January has been a busy month for the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese government has been showing off some of its most advanced weapons systems, and apparently some of them have the potential to be quite effective.
For example, the Chinese government unveiled its version of the “Mother of All Bombs,” a conventional American bomb that was previously the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the world. The United States deployed the MOAB against a cave complex in Afghanistan in 2017.
The MOAB is dropped by essentially pushing it out of a C-17 cargo plane. The Chinese version, however, being lighter and smaller, can be deployed more conventionally. The Chinese claim that, as a result, their bomb is more accurate. Reportedly, their version is also more powerful.
Perhaps the most alarming new weapon, however, is China’s alleged “ship killer” missile. The Chinese claim that they have adapted their powerful DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile to target ships. Originally, the DF-26 was designed to hit land-based targets. In 2015, it was labeled as a “Guam Killer” because it has the range to hit Guam, one of America’s most important military bases in the Asia-Pacific.
China also claims that it has developed a two-seater version of its J-20 Stealth aircraft. If so, this would mark the first publicly known two-seater stealth plane. The second person could potentially make the aircraft better able to respond in the heat of battle.
Further, China is apparently working on knives that could fire bullets, and guns that can shoot around corners. These weapons would make Chinese soldiers more effective in urban, tight-quarters combat.
China is also working to harden its military installations by using steel walls. Hypersonic weapons, which can more effectively penetrate the Earth, have become all the rage in recent years. The Chinese claim that they have figured out how to use steel walls in concert with earthworks to provide better protection. Experts, however, remain skeptical.