Traditionally, the authorities of the People's Republic of China very strictly censor information concerning their armed forces. Unauthorized leaks in this area are stopped by the most stringent methods. For example, a few years ago a Chinese blogger was convicted for posting a photo of a new Chinese fighter J-10 on the network. Moreover, the fact of mass production and entry of aircraft into service is easily fixed by means of space reconnaissance. Recently, these aircraft participated in demonstration flights at MAKS-2013 in Zhukovsky.
At present, China is the only one of the five great powers, the permanent members of the UN Security Council and the recognized five nuclear powers, which does not provide any official information about its armed forces, including nuclear means.
The official rationale for such secrecy is that the Chinese nuclear forces are few and technically incomparable with the nuclear weapons of other five countries, and therefore, in order to maintain its nuclear deterrence potential, China needs to maintain uncertainty about its SNF.
At the same time, China is the only one of the great powers that, at an official level, made a commitment not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, without any reservations. This commitment is accompanied by some vague unofficial explanations (probably sanctioned by the authorities) that, in peacetime, Chinese nuclear warheads are kept separate from missiles. It also states that in the event of a nuclear strike, the task is to deliver the warheads to the carriers within two weeks and strike back against the aggressor.
In view of the complete closeness of official data, all assessments of the PRC nuclear assets are based on information from foreign government and private sources. So, for some of them, China has about 130 strategic ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. They include 35 old stationary-based ICBMs of the Dongfang-4 / 5А type and 15 of the old stationary medium-range ballistic missiles (MRSD) of the Dongfang-3А type. Also deployed about 25 new ground-mobile ICBMs of the “Dongfang-31A” type (the Chinese equivalent of the Russian Topol missile) and 60 new ground-mobile MRSD “Dongfang-21”. The medium-range missiles are aimed mainly at Russia, in relation to which they are strategic, as well as at American bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
The deployment of the newest DF-31A began in the 2007 year, in the 2010 year, around 10 missiles and as many launchers were in service. According to US intelligence estimates, at present, China, taking into account DF-20A 5 silo-based rockets, has “less 50 rockets” that can reach the territory of the continental US. American intelligence believes that fewer XFUMX DF-25A missiles are currently deployed.
As part of the modernization of its strategic forces, China is moving from obsolete liquid rockets to new solid-fuel ones. New systems are more mobile and therefore less vulnerable to enemy attacks.
But by all indications, Chinese mobile complexes are more vulnerable than Russian ones. The central regions of the People's Republic of China, in contrast to Russia, do not have large forests where rocket complexes could take shelter during the daytime. Mobile launcher is large. Its maintenance requires significant human resources and a large number of support equipment. This makes its fast movement limited and relatively easily detectable by means of space reconnaissance.
Mobile launch complexes, of course, will be dispersed in the event of war. But, despite the fact that they have some off-road capabilities, solid, smooth surfaces are required to launch rockets. As a result, launch complexes will have to remain on the roads or be used from ready-made launch sites, which are clearly highlighted on high-resolution satellite images. In addition, the launcher cannot simply be driven off and launch itself, it should all happen with the support of t means of orientation, repair and communication.
Satellite images show that China is creating launch positioning areas for its new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles DF-31 / 31A in the central part of the country. Several launchers of the new DF-31 / 31A MBRs appeared in two districts of the eastern part of Qinghai Province in June 2011.
Over the next decade, older rockets with a shorter range will be written off and replaced with DF-31 / 31A. With the arrival of the new ICBMs, most of the Chinese missile forces will be able to aim at the continental part of the United States and, possibly, by the year 2025, their number will double. But even by that time, the Chinese nuclear missile potential will be significantly inferior to the potential of Russia and the United States.
The air component of the PRC’s SNF is represented by the H-6 aircraft, which are the Chinese version of the Tu-16 bomber created in the USSR in the middle of the 50's.
Currently, several dozen aircraft of this type have been upgraded by installing modern avionics and D-30KP-2 turbofan engines. The combat load is 12 000 kg. A bomber capable of carrying 6 cruise missiles CJ-10A (copy X-55). But even the modernized version with cruise missiles and modern fuel efficient engines cannot be considered a strategic bomber. In the zone of its reach: Eastern Siberia, Transbaikalia and the Far East. As of the beginning of the 2013 of the year, there were about 120 H-6 aircraft of various modifications in service.
Modernization of the H-6 is conducted at an aircraft factory in Xi'an.
The maritime component is just beginning to form and consists of one SSNB of type 80 “Xia” (Xia) built in 092, which never went to sea for combat patrols.
Four submarines of Jin 094 Ave. have been recently built and put into operation.
In total, China’s nuclear arsenal is estimated to be approximately 180 – 240 warheads, making it the 4 or 3 nuclear power after the US and the RF (and possibly France), depending on the accuracy of the available unofficial estimates. Chinese nuclear warheads are mainly classified as a fusion class with a power range of 200 kt - 3,3 Mt. There is no doubt that the economic and technical potential of the PRC allows for a rapid build-up of nuclear missiles throughout the entire range of their classes.
