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The Rising Sea Dragon in Asia - 2005 UPDATE
JEFFHEAD.COM ^ | March 7, 2005 | Jeff Head

Posted on 03/07/2005 9:49:24 AM PST by Jeff Head

2005 Update

By Jeff Head, February 2005

As an update to the original "Rising Sea Dragon in Asia", that I publiushed in January of 2004 (and have been writing and warning about since 2000), I offer this update, dated in February of 2005. This report is fairly short and broad, and I believe does not contain the detail necessary to reflect the true scope of the emerging threat. But it does clearly indicate the nature and size of the current Red Chinese buildup, and their is only one principle power that such a buildup can be directed at, the United States military.

Regarding the continuing naval buildup, the Chinese have already built and launched two of the brand new, very modern, Aegis type Lanzhou Class destroyers, two of the new Guangzhou Class guided missile destroyers, two new Ma'anshan Class guided missile frigates, four of the new large Type 73 Amphibious Assault ships (that's right, four in a very short time frame and more building...can you guess what these are inded for?), and a class of very modern diesle-electric attack subs. In addition, the west has now seen another new class, dubbed the Type 51C that was just launched in December of 2005 in the Dalian, Liaoning Province. Another area air defense destroyer similar to the Type 52C, Lanzho class, this new class is similar in appearance to the Arleigh Burke class original batch destroyers, and is based on the late 1990's Luhai class hull.. It has an Aegis type air defense capability, but no helo facilities, while the two new Type 52C's are similar to the Arliegh Burke Batch IIA ships, with onboard helicopter landing and housing facilities.

All of this is in addition to acquiring four very modern and capable Hangzhou Class destroyers from Russia and a total of twelve very modern Russian diesel-electric subs, as well as currently building their own new and modern classes of nuclear attack subs and ballistic missile submarines, along with continuing heavy research into aircraft carrier design and/or refitting.

The efforts continue unabated as the Red Chinese continue to build or aquire these EIGHT new classes of ships simultaneously at a rapid pace. Eight new classes of ships at once represents a HUGE outlay in technology and capital across the board. It is almost unheard of and is representative of the massive arms build-up the Red Chinese are embarked upon with their new found wealth. If continued, it can have but one goal in mind, a direct challenge for naval dominance in the Pacific Rim and beyond. As stated, that challenege is a direct one to the United States Navy.

In the mean time, the Chinese are also modernizing their naval air forces at a rapid pace, acquiring or license building hundreds of modern SU-27, SU-27SK, and SU-30 aircraft from Russia, many with very credible strike at sea, air to surface missile capabiulities. They are also building their own new J-10 aircraft. Within the past two to three years these efforts represent a quantum leap in terms of the quality of the Red Chinese equipment and the rate at which they are being built or otherwise put into service.

Here are some recent pics.

The brand new construction and launch of the area air defense, Aegis-like, Type 51C Class destroyer.

The new Lanzhou Class (Type 52C) Aegis-like destroyer. 1st commissioned in July 2004, second in service in early 2005.

The new Guangzhou Class (Type 52B) Guided Missile Destroyer. 1st commissioned in July 2004, second in service in early 2005.

The new Hangzhou Class (Type 951/EM) guided missile destroyers. Four acquired from Russia in the last five years, two already in service, two more in 2005. They carry the Russian Sunburn or Moskit cruise missiles, designed to attack US Aircraft Carriers.

The new Ma'anshan Class (Type 054) Guided Missile frigates. Two launched in late 2003, will be in service in early 2005.

Two of the new Type 73 Amphibious Assault Ship class, of which three have already been built.

The new Yuan Class SSK diesel/electric attack submanrine.

The new Russian acquired Kilo Class SSK diesle/electric attack submarines, of which four have been acquired and EIGHT MORE are on order.

Coninued outfitting of the former Russian Vayrag at the Dalian shipyards.

Red Chinese SU-30 and SU-27SK (J11) and SU-27 aircraft.

