the People's Republic of
China (PRC), and the deployment of a US carrier battlegroup further
stimulated the Chinese military, which formed the impression that,
if conflict breaks out in this region, US involvement would be
As a consequence, a movement developed to study and learn from US
armed forces and a series of treatises published by the Chinese
military strategists almost all said that future military exercises
should take the US forces as the combat targets. "If China can
defeat the US forces, other countries will be no match for the
Chinese military". For this purpose, China has established a
training base for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Inner
Mongolia, the largest of its kind in Asia. At this training center,
the enemy force in training programs mainly acts out the role of US
In the areas of weapon system replacement, training and education,
China has started to make practical preparations for military
struggle against Taiwan with an attitude of "combat readiness".
Strategically, China maintains the theory, "Southeast front first
and west front second" ('Dong Huan Xi Ji' in Chinese), in which the
number one target enemy is Taiwan; then the US and Japanese forces,
followed by India, Vietnam and the separatists in Xinjiang. This
reasoning has caused China to divert more financial resources to
such key areas as the air force, navy and strategic missile forces
as well as special force units in the army. Military budget
increases have naturally leaned toward those forces.
China's military budget has been increasing at a double digit rate
for 12 consecutive years. The figures published in the Chinese
official media clearly indicate that China's budget this year is
expected to reach US$16 billion, while western observers tend to
believe the actual number is at least double the officially
disclosed figure. At one US congressional hearing, the CIA testified
that, in the coming five years, China's military budget would
During the ninth Five-year Plan (1996-2000), China's officially
publicized military budget was US$58.9 billion. If the budget
doubles during the 10th Five-year Plan, it would mean the money that
China is going to invest in the military will reach US$118 billion.
New weapon development
Due to the increased military funding, the pace of new weapon
development has visibly increased in China.
China adopted a dual track system in order to accelerate the
development of new weapon systems; this requires China develop its
own products while at the same time importing Russian weapon
systems. The main purpose of doing so is to guarantee the
effectiveness of the weapon systems in case of war. In addition, a
low-high combination of domestic and Russian weapon systems can be
established, which will help to reduce the number of imported weapon
systems or avoid over-dependence on foreign suppliers.
For instance, in the air force, at the same time as importing
Russian Su-27SK and Su-30MKK combat aircraft, China has this year
completed development of the J-10 fighter and JH-7A fighter-bomber.
The factor that has delayed China's development of its own fighters
was its inability to develop and produce an advanced gas turbine
engine. The development of the WS10A turbofan engine for the J-10
has been going on for over 10 years. It completed a trial flight
earlier this year at the No.606 Research Institute in Shenyang. But
this engine does not power the J-10.
In 2001, China and Russia signed the contract for importing AL-31F
turbofan engines. Some 54 out of the contracted 300 'AL-31F For
J-10' were delivered to China at the end of 2001. These turbofan
engines, two of which power the Su-27, are being installed in the
The low state of airborne radar development in China was another
factor that delayed the production of J-10. Once again, China turned
to Russia for help. In the last two years, the Russian Phazotron
Design Bureau provided China with Zhemchung and ZHUK 8II
multifunctional radar systems. The latter is used for upgrading the
Chinese-made J-8 II, while the related technologies of the former
may be used for the development of J-10.
Zhemchung radar systems will enable the search capability of Chinese
fighters to increase to over 100km. Fighters equipped with Zhemchung
systems will then not only be able to track and attack multi-air
targets simultaneously, but also mount precision ground attack
missions with guided weapons. The radar system is expected to push
the China-made fighters close to the standard of the
third-generation western fighters. Judging from the number of
AL-31F's being imported, at least 300 J-10 fighters will be in
effective service in the Chinese forces after 2005. Following the
Su-27SK's upgrade, a high-low combination of Su-27SK and J-10 can
be achieved in the air force.
China has started the JH-7A fighter-bomber upgrade project.
Production of the first batch of 40 JH-7As is expected to start
after 2003. The trial flights of JH-7A prototypes will start this
year. China also gets help from Russia on the JH-7A, as it can
co-ordinate with Su-30MKK in the air-to-ground role. Russia provided
KAB-500L laser guided bombs and X-31P anti-radiation missiles for
JH-7A. In addition, China has purchased from Russia 20 sets of large
diameter radar antenna designed by Phazotron, which has some
relation to the development of JH-7A.
