China China’s Navy Is The Largest On Earth (Yes, Bigger Than The U.S. Navy)

xizhimen

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China’s Navy Is The Largest On Earth (Yes, Bigger Than The U.S. Navy)​


By Brent M. Eastwood
Published
2 days ago

China-Navy.jpg

Thirty years ago, China’s military was mostly an afterthought. Its armed forces had not fought in a shooting war since 1979 in an abbreviated but bloody one-month intervention against Vietnam. Army conscripts either refused to serve or paid someone else to muster for them. Pilots did not fly at night or in bad weather. The navy had no mission except for homeland defense.

1992 Was a Turning Point for China’s Navy

But something changed in 1992. The ever forward-thinking Chinese created a new naval strategy. China said it would take possession of various islands, rocks, and reefs it had territorial claims on. It devised offshore energy projects and boasted that it would use naval force as necessary to protect these holdings. And China was negotiating with the Ukrainians to buy an old Soviet aircraft carrier.

Big Navy; Big Dreams


Flash forward to 2022 and now China has two functioning aircraft carriers deployed near Taiwan with a new third carrier already launched. It has the largest navy in the world with at least 355 ships – a force that gets bigger every few months. This fleet is 55 percent larger than in 2005. The Pentagon believes it may have 420 ships by 2026. This would include a whopping 110 Chinese submarines, many with nuclear-tipped missiles. And it could have six carriers by 2040.

Busy Ship Makers


Nick Childs, senior fellow for naval forces at the British International Institute for Strategic Studies told National Defense magazine, “To put it in perspective, during a recent four-year period the naval vessels that Chinese shipyards produced were roughly equivalent in tonnage to the entire U.K. Royal Navy or the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.”

China arguably has the world’s best shipbuilding industry. The country is expanding its main Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai to build even more ships and submarines with several dry docks for maintenance. China also has hopes to expand naval shipping facilities to far-flung parts of the ocean. This year the country signed an agreement with the Solomon Islands in a security pact that could result in a new port for the PLAN. New Zealand and Australia are worrying about this possibility.


Diversity of a Modern Fleet

This is a stout Chinese armada that includes all the accoutrements of a modern surface fleet. There are submarines, anti-submarine chasers, amphibious warfare vessels, missile frigates and destroyers with new anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, not to mention “carrier killing” missile launchers on shore.

Brown to Blue

It used to be a “brown water” close-to-shore regional navy. Now it has global “blue water” ambitions. In May, China sailed a new frigate and destroyer off the shores of Somalia showing naval watchers that the People’s Liberation Army Navy had arrived as a worldwide force.

Stay Out of Our Neighborhood

It has exhibited the operational art of keeping other navies, including the United States, from navigating freely in the East and South China Sea. This is a stratagem called anti-access / area denial that the Chinese have executed thoroughly over the years. China sometimes sails its ships dangerously close to American ships as a warning to stay out of the neighborhood.

No American Agreement on What to Do Next

Meanwhile, there is a consensus in the United States among the White House, the Pentagon, Congress, and defense analysts that the Chinese navy should be taken seriously. But the various organs of the U.S. government do not agree on how to conduct a U.S. naval buildup to answer the Chinese. Should it retire and sell the Littoral Combat Ship, for example, to allies and re-invest that money elsewhere? Should it build another super carrier or hold off and spend that money for existing carrier maintenance? Can the navy’s old air defense standby the AEGIS combat system track and destroy incoming Chinese ship-killing missiles?

Although Americans Are Getting Better Too

To be sure, the U.S. Navy may not be building many ships, but it is investing in better air defense missiles, new naval stand-off missiles, and working on hypersonic weapons for the maritime forces. Its carrier operations have been finely tuned and optimized after serving the war on terror. But will that be enough to maintain an edge?

Who Wins or Who Loses? It’s Not Clear

I once spoke to a naval officer when I worked in Congress who spent his career in the Indo-Pacific. He said he was confident that in a war, the U.S. Navy would “roll up and destroy” all the Chinese warships in the first island chain. Alternatively, I also received a briefing from a think tank that said all U.S. ships in the first island chain would be lost to the Chinese. Which scenario is correct?

