South China Sea War: China Acquires Military Hangars For Fleet Of Fighter Jets In Disputed Region
As far as the dispute in the South China Sea goes, China is not taking any chances. In fact, it’s arming itself to make sure it can face any threats. It is also putting up more military hangars in a number of reefs in the area.Advertisement
The operation started on July 12. A number of civilian planes landed on both the Subi and Mischief reefs. They had one mission: to develop three operational runways in China in the heart of the much disputed Spratly Islands.
One of these runways has been constructed at the Fiery Cross reef. The construction did not take much time. Today, these runways have been transformed into three reinforced hangars capable of accommodating up to 24 fighter jets and three to four larger planes.
Photos Show China Military Hangars Are Ready
Based on photographs taken by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, the construction taking place in the Mischief, Subi, and Fiery Cross reefs follow a standard blueprint. This means that there are at least four to six hangars per building in the smallest hangars being constructed here. These can easily cater to about any fighter jet from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
Meanwhile, the second type of hangar can hold the H-6 bomber and H-6U refueling tanker as well as the KJ200 Airborne Warning and Control System plane and Y-8 transport aircraft. On the other hand, China’s largest hangars can cater to an entire Air Force fleet, which includes the KJ-2000 surveillance aircraft, Il-78 refueling tanker and Y-20 and Il-76 transport planes.
Aside from hangars, there are also “unidentified hexagonal structures” being built on each of the reefs. They are said to be oriented toward the sea. These features now contain three towers each, one being larger than the other two. There is no indication that these towers would host radar or sensitive rays.
This report comes as U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift called for more “transparency, parity and reciprocity” from the Chinese. The commander has arrived in China with the guided missile destroyer USS Benfold for a scheduled port visit in Qingdao.