A flotilla of three Chinese warships passing our doorstep has crystallised the challenge facing our military planners in preparing for a very different world.
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Hit! According to the satellite image, China has sunk your battleship. (Internet photo)
The People's Liberation Army has successfully sunk a US aircraft carrier, according to a satellite photo provided by Google Earth, reports our sister paper Want Daily — though the strike was a war game, the carrier a mock-up platform and the "sinking" occurred on dry land in a remote part of western China.
A satellite image reveals two large craters on a 200-meter-long white platform in the Gobi desert used to simulate the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. The photo was first posted on SAORBATS, an internet forum based in Argentina. Military analysts believed the craters would have been created by China's DF-21D anti-ship missile, dubbed the "carrier killer."
While claiming that the missile has the capability to hit aircraft carriers 2,000 kilometers away, the nationalistic Chinese tabloid Global Times stated that the weapon was only designed for self-defense; the DF-21D will never pose a serious threat to US national security because it is not even able to reach Hawaii, the newspaper said, though fully aware of the US naval deployment in the Western Pacific.
Underlining this point, Global Times took a common line from China's national defense doctrine before the country acquired an aircraft carrier of its own — namely that carriers are an offensive weapon while anti-ship missiles are defensive. "It can be used like a stick to hit the dog intruding on our backyard, but it can never be used to attack the house where the dog comes from," the paper's commentary said.
As China continues to harden its stance on territorial disputes, a recent report notes that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has transferred 11 decommissioned warships, including two destroyers, to the country’s maritime surveillance agency.
After undergoing renovation, the vessels—which include the two Type 051 (Luda I-class) guided-missile destroyers (DDG) Nanning andNanjing, as well as surveillance ships, tugs and icebreakers—were transferredto the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) agency to “alleviate the insufficiency of vessels used to protect maritime interests.” The two 3,250-tonne destroyers, which can travel at a maximum speed of 32 knots, are to split their time between the East China Sea, the scene of a mounting dispute with Japan and Taiwan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, and the South China Sea, where China has overlapping territorial claims with a number of countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines. Prior to their decommissioning last year, the two 30-plus-year-old DDGs were armed with 130mm guns with a range of 29km, as well as anti-ship missiles.
China’s Ministry of National Defense and the CMS have yet to comment on the transfer.
One of the things that I've been really focusing on in the past few months is the recent dramatic expansion of China's civilian maritime force. Much of this is caused by the border disputes with Japan, Vietnam and Phillipines. I think another part of this is the Chinese government supporting its domestic shipbuilding industry during the recent downturn in the global shipbuilding market. Before we start, here is a refresher course on what each of the agencies are about. First, let us focusing on the expansion of CMS (Chinese Maritime Surveillance), which is beneficiary of the majority of the new cutters. From 2008 to 2011, CMS received 11 new large cutters with one of 3000+ ton class (Haijian-84), two of 1500+ ton class (84, 15) and 4 of 1000+ ton class (75、23、66、26). After that, we received the news 36 new cutters of 600 to 1500 ton for provincial CMS. Table below shows which provinces are getting them and where the cutters are built at and for how much.
Via Paulo Félix
One of the key concerns of naval strategists and planners today is the nature of the Chinese geostrategic challenge. Conceding that no one can know for certain China's intentions in terms of future strategy, the editors of this timely book argue that the trajectory of Chinese nuclear propulsion for submarines may be one of the best single indicators of whether or not China intends to become a genuine global military power. Nuclear submarines, with their unparalleled survivability, remain ideal platforms for persistent operations in far-flung sea areas and offer an efficient means for China to strengthen deterrence and project power. This collection of essays presents the latest thinking of leading experts on the emergence of a modern nuclear submarine fleet in China. Each contribution is packed with authoritative data and cogent analysis. The book has been compiled by four professors at the U.S. Naval War College who are co-founders of the college's recently established China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI).Given the opaque nature of China's undersea warfare development, readers will benefit from this penetrating investigation that considers the potential impact of revolutionary changes in Chinese nuclear submarine capabilities. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in China's foreign and defense policies, in the future of the U.S. Navy, and in the defense of the United States Reviews........ "Unknowns about China's Navy, especially its nuclear submarines, perplex our security planners. China's Future Nuclear Submarine Force presents the most accurate information—and the most savvy analysis—available. This thoughtful compendium is vital to any serious discussion of the PLA Navy."—Adm. Joseph W. Prueher, USN (Ret.), Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command and Ambassador to China
The "fire wall" around Chinese Military modernisation borders on paranoia. PLAN modernisation is extremely crucial to the stability of the Indo Pacific as such this book does fill a very important void in our understanding of PLAN Modernisation especially the development of the submarine fleet.