New tasks in the context of updating the armed forces a few days ago announced the Chairman of the PRC Xi Jinping. Last Wednesday, on October 18, the 19-th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party opened in Beijing's House of People's Assembly. During this event, it was planned to discuss the progress achieved since the previous congress, as well as to determine the range of tasks for the party and the national economy for the next five years and the next period.
After the ceremonial opening of the congress, the Chairman of the People's Republic of China read a lengthy report entitled “To achieve a decisive victory in building a society of moderate means, to gain a great victory for socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era.” In his report, Xi Jinping touched all the main activities of the party and the state, including the further development of the People’s Liberation Army of China. He also defined the main goals for the next decades. Thus, in the field of economics, two 2020-year programs are planned for 50-15 years, with the help of which it is planned to improve the economic situation and ensure the modernization of this sphere.
According to the instructions of the PRC Chairman, the development of the armed forces will continue. The process of updating and upgrading the PLA should be completed in 2035. After that, the army will fully comply with the requirements of the time. According to Xi Jinping, China has already reached a new key point in strengthening defense. Now it is necessary to implement the instructions of the party so that the army enters a new era and is adapted to the new conditions.
In the meantime, put less complex tasks. Prior to the early twenties, it is necessary to obtain significant progress in information technology. In addition, by 2020, the strategic potential of the army should be increased by developing the existing structures.
After 2035, the development of the army will not be stopped. Over the next few years, until the middle of the century, it is proposed to continue the modernization of the armed forces in order to bring them to the world level. What measures Beijing will take in the future, after 2040-50, has not yet been clarified.
According to the instructions of the CPC leadership, in the future, the People’s Liberation Army of China should have the most modern look. It is necessary to develop and modernize all types of armed forces and types of troops. Such an update will be made both through those or other transformations, and through the development of promising samples of the material part. The bulk of this work is planned to be completed by the mid-thirties. Before 2050, respectively, China should take a leading position in the world.
One of the ways to increase military power is traditionally an increase in the defense budget. Showing the high rates of development of the economy as a whole, China has the ability to systematically increase defense spending. So, this year, growth was about 7%, and 1078 billion yuan (about 156 billion US dollars) was allocated for defense. It is curious that many studies mention the existence of certain secret defense expenditures, and given these expenses, the overall size of the military budget may exceed 1200-1300 billion yuan. Regardless of how the overall budget is calculated, China consistently holds the second place in the world in military spending.
In this case, the Chinese army does not have any problems with the number of personnel. It serves about two million people, and a large number of those wishing to enroll in the service leads to the emergence of this contest with several applicants for one place. All this guarantees the People’s Liberation Army of China, the first in terms of the number of servicemen and reservists.
In addition to increasing numerical indicators, the military and political leadership of the PRC is engaged in the development of defense structures. Thus, since the beginning of the year, the Central Council for Integrated Civil-Military Cooperation has been working, headed personally by the Chairman of the PRC. The task of the council is to monitor promising defense developments and other projects. According to available data, the formation of this structure has already led to some positive consequences in the context of creating a new weapons and technology.
One of the main methods of modernization of the PLA should be the creation and construction of modern military equipment and weapons. At the moment, the basis of the fleet of combat vehicles, etc. are relatively old samples, primarily created on the basis of Soviet developments. In recent years, China has been actively developing and bringing to the series new projects, but so far the share of obsolete products is quite large. The process of production and supply of new samples necessary to obtain the desired results can take several decades.
To date, the defense industry of China has managed to begin updating the fleet of ground forces equipment. To replace obsolete tanks The “Type 59”, still available in parts, is being built with the modern “Type 96”, “Type 99” and VT-4. A program has been launched to replace obsolete armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles. Similar processes take place in the field of artillery, anti-aircraft systems, etc. Measures are being taken to create modern information management systems.
The combat personnel of the PLA air force now also has a specific state. For many decades, the Chinese army has been operating relatively old aircraft based on Soviet designs. However, in recent decades, China has been able to master the production of fourth-generation fighters and other modern aviation technicians. In the near future, the launch of the production of the first fighters of a new generation is expected, and it may be several types of aircraft at once.
