The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is among the largest naval forces in the world and now it is continuing to grow and become most powerful in the world. It has undertaken sweeping efforts to modernize its navy. In this post, the planet today is explaining all of the modernization efforts of China towards its submarines.
A few decades ago in the mid-1990s, China’s surface fleet was entirely weak consisting of just 60 destroyers and frigates and 80 attack submarines which were old diesel-electric soviet models and were completely defenceless. It also possessed some extremely noisy nuclear power ballistic missile submarines but today it is leading in the number of ships it has put on the sea.
China – the Top Shipbuilder in the World
Its nature is changing in terms as well as in size as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) equips its ever-expanding fleet with more advanced weapons and sensors. In the year 2016, China commissioned 18 ships and in 2017 the number of ships commissioned by China was 14 and the total number of ships commissioned by China since last year was 300. This number is expected to rise in the upcoming years. In 2018, China also became the top Shipbuilder in the world surpassing the global leader South Korea in the shipping order
In the next 15 years, China will own 430 surface ships and 100 submarines.
How is China modernizing its Navy?
Since 2012 when the then-president of China, Hu Jintao called China to become a “maritime power” capable of safeguarding its maritime rights and interest. This statement is reinforced every year and in April 2018 the president Xi Jinping suggested that the task of building a powerful navy has never been an urgent as it is today.
China has started to grow its fleet size and capabilities in order to modernize its navy. Over the last few years, it has started expanding its navy. The fleet size of other leading nations is comparatively smaller.
Naval Arsenals being added to the Chinese Navy
In the last 5 to 6 years China has launched more submarines, warships ambitious vessels and auxiliaries. Here is the list of the naval arsenals that China is adding to its navy.
According to the Department of Defense Chinese military power report, the number of Chinese submarines will grow to 78 by the year 2020 as it is the first priority to modernize the Chinese navy.
Houbei missile attack ships
According to the Pentagon, the Chinese navy consisted of 60 missile attack ships and the number will increase in the next upcoming years.
Type 054 Frigates
Reuter claimed that China has commissioned more than two dozen of the advanced Type 054A frigates. The first one was commissioned in 2005. As of January 2018 there were 26 of these frigates and several more have been launched that are expected to come in service in the next coming years.
Type 055 Rehnai destroyers
In 2018 China showed up its first new Rehnai class destroyers which is a large heavily armed vessel of the western standards. Reuters reported that in the next few years China will possess at least 12 Type 055 Rehnai destroyers.
This vessel is expected to perform major command and control functions. Some unofficial reports also claimed that two additional Type 055 vessel are under construction.
Type 901 support ship
Type 901 is the second largest ship in Asia. This ship could double the struggle area of the carrier group. Beside this Type 901 support ship, China possesses Type 903 replenishment ship and Type 904 general stores ship.
Type 052 Luyang III-Class destroyers
China has seven of these operational vessels and Reuters reported that by the year 2020 China will have as many as 20 of these ships in services. However, six more of these type vessels are under construction. These destroyers represent the latest effort to upgrade the Chinese navy program.
Type 071 Yuzhao amphibious transport ship
Last year China commissioned its fifth amphibious ship in service and Pentagon believes that the manufacture of this ship will accompaniment effort to produce Type 075 transport ship. This ship enables China with greater capability performing long-range operations. This vessel is estimated to weigh 20,000 tons and is said to carry four helicopters and nearly eight hundred troops.
Type 056 Jiangdao corvettes
China is focusing to upgrade its seaside warfare capabilities and Type 056 corvette is the centre of this push. Until 2014 the PLAN has no Corvette in its fleet. The Chinese navy is enlarging its warfare capabilities in its Southern and Eastern Chinese Sea with high rate production of Jiangdao corvettes. Reuters claimed that there are already 40 corvettes and 60 more are expected to join the fleet. China is producing these corvettes at an impressive rate.
Type 075 helicopter landing ships
These helicopter carriers are US based Navy attack ship which launch helicopter vertical takeoff and landing jets. China is currently working to launch this vessel and it is expected soon they will launch at least three of these ships to its naval force. This ship is expected to carry up to 30 helicopters. These vessels will provide China with greater capabilities in setting their territorial claims over the sea.
Type 001 aircraft carriers
China has just one operational 001 aircraft carrier. Now, it has completed Type 001A carrier and it has also completed its sea trials. It is expected to commission this very year. However, work on the third one Type 002 will soon start once that predecessor is in work. It will utilize an electromagnetic launch system similar to USS Gerald Ford-class carrier.