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Tag: plan
  • China’s Navy Begins Fielding Newly Manufactured J-15 Carrier-Capable Fighters

    The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has likely received a new batch of J-15 carrier-based fighters. Recent video footage released on “Military Express” (军事快播) shows a J-15 with a tail number of “31” and another with either “33” or “35”. All previously known J-15 tail numbers fell within the “10” or “20” series, suggesting aircraft featuring a
  • The PLA Navy’s ZHANLAN Training Series: Supporting Offensive Strike on the High Seas

    In early 2020, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) conducted the fifth iteration of its “ZHANLAN” far seas training series (Ministry of National
    Defense, February 2, 2019). [1] The PLAN established ZHANLAN in 2016 as an annual far seas training event, with each iteration growing in complexity
    (Ministry of National Defense, May 27, 2016). Live fire and combat training often draws the most attention during such PLA training events, but the
    critical highlight of ZHANLAN-2020A was the training focus on combat support, rather than kinetic operations. The key takeaway from this training
    event is that the PLAN is developing the proficiencies to sustain limited offensive strikes against U.S. forces—perhaps as far out as Hawaii.

    This article argues that the PLAN is close to being able to execute offensive naval operations outside of the first island chain (and perhaps
    beyond the second island chain) in a wartime environment. The PLA has long discussed the concept of conducting offensive naval operations beyond the
    first island chain, and by comparing observables from the ZHANLAN-2020A training event with the list of proficiencies necessary to conduct deep
    strike, the PLAN is likely close to operationalizing this concept.