China military vs. US defense: What the two countries have in common

Written by Staff Writer By Guest Contributor Andrew Welch

The Navy currently has three test variants of the BMD and no plans to field the ground vehicle.

The Army developed an air missile defense system, which China is said to have since sought to replicate or to pose as an early threat to the global economy.

One Pentagon analyst compared China’s development of hypersonic missiles and stealth airplanes to the dawn of the Cold War.

“While the United States has always been concerned with Russia and China, it is increasingly relevant because these two countries appear to be converging in terms of conventional arms race and hypersonic weapon development,” said retired Lt. Gen. Robert Scales.

2. Nuclear arsenal

The US currently maintains about 5000 deployed nuclear weapons.

China’s nuclear arsenal is nearly twice that number, with an estimated 4,000 nuclear weapons deployed.

3. C-17 and B-52

China has a fleet of nearly 70 brand new transport planes, which include two new 747-8 Freighters. The country has also placed orders for at least two large cargo aircraft from Boeing, and plans to buy five more 737 MAX 9 aircraft from Airbus.

4. Navy surface ships

The US Navy is currently upgrading four cruisers and two destroyers — as well as adding as many as 12 new surface ships in the next decade — in addition to the BMD variants.

China’s Defense Ministry says the country has 2,000 surface vessels and 88 submarines.

5. Air Force F-20 and F-35

China also plans to invest heavily in the new fighter aircraft, which it unveiled in 2017.

Both planes are also considered hypersonic weapons.

“Both aircraft have proven the principle of an aircraft that can make long-range bombing missions much easier, given that it travels at flight speed of Mach 5 or higher,” says Angelo Driscoll, adjunct fellow at the Asia Foundation.

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