21 November 2014
By 2030, China seeks to transform its defence industry into a leading technological innovator of major weapons platforms and systems. Will it be comparable in sophistication to global defence science and technology powers?
China’s political and military elites believe that a new wave of the global Revolution in Military Affairs is gathering pace, led principally by the United States, and China must therefore accelerate the pace of its military development. The key question, however, is whether China’s defence industry can sustain its relative progress both in terms of confronting its internal constraints, while facing external competition.
China’s development of its defence science and technology capabilities under President Xi Jingping has seen numerous accomplishments: from an unmanned moon landing, space docking, supercomputers, to aviation prototypes such as J-16, J-20, J-31, new helicopters, and UAVs to the ongoing construction of domestic aircraft carrier, and a record number of commissioned ships such as Type 054A, 056 frigates and 052C destroyers. In the next five to ten years, China is expected to transfer many experimental models from an R&D stage to production, including a number of systems in domains of “military rivalry” – outer space, underwater, cyber & near space.
…Michael Raska is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 24/11/2014