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Thread: China’s Navy Gets Its Act Together, and Gets Aggressive

  1. #411

    China’s Blue Water Navy Strategy and its Implications

    (Source: Center for a New American Security; issued March 20, 2017)

    By Vice Admiral Yoji Koda

    Yoji Koda, V Adm. (Ret) of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and former Commander in Chief of the Self-Defense Force, argues that the vulnerability of key maritime choke points in China’s adjacent seas are the main impediment to China’s military rise.

    Vice Admiral Koda frames China’s blue water navy strategy within the context of this vulnerability, including the fact that all PLAN forces are contained in waters that are semi-enclosed by a series of island chains and archipelagic nations. China’s lack of a network of allied countries on which to build supporting naval bases also hinders its blue-water naval aspirations, argues Koda.

    Koda suggests that Japan and the United States focus on these geographical and political weaknesses in order to ensure China’s PLA Navy is confined within strategic chokepoints in a wartime scenario.

    Click here for the full paper (11 PDF pages) on the CNAS website.



  2. #412

    China's CSOC showcases a new 4,000-tonne frigate

    Michele Capeleto, Langkawi - IHS Jane's Navy International

    28 March 2017

    A model of the 4,000-tonne frigate showcased by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) at LIMA 2017 in Langkawi. Source: IHS Markit/ Michele Capeleto

    Chinese state-owned shipbuilder China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) revealed technical specifications of a new frigate design it is showcasing at the LIMA 2017 exhibition in Langkawi.

    In an interview with Jane's, a CSOC engineer disclosed that the "new ship is a derivative of the Jiangkai II class of frigates, but features a renewed superstructure".

    According to specifications confirmed by the company, the vessel is slightly larger than the Jiangkai II, featuring an overall length of 135 m, a beam of 16 m, a draught of 4.4 m, and a displacement of around 3,850 tonne.

    The platform is powered by four sets of 16PA6STC engines in a CODAD configuration, driving two propeller shafts for a top speed of up to 26 kt. It has an endurance of 21 days, and standard range of 4,000 nautical miles at cruising speed of 18 kt.
    Where the innovation stands, however, is in the armament suite and sensors. Weapons aboard comprise a single-barrel 76 mm main naval guns, topped up by two six-barrel Type 730A 30 mm guns for short-range self defence.

    Stern view of the 4,000-tonne frigate model showcased by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) at LIMA 2017 in Langkawi. (IHS Markit/ Michele Capeleto)

    "Unlike in other versions [of frigates displayed by CSOC at defence shows], the two 30 mm guns are no longer mounted on the main bridge, but rather amid-ship, closer to the [24-cells] surface-to-air missile [SAM] launcher."

    The ship's foredeck still hosts a 32-cell vertical launching system (VLS) firing the HHQ-16 (40 km of range), and there are two quadruple launchers of the C-802 surface-to-surface missile (SSM) mounted amid-ship.

    Commenting on the sensors, the engineer added that "the above-water sensor suite will include a phased-array radar mounted in an integrated mast. The ship will also mount an over the horizon [OTH] radar comparable to the [active/passive] SLR66".

    The frigate's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities will be provided by a hull-mounted sonar and torpedo tubes.

    (325 of 411 words)

  3. #413

    With Homemade Aircraft Carrier, Chinese Navy May See Major Restructuring

    (Source: China Military; issued March 29, 2017)

    BEIJING --- China's first indigenous aircraft carrier has once again made headlines recently.

    The Chinese navy may see a major restructuring after its homemade aircraft carrier enters into service, said Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, a Chinese naval expert, in an interview.

    Photos posted online this month indicated the aircraft carrier had been painted with red primer and was being equipped with radar and other facilities, Taiwan media reported on last Saturday.

    The newest photos also showed its deck was being cleaned, the report said, adding that the carrier was quite likely be launched in water on April 23, the founding anniversary of the Chinese navy.

    According to Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, the online photos showed the domestic aircraft carrier’s island had been almost completed, installation of power systems and cabins in the lower part of the ship finished, and the deck already sealed.

