PRC Peoples Liberation Army Navy

weasel1962

New Member
Re:

I put the English Navy a clear second and French third right now in terms of capabilities. PLAN can be second 2018 or later if their planned expansion, especially with carriers and new subs, go smoothly.
No CV capability for the next decade, thereafter 1.
Lead and only operational sub of the newest attack sub class running aground.
Lead DDG of the only DDG class with barely tested AAW capability and far lacking behind AEGIS capabilities like those of the Japanese Kongo.
A naval expeditionary capability that only extends to an assault brigade.
A future naval budget that will be occupied significantly by SSBN construction.
Supported by an airforce that will be mainly non-stealth (and having less stealth a/c than even Australia after 2020).

I'm not that clear how that is clear esp after the recent devastating cuts.
 

Sampanviking

Banned Member
weasel 1962
For FFGs, if one considers the number of Jiangweis and Jiangkais together, its almost 30 identified already or 60% of Jianghu numbers. Counting another 20+ Jianghus still in operation, there's no drop in numbers. Add in new 056s which will likely be able to replace existing Jianghu roles, I wouldn't be surprised if numbers do match or exceed prior numbers.
As far as I am aware, the 056 exists only as a model and so it is impossible to determine its final form and function. I know it is being referred to as by the PLAN as a "Light Frigate" but everybody else is calling it a Corvette.

If we are talking Corvettes, then we also have about 50 Type 37-I and Type 37-II variants that will become due for replacement over the course of this coming decade.

I agree with gf0012-aust about not overestimating the PLAN's current capabilities, but I also believe, that if the last decade was about the substantial modernisation of the PLA's land forces, then this decade will see the full modernisation of its navy. I disagree with gf0012-aust on his assessment on the ability of the US to keep pace with the change in differential, as I see very radical cuts in US defence spending during the next decade and in such circumstances it tends to be navies, as the most expensive service, that feel the brunt.
 

rip

New Member
History is no gauge. Japan defeated Russia in the Battle of Tsushima with no precedence before that. And then repeated the feat in the early years of WW2 until Midway. Brittania ruled the waves until then but history didn't prevent its decline. That's the benefit of technology.

China has had a modern navy since the 50s and was the 3rd largest navy in the 80s. Today its probably the 2nd largest and working itself upwards.

The 2009 ONI report on China's navy is a good starting source.
http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/oni/pla-navy.pdf

The problem of perception is the opposition. Comparison against the best, largest and most modern ie US navy, tends to make the other party "less effective". No doubts there.

It will take an investment level far higher than current before China catches up to the US navy.
You make an interesting point but the Japanese were a sea going people long before they tried to produce a modern sea going navy and they worked on it vigorously starting from the 1870’s and the navy was never considered to be a part of, or to be subservient to, the army. The battles with the Russians were a great success but they were battles, relatively speaking, in their own back yard. The war with the US was thirty years later. Taken together that was far more than forty years of serious naval development. The Japanizes still today have serious naval Institutions. Though the Japanize as a nation may no longer be aggressive, they still take their navy seriously and it had retained its hard won Institutional knowledge.

The point I was trying to make is that any good navy is far more than just ships, technology, and logistics, its strength is found within its personal. As I said I am not disrespecting the Chinese’s sailors. I know almost nothing about them but what I do know is that the experience necessary to make the best use of and then survive out there on the water, requires a lot of time spent out there on the water living and working on the water at ever time of year, in every weather condition, interacting with all the different peoples that also use the sea. It takes time for all the moods and strange phenomena that are seen, sometimes things that are only rarely seen, when you are out there floating around to be learned and thenbe internalized intuitionally within the navy and its people from top to bottom.

You may consider this a minor point but I asure you that it is not, there are various weather and sea conditions (some of which are unique to a particular geographic area) that will really change a tactical situation far beyond what the modeling, war gaming, or the simulations that Armchair Admirals can ever think of or invent. Or what can be reasonably learned in the typical naval fleet exercises of sailing happily out of port on a nice sunny day for a scripted exercise. Far more different than you to could ever believe. There are weather and sea state conditions, which can severally change the capacities of your sensors, (visional, radar, IR, sound), and even yourmost moderen communications (usually worse but sometimes better). They can also affect the capacity of you weapons and navigation.

