WASHINGTON – China’s success in developing and building modern weapons systems is forcing American analysts to think about what kind of weapons in the Made in China type would be useful to the US military.
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Such a rather paradoxical question was raised by a journalist-analyst of the American publication The National Interest in his publication Should the U.S. Military Adopt These 5 Chinese Weapon Systems?
Of course, he immediately makes it clear that there is no Chinese weapon that is directly comparable to its American equivalent, and that is unlikely to change in another twenty years. But against this background, there are gaps in American capabilities where “Chinese weapons could make the US military a little better.”
So what does the Chinese look cooler than they do now in the United States, and where exactly do Americans need to make their own decisions quickly?
AG600 amphibious aircraft
The United States used seaplanes extensively during World War II, where they played an important role in rescuing downed pilots and providing long-range reconnaissance. The most famous of these is the PBY Catalina seaplane, which announced the location of Japanese Admiral Nagumo’s fleet and laid the groundwork for the American victory in the Battle of Midway.
If the United States is serious about fighting in the Pacific, it will again need long-range aircraft that can land.
Such a serial model already exists in China. This is the AG600 seaplane, which has a maximum range of 4500 km [2800 miles] and is designed, in particular, to perform marine rescue operations. Approximately the size of a Boeing 737, it is much larger than any other aircraft designed for takeoff and landing. It can carry up to fifty passengers and can stay in the air for up to twelve hours.
DF-ZF hypersonic weapon
Washington has a strong interest in hypersonic weapons, which can move at speeds more than five times faster than sound. Several projects are being developed in the United States, including a hypersonic model from the Boeing X-51 Waverider. But, according to the American expert, despite the technical skill of the United States, no system has yet reached working status.
Against this background, the Chinese hypersonic glider DF-ZF has been officially adopted since October 2019. Before that, he passed seven successful tests. The DF-ZF is designed to be mounted on DF-17 medium-range missiles. The DF-ZF travels at 4,000 to 7,000 miles per hour. Although Chinese weapons are moving slower than the X-51 Waveride, they are much closer to operational than anything being developed in the United States.
ZBD-05 amphibious infantry fighting vehicle
The U.S. Marine Corps has been trying to replace the AAV-7 landing craft for four decades. The original project, launched in 1988, led to the creation of a new expeditionary combat vehicle. But the attempt was unsuccessful. The $ 3 billion projects was canceled in 2011. Efforts to build a new amphibious combat vehicle are underway in the United States.
And what is there in China? What about the Chinese marine infantry fighting vehicle ZBD-05? Developed by the Chinese defense company Norinco, the ZBD-05 Marine Amphibious Combat Amphibious Vehicle can carry 12 fighters, including a three-person crew.
ZBD-05 has good floating qualities and speed in the water up to eight miles per hour, BMP is armed with a 30-millimeter gun and has ballistic protection up to 50 calibers and shrapnel.
072A LST landing ship
Amphibious potential for the United States will be key in any future confrontation in the western Pacific. So as part of a broader shift to fewer more powerful platforms, the US airborne fleet is focused on massive ships for the US Navy of Wasp, America, and San Antonio. These huge ships attract attention with their size and always need support and cover.
And the Chinese relied on landing ships type 072A. With a length of only 120 meters [width – 16 meters, tonnage – 5,000 tons], these ships can carry up to 300 militaries, ten tanks, or eight hundred tons of cargo.
Its design provides easy loading and unloading of landing equipment. The ship has a helipad for the stern and inside can accommodate hovercraft. Therefore, the Type 072A, together with the Marines, can quietly and unobtrusively enter the attack zone, without numerous escorts.
Corvette type 056
The United States needs a combat-ready coastal warship. Despite decades of shipbuilding and the development of high-tech “mission modules”, the Littoral Combat Ship program has created a fleet of minimally capable ships, armed mainly with one 57-millimeter and two 30-millimeter guns, writes a critical American expert.
At the same time, the Chinese corvette type 056 looks much better for these missions – it is a small general-purpose warship with a displacement of 1,500 tons. Type 056, of course, does not rely on robotics and trendy mission modules, but it is cheap and affordable. It has a 76-millimeter gun, two 30-millimeter guns, and four YJ-83 anti-ship missiles. It has an FL-3000N launcher for air self-defense.
For anti-submarine warfare, the corvette has two 324-millimeter launchers with three guides each, and newer versions of Type 056 have a towed sonar system. Simple but reliable.
Of course, this critical analysis by National Interest analyst Kyle Mizokami should draw attention to the fact that the United States must actively address gaps in the development and construction of its own weapons systems, because those that exist may be weaker or less effective than a potential adversary. That’s why we chose such a sarcastic form of accentuation, they say, then buy Chinese. Yes, of course not, but the Americans, it seems, really need to hurry.
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