The following is based on a translation of an article on a Chinese news site:
Chinese military commentator Du Songtao says that China’s airport on Fiery Cross Reef, with an area of 23,000 square meters and a runway 3,125 meters long, can accommodate the simultaneous operation of 8-10 Boeing 737 airliners for civil purposes, including travel, fishing, assistance to navigation and rescue.
As a military airfield, it can accommodate 10 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C), marine patrol, electronic reconnaissance and electronic jamming aircraft, with Y-8 freight aircraft as platform and 24-48 fighter jets and has the capabilities equal to an aircraft carrier battle group.
However, as the island is not big, has a fixed location easy to be located by satellite, lacks sufficient fortification for defence and is far away from the Chinese coast, there cannot be enough capabilities for quick maintenance after being attacked.
It can serve as an outpost to delay, but cannot deal with the attack of a few aircraft carrier battle groups if the US attacked.
Source: news.qq.com “It is difficult for a Spratly airfield to counter aircraft carrier battle groups” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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Categories: Defence & Aerospace