2/27/2013 HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM, CHINESE "HEAVY LIFT" MILITARY CAPACITY
|China's Y020 "Heavy Lift" Aircraft as found on a public domain site|
|The QIANDAOHUI A TYPE 309 CHINESE NAVY REPLENISHMENT SHIP|
Editor's Note: 2/15/2015 China has the only fortified and "Settled" island in the disputed islands of the South China Sea. The Best the Philippines and Vietnam have been able to do so far has been to garrison some troops in rather spartan conditions. What is China's advantage that allows them to establish settlements in the far waters of neighboring states? China has the money and has spent it on high quality air and marine transports and lots of them, China has enough money to do that while not sacrificing shooting ships and air craft.
Chinese transport 'workhorses' extending military's reach
February 26, 2013
HONG KONG--China is expanding its long-neglected fleet of supply ships and heavy-lift aircraft, bolstering its military prowess in support of missions to enforce claims over disputed territory and to defend Chinese interests abroad.
These transport workhorses are unlikely to arouse the same regional unease as the steady rollout of high performance fighters, long-range missiles or potent warships, but they are a crucial element of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) three-decade military build-up, defense analysts say.
Over time, the air and sea support will give the world's second-largest navy greater geographical reach and will enhance the PLA's capacity to assist troops on distant battlefields, potentially including Taiwan if Beijing were to launch a military assault to take control of the self-governing island.
China's state-owned shipyards last year launched two 23,000-ton type 903 replenishment ships, according to reports and photographs published on Chinese military affairs websites and blogs, with further orders in the pipeline.
Defense analysts say the state-of-the-art ships are undergoing sea trials and should be commissioned into the Chinese navy later this year.
China also confirmed last month that the PLA had conducted the first test flight of its Y-20 heavy lift aircraft from the Yanliang airbase near Xi'an in Shaanxi Province.
State-run television showed footage of the four-engine Y-20, the biggest aircraft built in China, taking off and landing. The Y-20, built by AVIC Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Co. Ltd., would have a 66-ton payload, according to official media reports.