The second source said initial construction work for the sister Type 002 carrier had started as early as 2018, but it was halted last year for technical reasons.
Posted: March 5, 2021
Since the beginning of Deng Xiaoping’s reform in late 1970s, China has been modernizing its military and believed that it had made substantial progress until the 1990-1991 Gulf War. Chinese military was shocked by US advanced military technology and began to make real efforts to modernize. However, it takes time to modernize a very backward military.
Anyway, there was no urgency as China had been US faithful follower and believe that the US would not hurt it in spite of the gap of strength. For example, as US faithful follower, China voted for the West’s UN Security Council resolution for regime change in Libya though it might suffer huge losses due to the regime change. Due to China’s support of the resolution, Russia was isolated and dared not veto the resolution.
US-China confrontation began in the 1995-1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis when the US sent two aircraft battle groups in response to PRC’s missile tests around Taiwan. Finding itself no match to US forces, China began to step up its military buildup. It purchased from Russia Sovremenny-class destroyers, Kilo-class attack submarines and Su-30MKK and Su-30MK2 fighter jets.
Still, there were no urgency. At that time China had no intention to take Taiwan by force as, I believe, with US involvement, Taiwan might suffer great damage in the war so that China might not be benefited by taking a Taiwan in ruin.
China remained US faithful follower until 2010 when the then Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denied China’s rights and interests in the South China Sea in her speech. As the South China Sea locates far away from the US, the US has no right of claim whatever there. Moreover, the US always does not take side in other countries’ territorial disputes. Why would the US suddenly deny China’s rights and interests there? It would not have gained in any way by so doing. China began to realize that the US feared that China’s rise might threaten its world hegemony and wanted to create trouble to deter China’s rise. As there are great fish and energy resources in the South China Sea, China regard its right and interest there as its core interest. China regard Clinton’s speech as serious provocation.
China’s concerns were confirmed by Obama’s unprecedented participation in ASEAN summit meeting on November 11, 2011 and announcement of America’s return and pivot to Asia including increase in US military deployment in Asia to 60% of US forces.
In order to defend China’s interests and rights in the South China Sea, China began its unilateral arms race with the US. What China did in countering US containment is described in my previous posts.
China found that the weapons it had imported from Russia were far from enough to deter US aircraft carrier battle groups. However, there is nowhere to buy weapons powerful enough to counter the US as the US is the most advanced country militarily. No country is able to make weapons good enough to rival US ones. Even if they have, they may not be willing to sell their top weapons. As a result, China began to invest lots of financial and human resources in developing advanced weapons on its own.
China’s Tremendous Success in Developing Advanced Weapons
China’s military budget has merely been a fraction of US one and China was slow in its military modernization before US provocation, but since China began its arms race with the US, it has made tremendous progress.
It has achieved nuclear second strike capabilities. On land it now has deployed DF-31 and DF-41 ICBMs carried on mobile launchers that can hide in its 5,000km tunnels. With a range of 12,000 to15,000 km, DF-41 is one of ICBMs with the longest range in the world, able to hit anywhere in the United States. It carries 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MITV) warheads difficult to intercept.
At sea, before the arms race China’s strategic nuclear submarines (SSBNs) were very noisy and regarded as other navies’ laughing stokes. Due to China’s efforts in arms race, China has developed very quiet nuclear submarines as silent as US SSBNs. Its advanced SSBNs carry JL-2 SLBMs with a range exceeding 7,000 km. Since late 2010, it has been testing JL-3 SLBMs with a range greater than 12,000 km that carries 10 MITVs. China is now building its most advanced Type 096 SSBN to be armed with JL-3s.
SSNs and Conventional Submarines
Under US military pressure, China has also improved its nuclear attack submarines (SSNs) with technology similar to its SSBNs. Its Type 093G SSN is as silent as US improved Los Angeles-class submarines. It is now building its quieter more advanced Type 095 SSNs. China has expanded its submarine shipyard in Huludao to be able to build 5 nuclear submarines at the same time. With such capacity, China may have more SSBNs and SSNs than the US in the future.
In addition, China is now able to make conventional submarines with air independent propulsion (AIP) the Yuan-class (Type 039A). It has developed submarine launched missiles to attack ship and submarine. Such missiles leave water to fly in the air and are therefore much faster to hit its target than a torpedo.
Anti-aircraft Carrier Missiles
To deal with US aircraft carriers, China has developed and deployed DF-21D and DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles. The missiles are so powerful as to be regarded as carrier killers.
