Chapter 3 Development of China’s Major Aviation Equipment
The 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and Vision 2035 of the People’s Republic of China (the 14th Five- Year Plan) published in March 2021 classified the aerospace and aviation industry as one of the strategic and emerging sectors and the new pillar of China’s industrial system.1 This shows that aviation equipment is currently on the top of China’s national agenda.2 The technology in use or under development for such equipment underpins whether the PLA Air Force is able to smoothly migrate from the defensive position for its national territories to airland battles, both in offensive and defensive operations. In addition, as the PLA planes have significantly stepped up their harassment of Taiwan, it is also necessary to keep a close eye on their newest development in order to establish an effective response strategy. This chapter analyzes some of China’s main aircraft, engines, and airborne weapon systems and assesses their development, influence, and outlook.
“Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and Vision 2035 of the People’s Republic of China,” Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, March 13, 2021, http://big5.www.gov.cn/gate/big5/www.gov.cn/xinwen/2021-03/13/content_5592681.htm.
China refers to the People’s Republic of China herein.