Likely somewhere in the middle, but it is clear that the PLAN is growing and has surpassed the point of being dangerous. The PLAN may have already taken first place in the global navy stakes. If the Americans still have the upper hand, China has certainly closed the gap in the last 30 years. Look back to 1992 as a turning point for the Chinese navy. Its government definitely was prescient to foresee a bright future for its navy three decades ago.

 

AlphaMike

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By hull count, yes. But not in firepower or tonnage.


Here's my comparison on both

 

xizhimen

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By hull count, yes. But not in firepower or tonnage.


Here's my comparison on both

Think of where the Chinese navy was 30 years ago and think of where she might be in even just 10-20 years in the future.


 
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Agha Sher

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If you count your fishing boats then yes. US Pacific Fleet would obliterate the chinese navy on any given day.
 

Azeri441

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US Naval Power is not even just in its ships, which the entire world can't even match, its in the air power, we are talking about more than a thousand latest 4th gen and 5th gen combat aircraft between both Marines and Navy.

China is pumping out ships like no other, but they are lagging way behind in terms of aircraft, and USN is not going to be sending in ships to conduct attacks against enemy boats, they are sending in aircraft to conduct such attacks.

Currently Chinese navy only has a small number of shitty soviet fighters with limited payload as they have to use a ski-jump, USN aircraft armed with LRASM, would completely obliterate Chinese navy with minimal losses, if any.
 

AlphaMike

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US Naval Power is not even just in its ships, which the entire world can't even match, its in the air power, we are talking about more than a thousand latest 4th gen and 5th gen combat aircraft between both Marines and Navy.

China is pumping out ships like no other, but they are lagging way behind in terms of aircraft, and USN is not going to be sending in ships to conduct attacks against enemy boats, they are sending in aircraft to conduct such attacks.

Currently Chinese navy only has a small number of shitty soviet fighters with limited payload as they have to use a ski-jump, USN aircraft armed with LRASM, would completely obliterate Chinese navy with minimal losses, if any.
Precisely. This is the norm since ww2. Aircrafts attacking surface ships.

Those destroyers are either in carrier escort duties, ASW, ABM duties or marine interdiction.

The other assets that is likely to spearhead ship hunting are the submarines which pretty much the USN has no equal.
 

xizhimen

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US Naval Power is not even just in its ships, which the entire world can't even match, its in the air power, we are talking about more than a thousand latest 4th gen and 5th gen combat aircraft between both Marines and Navy.

China is pumping out ships like no other, but they are lagging way behind in terms of aircraft, and USN is not going to be sending in ships to conduct attacks against enemy boats, they are sending in aircraft to conduct such attacks.

Currently Chinese navy only has a small number of shitty soviet fighters with limited payload as they have to use a ski-jump, USN aircraft armed with LRASM, would completely obliterate Chinese navy with minimal losses, if any.
Now with the development of modern technologies, many new weapons are capable of sinking aircraft carriers and China is in the forefront of developing those weapons, China's F-31 5th G jets will be used on China's new carriers and China doesn't have shitty soviet fighters on any current carriers.
At least in this decade , China won't challenge US navy very far from her coast, so current war scenario is all based on battle which are close to China, mainly Taiwan strait, it is within a stone throw from China, which carriers are just sitting ducks if they come too close and within the striking distance of all land based attilery fire and aircrafts.
 

xizhimen

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In the same way how North Korea has the world's largest submarine fleet.
Really? Does North Korea also boasts the world No.1 shipbuilding industry? why US experts keep talking being outmatched by Chinese navy in west Pacific but not being outmatched by North Korea? After all North Korea is the country which provokes US as a national favorite pastime.
 

Gessler

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Really? Does North Korea also boasts the world No.1 shipbuilding industry? why US experts keep talking being outmatched by Chinese navy in west Pacific but not being outmatched by North Korea? After all North Korea is the country which provokes US as a national favorite pastime.

You tell me.

They have as many submarines as you if not more.
 

Azeri441

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Now with the development of modern technologies, many new weapons are capable of sinking aircraft carriers and China is in the forefront of developing those weapons, China's F-31 5th G jets will be used on China's new carriers and China doesn't have shitty soviet fighters on any current carriers.
At least in this decade , China won't challenge US navy very far from her coast, so current war scenario is all based on battle which are close to China, mainly Taiwan strait, it is within a stone throw from China, which carriers are just sitting ducks if they come too close and within the striking distance of all land based attilery fire and aircrafts.

