Infographics: Then and now China's military modernization
September 1, 2019 12:05 AM NPT
The United States Study Center at the University of Sydney in Australia recently released a report stating that China could swiftly overwhelm US forces in the Western Pacific if a conflict broke out. As well as highlighting the People's Liberation Army's growing ballistic missile arsenal as one of its core capabilities, the analysis also highlighted the Chinese military's recent modernization efforts. Back in 1999, much of the PLA's equipment was obsolete with the Type 59 tank forming the backbone of armored units despite the fact that it first entered service in 1959.
It is now being replaced by the far more advanced Type 96 and Type 99. This infographic is based on the analysis and it focuses on the Air Force and Navy. Back in 1999, the Air Force was reliant on thousands of antiquated fighter jets from the 1950s and 1960s with only 52 modern jets in service. Today, it still has 852 3rd generation fighters in service but now operates 837 modern 4th generation aircraft. The modernization has also been extended to the navy who had no advanced surface warships in service at the turn of the century. It now has 39 old vessels along with 48 modern one. It also has 36 advanced submarines, an improvement on the three it had back in 1999.