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But historically this has not been a very good predictor of the outcomes of wars. People in the U.

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I kind of took that general idea and sliced it up on my own way for my book and looked at those dimensions. The finding was: If you look at measures like hardware, certainly the Chinese military has gotten a lot of attention recently and looks pretty good. To me, the more surprising finding was personnel quality. The Chinese military, the PLA, has been on a major drive to create better-educated soldiers and my finding is that the average PLA soldier, though we have this image of a peasant army, today is as well-educated as his or her American counterpart. These still kind of represent a minority of the equipment in the Chinese military; a lot of it is still antiquated and based on s Soviet designs, but the new systems they are bringing out now are comparable to what makes up the bulk of the U.

Most of these systems in the U. By , the equipment of the Chinese military will look a lot like the U. There are some structural problems: They still have a model that is heavily based on conscripts, that is, people brought in for two-year terms, and then the vast majority are released. So you have a huge percentage that are in their first or second year of service at any given time.

But there are significant problems, particularly in the area of logistics. One can kind of crudely arrange different kinds of operational doctrines along a spectrum, starting on one end with those based on direct engagement; that is, taking your best forces and trying to directly attack the enemy and break his back through a direct clash of arms. They had doctrines that were … not very flexible and very much based on just taking advantage of materiel superiority. Certainly in the early part of the war, the German military had a different doctrine, one of indirection and maneuver.

That makes sense in the context of the s when they were materially and technologically quite a bit inferior to potential adversaries like the U.

China’s terrifying and deadly arsenal of weapons

There are low levels of horizontal integration. If you look at culture of the organization, I find a similar problem. If you want a doctrine of maneuverability and innovation, you want an organization that values things like initiative and innovation, creativity and risk-taking. Instead we have an organization that values discipline and loyalty.

Not the kind of organizational culture you would want to implement for a doctrine that calls for commanders in the field to make snap decisions to take advantage of fleeting opportunities only they can see and need to be exploited immediately, otherwise the opportunity will be missed. I see this as the fundamental weakness of the Chinese military. But it sounds like their weaponry is coming more into alignment with their — stated or not — highly structured organizational culture.

This idea that they need to have a doctrine of maneuver and indirection because of their material inferiority is becoming less and less persuasive. They are becoming less and less inferior, materially. Second, the PLA is committed to the transformation in military affairs with Chinese characteristics.

Third, the PLA is eager to learn from the U. Finally, the PLA has made progress in its transformation and operational capabilities. This volume and many of the previous volumes from past PLA conferences show that these advances did not come out of the blue. Although much of the learning and many of the improvements are still far from what is desired from Chinese expectations and American critiques , and some of the learning has even created contradictions for the PLA, these persistent and diligent learning practices will eventually bring the PLA to a higher level of proficiency in its capabilities.

The emergence of a much more sophisticated PLA in the coming years should not be a surprise. Recommendations for Success in Afghanistan. Once fully operational, the weapon could destroy aircraft and missiles in flight at ranges and accuracy normally reserved for missiles, while also being powerful enough to sink ships.

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The Chinese government newspaper has boasted about the technology, which has been developed since a major breakthrough in electromagnetic research in China tested hypersonic missiles in November last year. Hypersonic missiles are capable of flying faster than 5, kilometres per hour without losing maneuverability. Such features enable the weapon to penetrate most missile defences and lessen the timelines for a response by a nation under attack.

However, it appears the warning was lost on China, with the military testing the DF — a ballistic missile combined with a hypersonic glide vehicle HGV — last November. An anonymous U. As HGVs stop short of entering space and they shoot down to Earth at hypersonic speeds, they pose challenges for early-warning satellites and missile-defence systems. According to U. | The PLA at Home and Abroad: Assessing the Operational Capabilities of China's Military

China's J stealth fighter is now in full operational service. In an attempt to surpass the US in air superiority, China launched its first stealth fighter into fully operational, frontline service. Powered by two jet engines, the J has more power than other stealth fighters, while also giving the ability to survive an engine failure.

Comparatively, the F has only two small interior bays, which means they will carry less weapons into battle or will give up much of their stealth advantage by having extra or larger weapons under their wings.

It is suggested the Js radar profile would make it an invisible interceptor, which will allow China to shoot down an opposing aircraft or unleashing its missiles without being detected. The system, which uses buoys, surface vessels, satellites and underwater gliders, is able to gathering a plethora of data about the underwater environment from the South China Sea, and the Western Pacific and Indian oceans.