BEIJING - Beijing has set its sighte on obtaining new generation weaponry in almost all military spheres, pouring billions into research and the production of new models of battleships, missiles, jets, and submarines. Many of them are arriving for tests or will even be commissioned in the coming year.

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Navy is one of the points of major interest in innovations for China, partially due to the ongoing tensions with the US over disputed islands in the South China Sea. The latest Type 001A carrier, which will reportedly be commissioned in 2019, is one of the most recent additions to China’s fleet.

Being the first fully domestically built carrier, it is still based on its predecessor Liaoning — a reshaped Russian Kuznetsov-class ship. Type 001A received improved radar system and a redesigned hangar, capable of carrying up to 32 J-15 fighters.

Another upcoming major addition to the Chinese navy is a Type 055 destroyer, which have been tested in trials since August 2018. Armed with guided missiles, this 12,000 tonne destroyer is believed to be one of the fiercest in the world. Right now 3 such ships have already been built with 4 more on the way.

China’s underwater fleet is also expecting the arrival of a long anticipated Type 095 submarine. According to reports, this vessel was cleared of its predecessor, Type 093B’s malfunction, which was being too loud for a submarine. The first Type 095s reportedly went into construction early this year with a total of 8 ships having been ordered.

A fifth-generation FC-31 stealth fighter has been tested and remade since 2012 and is expected to finally arrive in 2019 or 2020. The FC-31 can replace the existing J-15 as the jet of choice for Chinese carriers, as well as heavy J-20 fighters.

Another future addition to the PLA’s Air Force is a H-20 strategic bomber, which will be replacing the decades old long-range H-6K, based on Soviet Tu-16 made in the 1950s. Few details are known about H-20, but a video released by Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation hinted that the bomber’s design will be similar to that of the American B-2 Spirit.

One more addition to the PLA is a JL-3 submarine launched strategic missile, which has already entered the testing stage. It will reportedly be able to hit targets 12,000 kilometres away and carry 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRV). It is based on the ground-launched DF-41 intercontinental missile, which was commissioned by the PLA earlier in 2018. Its range will allow it to reach US territories without a submarine even having to leave Chinese waters.