The chinese Produced J-10 attack fighter.

As these ships are produced in numbers and as the Chinese continue with their across the board naval buildup and their carrier development plans towards ultimately lauching their own, the balance of power in the China Sea and western Pacific is going to hang in the balance. Do not forget, the Chinese have purchased and are studying and apparently refitting western style and Russian aircraft carriers. Their intentions in this regard, with the production of all the support and defense ships necessary to form carrier battle groups of their own is clear. Even without those groups, they are poducing a formidable force to challenge our groups in the inner island chain in the western Pacific.

While the Chinese experience level with this equipment is lacking and will be very much inferior to the decades of practical experience the United States Navy has, there is no doubt that the Chinese are embarked on a path to challenge that experience and heretofore dominance of the U.S. Navy in the region at some point. If within range of large numbers of land-based aircraft and missiles, and if coupled with modern, capable weapons systems like the Sunburn or Moskit missiles and perhaps supercavitiating torpedo technology, a credible threat to American naval supremecy in the western Pacific could be posed in the next few years...and this does not even address their continued rapid buildup of ballistic missiles and modernization program across the board of their land based armed forces, which are proceeding at a similar pace as that described here regarding their navy and naval air forces.

Although the hefty12-14% increase in direct military expenditures of the Red Chinese (and this does not include dual use and so-called private sector input to the defense apparatus-just remeber, in the Red Chinese system, there is no real private sector) represents a small proportion of US Military outlays, remember as well that a significant portion of western outlays goes towards relatively high salaries, benefits, and health care costs that the Chinese system is not burdened with. In terms of outlays towards pure military weapons systems directly, the Chinese are rapidly catching up with western numbers. All of this bears very serious consideration and planning.

While we do so, consider this: As stated, the Chinese are currently building and launching eight modern, entire classes of major combatant vessels (not including the two new nuclear attack and strategic missile submarines)...simultaneously. This is a monumental achievement and compares to the United States Navy which is currently building and launching three new classes of major combatants (the Virginia class subs, the San Antonio class LPDs, and the continuing Burk class destroyers) with plans for two to three more U.S. classes in the future Clearly the Chinese and the PLAN are serious about their future naval capabilities in the China Sea and western Pacific and are rapidly building up across the board to implement them. This should be be reminiscent to our senior citizens who experienced it, or anyone who has studied history, of the rapid buildup of adversary military in the 1930s. We all know where that led.

Again, there can only be one power that the Red Chinese intend to, and must, confront if conflict over geo-political policy comes into play...and that is the U.S. Navy. Such tremendous development, building and launching of vessels indicate that they intend to do just that and their intentions, capabilities and funding in this regard cannot be underestimated.

Copyright © 2005, by Jeff Head

Jeff Head ( is an engineering consultant who has many years of experience in the power, defense, and computer industries. He currently wotrks for the federal government helping maintain and protect regional infrastructure. He is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, and he is also the author of a self-published and best-selling fictional series of military techno-thrillers about future military confrontation with the Red Chinese called the Dragon's Fury Series of novels ( that projects a fictional third world war arising out of current events.

You can read about that series by clicking on the pictures of the novel covers below:


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Free Republic; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: armsrace; chinesenavy; chinesethreat; dragonsfuryseries; freeperjeffhead; jeffhead; militarybuildup; plan; redchinanavy; redchinathreat; worldwariii
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To: Jeff Head

21 posted on 03/07/2005 10:10:39 AM PST by AmericanInTokyo (Illegal Aliens "Those Wonderful People" in Jail Now Are $1.4 Billion A Year For California Taxpayers)
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To: Phsstpok

I saw that. I believe we are sending strong messages in the region to both N Korea and to China. But Guam is within range of Chinese and North Korean missiles so although it is a posture we need to take, and IMHO must take, it is not without risk.

22 posted on 03/07/2005 10:11:14 AM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: Jeff Head

Thanks for keeping an eye on this build up.