Of particular interest is the PLA naval modernization program. Over the past few years, Chinese shipbuilding has managed to gain an impressive pace of new ship production in a number of major classes. A significant number of destroyers of the types 051 and 052, frigates of the project 054 and other ships have already been built. The construction of universal landing ships, corvettes, missile boats, etc. The most important project in the development of the Navy is the construction of new aircraft carriers. One such ship has already been accepted fleet; the second was launched this spring. It is expected that in the foreseeable future, Chinese shipyards will be able to build new aircraft carriers.
The construction of the strategic nuclear submarines "Type 094" is approaching its completion. Until the end of the decade, eight such ships will serve in the Chinese Navy. There is information about the start of construction of the first 96 Type boats with enhanced combat performance. Also, the submarine fleet should strengthen several atomic and non-nuclear multi-purpose submarines.
Despite the clear atmosphere of secrecy, certain information about the development of the PLA missile forces still become public knowledge. In recent years, information has emerged on the development of promising strategic missile systems of several types. In addition, new compounds were formed. Over the past few years, a project to develop a railway-based missile system has been discussed.
In parallel with the leading foreign countries, China is reportedly studying the subject of hypersonic shock complexes. According to foreign press reports, seven test runs of a hypersonic device, known as the DF-ZF, were recorded by American intelligence in 2014 through 2016 years. Detailed information about this project is not available, but it naturally raises concerns of foreign experts. Such an aircraft can be used as a carrier for a particular type of warhead.
Since 2015, China has been building its own space constellation of reconnaissance satellites used in the missile attack warning system. Several such devices have already been sent into orbit. In the foreseeable future will be several next launches. The deployment of the Beidou navigation system also continues. In space, there is already a group of reconnaissance satellites. In the future, China will continue to send new devices for various purposes into orbit, which will expand the range of tasks of the space group.
Ongoing projects for the creation of promising technology in the foreseeable future will lead to a serious renovation of the material part of the People’s Liberation Army of China. However, in some areas there are certain problems. Due to the lack of promising projects that meet current trends, there is a certain lag behind foreign countries, and in the future it may further increase.
Leading foreign countries are already working on fourth-generation tanks, and the Russian project of this kind is already close to the start of mass production. Chinese industry, as far as is known, cannot yet go beyond the previous third generation. The creation of a completely new tank will take some time - and it can only appear by the mid-thirties.
The lack of a modern strategic bomber is a far more serious problem for the PLA. All long-range aviation is built on Xian H-6 aircraft, representing the further development of the long and hopelessly outdated Soviet Tu-16. Previously, various reports appeared on Beijing’s intention to create a new aircraft of this class, but real work in this direction seems to be far from the desired final.
By creating new models of weapons and equipment of existing and promising classes, China is theoretically capable of reducing the backlog of foreign countries not only in quantity but also in quality. At the same time, such works planned for the near future will not be the last within the framework of a long and ambitious PLA modernization program.
For obvious reasons, even the newest technology that is being adopted at the present time, will have time to become morally and physically obsolete by the 2035 year. If the new models will lag behind their foreign counterparts, then such difficulties will appear a few years earlier. However, such problems will be solved as they arrive and in the most obvious way - through the timely development of new samples that meet current requirements.
Thus, now, in the 2017 year, it can be assumed that, following the well-known and so far developed projects of various weapons and equipment, new ones will follow. Thanks to this, modern products will eventually give way to a newer and more perfect one. As a result, in 2035, the models requiring replacement are not hopelessly outdated "Type 59" tanks or J-7 aircraft, but the current "Type 96" and J-11.
Over the past few years, the Chinese Defense Ministry, in cooperation with the defense industry, has been engaged in the modernization of the armed forces, primarily in the context of upgrading the equipment. In the future, such processes will continue, which will lead to new results.
According to Xi Jinping’s instructions, announced at the 19 Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, by 2035, the defense industry and related industries should work together to ensure a radical renewal of the fleet of equipment and armaments, maximizing the share of new equipment. Over the next 15 years, such work will continue, and their goal will be to create the most powerful army in the world. Whether Chinese specialists will cope with such tasks is too early to say. Beijing shows great zeal in the development of its armed forces, and therefore has every chance to realize its plans, both in the near and in the long term.
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