Chinese Navy Expanding Bases Near South China Sea
By: H I Sutton
The Chinese Navy, formally known as the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy), conducted a live-fire exercise several days ago over the South China Sea utilizing a newly expanded naval base.
Harbin Z-9 helicopters took off from a base at Sanya on the southern tip of Hainan and fired anti-ship missiles at simulated targets. The Z-9, a license-built variant of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, is a standard shipboard helicopter the PLAN flies. The exercise itself sends a signal, but the base from which the helicopters took off is crucial. The base has been massively improved over the past year.
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