    The hull exterior was painted with red primer, an anti-fouling paint which is toxic, so the ship will not be left in open air for too long and will soon be launched in water, Yin explained.

    According to Senior Captain Cao Weidong, another military expert from a naval institute of the PLA Navy, building a warship usually consists of three major phases: first, cutting steel plates, signaling the beginning of construction. Second, launching in water, meaning the hull is finished. Third, the ship enters into service.

    There is still much work to do at the carrier's outfitting stage after its launching. Then functional debugging for its devices will be carried out before a trial on the sea, Cao said.

    Some foreign media reports speculated that Chinese navy’s capability would exceed the US navy in West Pacific in the next two to three decades.

    In response, Yin said Chinese navy’s structure will see significant changes after the aircraft carrier enters into service, i.e. the aircraft carrier formation will become the core of the surface force.

    Nevertheless, China will not seek development on such a large scale as that of the US navy, which has 11 aircraft carrier formations, Yin said.

    Foreign media reports often adopts a kind of “kill-with-flattery” tactic toward China when it comes to making comparisons between Chinese and US military forces, at the cost of compromising objectivity, Yin noted.


  4. #414

    Second Carrier Nears Launch

    (Source: China Daily; issued March 31, 2017)

    China's first domestically built aircraft carrier is being outfitted with equipment and the work is progressing smoothly, Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday.

    As for the carrier's launch, Wu said the date is coming soon and "we won't keep the public waiting for too long".

    Wu made the remark in response to media speculation that the new carrier would be launched on April 23-the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

    Outfitting usually implies installing radar, engines and other key components. But some equipment, like the weapons systems, also has to be installed after the ship has been launched into the water, said Zhu Chenghu, a professor at National Defense University.

    "The launch is only the first step," he said. "By current progress, the new carrier would still have to undergo one to two years of testing, both at the dock and at sea, before it could be officially handed to the Navy.

    "Nevertheless, China launching its first domestically designed aircraft carrier is a monumental step toward building a world class navy," he said. "The valuable lessons learned from building a carrier from scratch will help China build more carriers faster in the future and enable them to reach combat readiness quicker."

    According to the Defense Ministry, the new aircraft carrier is under construction in Dalian, Liaoning province. It will have a displacement of about 50,000 metric tons, as well as conventional engines and fighter jet launch systems similar to those of the CNS Liaoning-China's first aircraft carrier.

    The most important difference lies in the roles of the two vessels, Zhu said. While the Liaoning is primarily for training and research purposes, the new carrier will focus on combat and defense.

    The new carrier will have more cargo room, more sophisticated radar, more advanced weapons systems, and more reliable engines than the Liaoning, which was refitted from an unfinished Soviet-era carrier-the Varyag-that "did not leave much leeway for optimization and improvement due to its old design," he added. It was commissioned by China in 2012.

    PLA Major General Peng Guangqian, a military strategist, said China's carriers, as well as the carriers from other nations, are still far behind US carriers in terms of size, scale and combat capability, "because US Navy doctrine requires unchallenged global dominance, while Chinese carriers are mainly used for self-defense".

    When asked about the Chinese military's recent drills on the Chinese side of the Sino-Myanmar border following clashes between Myanmar security forces and ethnic rebels, Wu said the drills were part of the annual training schedule and China had informed Myanmar of the drill before it began.


  5. #415

    China expanding its amphibious force

    Andrew Tate, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

    06 April 2017

    Chinese online forums recently published images of the fifth Type 071 LPD being built for the PLAN at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai. Source: Via fyjs.cn

    Images have recently emerged of China's fifth Yuzhao-class (Type 071) Landing Platform Dock (LPD) being built for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai.

    Published in Chinese online forums, the photographs show that the vessel's hull appears to be largely complete and that substantial progress has been made on the forward superstructure, which reinforces forecasts that the ship is likely to be launched later this year.

    The Type 071 LPDs are 210 m long and displace around 20,000 tonnes. Equipped with a flight deck and hangar, they can embark four medium-lift helicopters such as the Changhe Aircraft Industries Group Z-8. The well deck is assessed to be capable of embarking up to four Yuyi-class (Type 726) Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs).

