There is a new monograph from Rand analysts say that China has “keenly observed” American military transformation efforts over the past few years and sees them as “accelerating.” The report highlights options that the Rand analysts believe Beijing is pursuing “in earnest” in whole or in part to respond to the Pentagon transformation plans. The options are: Conventional military modernization focusing on weapon platforms; information operations and sabotage; a missile-based force that would present a short-range threat to Taiwan and improve offensive capabilities against US bases; and net-centric warfare modernization. “The major operational challenge for China … is defeating US air power,” the report states, adding that massed sensors and weapons may be one way the Chinese will attempt to solve the problem.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.