In what appears to be an ongoing revolution of sorts, China added yet another Military- Industrial capability. China´s home-grown AG600, the world´s largest amphibious aircraft at present undertook its maiden flight today.
The project, internally named “Kunlong” took off from the southern city of Zhuhai and landed after roughly an hour-long flight.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) 24 December 2017
The plane has a 39.6-meter-long fuselage and 38.8-meter wingspan, said its developer, the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The aircraft is capable of carrying 50 people and can stay airborne for 12 hours.
“Its successful maiden flight makes China among the world´s few countries capable of developing a large amphibious aircraft,” chief designer Huang Lingcai told Xinhua.
The amphibious aircraft has military applications but will be used for firefighting and marine rescue, with at least 17 orders placed so far with state-owned manufacturer Aviation Industry Corp of China, state media reported.
The AG600´s flight capabilities can be potentially allow for a air operated naval invasions of disputed islands in East and South China Seas. In case of a war Special forces with medium equipment can easily transport enough material to the establish beach heads and pave way for a full scale incursion. The US’s latest decision to view China as a rival is not entirely misplaced. Beijing´s military expenditure in 2016 was an estimated $215 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, putting it in first place in Asia, well ahead of India ($56 billion), Japan ($46 billion) and South Korea ($37 billion).