Naval Air: China And The Cold War Playbook



May 18, 2011: The Chinese Navy has converted its 2nd Bomber Division into a unit for its growing fleet of specialized aircraft. These include H-6 tankers, float planes, and several types of EW (Electronic Warfare) aircraft. Most of these aircraft are apparently for supporting the growing number of H-6 bombers armed with anti-ship missiles. Here, China is imitating a Russian tactic developed during the 1980s.

Russian bombers armed with cruise missiles were seen as a major threat by the U.S. Navy during the Cold War. China appears to be copying the Russian playbook. That starts with modifying more and more of their H-6 naval bombers to carry different types of anti-ship missiles. China is also developing new missiles with higher speed and better guidance systems. Finally, aerial tankers and specialized electronic warfare aircraft are coming into service to help find warships far at sea, and suppress some, or all, of the electronic defenses. This is all aided by a growing fleet of space satellites that can monitor large areas of ocean in the west Pacific.





Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close