PLA modernisation enhancing China's A2/AD and power projection capabilities, says US DoD

by Gabriel Dominguez

The ongoing modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is enhancing China’s capabilities to conduct anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) against potential third-party intervention, as well as nuclear deterrence and power projection operations, the US Department of Defense (DoD) said in its 2019 report to Congress on military and security developments involving China.

Transporter-erector launchers carrying DF-26 IRBM systems during a military parade held in Beijing in September 2015. (Getty Images)

Transporter-erector launchers carrying DF-26 IRBM systems during a military parade held in Beijing in September 2015. (Getty Images)

Published on 2 May, the 123 page-long report stated that China’s military modernisation includes the development of A2/AD capabilities to conduct long-range attacks against adversary forces that might deploy or operate within the western Pacific Ocean.

PLA capabilities are currently “most robust” within the First Island Chain, although China aims to strengthen its ability to extend farther into the Pacific Ocean, said the DoD, pointing out that these growing capabilities, which span the air, maritime, space, electromagnetic, and information domains, “provide options for China to dissuade, deter, or, if ordered, defeat third-party intervention during a large-scale, theatre campaign such as a Taiwan contingency”.

At the same time, the PLA is also developing power-projection capabilities and concepts of operation to conduct offensive operations within the Second Island Chain, in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and in some cases globally, emphasised the DoD.

In terms of long-range, precision-strike capabilities, the Pentagon pointed to the rapid transformation of the PLA’s missile force, which features an array of medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) and land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs) capable of reaching US bases in Japan.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/pla-modernisation-enhancing-chinas-a2ad-and-power-projection-capabilities-says-us-dod

The ongoing modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is enhancing China’s capabilities to...

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