In service with the Chinese Air Force about 4 thousand combat aircraft (up to 500-600 units can be carriers of nuclear weapons), of which more than 3 thousand fighters, about 200 bombers.
The aircraft and helicopter fleet is equipped with predominantly Russian (Soviet) manufacturers: MiG-21, Su-27, Su-30MKK, Su-30MK2, Il-76, An-12, Mi-8. However, there are also self-developed airplanes - the Q-5 and JH-7 drums, the lightweight J-10 fighter.
Mass production of the most modern and efficient J-11В (Su-30МК) is conducted at the aircraft plant in Shenyang.
The scale of production is much larger than at the aircraft manufacturing plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. At the same time, the Chinese do not bother with the absence of a license.
On the basis of the Israeli fighter "Lavi" a lightweight fighter J-10 was created and manufactured at the aircraft factory in Chendu. It uses the Russian AL-31F engine.
In the same place, active work is underway to create its own 5 generation fighter.
On the basis of transport IL-76, Y-7 (AH-24), Y-8 (AH-12) DRLO airplanes were created and manufactured.
On satellite images it can be seen that in recent years, modern aircraft have practically ousted J-6 (MiG-19) and J-7 (MiG-21) airfields from the PRC.
At the same time as part of the marine aviation, N-5 bombers (IL-28) are still preserved.
Perhaps these aircraft are used as training or patrol.
In China, there is a very developed airfield network, especially in the east of the country. By the number of hard-surface airfields, China surpasses Russia. On arms SAM troops PRC PLA is 110-120 air defense systems (divisions) HQ-2, HQ-61, HQ-7, HQ-9, HQ-12, HQ-16, C-300PMU, C-300PMU-1 and 2, for a total of about 700 PU.
ZRK S-300 in Qingdao
By this indicator, China is second only to our country (around 1500 PU).
HQ-6D air defense system in Changju area
A year ago, at least one third of this number of Chinese air defense missile systems accounted for the outdated HQ-2 (analogous to the C-75 air defense system), now there are no more than 10% of the total.
Positions ЗРК НQ-2 (С-75)
Outdated air defense missile systems are being actively decommissioned and modern systems are deployed in their positions.
China has four spaceports (one under construction). In 1967, Mao Zedong decided to start developing his own manned space program. The first Chinese spacecraft "Shuguang-1" was supposed to send two astronauts into orbit as early as 1973. Especially for him in the Sichuan province, near the city of Xichang, the construction of a cosmodrome began.
The location of the launch pad was chosen according to the principle of maximum distance from the Soviet border. After the funding for the project was reduced in 1972, and several leading scientists were repressed during the cultural revolution, the project was closed. The construction of the spaceport resumed after a decade, ending in 1984 year.
Taiyuan Space Center - located in the northern province of Shanxi, near the city of Taiyuan.
Valid from 1988 year. The area of its territory is 375 sq. Km. The launch site, a launcher, a maintenance tower and two liquid fuel storages are located. Jiuquan Spaceport - operates from 1958 year. Located on the edge of the Badan-Jilin Desert in the lower reaches of the Heihe River in Gansu Province, it is named after the Jiuquan city located in 100 kilometers from the spaceport.
It is the largest spaceport of China (up to 1984 of the year - the only one) and the only one used in the national manned program.
Also performs launches of military missiles. Landfill at the cosmodrome has an area of 2800 km²
There are also large air test sites and an air defense test center in the Badan-Jilin Desert.
As part of the Chinese Navy today is more than 200 large submarines and surface combat ships.
The largest is the aircraft carrier "Liaonin", the former "Varyag" - sold by Ukraine at the price of scrap metal in April 1998 of the year.
In 2005, the ship was dry-docked in Dalian and underwent intensive modernization and completion during the 6 years.
10 August 2011, the ship first entered the sea trials that lasted 4 of the day.
On September 25, the aircraft carrier was officially accepted into the PLA Navy under the name “Liaoning” and the tail number 16.
Prior to that, Chinese specialists already had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the former Soviet aircraft carriers.
Airborne cruiser "Kiev" turned into a floating casino
In the middle of 90-x in Russia were bought, also at the price of scrap "Minsk" and "Kiev".
For practicing takeoff and landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, in one of the central regions of the People's Republic of China a concrete model of an aircraft carrier was built in full size.
The number of naval aviation exceeds 400 helicopters and aircraft.
JH-7 naval aviation fighter-bombers
Naval J-8 and J-7, with an almost identical delta wing, a noticeable difference in geometric dimensions
They include aviation fleetIn addition to fighter jets and attack aircraft, amphibious seaplanes of own production SH-5 are used, which are used as patrol and search and rescue vehicles.
Opportunities Google Earth allow you to visually assess the pace of development of the armed forces of China. This is especially noticeable in areas such as: air defense, air force and navy.