China even leads the US in hypersonic technology. It has developed and deployed DF-17 hypersonic missiles when the US has been trying hard to develop one.
China has made great progress in modernizing its air force to be rival to the US. Its J-20 stealth fighter is said better than US F-22 and F-35. Compared with F-22, J-20 is developed later with quite some new technologies F-22 is unable to apply. Compared with F-35, J-20 is powered by two engines. It is heavier to carry more weapons and faster and better maneuverable. It is to be powered by very powerful WS-15 engines. Some media speculated that the engine is still not mature enough to use but others say that new J-20s have already been equipped with WS-15s.
Anyway, unlike before the arms race, China’s air force is now able to deal with US one.
As for further development, both China and the US are developing new long-range strategic bombers and 6th-generation fighters. The US has announced its success in test flight of its 6th-generation fighter but keep details about it in secret. There has been Chinese domestic report that China has tested its Mach 4.5 aircraft, details of which have also been kept secret.
Chinese navy has also developed new warships. Its Type 055 destroyer is better than US one. China is catching up with the US in building aircraft carriers. China has built and commissioned a homegrown carrier the Shandong, but it is a ski jump one without any catapults. According to report, China is now building a new aircraft carrier with electromagnetic catapult. There is speculation that China’s next aircraft carrier will be nuclear powered, but this blogger doubts that.
If China is able to build a carrier with electromagnetic catapult, it should be regarded as China has caught up with the US in carrier construction. China has no need to build a nuclear one as it does not need one. An aircraft carrier has to be accompanied with a group of warships to operate safely and efficiently. It does not make sense that only one ship in the group is nuclear powered while all others are conventional. Only when a carrier is to be used for world hegemony to deal with countries with no sufficiently powerful navy or air force does an aircraft carrier need to be nuclear powered to stay near its enemy for a long time with nuclear power without the need of refueling or the protection of enough number of conventional warships in its battle group.
As China does not pursue world hegemony, it needs no nuclear aircraft carrier that is too complicated and costly to maintain.
Anti-satellite and Anti-ASAT Capabilities
China has developed satellites to catch or blind enemy satellites. To counter other’s anti-satellite capabilities, China has developed Quaizhou series satellites to be on standby on their mobile launchers hidden in tunnels. Those satellites have already been adjusted to be able to replace the satellites shot down by the enemy. They will satesfy China’s needs for the satellites destroyed.
China’s above mentioned achievements in its arms race with the US proves that China has been winning in its arms race with the US.
Article by Chan Kai Yee
Posted: December 22, 2020
SCMP says in its report “South China Sea: PLA’s new dry dock in Hainan big enough for Type 002 aircraft carriers, analysts say”, “Satellite images show facility at Yulin Naval Base in Sanya will be able to accommodate the giant warships” so that “The first of China’s next-generation carriers is expected to launch next year”
According to the report, the new carrier will be conventionally powered but equipped with electromagnetic catapults. However, that is not official information but speculation.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at South China Sea: PLA’s new dry dock in Hainan big enough for Type 002 aircraft carriers, analysts say | South China Morning Post (scmp.com) .
Posted: November 8, 2020
By Liu Xuanzun and Zhang Han Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/6 23:05:42
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning has been at sea over the past week, making history by qualifying the first batch of new fighter jet pilots who were directly recruited from high school and trained specifically to fly carrier-based aircraft.
This new pilot training mode, together with the previous mode that see pilots of traditional aircraft switch to carrier-based aircraft, can effectively cultivate new pilots for carriers and fulfill the demand of China’s growing aircraft carrier fleets, analysts said on Friday.
In early November, the Liaoning sailed to the Bohai Bay and ran certification exams for a new batch of carrier-based fighter jet pilots from PLA Naval Aviation University, according to a statement the PLA Navy’s WeChat public account released on Friday.
J-15 fighter jets flew by the pilots successfully landed on the carrier during the exams, the statement said.
With an average age of 20, the newly qualified pilots are from the first batch of carrier-borne fighter jet pilot cadets directly recruited from high school and enrolled at the university, the statement said, noting that this new pilot development mode, dubbed the “cultivation mode,” is successful.
The “cultivation mode” and “switch mode” that trains traditional aircraft pilot to fly carrier-based aircraft will together play significant roles in building Chinese aircraft carriers’ combat capabilities, the PLA Navy said.
Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie told the Global Times on Friday that the pilots trained via the “cultivation mode” are younger, more agile and have a solid education background, which means they can quickly master operating a vessel-borne aircraft.
The “switch mode” is very important in the early stage when China did not have enough “cultivation mode” pilots to carry out the missions, Li said.
Although switched pilots may have accumulated flight experience in previous service, such experience is not necessarily helpful as muscle memory may hinder them from adapting to shipboard aircraft, Li said. Pilots usually throttle down the engine when landing, but for carrier-based aircraft pilots, they need to keep that or even throttle up.
The Liaoning has set four other new records in the fighter jet pilot program, namely the largest number of pilots qualified for fighter jet operations on an aircraft carrier in one test, the youngest average age, the lowest time needed for flight training, and the shortest period used for certification, according to the PLA Navy statement.
China’s aircraft carrier-based fighter jet pilot cultivation program has entered an express highway, it said.
In addition to fighter jet pilots, China’s aircraft carrier talent cultivation programs are also training personnel for special mission aircraft, helicopters, combat logistics and drones, the statement said.
China now operates two aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and the Shandong, after the latter entered PLA naval service in December 2019. The two completed regular exercises and sea trials in September, China ‘s Ministry of National Defense announced at that time.
This is also the first time known to the general public that the Liaoning has set out for a voyage since the September exercises.
China is reportedly building a third aircraft carrier in Shanghai. It will be larger than the current two carriers and carry more fighter jets, analysts predicted.
The PLA Navy needs to rapidly cultivate more carrier-based aircraft pilots to meet the demands of the new aircraft carriers, experts said.
Source: Global Times “Aircraft carrier Liaoning embarks on voyage, sets fighter jet pilot training history”
Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Posted: November 4, 2020
By Liu Xuanzun and Leng Shumei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/2 20:12:14
China will develop and produce modern, advanced weapons and equipment in the upcoming five years, as the world could witness the debut of China’s first long-range, stealth-capable strategic bomber, the country’s third and electromagnetic catapults-equipped aircraft carrier, among other new weapons that aim to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests, Chinese military experts and analysts predicted on Monday, after China’s recently released 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and the Communiqué of the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) set the tone for the development of the country’s national defense and armed forces.
The roadmap is in line with China’s overall national strength and the urgent needs of national defense brought by the likes of hegemonies, power politics and regional instabilities in other parts of the world when China is having more development interests overseas, analysts said.
The plenary session made “making significant strides in the modernization of national defense and armed forces in the next five years” one of the main goals for the development of the economy and society in the 14th Five-Year Plan, and stressed that the development of the economy should go side by side with the strengthening of the military.
Among others, it is arranged in the 14th Five-Year Plan that the military should be enhanced by technologies, the integrated development of mechanization, informatization and intelligentization should be accelerated, key and innovative fields should develop in a coordinated way, and the layout for national defense and technology industry should be optimized.
By the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2027, the centennial goal of military development should be achieved; by 2035, the country should achieve the modernization of the national defense and armed forces, it was announced at the plenary session.
Additions to arsenal
Looking back at the past five years, the Chinese military’s arsenal saw many breakthroughs across all services, with many new and top-level weapons and equipment commissioned or made debuts, including the J-20 stealth fighter jet, Y-20 large transport aircraft, Z-20 utility helicopter, H-6N strategic bomber, Type 055 large destroyer, Shandong aircraft carrier, Type 15 light tank, PCL-181 truck-based howitzer, DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missile, DF-17 hypersonic missile and DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile.
To follow the 14th Five-Year Plan and reach the goals, China is expected to continue its momentum in the domestic development of modern weapons and equipment in addition to the military reform and scientific military exercises, analysts said.
The 14th Five Year Plan period will be a very hopeful and fruitful period for the PLA Air Force, as the long-range, stealth-capable strategic bomber will likely make its long-expected public debut, Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military aviation expert, told the Global Times on Monday.
China has been reportedly developing the new bomber, often dubbed the H-20, for many years, and its maker, the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China, has been hinting its development since 2018.
“We have been studying on the bomber for a certain period. As we have conquered the difficulties in large aircraft production, stealth technologies and engine design and production. The time is ripe for us to roll out a new bomber,” Fu predicted.
