That doesn’t explain why the tonnage is only 2.5x higher for US ships commissioned by 2018 vs Chinese (so the ratio is a little lower now) or the 2.2x higher # of battle force missiles, or the ratio for MBT’s or surface ships of almost any class etc etc etcProbably it's their doctrine.US armed forces are supposed to be able to attack and maintain a full scale war even with a capable defender anywhere on the planet.PRC doctrine seems that it hasn't the same goals. Given that in Vietnam war, USAF and USN suffered great, i mean GREAT, losses of aircrafts (multiple carriers involved during VIetnam war) , facts say that numbers solely are just numbers.
Firstly, I would advise not to use Flight Global's numbers as their publication is sometimes years behind the actual situation. While not perfect, I would recommend IISS's Military Balance, for more up to date figures.I think that at least in terms of quantity, by far the biggest gap between China and the US is in military aircraft.
According to Flight Global 2020 just released last month, the difference is about ~10,000 aircraft.
This difference is huge, and exists everywhere from transports to special mission aircraft to trainers to utility and attack helicopters etc.
Actually, for quite a few years China was procuring more combat planes than US was. Since early 2000s or so up until 2018 or so. During that time, right after F-16 procurement ended, there was perhaps 70 planes procured per year. F-22 and Superhornets. Later on, F-22 production ended and F-35 production started. Superhornet production went down per year. So it was only recently that US started procuring almost 90 F-35 per year (and some Superhornets on top of that) that we can talk about US overtaking Chinese production.1. Wondering if anyone knows if/when China will surpass the US in annual military aircraft production? Obviously China won’t catchup in total numbers for at least 30-40 years, but when will the gap at least start to be cut?
I doubt engines are the reason. They could always be bought from russia and frankly, WS10 production does seem mature enough so it's not a bottleneck.2. Why hasn’t China begun mass producing almost any aircraft type in quantities at least close to US production numbers when they produce a new aircraft?
Part of the reason is due to engines correct? But, there are plenty of aircraft that don’t have those bottlenecks. Lots of military helicopters like the new attack and utility helicopters, 4th gen fighters etc.
So I don’t understand why China lags so badly in its Air Force when it doesn’t nearly as much with its Navy (sans Naval Air Force) or Army.