Future use of PLAN carriers ...

Discussion in 'Navy' started by Tam, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. Tam
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    Tam Junior Member
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    She hasn't been on Dalian for a while since 001A occupied the dock.

    China MSA often announces reserved areas on the sea for drills and exercises. Much of these are close to the coast and within the East and North China Seas.

    Since deployment means not in training, much of Liaoning's activities are for training J-15 crews, and that's her raison d'etre.

    She doesn't have much to go anywhere in Asia before the Asiapac and the Western press all goes China threat in their headlines when she does.

    She has gone past the Miyako Straits with a full battle group and into the Philippine Seas, and drilled and exercised there, which involves refueling mid sea, then either head straight back up the Miyako Straits or head around to the south of Taiwan to the South China Seas for exercises there, Hong Kong visit or in the last recent case, the huge naval parade near Hainan. After that, after a short visit to the Sanya base, head straight up through the Taiwan Straits, back to the Bohai or North China Seas.
     
  2. asif iqbal
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    asif iqbal Brigadier

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    Maybe they could send a carrier strike group for Gulf of Aden missions

    Total overkill but a good deployment lesson
     
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  3. Tam
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    Tam Junior Member
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    That might be an interesting idea if they have no concerns over the long term reliability of the steam turbines. I am not sure what 002 is powered with.

    The biggest ships the PLAN has sent to the Gulf of Aden are Type 071s. That alone is overkill. Type 071s have exercised in the Indian Ocean including around last March.

    Sending a carrier down to the Indian Ocean will raise up a lot of China threat headlines from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, then India and Australia, as the carrier needs to pass through Singapore then the Sunda Straits. This may not align diplomatically what China is trying to achieve with OBOR.

    Sending naval forces to an area represents an effort of crafted message telling. You want to appear modern, resolved and prepared, but you don't want to appear like a bully.

    It might be diplomatically easier to send down Type 075 LHDs to the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden if the PLAN has them.

    For now, I would consider the "Dragon's Triangle", namely the waters between Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, to Guam and the Marianas, as the most likely playing area for Chinese carriers.
     
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  4. Jeff Head
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    Jeff Head General
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    I'd like to see that too, Asif. It would not be any real threat...it would just be a strong PR play for them.
     
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  5. Red Moon
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    Red Moon Junior Member

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    6 months for the anti-piracy patrol, more time for special visits, exercizes on the way there and additional port visits/exercizes on the way back, could add up to a year. During that year, the ship is not fulfilling its assigned role of training pilots, etc. The pilots themselves would play no role in anti-piracy, other than helicopter pilots.

    All in all, not a good scenario. I don't think it will happen, unless China has several carriers.
     
  6. plawolf
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    plawolf Brigadier

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    Nothing at all stopping them training as normal during any extended deployment. Indeed, that’s the whole point of a carrier - to provide organic fleet air support far from home.

    The ‘problem’ with an Indian Ocean deployment are diplomatic (India would flip right out and may start agitating about sending its own carriers into the SCS in ‘retaliation’) and risk. A carrier and its escorts represents a significant force and a sizeable portion of the PLAN’s frontline combat strength. Adversaries may well see it as an opportunity to initiate conflict when that fleet is far from home to ‘catch’ China at its weakest, and potentially have that fleet trapped in the Indian Ocean unable to get back to assist if they can lock down the key geographical choke points. Admittedly it’s a remote risk, but one Chinese planners need to consider nontheless.

    I don’t think China would be likely to send a carrier that way until after they have their second or even 3rd pair operational. Barring any unforeseen developments of course.

    But once China does send its first carrier into the Indian Ocean, I would expect that to then become a pretty standard deployment; with the PLAN likely to maintain a carrier fleet in the Indian Ocean at most times to safeguard its growing interests in the ME, Africa and beyond.
     