    The first Type 071 entered service in late 2007 followed by two more in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These ships were all assigned to the South Sea Fleet, which is primarily responsible for operations in the South China Sea.

    After a four-year pause, a fourth ship of the class entered service with the East Sea Fleet in 2016, which is believed to have the lead role in amphibious operations relating to Taiwan and is likely to receive the ship currently under construction.

    The Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard was visited by PLAN commander Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong on 28 March, leading to media speculation that the yard may have commenced work on the Type 075 Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious assault ship.

    Satellite imagery from December 2016 of the Jiangnan Changxingdao Shipyard showed four Type 726 LCACs, believed to be newly constructed, and subsequent photographs of a PLAN amphibious landing exercise showed three of the craft not previously seen.

    (304 of 575 words)

  6. #416

    China Reveals How Many Fighter Jets the New Aircraft Carrier Can Dock

    (Source: Sputnik News; posted April 6, 2017)

    Chinese media has revealed that the new Chinese aircraft carrier will be able to dock 36 Jian-15 fighters [J-15].

    According to Chinese news portal Sina, “At the moment, the aircraft carrier being prepared for launch is optimized in terms of load which compared to the Liaoning aircraft carrier can reach from 28 to 36 units of J-15 fighters.”

    Currently, the Chinese Navy arsenal consists of the Liaoning aircraft carrier, created on the basis of the Soviet cruiser Varyag. Liaoning can base 24 J-15 fighters.

    Earlier, Chinese media reported that the new aircraft carrier could be launched in late April 2017. According to some experts, the likely date is April 23 which is the anniversary date of the founding of the PLA Navy.

    The official representative of the Defense Ministry of the People's Republic of China, Wu Qian, said that the aircraft carrier, whose construction the country is conducting independently, is in its final stage.

    However, he did not confirm the statements made by the Chinese media regarding the exact launch date of the aircraft carrier.

    Liaoning is a Type 001 class vessel. The first carrier was rebuilt out of the Soviet aircraft cruiser Varyag in early 2000s, with the first sea trial taking place in 2011. In September 2012, Liaoning was commissioned into the PLA Navy.

    In late December 2015, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced plans to construct a new Liaoning aircraft carrier built by China itself.


  7. #417

    China launches first indigenously built aircraft carrier

    Gabriel Dominguez, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

    26 April 2017

    On 26 April China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, known as the Type 001A, in a ceremony held at the Dalian shipyard. Source: PA

    China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on 26 April in a ceremony held at the Dalian shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) in the country's northeastern Liaoning Province.

    China's launch of its second carrier, which is expected to enter service in the early 2020s, marks a major milestone in the modernisation of the PLAN. (PA)

    Known as the Type 001A, the as-yet-unnamed vessel is a follow-on ship to the refitted Soviet-era Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier Liaoning (ex- Varyag), which has been in service with the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) since September 2012.

    The launch ceremony of the largest warship ever built by China was presided over by PLA General Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the country's Central Military Commission.

    State television showed the carrier, which is expected to enter service with the PLAN in the early 2020s, being pushed by tug boats into its berth.

    "Putting the carrier into water marks progress in China's efforts to design and build a domestic aircraft carrier," Chinese state-owned Xinhua news agency reported.

    China began building its second aircraft carrier in November 2013. The installation of the carrier's primary systems, including propulsion and electric power, was completed before the launch, according to Xinhua.

    The vessel, which has been described by Chinese state-owned media as a "more elegant and much improved version of Liaoning", will now undergo outfitting followed by sea trials. During the outfitting stage the installation of the ship's interior equipment, weapons and other systems will be completed.

    Like Liaoning, the Type 001A is a conventionally powered short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) carrier and is thus fitted with a 'ski-jump'.

    According to Chinese state media, however, the new vessel is expected to be faster (top speed of 31 kt) than Liaoning (29 kt) and has a shorter island and a larger hangar. According to the state-owned Global Times newspaper, the Type 001A is expected to embark between 32 and 36 J-15 carrier-based fighters compared to the 24 J-15s Liaoning can carry.

    (332 of 1654 words)

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