Chinese naval vessels are becoming more capable of defending themselves against US air strikes and long-range missile attacks, according to a new report published by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), The Diplomat reported.
The Russian-made and Russian-derived air defense technologies now allow PLAN surface warfare ships to get out from underneath the PLA’s land-based air-defense umbrella and to progressively operate further away from Chinese shores.
“While China has been increasingly manufacturing many of its own weapon systems domestically, real questions remain about the level of innovation in China’s defense industry. Often what is described as ‘innovative’ by the Chinese is actually a relatively incremental improvement on foreign (and in many cases Russian) technology,” the report published by CSIS explains.
Although China has shown growing independence from Russia in the development of cruise missiles, the most advanced ASCM missiles in the Chinese Navy’s arsenal are still Russian-made or Russian-derived.
According to CSIS, other Russian-made or Russian-derived surface surveillance/tracking, air surveillance, air defense, and fire control systems include the SA-N-7 Gadfly, the SA-N-12 Shtil (Grizzly), the SA-N-20 Fort, the HHQ-9, the HHQ-16, the Top Plate (Fregat MAE-3), the Front Dome (Orekh) and the Tomb Stone.
However, China is closing the gap with Russia in advanced radar technology. New radar systems, such as the Type 346 Dragon Eye installed on the Luyang I– and II–class destroyers, and the Type 382 phased-array radar system installed on the Jiangkai II frigate, are quite advanced in comparison with Russian radar systems.
While China is rapidly catching up with Russian military technology, there are still many areas where Beijing could benefit from future Sino-Russian technology cooperation, particularly in the field of anti-submarine warfare (ASW).