  7. Viktor Jav
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    Viktor Jav Junior Member
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    Unless there is a clear indication of the PLAN establishing a permanent footing in the Indian Ocean. The sight of a Chinese carrier group in that area, especially one consisting of the CV-16, for any significant purposes beyond that of a peace time visit is rather remote. Leaving aside the obvious factor of the CV-16 short leggedness due to its steam boilers, a reasonable CGB would consist of multiple ships as escort and logistical purposes, far more than any mere civilian port in the area can handle. People always like to talk about Gwadar but insofar as we know there is no solid conclusive evidence to show that China is intending to establish a naval base of any significant size, if it has any intentions at all. Hamatoba would be to close to India for comfort, and then there is the political and international view issue of China establishing a naval base in Sri Lanka so quickly after assuming control over the port in exchange of debt forgiveness (it brings up too many images of old colonialism).
    The idea of a carrier doing anti piracy operations is a tempting, but in the end a rather impossible idea. If air survelliance is the main selling point for the idea, then like some posters have made the point, a Type 75 or even a Type 71 LPD would be better suited and cost less of a logistical footprint to operate as well.
     
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  8. asif iqbal
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    asif iqbal Brigadier

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    Last month Janes confirmed that a large pier was under construction at Djibouti base in East Africa

    That base has permanent structures which tells me that Chinas anti piracy missions are a long term commitment, China has had 10 years of permanent naval presence ion Gulf of Aden

    We can therefore conclude that China has a permanent footing in Indian Ocean, Pakistan has given Gwader to China for decades long lease again showing its commitment for long term presence

    Navigating a carrier strike group through to the Gulf of Aden and transiting the narrow Suez canal and into Mediterranean would be of huge benefit to China so many lessons to be learnt it and it would be a very hard task keeping all the assets together and keeping the carrier safe etc etc the logistics involved would be a really good learning opportunity for the carrier captain of the group and challenges really high

    A typical group would have CV-16/17, 2 x type 055, 3 x Type 052D and a SSN backed up by a Type 901 tanker I count over 5,000 sailors

    I think that would be a HUGE statement and something that will come in time, maybe not yet but within 5 years we could see the start of Chinese strike group in Indian Ocean

    To retain a permanent carrier in Indian Ocean China needs 3 carriers, one on patrol, one on work up and one in refit after patrol
     
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  9. Viktor Jav
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    Viktor Jav Junior Member
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    A large pier in Djbouti can mean alot of other things, not just a sign of potential carrier use. In any case, the idea of a carrier being docked in Djbouti holds even less water than having one in Gwadar. For starters, the Chinese base in Djbouti is miniscule at 0.5km, it lacks serious easy access to infrastructure, it is surrounded by a multitude of foreign military bases, and it is sitting right in the middle of the world's busiest waterway, hardly a good place to dock and maneuver a huge sized ship on a regular basis without fear of collision. Smaller ships might make do with such facilities and indeed the majority of China's anti piracy operations are conducted with frigate and destroyer sized vessels.
    And looking at the minute details of the agreement between China and Pakistan, it is clear that while a Chinese company will operate the harbour. It never touched upon anything military in nature, even Pakistani media has gone out of it way to report that there is no Chinese naval base in the making, yet.

    And it would make even less sense for the PLAN to desire navigating a carrier task force through the Gulf of Aden or the Suze Canal into the Mediterranean because for one there is little strategic interest for China in the Mediterranean that is worth putting forth a costly carrier group. The Mediterranean is essentially a giant enclosed bowl whereby land based fighters can easily wreck havoc on a CBG. The Gulf of Aden to posses a similar issue on a smaller but no less extreme scale.
    And the times where a carrier would find itself navigating a narrow expense of water can be counted on the fingers of a single hand, not to mention that such critical juncture of transport would be quickly shut down in the event of serious hostilities.
    To be fair real life experience regarding logistic trains, carrier group training and long endurance voyages are something the nascent Chinese CBG can really use, but it is unlikely that China will go out of their way and achieve it. Such thing will come naturally if the course of geopolitics permits it.
     
  10. asif iqbal
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    asif iqbal Brigadier

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    Victor do you love trolling or are you just really bored ?
     
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