Are you still planning to buy overpriced military JSF fighters and other equipment in the US? Perhaps you should have a look first in China, writes Military analyst Wendell Minnick, who attended the Zhuhai ninth biennial Airshow China, in Defense News.
No more evidence is needed after last week’s Zhuhai airshow — the biggest, best organized and friendliest to date. Much of this can be attributed to a growing sense of pride among the Chinese in their emerging role in the world’s geostrategic balance.
One U.S. defense analyst, a longtime Zhuhai attendee, said there was a “boatload of new stuff, including a lot of new weapons we have never seen before. It is going to be like drinking from a fire hose.”
Overall, the 2012 Zhuhai show has expanded on a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) weapons trend discernible since 2004: the increased funding of multiple redundant air and missile weapon systems to foster internal competition, faster development cycles and inundation of foreign weapon markets. The PLA may purchase this burgeoning selection of weapons, but it will likely offer most of them for sale.
China is also attempting to take a leading role as mentor for other countries. France, Germany, Pakistan, Russia and Tanzania participated in the second Military Flight Training Conference (MFTC 2012), held here Nov. 11-12…
Among the show’s biggest surprises were displays of new missiles and rockets. Most were modifications that transformed air-to-air missiles into surface-to-air or anti-radiation missiles.
The 60-kilometer-range AVIC LD-10 air-to-surface, anti-radiation missile was one example. Based on the SD-10A advanced medium-range, air-to-air missile, the LD-10 can be outfitted on the JF-17, the brochure indicates. It is unclear why it specified the JF-17 only, but the plane is one of China’s top exportable fighters.
The SD-10A surface-to-air missile does not look anything like the SD-10A or the LD-10. In fact, it looks more like the Raytheon-built Standard Missile.