The aircraft is expected to be a fourth-generation bomber, compared to China’s current H-6 bomber platform, which is only of the first generation, Fu said, noting that it will come out with world-leading design and technologies. Its stealth capability and range will at least as good as the US’ B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, Fu predicted.
In other warplane developments, Fu believes that China will start to mass-produce and improve the J-20 fighter jet, with its engines replaced with more powerful ones; drones and artificial intelligence will also see advanced developments.
In terms of the PLA Navy, Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, predicted that China’s third aircraft carrier is very likely to be commissioned during the 14th Five Year Plan period.
The new carrier is expected to be much larger, and the country’s first one using a flat flight deck equipped with electromagnetic cat apults to release aircraft, a more efficient way than the ski-jump approach used on the country’s previous carriers, analysts said.
In accordance with the PLA’s carrier groups construction, the construction of supporting warships for the carriers, including destroyers like Type 052D and Type 055, as well as amphibious assault and landing ships, anti-submarine warfare aircrafts, will likely continue in the next five years, Li told the Global Times on Monday.
“Overall, in the following 10 years, the PLA Navy will develop more systematically and integrated, centering on the construction of aircraft carrier groups,” Li said.
In specific, new amphibious vessels will be launched and existing destroyers and frigates, such as the Type 055 and Type 054A, will be upgraded. The network integration of the PLA Navy will also be improved, Li noted.
China is reportedly developing the electromagnetic railgun, which is widely expected by analysts to be installed on an upgraded version of the Type 055.
A type of aircraft carrier-based stealth fighter jet, rumored to be developed based on China’s second type of stealth fighter jet the FC-31, could also make its debut in the coming years, along with the aircraft carrier-based early warning aircraft the KJ-600, observers said.
China’s centennial goal of military development in 2027 aims to develop the military with the capability to defend national sovereignty, safeguard against security threats posed by the hegemony in western pacific region and protect overseas development interests as China’s overseas economic presence grows, Li said.
As the world has seen a rise in strategic competition, constant armed conflicts and regional warfare, and increasingly obvious instability and uncertainty in security, China as a rising power with huge development interests both at home and abroad requires its military to adapt to new missions, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.
“The centennial goal is in line with national strength,” Song stressed.
Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress, had pointed out in May that from a global perspective, the proportion of China’s defense expenditure to GDP has remained at around 1.3 percent for many years, far below the world average of 2.6 percent.
Source: Global Times “China to modernize military, arsenal in next 5 years”
China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet displays its new coating of stealth material and flies over the exhibition hall at Airshow China 2018 on Tuesday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT
The Shandong aircraft carrier is moored at a naval port in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
Source: Global Times “China to modernize military, arsenal in next 5 years”
Note: This is Global Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Posted: July 20, 2020
The supercarrier has become unaffordable. So what comes next?
BY KYLE MIZOKAMI
MAR 12, 2020
The U.S. Navy might cap the current Ford-class carriers at just four ships.
Cost and the danger of placing all of the Navy’s eggs in a handful of baskets could doom the supercarrier as a concept.
The Navy could build smaller, more affordable carriers instead.
The U.S. Navy could cap its production of Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers at just four ships, with a smaller, cheaper flat top replacing them in the 2030s. The Acting Secretary of the Navy recently cast doubt on the future of the Ford-class, stating that he didn’t know that the service would build more of the Ford ships and he did not know what came next. Increasingly dangerous anti-carrier weapons built by adversaries and the escalating costs and development issues with the ships could lead to smaller, cheaper ships.
U.S. NAVYGETTY IMAGES
Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, quoted in Defense & Aerospace Report, had this to say about the 1,092-foot-long Gerald R. Ford-class supercarriers:
“I don’t know if we’re going to buy any more of that type,” Modly said, adding that, “we’re certainly thinking about possible other classes. What are we going to learn on these four that’s going to inform what we do next? But we have some time now, we have up until 2026, 2027 before we have to make a really firm decision on what the next carrier is going to look like.”
The Ford-class carriers are some of the largest carriers ever built. Originally designed to replace the aging USS Enterprise and Nimitz-class carriers, the ships were designed with a host of new technologies, including a new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System to fling aircraft into the air, a new Advanced Arresting Gear to bring landing aircraft to a halt, a new radar, and weapons-carrying elevators. The Navy also promised that the new ship would achieve more with less, launching more aircraft sorties and at-sea time with fewer crew and a significant cost savings over the lifetime of the ship.
