China: October 30, 2000


The Congressional Research Service notes that China cannot get full use out of its new Russian-built Su-27 fighters because that would require aerial refueling, early warning, and electronic warfare systems. The Chinese have very little experience with aerial refueling and it appears that the Su-27s it bought lack this equipment. (The new Su-30s it is buying cannot refuel from the existing Chinese H-6 tankers.) China has no practical airborne control system, and its electronic warfare systems are primitive at best. The Congressional Research Service also notes that China has shown little ability to integrate its air force, navy, army, and missile forces (or even any two of them) into a single team. This effectively makes an amphibious landing on Taiwan impossible at this time. But, the Chinese are trying hard to fix this problem with frequent exercises joining two or more services.--Stephen V Cole


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