Media: China spends hundreds of billions of dollars upgrading combat vehicles

China Military Online
Huang Panyue

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (ChinaMil) -- The website of Jane's Defense Weekly recently published a report on Asia's demand for military ground vehicles (MGVs) in the next decade and provided a surprising analysis of China's spending on weapons in the next decade.

The report shows that Asian countries' overall spending on military ground vehicles will reach $166 billion from 2017 to 2026. Among which, China will spend $126 billion, accounting for 45 percent of the total. This is 26 percent higher compared to that of India, which is currently at 19 percent.

On a global scale, China's expenditure on military vehicles will make up for 22 percent, which is only 3 percent short compared to the 25 percent of US.

Contrary to many people's views that China is putting emphasis on the PLA Air Force and Navy, the report points out that China will expand spending on military vehicles, including tanks and armored vehicles.

The report lists China's latest light tanks, ZTL-11 wheeled tank destroyers, new high-speed amphibious prototype vehicles, new infantry combat prototype vehicle and new tactical truck.

The increasing investment in military vehicles means that China is still carrying out Army reform, which is the foundation of the Chinese military.

The PLA is currently transitioning from a heavy mechanized army to a light informationalized one and this brings a rising demand for military ground vehicles like the latest tanks and armored vehicles.

According to the report, China remains the top spender on military vehicles in Asia, with a 10-year spend of USD72.6 billion and a strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.,89%, which reflects its intentions to reduce dependency on Soviet-era heavy forces and to establish a more modern, professional, and flexible force.

China has been gradually reducing dependence on heavy armor of Soviet Union style and establishing a more modern, professional and agile mobile army to improve the capability of fast-paced joint operations.

In the future, the regular 5X5 tanks that we are familiar with will be replaced by wheeled armored vehicles that are lighter, have better mobility and stronger combat performance.

The latest 8X8 armored vehicles have been deployed overseas, marking the maiden overseas projection of military forces.

Traditionally, the three most powerful armies in the world are China, US and Russia.

However, Russia is still suffering from economic recession and continues to heavily rely on old tanks and armored vehicles from the Cold War period.

Their upgrade is mainly based on model development and therefore their scale is smaller compared to that of China, and even India.

The Chinese Army, on the other hand, has steadily been improving in equipment both in terms of technology and scale.

There is an ongoing emergence of new equipment and the overseas force projection has more combat requirements for the new wheeled vehicles.

Just as what the report puts forward, in the near future China might have "the second strongest army in the world" after the US!


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