Deployment of Su-30MKK and JH-7A in the Chinese Air Force for the
first time enables it to launch accurate long-distance strikes
against ground targets, so that a progressive strategy of "balanced
offense and defense" (Gong Fang Jian Bei) can be implemented. In
early 2001 the Chinese official media broadcast television images of
Su-30MKK launching -59M TV-command guided air-to-surface missiles at
night. The deployment of this missile, with a maximum range of
105km, is another symbol of China's ability to apply pressure on
China has been trying to produce Su-27SK, JH-7A and J-10
simultaneously in Shenyang, Xian and Chengdu, so the aviation
industry can achieve balanced development in the northeast,
southwest and northwest regions of the country. The Russian
specialists helping China in producing Su-27SK told IDR they were
surprised at the advanced technological standard of the modern
western facilities of China's aerospace industry. They rate the
facilities and equipment as better than that in similar Russian
enterprises. The JH-7A facilities are equipped with
computer-controlled machine tools made in the West.
Despite all this, Su-27SK, J-10 and JH-7A still reflect the design
concepts of the 1970s and 1980s. Whether or not they will be
deployed in the combat units in large numbers is still a matter of
some controversy. For this reason, the Chengdu and Shenyang Aircraft
Companies have started the research and development on the next
generation fighter internally. No.606 Research Institute has begun
to experiment with Thrust Vector Control technologies on the WS10A
Given the military aerospace facilities in China and current
production conditions of operating at overload, IDR estimates that
by 2005-06, the Chinese Air Force could receive another 35-40 JH-7A,
about 60-80 domestically-made Su-27SK, 50 J-10 and 80 Su-30MKK, a
net increase of 155 to 190 Chinese standard third-generation
military aircraft. In addition, the production of military aircraft
has entered a sustainable and stable stage, and it will continue to
develop steadily by this trend during the 10th five-year plan.
Navy development plans
Special attention has been given to naval development in China.
China is currently working hard to develop larger surface ships,
SSBN, SSN and conventional submarines, aiming at acquiring the
capability to blockade Taiwan and deter the involvement of the US
Pacific Fleet in the Taiwan Strait in the next 10 years. For this
purpose, the development of SSBNs has been given priority so as to
build up new nuclear deterrence.
In 2001, after two years of upgrading work, type 092G SSBN (G: Gai
Lian, meaning modification) was recommissioned in the navy. It is
believed the vessel received the JL-1A ballistic missile, the
effective range of which is said to be up to 2,800km. In order to
reduce noise, 092G is coated with a new type of sonar absorbing
material, and installed on it is the new sonar system similar to the
In 1999, in a report carried out by the PLA Daily it was strongly
suggested that China had started to build the new-generation SSBN.
This type of SSBN, called Project 094 in the Chinese military, will
be equipped with 16 JL-2 SLBMs with effective range of 8,000km. It
is predicted that, by 2010, at least two Project 094 SSBNs will be
in commissioned service.
The land-based version, DF-31, is already in service in the Second
Artillery Force - which has also established a new long-range mobile
strategic missile brigade.
Responding to the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program, China
is conducting a series of upgrading projects on the DF-31 warheads.
The missiles will be installed with a new decoy system, making them
more difficult to identify and intercept. Experiments are ongoing.
Launching of the new generation SSBN build project indicates that
manufacture of the new SSN began before 1999. China's SSBN and SSNs
are use the same kind of nuclear powerplant. In addition, China has
imported sonar communication systems form Belarus and heavyweight
torpedoes from Kazakhstan, suggesting the integration of SSN was
begun earlier than 1999.
In May this year, China ordered eight Kilo 636 submarines armed with
Club-S surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) from Russia. It is planned
that the submarines will be delivered to China within five years.
Because of this, Russia is planning to produce these submarines
simultaneously in different shipyards. As in the case in the
aerospace industry, China will not be giving up the Song-class
conventional submarine-upgrading project. The first two stages of
the upgrade work have been completed. Starting with the third
vessel, the Song (Type 039) submarine is very close to the French
Agosta 90B in external shape. The height of the sail has been
lowered in order to increase stability underwater. It is equipped
with a new weapon control system. Song and Kilo 636 will also form a
type of high-low combination.
