In one of those things that makes you go hmmmm…. The Global Times is celebrating the launch of India’s indigenous aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine. In the GT op-ed, Liu Zongyi of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies writes, “The launch of India’s home-built aircraft carrier is indeed worth celebrating, because it marks a firm stride toward the indigenization of arms. The triumphant launch of the hull demonstrated India’s progress in building giant surface carriers.”
After further praising India for its launch of a domestically built nuclear submarine so soon after the carrier, the author adds, “While helping boost the ruling Congress Party’s election chances next year, they do mark India’s achievements in localizing arms production.” Liu then goes on to argue that, “An aircraft carrier, in particular a defensive one like the INS Vikrant, will not cause drastic changes in Asia-Pacific strategic scenario.” Oddly, the headline the GT editors attached to the piece was “Indian carrier hints at regionally dangerous military buildup.” Liu did end the article by saying China should not forget the “existence of war even in a peaceful world.”
India is not sitting content, however. On Wednesday the Indian Air Force landed a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft at the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) airstrip. The Indian Express makes much of the fact that the DBO is the most-elevated airstrip in the world at about 16,614 feet. More importantly, is the fact that its right along the border with China, which seems to be a lesser focus on the article. Zee News explains the importance of the DBO to India, saying the base is “situated within shouting distance from the Line of Actual Control (LoAC).”
The F-35B completed its first-ever night-time vertical landing this week, even as the estimated operating costs of the F-35 fleet continue to drop to the still astronomic amount of just under $1 trillion.
Meanwhile, CSPAN recently visited Lockheed Martin’s F-35 facility, and has an hour long program about the Joint Strike Fighter program to prove it.
General Fan Changlong, the number 2 under Xi Jinping on China’s Central Military Commission, is apparently urging senior PLA officials to disclose their personal assets. Australia’s The Age has the story.
Over at Information Dissemination, Lazarus argues that the Goldwater-Nichols Act crippled the United States’ ability to conduct strategic planning.