Unfortunately the lead ship, USS Ford, ran into a series of problems. The aircraft launch and recovery systems were problematic and required troubleshooting, and most of the weapons elevators still don’t work. Crew reductions, cost savings, and sortie generation have also not panned the way the U.S. Navy wanted them to, leading to the obvious question: was developing an entirely new ship with new, untested technology worth it?
Even the U.S. Navy appears to have doubts, if Modly’s comment is anything to go by. The service has committed to four ships: Gerald R. Ford, John F. Kennedy, Enterprise, and Doris Miller.
Technical problems with specific technologies aside, the aircraft carrier faces two brooding issues: cost and anti-carrier weapons. The Navy’s shipbuilding budget is essentially flat, despite what President Trump says about “rebuilding the Navy,” and likely won’t go up anytime soon. At the same time, the service is committed to increasing the size of the fleet from approximately 296 ships to 350 ships by 2030 and to fully fund the new class of Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines, a $109 billion program. This puts the squeeze on the most expensive shipbuilding item in the Navy budget, the aircraft carrier.
The second problem with the Ford-class carrier is the increasing lethality of enemy anti-carrier weapons. China’s DF-21D “carrier killer” anti-ship ballistic missile or Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic weapon could seriously damage or even sink an aircraft carrier. Such a loss would eliminate one of just eleven carriers from the U.S. Navy’s battle force, eliminate nearly 80 planes, and kill nearly 5,000 Americans.
U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 3RD CLASS VINCENT E. ZLINE
The U.S. Navy likes big aircraft carriers. The bigger the carrier the more planes it can launch and recover at once, and the more different types of planes it can carry. Larger carriers are more efficient at generating flying sorties than smaller carriers, and more sorties means more more aircraft in the air—and meaning wars are won quickly. But the most critical part about owning aircraft carriers is the ability to afford them, and even the mighty U.S. Navy could retreat from the sheer cost of the supercarrier.
One option for the Navy is to start building smaller carriers based on the America-class amphibious assault ships. The America class can already embark up to 20 F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, the vertical takeoff and landing version of the F-35, but lacks the catapults and arresting gear to accommodate other aircraft, including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye carrier command and control planes, and the upcoming MQ-25A Stingray aerial refueling tanker.
An America-class carrier equipped with catapults and arresting gear might accommodate half of a supercarrier’s 75+ aircraft, but it’s worth keeping in mind the original USS America cost $3.4 billion, compared to Ford’s $13 billion. Even if an America modified for carrier operations cost 50 percent more, it would still cost less than half as much as a Ford. The Navy could afford two Americas for the price of one Ford. Two ships would also spread out the airplanes and manpower across two platforms, ensuring one ship is still operational if one is sunk. Two ships can also be in two different places.
Everyone agrees that big carriers are good, so if the money is there then the Navy will continue to build Ford-class carriers after the USS Doris Miller. But if the money dries up, the Navy could build more, smaller carriers, bringing about the end of the supercarrier as we know it.
Source: Popular Mechanics “Are We Nearing the End of the Supercarrier?”
Note: This is Popular Mechanics’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
China steps up shipbuilding with two more aircraft carriers under construction towards 2035 navy goalPosted: July 18, 2020
- As China aims to equal US naval strength in the Pacific, its first domestically developed carrier begins final assembly process
- Type 002 vessels will have advanced electromagnetic aircraft launch system allowing faster and more frequent take-off
Photos taken by military enthusiasts and posted on social media show the Type 002 aircraft carrier under construction in a dry dock in Jiangnan Shipyard outside Shanghai. Photo: Weibo
China is expected to launch its next-generation aircraft carrier within a year and construction on a sister ship for the new giant vessel has been hastened, two sources close to the projects said.
The Type 002 aircraft carrier – the country’s third carrier and the second to be domestically developed – has started the final assembly process, two independent sources told the South China Morning Post.
“Assembly of the new aircraft carrier has begun and is expected to be completed in the first half of next year, because the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down progress,” said the first source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
“Workers are also starting the keel-laying for the new carrier’s sister ship. Both ships have been built by the Jiangnan Shipyard outside Shanghai.” Laying the keel is deemed the official start of construction on a new ship.
Posted: July 4, 2020
H I Sutton, Contributor Jul 2, 2020,07:50am EDT
On June 15, I reported that the Chinese Navy’s new aircraft carrier, the Type-003, had disappeared from its purpose-built construction site in a Shanghai shipyard. So analysts had been watching the site closely. Finally its whereabouts appear to be confirmed, in a dry dock not far from the initial construction site. The carrier will now quickly take shape. Along with a host of open-source intelligence defense analysts, I will be watching.
