Combat Ready: Latest Chinese Drills Point to Navy's Growing Strength
14:30 20.12.2015(updated 14:39 20.12.2015)
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted a massive combat exercise to increase networking capabilities among its air-, land- and sea-based forces from China's three fleets at a time when improved coordination is largely seen as the game-changing feature of any future military conflict.
'The Chinese exercises … demonstrated that the PLAN seems to have improved coordination between its air, surface and submarine forces,' Dave Majumdar noted in a piece for the National Interest.
The Chinese naval leadership, according to the PLA Daily, is said to have wanted the drills to be as realistic as possible.
Efficiency is highly dependent on networking and coordination when considerable distances and vast spaces become an issue. For this reason, the drills, involving guided missile destroyers, frigates, submarines, early-warning aircraft and fighter jets, were conducted over a large area of the South China Sea.
'The vessels and aircraft [which took part in the Navy's latest drills] were highly depended on networking – an expertise in which Chinese forces are making great strikes,' Majumdar observed.
To make the drills as realistic as possible, the PLA Navy seems to have also 'extensively incorporated electronic and cyber warfare,' the analyst noted.
The PLA Daily confirmed this by citing an anonymous expert employed by the PLA:
'You can see that the [PLA] Navy is including information and electronic warfare scenarios in every exercise it has made in recent years, indicating it pays great attention to building a strong information capability.'
The PLAN war-games were held less than 30 days after the PLA Navy held a major anti-submarine exercise.
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