Chinese steel fists

Chinese steel fists
In 15-20 years the PLA will be of strongest army in the world on virtually all the characteristics

Weekly «VBC» continues the series on the current state Navy, Air Force, NE and nuclear forces of the PLA. They showed that in the last decade, Chinese Sun constructively transformed confidently entered the top three of strongest armies in the world. It is not the fact that they occupy the top three in this last place.

High-quality re-PLA at a practically constant amount of military equipment only promote the highest production capacity of Chinese military-industrial complex (MIC). China comes in number 3 states of the world, whose defense industry capable of creating virtually the entire range of weapons and military equipment for own aircraft and for export. He was created with significant aid from the USSR in the 40-50s of the twentieth century and for a long time worked in the same condition and at the same organizational structure.

Harsh reform

In the period of economic transformation MIC was very significant evolution. At first, like Russian in the late 80’s — early 90’s he had been disorderly and unsystematic conversion only deepened its technological backwardness. With all of this in connection with the change of control of the country MIC values ​​lost its former privileged position, as was the development of a major civilian economy. The situation began to change dramatically in the late 90s.

In 1998, under the control of the State Council was created by the State Committee of Defense of science, technology and defense industry, having the status of ministry (in 2008 transformed into a State Administration for Defence Science, Technology and Industry with the subordination of the Ministry of Industry and Information). Until 1998, this body with the same title obey the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the State Council directly. As part of the PLA’s General Directorate of arms appeared.

Instead of the previous system of sectoral management at which the manufacturer of each weapon to impose administrative and SRI were separated from production, made 11 military-industrial companies: nuclear, nuclear construction, electric, two rocket-space (industrial and technological), two aircraft ( currently merged into one), shipbuilding and engineering of ground forces, producing both military and civilian products. In addition, the company has created «Sinshiday» engaged in the export and import of technology. With all this, any company contains a narrow profile of the company and connects voedinyzhdy several 10’s (sometimes even hundreds) of companies, research institutes, laboratories and other institutions.

Inside the companies merged science and creation, there were elements of competition, which led to an increase in product properties. From 65 to 90 percent of each company’s products — a civilian mission, on the other hand, many military-industrial complex is not included in any of the companies. Because this is practically impossible to say exactly what the real dimensions of the Chinese «defense» in the workforce. Number of final assembly companies — about 400 total — several thousand, the number of employees is estimated to be several million. There are 24 enterprises of the nuclear industry, 12 — the final assembly of the space industry, aircraft factories nine final assembly, 14 plants producing armored vehicles (including three tank), 20 — assembly of artillery equipment, more than 200 — Munitions, 23 large shipyard on 736 repair postroechnyh places.

During the reform period MIC China acquired a qualitatively new level of development. He is able to create a significant amount of military equipment coming on first place in the world for the production of arms and military equipment of all classes. In the year produced more than 300 combat aircraft and helicopters, not the least number of tanks, up to 30 submarines and surface combat ships and boats. For the production of almost all classes and types of technology, China now exceeds the ability of all NATO countries, and according to some (namely tanks) — all countries taken together. If now to any State to which the term «arms race» that is specifically China. With all of this, as mentioned above, weapons and military equipment are only 10-35 percent of the total output corporations. Creating a large number of civilian products (usually, quite sverhtehnologichny), including for export, the company makes all profitable in peacetime.

Feature and the ability to

In a period of threat and wartime defense industry by switching to production of military products can only increase its creation in three — 10 times over several months. Moreover, combining military and civilian production inside one company increases the quality and the military and civilian products through technology transfer.

Huge number of companies and their MIC wide geographical dispersion significantly increase its stability in the event of war. Duplication of existing companies in the profile of production can have a positive side. We can say that the number of companies MIC China comparable to the amount of ballistic and cruise missiles in the arsenal of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Russian Federation. Resumed the process of creating companies VPK in the hinterland (previously they were built in the 60-70s, but then were abandoned due to the low technological level). This is explained as a general state policy development of the western regions and the zeal to push some of the objects of modern economics from the coast, where they are at risk of cruise missiles hitting the sea or air from the United States.

