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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Long-Term Strategic Competition Between the United States and China in Military Aviation


Given bilateral tensions and the importance of airpower to national defense, has long-term strategiccompetition between the United States and China in the military aviation sector emerged? This brief evaluates US and Chinese military aviation through three factors that shed light on the degree and nature of strategic competition: resource allocations, targeted platform development, and airpower employment concepts. While China has been competing with the United States for decades, China has only recently begun to drive US decisions. Cost-imposing strategies may not favor the United States, so innovation and technological developments in military aviation should focus on how to thwart China’s ability to achieve its military objectives.

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