Chinese Airpower

China is in the midst of an impressive buildup of modern air power capabilities, including both advanced new airframes and missiles to arm them with, Gen. Michael Moseley told defense reporters in Washington Tuesday morning. The Chief of Staff described the Russian-designed and Chinese-built Su-30MKK fighter as a generation “4.5” fighter, essentially comparable to the more advanced USAF F-15s and F-16s. Of similar quality is the new Chinese J-10 fighter, which Moseley said looks a lot like a Eurofighter and is now fielded in squadron strength. Rounding out a trifecta of new and indigenously built Chinese military aircraft is the communist nation’s own airborne warning and control aircraft, built off of a Russian Il-76. Moseley also noted that China is working on a new AIM-9X-class air-to-air missile; an air-to-surface missile along the lines of a US Joint Standoff Weapon or Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile; and a bigger missile for the Chinese bombers that is probably an anti-ship weapon but could possibly deliver a penetrating round.