A photograph shared on Chinese social media shows the silhouette of one of the carrier’s pre-built ‘mega-modules’ lined up in the open dry dock. It appears to have been taken from a passing boat. Photographs like this often provide valuable intelligence about Chinese naval projects.
Actually, the new location of the carrier modules was identified by OSINT analysts almost immediately. Using satellite imagery and traditional human reasoning, they identified the likely dry dock where it will be assembled and launched. But it has taken weeks of careful monitoring to get the photo which now confirms it. Partly this is because Shanghai has been covered by cloud for recent weeks so satellite imagery has been intermittent.
The new Type-003 carrier is expected to be much more capable than China’s current two ships, which are based on a legacy Russian design. These are already operational and themselves are getting a lot of OSINT attention. But the new carrier is expected to have a new form of aircraft catapult called an EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System). This is the same technology as is being introduced on the U.S. Navy’s Ford Class carriers.
On Chinese carriers the catapult will replace a ski-jump, which means that it will be able to launch heavier aircraft. These may include a new fixed-wing airborne early warning aircraft similar to the U.S. Navy’s Hawkeye. New generations of stealthy fighter aircraft and uncrewed combat air vehicles (UCAVs) may also be under development.
As the name ‘Type-003’ suggests this will bring the Chinese Navy’s aircraft carrier fleet to three. And more are expected, possibly progressing to nuclear power from the 4th hull on. These will be escorted by modern air defense destroyers and cruisers, many of which are being built nearby in Shanghai. They will also benefit from a new generation of nuclear powered attack submarine. The first of these Type-095 Tang Class submarines is expected to be launched soon.
China is one of the few countries which can build major warships with only limited international awareness. Open-source intelligence is therefore vital to understand these developments. And it is important because China’s rapidly expanding Navy is changing the balance of power in Asia and beyond. Chinese submarines are already a concern in the Indian Ocean. So it may only be a matter of time before we see Chinese aircraft carrier battle groups there too. Or even in the Arctic or Europe. The U.S. Navy is certainly keeping an eye on Chinese ambitions beyond the Asia-Pacific region.
Source: Forbes “Chinese Navy’s Missing Aircraft Carrier Found In Shanghai”
Note: This is Forbes’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Posted: June 2, 2020
May News 2020 Navy Naval Maritime Defense Industry
Posted On Sunday, 31 May 2020 10:25
During a press conference that was held on Friday May 29, 2020, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, has announced that the Chinese Navy (PLA People’s Liberation Armed Forces) is conducting sea trials for aircraft carrier Type 001A Shandong in accordance with the arrangement of the annual trial plan, said Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson of China Mod (Ministry of Defense).
China’s first indigenously-built aircraft carrier, the Type 001A Shandong left the Dalian Shipyard in northeast China’s Liaoning Province for military missions at sea on May 25. This is its maiden voyage for training since commissioned five months ago, marking that the Shandong has primarily formed combat effectiveness.
The training is to test the performance of weapons and equipment and improve the level of aircraft carrier training, so as to further enhance the troops’ ability to perform missions and tasks, Senior Colonel Ren said.
The Shandong Type 001A is a first-generation Chinese aircraft carrier that was launched on 26 April 2017 for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It is the second aircraft carrier built by the Chinese naval defense industry after the completion of Liaoning.
China’s first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, entered service in 2012. China’s second aircraft carrier (and its first fully indigenously built carrier), Shandong Type 001A, entered service on December 17, 2019.
The Shandong is a modified version of the Liaoning design that incorporates some design improvements, including features that reportedly will permit it to embark and operate a larger air wing of 40 aircraft that includes 36 fighters. Its displacement is estimated at 66,000 to 70,000 tons.
China’s primary carrier-based fighter aircraft is the J-15 or Flying Shark, an aircraft derived from the Russian Su-33 Flanker aircraft design that can operate from carriers equipped with a ski ramp rather than catapults. China reportedly plans to develop a carrier-capable variant of its J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighter and/or a carrier-capable variant of its FC-31 fifth-generation stealth fighter to complement or succeed the J-15 on catapult-equipped Chinese carriers. China reportedly is also developing a carrier-based stealth drone aircraft.
