Skip to comments.The Rising Sea Dragon in Asia (PLAN) - 2008 Update
Posted on 01/01/2008 9:26:12 PM PST by Jeff Head
By Jeff Head - Last Update: January 2, 2008
Throughout 2007 the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has concentrated on integrating its newest surface combatants into its various fleets, while introducing new combatants simultaneously. In particularly, the newer nuclear attack and ballistic missile submarines have been officially seen and photographed, punctuating the PLAN's continued advance and improvement of its nuclear submarine capability, while continuing to build and add new diesel electric submarines. It's new Landing Ship Dock and now new, associated LCAC craft are being integrated into the fleet. The PLAN thus continues its unprecedented modernization and buildup integrating its new guided missile destroyers, guided missile frigates, fast attack craft, very modern and quiet diesel/electric attack submarines, nuclear attack submarines, nuclear ballistic missile
The new Type 051C, guided missiles destroyers have undergone sea trials and their pennant numbers have been added, 115 and 116 as they have joined the North Sea Fleet.
The new Type 071 LPD has been conducting sea trials. This is a significant addition to the PLAN, representing the largest amphibious vessel in their inventory and a very modern and capable design of which more are sure to be built. The vessle displaces 20-25,000 tons and is capable of both air assault and amphibious assault as the new LCAC craft which have now started appearing, and which are shown in the following photographs attest.
The PLAN has introduced a new LCAC design, clearly intended for their new Lanning Platform Dock. These are very similar in size and function to the US Navy's LCAC and appear capable of carrying at least one main battle tank or and assortment of other vehicles and troops. The LPD appears to be able to hold at least two, and perhaps three of these craft.
The new Type 054A guided missiles frigates have been undergoing sea trials. With their vertical launch missiles and heavier displacement and other improvements, they represent extremely modern and capable frigates. The east and south sea fleets will probably both benefit from these vessels, particularly as more are added.
The PLAN has offically recognized the existance of the new Type 093 nuclear attack submarine (SSN) and the Type 094 ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). The SSN appears to be roughly equivalent to a US Navy Los Angeles attack submarine in design and capability, and perhaps close to the advanced Los Angeles class. The SSBN carries 12 SLBMs, each with a range of several thousand kilometers. It cannot be over emphasized how critical these developments are in the relative sea power in the western Pacific, particularly as the PLAN builds more of these vessels. It is thought that at least two, and perhaps up to four new SSNs are already launched and through trials, while at least one, and perhaps two of the new SSBNs have been launched to date.
In the mean time, steady work continues on the Varyag, the full-deck aircraft carrier undergoing refit at the Dalian naval shipyards. Outside of finish work on the island, the deck and hull seem to be complete with unknown progress on the interior spaces, particularly the propulsion. Significant anticipation as to the launch date of this vessel is building, with some conjecture that it may be launched just before or during the Olympics shecdeuled in Beijing.
The PLAN, during this period, has shown a willingness and the capability to spend significant time and monies on training and integration exercises for its newly acquired vessels...all extremely critical in developing the expertise, policies, procedures, and doctrine for their growing modern navy.
Once again, by way of reference, it should be noted that in general numbers, over the last several years, the PLAN has built and launched over 80 new major surface combatants for its fleet. In that same time period, they have not decommissioned any major surface combatants, meaning they have added over 80 major surface combatant vessels to their inventory. In that same period, the US Navy has built 46 new major surface combatants. At the same time, the US Navy has decommissioned 49 major surface combatants, many of them with 10-15 years of service life remaining, meaning a net loss of three major surface combatants in this period.
Clearly the trend shows that the PLAN is rapidly closing the gap between itself and the US Navy, and particualrly when focusing on the Western Pacific, which is where the PLAN is concentrated, this is a trend worthy of watching and considering in future US Navy and other western nation's planning and acquisition schedules.
Copyright © 2008 by Jeff Head
FYI...my 2008 update.
It does not give me the warm fuzzies
What they are doing in terms of shipbuilding is simply breathtaking and phenominal.
A man (Jimmy Carter), a PLAN, a canal, Panama!
The Type-054A frigates are what impresses me the most.These are relatively low cost & decently armed(don’t know about electronics/sensors) & could have the same success that the US OHP class or the French Lafayette have had as export platforms.More so,if they get manage to integrate European subsystems on it,like they are doing for Pakistan’s F-22P frigates.
Thanks for the ping!
...and they are deeply into the canal and Panama, as well as numerous other places in Central and South America as well as the Carribean, Africa, and elsewhere.
Excellent work. Very scary stuff.
2008: The year a new superpower (China) is born.
With our walmart purchase’s we better wake up
U.S. carrier help? (Admiral offers help to China)
Adm. Tim Keating, the U.S. Pacific Command leader, told reporters during his visit to China last month that while building and operating a carrier battle group is complex, the United States is willing to help.
"We would, if they choose to develop [an aircraft-carrier program], help them to the degree that they seek and the degree that we're capable, in developing their programs," Adm. Keating said.
U.S. may share missile info with China
WASHINGTON, June 4 (UPI) -- The United States would "seriously" consider sharing technology and missile warning intelligence with China, (Secretary of Defense Gates) the U.S. defense chief said Sunday.
WASHINGTON: Six months ago, the U.S. government quietly eased some restrictions on the export of sensitive technologies to China. The new approach was intended to help U.S. companies increase sales of high-technology equipment to China despite tight curbs on sharing technology that might have military applications.
But now the administration is facing questions from weapons experts about whether some equipment - newly authorized for export to Chinese companies deemed trustworthy by Washington - could instead end up helping China modernize its military. Equally worrisome, the weapons experts say, is the possibility that China could share the technology with Iran or Syria.
I am still trying to track down the exact status of the SU-33 deal with the Chinese. I cannot find verification that the 1st two were delivered for study...but apparently those two, plus a couple of additional batches (12 and then like 36) have been tendered if the PLAN is interested.
Some more China/US articles...
“Clearly the trend shows that the PLAN is rapidly closing the gap between itself and the US Navy”
“The gap” is closing? So when they reach the same number of ships, they’ll be the U.S. Navy’s equal? And they’re just “a few years” behind us now?
If that’s true, we suck, and have for a long time. So do the Russians, and pretty well everyone else. It’s amazing that the Chinese will have managed to develop a peer navy within a few short years, whether it be in terms numerical, technological or operational. Truly, truly amazing.
And what do the ‘Rats think the Chinese are building these for? And at such a rapid rate? C’mon Hillary. Tell us. They’re your friends.
Once the Varyag is complete, I also expect the PLAN to build two of their own carriers in fairly quick order...probably simultaneously like they have been doing with their other new major surface combatants.
“2008: The year a new superpower (China) is born”
Link through from that article to their 2006 pieces and you’ll read that, truly, we are screwed. America is in decline, and will be eclipsed sooner or later by China, regardless of what we do. Just lay back and accept it as truth, and inevitable.
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