Similar to China’s style in some other realms, they’re hitting the arms market hard with many products that don’t compare well with high tech American (or European or Russian) stuff but are “good enough” for a fraction of the price and allow other countries to get modern military equipment at bargain-bin prices. I’m sure this is probably a nice niche considering how expensive this shit can get and how especially in today’s climate, a lot of nations want to have some of the capabilities of the big boys.
I suppose it’s kind of like buying tools. You can spend a lot of money on Craftsman, Snap-On or what have you, but sometimes you can get the same job done with a tool you paid a fraction of that price for at Harbor Freight….and sometimes you can’t. While some of these things are certainly inferior to the US/Russian products, there’s something to be said for quantity and anything that increases military capabilities just makes the potential cost of conflict that much higher.
Also I’m sure it’s a lot easier (and quicker and cheaper) to train someone to use China’s gear over the more complicated systems we have.
One side note that I thought was interesting was that Turkey purchased a non-NATO compatible missile system from China recently. It sounds like there’s been some unease within Turkey about their NATO membership and/or Western orientation. Recently they’ve been getting closer with Russia through some business deals and probably getting frustrated with the European Union’s snuffing of Turkey jumping through more or less all the membership hoops asked out of them. Is that a sign of Turkey beginning to look eastward towards Russia and China or maybe even just trying to put some distance from the West without getting completely into bed with Russia and China? If they did go down the Russia/China route, that would be a pretty big blow to Team West. Turkey is about the only other military in NATO that takes fighting seriously and it’s the second largest.