Source: Navy Recognition “Chinese PLA Navy Shandong Type 001A aircraft carrier conducts sea trials”
Note: This is Navy Recongnition’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Posted: April 19, 2020
By Caleb Larson
April 17, 2020
Here’s what we know.
While one of the United States’ aircraft carriers, the USS Theodore Roosevelt is dealing with a corona virus outbreak that has now become deadly, one of China’s aircraft carriers sailed past Taiwan in a show of force. Though Taiwan scrambled jets to intercept and monitor the sail-by, it was perhaps not the best moment for the U.S. Navy.
China currently has two carriers and a third in the shipyard, with a fourth planned. But what is the Chinese aircraft carrier program like? Here is China’s carrier fleet.
Yesterday’s Carriers, in Use Today
China currently has two aircraft carriers, with a third in early construction, and a fourth planned for sometime in the mid 2020 or 2030s. Their first carrier, the Liaoning was commissioned by the PLAN in 2012, though it was first laid down in the early 1990s. It was an unfinished Ukrainian carrier, inherited from the Soviet Union, which was then sold to China.
China’s second carrier, the Type 002, was essentially a copy of the Liaoning, though it did feature some incremental improvements including upgraded radar, and increased fighter capacity. Like the Liaoning, it features a large ski jump above the bow that helps launch jet fighters into the air.
The Type 003 will be larger than both the Type 002 and the Liaoning, and have a steam catapult launch assist system similar to what the United States uses on aircraft carriers—and thus will likely dispense with the ski-jump bow launch assist platform.
In an interview with The National Interest, an expert on China’s naval abilities said that “the third carrier will be an attempt at…steam catapults and hydraulic arresting gear that will allow China to launch aircraft with heavier bomb loads and go longer ranges.”
Another expert concurred, saying that “It [the Type 003] will also likely be larger than the Type 001 or the Liaoning, enabling it to carry more aircraft. The PLAN also wants to expand the range of their carrier-based aircraft, and more importantly, they need to be able to launch early warning and electronic warfare aircraft as well as larger fighter-bombers that can carry more weapons. They need catapults and arresting gear to deploy these kinds of aircraft.” So more fighters, and better armed.
The Type 004 would be the most advanced of China’s aircraft carriers once completed and would be considered a third-generation aircraft carrier. In addition to electro-magnetic launch capabilities, the Type 004 would be the first aircraft carrier in China’s navy that would use nuclear propulsion. It would also have enough power output to power railgun or laser weapons that are currently in development and testing.
China reportedly spent over $3 billion researching a unique molten salt nuclear reactor that could be used to propel the Type 004. It purportedly generates more heat, which can be converted to electricity, and creates only a fraction of the radiation as uranium-powered reactors.
The first hull is expected in the late 2020s or possibly later, though details about the People’s Liberation Army Navy are notoriously difficult to come by.
Tomorrow’s Aircraft Carriers…Tomorrow?
China definitely still has a long way to go. Two aircraft carriers that are based on 1980s technology are in no way close to as capable as modern nuclear-powered carriers. Still, China has progressed in leaps and bounds. If the Type 003 and Type 004 can put their money where their mouth is—if they are as capable as projected by western analysts and as claimed by the Chinese—then they would indeed be a force to be reckoned with.
Source: realcleardefense.com “China’s Aircraft Carriers: Bark or Bite?”
Note: This is realcleardefense.com’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
Posted: March 23, 2020
Should the world be worried?
by Stratfor Worldview May 8, 2019
Supplementing the addition of this hardware will be a continued focus on the country’s logistics fleet, which is key to conducting blue-water operations — sustained, long-range maritime operations over oceans and deep waters — and securing logistics bases around the globe.
All fitted out, China’s second-ever aircraft carrier — and the first built entirely in China — is set to sail for sea trials (This reblogger’s note: the Chinese homegrown aircraft carrier has already been commissioned and named the Shandong now). The construction of the aircraft carrier represents a significant milestone in China’s steady rise as a major naval power. And barring any hiccups, Beijing will continue its ascent in the following decade to the degree that it challenges the United States for naval supremacy – at least in East Asia.
(This first appeared earlier in the year.)
From a Coastal Defense Force to a World Power
The might of the Chinese navy today is far beyond what it was just 30 years ago. As recently as the 1990s, it was effectively a coastal defense force with little ability to challenge its U.S. counterpart. But quick as the Chinese navy’s rise since then has been, its tremendous progress stems from evolution rather than revolution, as Beijing has carefully and incrementally introduced new designs and equipment into the navy before proceeding to intensified shipbuilding.
