The South China Sea fracas is about to see another ratchet. China’s interests in bolstering its claims (dismissed by the International Tribunal and ignored by China) will have a new tool, the AG600.
The China People’s Daily wryly noted the AG600 can reach the most remote parts of China. This aircraft clearly is going to play a role to the remote “islands” that are in much dispute. Even though the aircraft is behind schedule, its emergence sends an ominous regional signal. Ostensibly a civilian aircraft, the AG600 clearly has dual use capabilities.
With a range of 4,500km the AG600 (also known as the TA600) can cover a wide area. From Hainan’s Haikou Meilan International Airport the AG600 can easily go anywhere in China’s areas of interest. Is there any wonder India bought the Japanese ShinMaywa? There is a possibility that other nations bordering the South China Sea might also start looking at amphibian aircraft.