Also of note is Indias naval build up and Pakistans submarine capabilities

23 posted on 03/07/2005 10:14:08 AM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: robowombat

As the US strengthens ties with Pakistan,the commentator fails to realise China is also doing the same.IT's been going on for over 40 years & is still continuing.

24 posted on 03/07/2005 10:14:25 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: AmericanInTokyo
We are headed for confrontation...and they are preparing for it as rapidly as possible. IMHO, we should njot wait to go this issue until they are ready and thus do it on their terms.

Sell Taiwan AEGIS and the latest PATRIOT technology. Bring them under the Regional Missile Umbrella and pointedly inform the Chinese of this. If we in anyway give in on Taiwan and allow that free nation to go down, there will be a new leader emerging on the Western Rim and the impact of which way the Taiwan (ROC) issue goes will dtermine how the pendulum swings in the entire region IMHO.

25 posted on 03/07/2005 10:14:35 AM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Excellent point...we are at significant risk there. Reference the new deep water port the Chinese have constructed and will undoubtedly use for their new naval assets in Pakistan.

26 posted on 03/07/2005 10:15:52 AM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: Jeff Head

Watch your back.

27 posted on 03/07/2005 10:16:17 AM PST by Rebelbase (Who is General Chat?)
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To: mylife

India's naval buildup is aimed with one eye on the PRC esp with regard to it's aircraft carrier & N-sub programmes & a smaller one on it's proxy,Pakistan.You've probably not heard that Japan,Vietnam,Singapore & the US have all held regular exercises with the Indian navy over the past 5-6 years.

28 posted on 03/07/2005 10:16:40 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: mylife
You are weclome. I take all of that (India and Pakistan) into account in detail in my series.
29 posted on 03/07/2005 10:17:15 AM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: Rebelbase

Always, always check six and keep the powder dry.

30 posted on 03/07/2005 10:17:54 AM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: sukhoi-30mki; Jeff Head

Thank you two for the information

31 posted on 03/07/2005 10:18:46 AM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Unfortunatley, the Chinese recently held similar exercises with them.

32 posted on 03/07/2005 10:18:47 AM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: mylife

You are welcome.

33 posted on 03/07/2005 10:19:36 AM PST by Jeff Head (
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To: mylife
Dont forget that buying up chinese goods directly funds this buildup

...and trying to find something in Walmart NOT from China is worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. (not picking on Walmart, it is the same almost everywhere else too.)

34 posted on 03/07/2005 10:20:35 AM PST by houeto ("Mr. President , close our borders now!")
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To: Jeff Head

There is a world of difference between Search & Rescue & the "Hello,how are you" sort of interactions that India,Australia & Great Britain have held with the PLAN & the more serious simulated conflict scenarios played out by the USN or the RSN with the Indian navy.

35 posted on 03/07/2005 10:22:56 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
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To: Howlin; Jeff Head

Do I have to??

Like Bill Getz .. Jeff scares me

Just kidding Jeff ;0)

BUMP to read later

36 posted on 03/07/2005 10:24:00 AM PST by Mo1 (Question to the Media/Press ... Why are you hiding the Eason Jordan tapes ????)
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To: houeto

L0L thats the truth!

I bought a chinese NORINCO Tokerev pistol recently but it was from a private party and no money from me went to China.

The Tokerev is no work of art but is strong dependable and accurrate.

37 posted on 03/07/2005 10:25:45 AM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Phsstpok

It's not the first time that B-2s have deployed to Guam. 'Truth666' probably believes that 'Red Dawn' was real!

38 posted on 03/07/2005 10:26:35 AM PST by Tommyjo
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To: Toddsterpatriot; 1rudeboy

Calling all wal-mart shoppers;

39 posted on 03/07/2005 10:26:42 AM PST by jpsb
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To: Jeff Head

40 posted on 03/07/2005 10:26:56 AM PST by Paul Ross (Ben Franklin: Gentlemen, We gave you a Republic...if you can keep it.)
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