China’s new advanced weapons made intensive appearances in 2013, beginning with the maiden flight of the country’s first domestically made jumbo air freighter Y-20 and debut of Z-20, China’s first tactical utility helicopter, and JH-7B fighter bomber by year end. Chinese Navy completed the sea trial of its first 052D missile destroyer in September and the Liaoning had stayed in the spotlight throughout the year with a string of exercises. China made steady progresses in its defense industry and its national strength buildup last year, said Song Zhongping, a military affairs commentator.
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China will make more big steps in the weaponry development in 2014, Song predicted.
Aircraft carrier Liaoning will accelerate the combat capacity building this year. Major weapons such as the 052D destroyer may be put into service in the fleets soon and there will be more new attack submarines built. New types of the carrier-based J-15 fighters are also in Song’s expectation, which may be specially designed for the aerial refueling in combat or electronic reconnaissance. The submarine-launched ballistic missile may conduct test again in 2014.
Song says it will be interesting to see whether more new stealth bombers will be delivered in 2014 following the nuclear-capable bomber H-6K. He also predicts that the tests of Z-20 helicopter will become more frequent.