Question, have you ever seen doubles skip radar returns, and if you did, did you know what you are seeing and did you understand how you can use them for you advantage or how they can change tactical assumptions about detection and targeting as just one example?
 
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StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
What English navy? There hasn't been an English navy for over 300 years.
Royal Navy.. hehe..

Royal Navy I would generally class a top tier navy, in the top 5, more likely 3 or 4th these days. But it depends on your criteria. In terms on personel, training, expandability growth I would put the RN right at the top as a casual armchair general. They have real global capability, even if they don't operate a huge number of ships but they do operate everything they have extremely effectively. While much is made of China's planned carriers, the RN carriers are more impressive.

Japan ranks highly because the *HUGE* number of vessels she operates and the quality there in. I would say China has a lot of developing before they could seriously expect the rival Japan's force and experience even if they exceed her in number. Even the older crappier japanese ships would stand up to most(some?) of the modern stuff comming out of china on a 1 to 1 basis. Japan has the depth to back it up, and Japan would never go it alone, she would operate in conjunction with the USN (so some things are complimentary). China can't.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Annual report to Congress - China

Here is a link to the above report http://www.andrewerickson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2010_CMPR_Final.pdf

General summary of PLA(N) is at page 11, leading through to doctrine developments on page 13.
Naval strategy on page 31, force modernization page 38 and extended operations on page 42 and power projection on page 46.
Also Aircraft Carrier program on page 57. Interesting to note on this subject that Brazil will be providing training to 50 PLA(N) Pilot Offiers in Carrier Flight Operations, had not heard of this before
I have not had a chance to read the entire report (83 pages) and has been on the to do list for a while now, so thought I would point it out for the thread.
While I agree with GF with regards to the bells and whistles being missing from the PLA(N) this will not be the case for very long, and even though it is missing they are still a formidable force not to be taken lightly, and what they lack in tech, they certainly make up for in spirit.
It will certainly be very interesting to watch them over the next decade and the progress they make
 

godbody

New Member
Here is a link to the above report http://www.andrewerickson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2010_CMPR_Final.pdf

General summary of PLA(N) is at page 11, leading through to doctrine developments on page 13.
Naval strategy on page 31, force modernization page 38 and extended operations on page 42 and power projection on page 46.
Also Aircraft Carrier program on page 57. Interesting to note on this subject that Brazil will be providing training to 50 PLA(N) Pilot Offiers in Carrier Flight Operations, had not heard of this before
I have not had a chance to read the entire report (83 pages) and has been on the to do list for a while now, so thought I would point it out for the thread.
While I agree with GF with regards to the bells and whistles being missing from the PLA(N) this will not be the case for very long, and even though it is missing they are still a formidable force nothis t to be taken lightly, and what they lack in tech, they certainly make up for in spirit.
It will certainly be very interesting to watch them over the next decade and the progress they make
I agree with your last remark It will be interesting to watch them in the future as we writing on this forum right now the Chinese Navy is working on some ships in there shipyards. I just sit and watch and listen to the reports about the Chinese Navy they seem to want to built there navy up. I was reading the paper one day back in 2003 that Chinese were working on over 20 ships. First thing came to my mind is that China is preparing for war. If you been at shipyard before the task of making a ship is no joke. If you making that many ships that would take alot resources to do
 

Wall83

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I agree with your last remark It will be interesting to watch them in the future as we writing on this forum right now the Chinese Navy is working on some ships in there shipyards. I just sit and watch and listen to the reports about the Chinese Navy they seem to want to built there navy up. I was reading the paper one day back in 2003 that Chinese were working on over 20 ships. First thing came to my mind is that China is preparing for war. If you been at shipyard before the task of making a ship is no joke. If you making that many ships that would take alot resources to do
I doubt China wants to start any war. They just want to be the dominant naval power in the region and at the end the dominant power of the world. With the final goal to surpas the US navy.