At the turn of the millennium, Beijing began producing new indigenous vessels, but many of the initial designs, such as the Type 051C destroyer, depended heavily on Russian and other foreign technology for their main armaments. At the same time, China continued to purchase Russian warships, such as Sovremenny-class destroyers and Kilo-class submarines, as a hedge against the potential failure of their new designs.
Over the course of the century’s first decade, China restricted itself to constructing small batches of each warship type; only after engaging in comprehensive testing for each type did the country slowly transition to improved designs. This decade of cautious experimentation gave the country’s navy the confidence to settle on reliable models for high-rate production. Chinese shipyards rapidly rolled out the Type 054A frigate, the Type 039A submarine, the Type 052D destroyer (This reblogger’s note: China is building 8 bigger Type 055 destroyers with greater fire power, one of which has been commissioned, two, undergoing sea trial, three, launched and outfitting and two, being built. Please refer to https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/china’s-giant-new-warship-packs-killer-long-range-missiles-109786 and https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3045764/chinas-most-advanced-destroyer-nanchang-formally-enters-service) and the Type 056 corvette, making the four classes of vessel the mainstay of the naval inventory. Such production, however, did not necessarily increase the size of the fleet but replaced aging and obsolete vessels that had remained in the naval inventory since the 20th century.
As naval authorities complete this modernization drive over the next two years, China is poised to significantly expand its strength and capabilities. The pace of China’s naval exercises and training regimen is already unprecedented, and the tempo is only likely to continue. The elimination of obsolete warships will provide China with an opportunity to improve not just the quality of its vessels, but also their quantity. If the country maintains its current rate of production, it could add approximately three destroyers each year from 2020 to 2030.
But an increase in the number of modern destroyers, frigates, corvettes and diesel-electric submarines only constitutes one aspect of the navy’s growing strength. Over the next 10 years, China will construct next-generation nuclear submarines that emit far less sound, build new types of aircraft carriers equipped with catapult launch systems and expand its amphibious fleet with the introduction of Type 075-class amphibious assault ships. Supplementing the addition of this hardware will be a continued focus on the country’s logistics fleet, which is key to conducting blue-water operations — sustained, long-range maritime operations over oceans and deep waters — and securing logistics bases around the globe.
Closing the Gap
The coming decade of development will significantly reduce, but not eliminate, the gap between China’s navy — already the second most powerful maritime force on the planet — and the U.S. Navy by 2030.
But even as China comes closer to rivaling the United States in global maritime strength, the two countries will continue to excel in different facets. Because the United States is largely secure and unchallenged in its home waters, it will retain its traditional focus on constructing a blue-water force. Accordingly, Washington has long emphasized aircraft carriers, large surface combatants and a sizable fleet replenishment force that can project influence and force around the globe. China will strive to develop these same blue-water capabilities with similar vessels, but it will focus on exercising power closer to home in the South China and East China seas. As a result, China will maintain a much larger fleet of small surface combatants and diesel-electric submarines — vessels that are ideal for combat in littoral environments close to home ports.
Other factors are also likely to consolidate China’s control of its immediate vicinity, including improved command and control, better training, greater access to land-based air power and missile forces, the existence of geographic chokepoints, as well as the concentrated nature of its forces – in contrast to the more dispersed deployment of U.S. forces. By 2030, the Chinese will likely be the dominant naval force up to an initial island chain that encircles the Yellow, East China and South China seas, while it will also enjoy significant advantages out to a farther limit running roughly from Japan to Indonesia through islands such as Guam and Palau. The United States, naturally, will remain largely dominant on the rest of the world’s oceans and seas.
Predicting China’s potential naval strength beyond 2030 is impossible, but the country could well seek to challenge the United States’ maritime dominance even farther out in the Pacific Ocean. For the decade to come, however, the country’s navy is set to go from strength to strength. It may not become the master of the open seas, but it will become the master of its own maritime backyard.
China’s Navy Prepares to Close the Gap on the U.S. is republished with the permission of Stratfor Worldview, a geopolitical intelligence and advisory firm.
Source: National Interest “How China’s Navy Will Rise: More Nuclear Submarines and Aircraft Carriers:”
Note: This is National Interest’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views. Some of my views can be seen in this reblogger’s note