|South China Sea|
|Naval and Air Modernization|
|Introduction :: Timeline :: Airpower Projection :: Power Projection Comparison :: Sources|
From the data that was gathered, the modernization of respective airforces is one of the most visible aspects of military modernization in the South China Sea area. Due to the South China Sea's many islands, choke points, dangerous currents, and shallow waters at key locations such as the Spratly Islands, the maneuvering of naval forces is extremely limited. To effectively project power in the region, the use of aircraft is essential. The map below will provide a general guide to the air power projection of South China Sea states in terms of area coverage.
Circles that represent the combat radius of aircraft of selected countries are shown. The 'key' aircraft are chosen for their maximum range and possible configurations: i.e: The combat aircraft with the longest range will be chosen as the 'key' aircraft, and their maximum combat radius shown on the map. Dots indicate airfields or airbases where these aircraft may be based. The center of the circle illustrate the airbase/airfield where the key aircraft is currently based at. There is also an option to toggle the areas that are currently claimed for these states. In combination, it should provide a comparison of airpower coverage over claimed locations.
Use the Navigation Menu to display the airpower projection circle of countries around the South China Sea. The buttons on the menu are toggle buttons that display both the airpower projection circles and data on the key aircraft and key bases. It is recommended that you do not display all the options at once for a clearer picture.
Conclusion / Key Statement
No one country around the South China Sea can effectively project their airpower over the entirety of its claimed areas. One option to ameliorate the situation is to modernize their air force, focusing on longer ranged and more effective attack aircraft, as well as aerial refueling technology to extend their ranges.