Give the PLAN two more decads and I think they will reach that goal.
 

1805

New Member
I doubt China wants to start any war. They just want to be the dominant naval power in the region and at the end the dominant power of the world. With the final goal to surpas the US navy.

Give the PLAN two more decads and I think they will reach that goal.
I think it is unlikely China is going to be able to challenge the USN or for that matter want to this century. Although the basis of sea power is the wealth of a nation (the decline of RN a good example) there has to be an intent. Wanting a blue water capability does not mean it is planning to challenge the USN.
 

rip

New Member
I doubt China wants to start any war. They just want to be the dominant naval power in the region and at the end the dominant power of the world. With the final goal to surpas the US navy.

Give the PLAN two more decads and I think they will reach that goal.
If the political powers in Washington allow it, it can happen, if the political powers in Washington don’t, it won’t. It is not a matter of what the US can do, but what it decides it is necessary to do. Please note, I did not say preemptive strike.

Think of the naval arms race between the UK and pre world War One Germany.

The idea that China can carve out a sphere of influence because of its size, population and economic/ military power is an old and out dated idea. A sphere of influence was in the past, the quest to call all the shots where everyone dose what they are tolled to do is not realistic. China cannot even control North Korea for God’s sake, who are they kidding? First it neighbor’s won’t stand for it, and they are not helpless. If the US did decided to withdraw from the area (very unlikely) like the Chinese think they want, everybody and their mother would be hell bent on getting their own nuclear weapons.

But more importantly, the US is a pacific power, it has more cost line on the Pacific Ocean than China dose and it is not going away.
 

gf0012-aust

Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
While I agree with GF with regards to the bells and whistles being missing from the PLA(N) this will not be the case for very long, and even though it is missing they are still a formidable force not to be taken lightly, and what they lack in tech, they certainly make up for in spirit.
I'm being misunderstood then.

I've been pretty persistent in stating that in addition to not having gucci and contemp kit, they do not have thye force structure and.or training in place to realise the benefits.

to develop and affirm doctrine you haver to train - and to learn about theatre events you need to train with others because it tests your own doctrine.

4 years ago when people were getting excited about chinese aircraft carriers I repeatedly stated that they would need at least 5 years before it was slipped - and then another 3-4 years to work it up and get it certified for fleet capability,

everything I said 4 years ago still stands - they still haven't launched a short hull, they theyfore will need another 2+ years before a long hull is commissioned, and then they will need to work up blue water doctrine as well as get the support assets into play.

they're a long way from being able to counter even japan and sth korea in blue water ops, and unless something major happens, any task force will be loitering around light blue conditions for a number of years until the task force itself is robust or they extend covering air.

as enthusiastic as they are, reality still applies to whats actually needed to be done before they're combat ready.

Wall83's timeframe is realistic.
 

godbody

New Member
I doubt China wants to start any war. They just want to be the dominant naval power in the region and at the end the dominant power of the world. With the final goal to surpas the US navy.

Give the PLAN two more decads and I think they will reach that goal.
Why would you build so many ships and have so much determination? I didnt mean China want to go to war right now. History has prove if you build up your navy its a reason behind it. I would like to know what the reason nothing but a future conflict. Look at the U.S. Navy when they build up the navy they knew what they were doing. U.S. Navy decided to build up its aircraft carriers to prepared for a conflict the bottom line. I don't see them surpassing the U.S Navy I see them becoming the 2nd largest navy. There experience in the ocean is what going to hurt them they just completed it world tour. The U.S. Navy being doing this for decades.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I'm being misunderstood then.

I've been pretty persistent in stating that in addition to not having gucci and contemp kit, they do not have thye force structure and.or training in place to realise the benefits.

to develop and affirm doctrine you haver to train - and to learn about theatre events you need to train with others because it tests your own doctrine.