What has perplexed the Chinese Navy for a long time in the
development of large surface ships is propulsion systems. The
official media eventually acknowledged that the new-generation
Luhai-class (No.167) destroyer had steam turbines and accidents had
occurred due to the leakage of the boiler during long deployments.
In 1999, China signed a contract with the Ukraine covering the
import of GTE80 (DN80) gas-turbines, and is currently trying to
achieve license-production of the system. At the same time, China
started the 052B large destroyer project. Two 6,000-ton class 052B
destroyers are now under construction at the Shanghai No.436 navy
shipyard. The 052B resembles the British Type 45 destroyer in shape.
It is believed that 052B will be installed with China-made or
Russia-made vertical-launch system (VLS) surface-to-air missiles
(SAMs) in order to strengthen long-distance air-defense
capabilities. The candidates include the Russia-made RIF-M and
China-made FD2000 SAM. Both of the missiles have an effective range
of over 100km. The design of 052B embodies stealth concepts.
In order to meet the needs in the transitional period, China
purchased from Russia a further two Type 956ME destroyers, armed
with longer range upgraded 3M80E supersonic SSMs. By 2006, China
will have seven 6,000-ton class large destroyers and have
established a substantial naval force.
Chinese Army digitization
The reforms in the system of the Chinese Army have also been
deepening. The Chinese military is deeply aware of the difficulty in
modernizing the whole army of 2.5 million soldiers. Because of this,
the system being implemented is the "one army multisystems" (Yi Jun
Duo Zhi) model. The capability of rapid reaction and digital battle
was reinforced first in the key group armies (GA). However, due to
the immense size of the army, even if only one-tenth of the
personnel - that is, 250,000 - were mechanized or digitalized, the
influence on the Asia-Pacific region military balance would be very
To reinforce the capability of the military in handling emergent
incidents and launching assaults across the Taiwan Strait, the
Chinese conducted a "building block" reform concerning the
establishment of the army. More 'divisions' were restructured into
'brigades'. For instance, in the No.27 GA and No.40 GA of the army,
brigades have replaced all the divisions. No.65 GA has begun to
implement a mixed establishment of divisions and brigades, aimed at
building up the Chinese version of 'medium-size combat force'. For
this purpose, industry has supplied the army with more Type 92
wheeled armored cars.
The Type 92 is fast becoming the most important piece of equipment
for the army in establishing light mechanized brigades. The wheeled
armored car has entered Xizang and Xingjiang Military Command. To
deal with the Xinjiang and Tibetan separatists, the No.52 Mountain
Brigade of the Xizang Command and the No.6 Infantry Division of the
Xinjiang Command conducted anti-terrorism activities in the
exercises, which helped to improve the rapid reaction ability of the
combat units. On the basis of the No.1 Division of the No.1 GA of
Nanjing Military Command, the Chinese Army recently established a
new amphibious mechanized division armed with 63A light amphibious
The scale of experimental digital forces is much larger than the
West expected. In the No.6 Armored Division of No.38 GA, combat
experiments of the digital artillery force and digital tank force
have obviously accelerated. This armored division is armed with a
new generation of Type 98 main battle tanks.
Each military command has established the special force units.
Battlefield picture transmission and digital communication systems
are being used by those troops.
However, the Chinese military force is now facing its biggest
obstacle, the overall low quality of the personnel. In the original
planning, the Su-27SK - made in Shenyang - would be the first to be
deployed in the No.1 Fighter Division based in Anshan, Liaoning
Province. To date, only 10 pilots have completed flight training for
the new fighters. This may affect the planned deployment of the
fighters in the relevant combat units. No.1 Fighter Division is the
A Class division in the Chinese Air Force and is equipped with the
best J-8II fighters.
In addition, due to the lack of practical battle experience and the
ability of the soldiers to endure hardship is much weaker than those
in the Korean War years. Additionally, there exists a general
sentiment of fear of the US forces.
The first decade of this century will be crucial for the development
of the Chinese military. They will gradually complete the process of
changing from mechanization to digitization, and attempt to
establish regional military advantage against the Taiwanese forces.