Chinese defense industry is experiencing a number of problems. First — on the engine, precision weapons, different systems to conduct network-centric warfare. But it is under no circumstances be regarded as fundamentally shortcoming that impact the PLA’s combat power. So, the Chinese engines differ from foreign resource only the smallest, but it may be offset by their number. Similarly, the lack of precision munitions completely countered weight everyday. Generally at this point it becomes clear that a very great passion for expensive precision-guided munitions, characteristic for the western sun, is very economically disadvantageous and often does not increase, and weaken their fighting abilities (ammunition exhausted very quickly, then it becomes impossible to wage war, and to create new long and very expensive). From this perspective, according to the PLA backlog Munitions possible drawback would not, as an advantage, especially in relation to large-scale conventional war like «army against army.» Chinese defense industry aims to train specifically to that war, and in this respect it is likely the best in the world. His ability to produce military equipment of all classes even surpass South American (except construction submarines and aircraft carriers), significantly higher than Russian, and with at least some other states in general there are no grounds for comparison.

Defect properties of vehicles on certain fronts (thus they become less) will be compensated one hundred percent of its quantity, and by the companies themselves MIC ensures uninterrupted supply of vehicles, weapons and materials used in the event of war, at least some scale. With all of this in one direction or «defense» is not experiencing critical depending on zabugornyh devices and technologies.

Chinese military-industrial complex continues the policy of copying and synthesis of foreign technologies, including obtained by illegal method. Virtually all foreign standards in China are subjected to research and reproduction, while in most cases illegal. With all of this, but copying is usually accompanied by a creative development and improvement of at least certain characteristics. Moreover, all the more often in developing new models of equipment used synthesis of Russian, Western and proprietary technologies. Such synthesis products entirely different scientific and technological schools asks a very strong presence of their school.


In the medium term


Technological lag in certain areas can not be considered severe problem for MIC PRC. It may be offset to the last three least three ways.

1. Development of its own technology, which contributes to a very high-spirited growth of Chinese science coming to the forefront in the world.

2. Theft foreign technologies, which has long and well worked out.

3. Creating a huge amount of weapons, even a little inferior to the best foreign vivid. In this case it means that the vast quantitative an advantage one hundred percent quality compensates for some lag.


Moreover, in almost all cases, high backlog is simply no. In the article «China is ready for a big war» been told about the battles of Heglig in which 96 tanks Toure knocked four T-72 without loss with his own hand. Round of 99, apparently, is completely at T-90 or M1A2. J-11B advance no worse than the Su-27 or F-15C. Final battle between Chinese and Russian or Western tanks or planes now no longer determined by the quality (since it is estimated are equally), and the amount of training crews and tactical situation.

Apparently, the development of MIC China is largely repeat the Russian way. It may be recalled that the first 20 years of the twentieth century, the technological level of Russian «defense» and science was close to zero. For a long time the USSR was in complete dependence on foreign models and technologies. Yet for the 60-70s of the twentieth century and MIC respectively science in the USSR reached a very high level, comparable to the level of the United States and significantly exceed the specifications of other states. Partially, despite the huge amount of money, organizational, scientific, technological and human problems of the past 20 years, this rate has persisted to this day. Actually no hesitation that China’s defense industry will be able to repeat this path, and the even more successful, as opposed to the USSR connects inside the command-and-control and market-based methods, and has the ability to wider borrowing foreign technology. Can only prevent this severe internal turmoil. If they do not happen in 15-20 years the PLA will be of strongest army in the world in virtually all characteristics. The United States and the least likely Our homeland can only parry advantage through the creation tools on new physical principles, which, however, is very challenging. Especially since that China will also try to solve this problem and can fully achieve a good result.

Achievement of success contributed to such general financial, scientific and technical management policy of the PRC. It did not succumb to Western myth, turned into a great self-deception about the post-industrial society, in which information is more important than production. Indeed, these technologies are increasing the effectiveness of all times, but for all that they did not replace. Unrealistic feed information to dress in information, live disk imaging, ride a disk imaging, wage war information. Believing in the myth, the West engaged in its de-industrialization, passing the industrial establishment in a third world country priemuschestvenno in China, which was reincarnated into a world factory, and now all depend on it. Even the fact that the most concrete way represents the information society — computers, peripherals, communication systems, also produced in China.

This applies, namely, and to the military sphere. The concept of network-centric warfare is certainly revolutionary. But fighting something as before not computers, and armored vehicles, artillery, aviation, navy. If at the end there is no network platforms (tanks, planes, ships), the network is worthless. And no network will provide defeat more goals than on platforms available ammunition.

China has realized quite right that the number does not change and is not a substitute for money, the network is not a substitute carrier. Because the motto of association information and mechanization Chinese information technology is introduced into the classical army without cutting and replacing the last an old technique to the latest on the principle of «One to One». Large MIC provides them with these capabilities.


Hramchihin Alexander, deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis

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