4 years ago when people were getting excited about chinese aircraft carriers I repeatedly stated that they would need at least 5 years before it was slipped - and then another 3-4 years to work it up and get it certified for fleet capability,

everything I said 4 years ago still stands - they still haven't launched a short hull, they theyfore will need another 2+ years before a long hull is commissioned, and then they will need to work up blue water doctrine as well as get the support assets into play.

they're a long way from being able to counter even japan and sth korea in blue water ops, and unless something major happens, any task force will be loitering around light blue conditions for a number of years until the task force itself is robust or they extend covering air.

as enthusiastic as they are, reality still applies to whats actually needed to be done before they're combat ready.

Wall83's timeframe is realistic.
Agree with that - 15-20 years sounds about right, maybe longer really. Looking at the pic posted earlier of the Varyag she is still very high in the water with lots of gear still to go in, I would not expect to see her for more than a few years, dates have not even been set for pilot training with Brazil as yet, let alone training up deck crew etc.
Yes they are a long way off, but I think they are working very hard on developing the necessary doctrine and training required, one of the biggest issues is who do they train with to gain that knowledge and experience ? There is talk of regular exercises with Brazil, but that is hardly going to move them forward in leaps and bounds
 

Wall83

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Why would you build so many ships and have so much determination? I didnt mean China want to go to war right now. History has prove if you build up your navy its a reason behind it. I would like to know what the reason nothing but a future conflict. Look at the U.S. Navy when they build up the navy they knew what they were doing. U.S. Navy decided to build up its aircraft carriers to prepared for a conflict the bottom line. I don't see them surpassing the U.S Navy I see them becoming the 2nd largest navy. There experience in the ocean is what going to hurt them they just completed it world tour. The U.S. Navy being doing this for decades.
Every military hardware is ment to be used in war, but that does not mean that you are planning a war. China wont ever go to war in full scale. The world of nukes prevents that. At most they will attack smaller nations that they feel threaten by.

The naval build up is just for show. Sure it can be used but as former super power in the 19th centruary its most for showing muscle.

PLAN will continue to build up. New cariers will be constructed. I would think in the next 5 years period. The Varyag will be first ofcource in a year or two.
 

SASWanabe

New Member
Every military hardware is ment to be used in war, but that does not mean that you are planning a war. China wont ever go to war in full scale. The world of nukes prevents that. At most they will attack smaller nations that they feel threaten by.

The naval build up is just for show. Sure it can be used but as former super power in the 19th centruary its most for showing muscle.

PLAN will continue to build up. New cariers will be constructed. I would think in the next 5 years period. The Varyag will be first ofcource in a year or two.
when you consider a large chunck of their population is starving there are better things they should be focusing on then "flexing".
 

Sampanviking

Banned Member
when you consider a large chunck of their population is starving there are better things they should be focusing on then "flexing".
I am sorry, but if you are you are trying to suggest that there is starvation; let alone substantial starvation in the PRC than that is utter bunk!

This is the second time to my knowledge that you have based on opinion on the modern PRC based on conditions that ended 30 years ago.
 

1805

New Member
PRC expenditure as a percentage of GDP is quite low c1.4%, even if you take the higher unofficial estimates its between 2.2-2.8%. Nothing like the level of the USA and there are plenty of pressing cause they could spend some of this on (reducing their debt for one!)
 

Wall83

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when you consider a large chunck of their population is starving there are better things they should be focusing on then "flexing".
Well all money could be better spent then spending it on armed forces, but the world does not work that way Im afraid.

The US could easly find better ways to spend its defence budget. Free health and wealfare for the people ecs.

And im not an expert on China in general, but do people relly starve there anymore?
 

advill

New Member
The Chinese has a saying: "Rich Country Strong Military". That's what China is doing for its Navy. It's going to protect its claimed territorial waters and islands where there are energy resources in the South China Sea and East China Sea, as well its SLOCs in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. I believe the US and its allies (Japan & South Korea) will balance this Chinese Power for their own interests.
 
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