AMTI – China is not the first, but the fifth claimant to build an airstrip in the Spratly Islands. Are all airstrips created equal? What kinds of operations does each enable? AMTI explores the role of airstrips and airpower in the South China Sea.
Much attention has been paid to China’s new airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef. How does this runway compare to Malaysia’s on Swallow Reef, the Philippines’ on Thitu Island, Taiwan’s on Itu Aba, or Vietnam’s on Spratly Island? Below, explore infographics on each claimant’s airstrip size and the aerial operating range each enables. Watch an exclusive interview on China’s Fiery Cross runway with RAND Senior International Defense Analyst Timothy R. Heath. View satellite images of each Spratly airstrip and read more about the types of operations that each may enable.