China has direct copies of Soviet carrier based Su-33s, just because they were built somewhat recently doesn't somehow make them any better than the Soviet version, those fighters cannot provide any form of protection against USN air power, also China is just developing its 5th gen aircraft for the Navy, on a platform that was based on export aircraft, and we stand to find out how capable that aircraft even is, meanwhile USN is already moving to 6th gen aircraft.

Also you make possible conflict over Taiwan seem too simple, if the war over Taiwan ever occurs, it will be fought over the entire South China Sea, that is because USN will be conducting naval blockade as soon as China launches any attack, China would also have to establish naval control over the entire surroundings of the island, while USN can operate from further away to conduct anti-ship attacks and long range strikes against naval bases and ports.

You think if China launches a war, United States Navy will just rush in to the island and provide easy targets for China? they will be conducting long range strikes to support Taiwan defenses.

LRASM has a range of 600+kms and F-18s can carry 4

LRASM-set-to-Achieve-EOC-with-U.S.-Navy’s-FA-18EF-Super-Hornet-5-1024x768.jpg
 

xizhimen

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China has direct copies of Soviet carrier based Su-33s, just because they were built somewhat recently doesn't somehow make them any better than the Soviet version, those fighters cannot provide any form of protection against USN air power, also China is just developing its 5th gen aircraft for the Navy, on a platform that was based on export aircraft, and we stand to find out how capable that aircraft even is, meanwhile USN is already moving to 6th gen aircraft.

Also you make possible conflict over Taiwan seem too simple, if the war over Taiwan ever occurs, it will be fought over the entire South China Sea, that is because USN will be conducting naval blockade as soon as China launches any attack, China would also have to establish naval control over the entire surroundings of the island, while USN can operate from further away to conduct anti-ship attacks and long range strikes against naval bases and ports.

You think if China launches a war, United States Navy will just rush in to the island and provide easy targets for China? they will be conducting long range strikes to support Taiwan defenses.

LRASM has a range of 600+kms and F-18s can carry 4

View attachment 46847
As for J-15 series, they update on yearly basis just like other new Chinese aircraft types and their capabilities are debatable now and no one is so certain about them

 

Manomed

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As for J-15 series, they update on yearly basis just like other new Chinese aircraft types and their capabilities are debatable now and no one is so certain about them

I doubt your soviet copies of Jets will do anything good against might US navy air force.
 

xizhimen

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As for US blocking South China sea, they need this sea route more than China does, US now is more dependent on China than the other way around, just check out their high inflation rate and insatialble appepite for Chinese good to keep their country running. Do you believe US will kill itself for Taiwan?
 

Azeri441

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As for US blocking South China sea, they need this sea route more than China does, US now is more dependent on China than the other way around, just check out their high inflation rate and insatialble appepite for Chinese good to keep their country running. Do you believe US will kill itself for Taiwan?

You think USN is gonna be blocking shipment of iphones? they are gonna be blocking your energy imports, vast majority of your energy imports come through the few choke points within SCS

This video explains it pretty well

 

AlphaMike

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In a Taiwan scenario. Unless the PLAAF opted suicide, there's no way their aircraft could get near the carriers.

There's a huge air defense barrier in Taiwan preventing them to do so.

US super carrier loitering in the Eastern side of the island would do just fine, ensuring no effective blockade could be mounted if the US decide to intervene.
 

xizhimen

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You think USN is gonna be blocking shipment of iphones? they are gonna be blocking your energy imports, vast majority of your energy imports come through the few choke points within SCS

This video explains it pretty well

Then why they had never done it even during the lowest point of US and China in 1950's and 1960's? besides, China now is switching more and more to landbased oil and gas pipelines from Russia, we still import gulf oil solely because it's our energy policy of diversification of energy supply and we also try to maintain influence in gulf nations.
 

xizhimen

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In a Taiwan scenario. Unless the PLAAF opted suicide, there's no way their aircraft could get near the carriers.
They went away before we went in, US officially declared they did it for avoiding potential accidents with the Chnese military.
 

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