Chinese shipyards are churning out new cruisers, destroyers and assault ships

Beijing’s rush to build military superiority over Washington is experiencing an unexpected pause. Do you have any problems? Or policy change?

Chinese shipyards are churning out new cruisers, destroyers and assault ships at a rate not seen since World War II.And that newfound naval power is already being applied to the surrounding waters Japan and Taiwan.

It is also now a member of the country’s elite club with the economic power and skills to build and operate serious infrastructure. aircraft carrier Equipped with a catapult capable of launching heavy aircraft into the air at high speed.

So why pause construction of the most powerful ship ever to go to sea? It may not go as planned by President Xi Jinping.

of Hong Kong south china morning postIt is now under the control of the Communist Party.

Citing the People’s Liberation Army’s South China Sea Waves social media accounts, it said the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) was given a deadline to have nuclear propulsion technology ready by 2027.

However, previous Chinese Communist Party commentaries first nuclear carrier A vast drydock built to assemble the 100,000-ton behemoth is now building other smaller vessels.

Debate over the effectiveness of WWII’s most powerful warships in the modern combat environment is escalating.

missile much cheaper. You can now fly farther and hit targets more accurately than ever before. Does that make aircraft carriers irrelevant?


China’s newest aircraft carrier Plan Fujian, was released in June. It is currently dockside as workers finish finishing the interior.

This is about the size of a modern US aircraft carrier. USS FordBut like in England HMS Queen Elizabethit is not nuclear.

China wants nuclear-powered ships for the same reason Australia wants nuclear-powered submarines.

range. Durable. speed.

Not having to carry huge amounts of diesel fuel means you can store more food and ammunition. This means ships don’t have to return to port as often.

China reportedly began developing a nuclear-powered ship in 2018. The original idea was for her to have one ship in service by 2025. That deadline seems to have passed.

Chinese sources appear to be contradictory.

Diesel-powered ships are claimed to be better suited to China’s needs. they are cheap They’re not that complicated, so they’re fast to build.

However, modern aircraft carriers require enormous amounts of power for their catapults, radars and defense systems. And it will empty the diesel fuel tank even faster.

China already operates nuclear submarines, but these power plants would need to be scaled up significantly to be effective on a 100,000-ton surface ship.

We won’t know what form China’s next carrier will take until its structure is assembled in drydock.

And there are no signs of that yet.

full speed ahead

China’s determination to build a capable carrier force is unquestionable.

Chinese Communist Party policy has declared that it hopes to have six fully operational carrier battle groups by 2035.

And we are still working towards that goal.

Recent satellite imagery captures the next-generation carrier fighter sitting among current J-15 Flying Shark examples at the Liaoning Naval Air Station.

The FC-31 Gyrfalcon is a stealth fighter. It seems to be equipped with folding wings, a reinforced fuselage, and restraint hooks necessary for operations outside the flight deck.

China’s training aircraft carrier Liaoning can carry 26 fighters. The recently completed sister ship PLAN Shandong can accommodate her 32 ships.

Not yet confirmed in FC-31.

Meanwhile, a new two-seat version of the J-15 was also discovered. A second crew member gives the Strike fighter greater electronic warfare capabilities and the option to control a more diverse range of weapons. But it can also be used as a trainer to accelerate certification of new pilots.

Chinese state media also released footage of the Chinese navy’s new KJ-600 fixed-wing early warning aircraft. Like its very similar-looking US counterpart, it is designed to take off from an aircraft carrier and provide extended radar surveillance of the surrounding area.

They may only operate on the new PLAN Fujian and future flat deck carriers.

However, they make the carrier battle group nearly invulnerable to all but a wave of hypersonic missiles.

And that would upset the balance of power in both the Pacific and Indian oceans.

These ships carry as many fighter planes as Australia has and could stay in the route for months. Their only restraint is the need to refuel the strong defenses of the Type 055 cruisers.

And the United States has repeatedly demonstrated over the decades the coercive force such forces can project.

Jamie Seidel is a freelance writer. @Jamie Seidel

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Chinese shipyards are churning out new cruisers, destroyers and assault ships

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