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special_seeker15

Just Hatched
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Is China undergoing a pause in shipbuilding right now? If so for what reason? And is this pause historically precedented?

The reason I ask is because the Chinese language Wikipedia profiles for the Type 052D and 055 show no new hulls being produced beyond what has already been launched, namely 052D #25, which launched on 08/30/20, and 055 #8, which launched on the same day.
 

tamsen_ikard

Junior Member
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Is China undergoing a pause in shipbuilding right now? If so for what reason? And is this pause historically precedented?

The reason I ask is because the Chinese language Wikipedia profiles for the Type 052D and 055 show no new hulls being produced beyond what has already been launched, namely 052D #25, which launched on 08/30/20, and 055 #8, which launched on the same day.

China building 2 CATOBAR carriers and 1 more LHD now. There is also a type 076 LHD in the plans according to some rumors. China is still producing corvettes I believe as well. Submarine production is also happening slowly.

They probably have more than enough destroyers and frigates now and will focus on building more carriers, LHD and submarines.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
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Is China undergoing a pause in shipbuilding right now? If so for what reason? And is this pause historically precedented?

The reason I ask is because the Chinese language Wikipedia profiles for the Type 052D and 055 show no new hulls being produced beyond what has already been launched, namely 052D #25, which launched on 08/30/20, and 055 #8, which launched on the same day.

There seems to have been a huge burst of construction of destroyers and cruisers recently that are now being fitted out. Once those become operational it will lead to a substantial increase of both operational capabilities and available ships.

It might be China is in the process of designing new ships or this might be a matter of state priorities. AFAIK the current shipbuilding boom predates Xi's rise to power and he might have a different focus. The carrier program still seems to be going on as scheduled.

It does make one wonder where the resources are being channeled though.
 

zxcv872

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A question on this article:

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The article states that the new sheds could allow for 4 submarines to be constructed simultaneously.

The first shed is about 140 meters wide and 290 meters deep, measured in Google Earth. It seems to have six groups of rails. Each group of rails has a sliding door that is about 20 meters wide. According to Wikipedia, Chinese nuclear submarines have beams of 11m to 12.5m and lengths of 110m to 135m. If submarine dimensions remain similar, the shed seems to have room for 12 construction slots.

The second shed seems to be about 2/3 of the first shed in terms of width, so it should have 8 construction slots.

Even if dimensions of new nuclear submarines are very large, the two sheds still seem to be divided into 5 distinct sections, so there should be at least 5 slots.

How did the article reach the number 4? Does submarine construction require more space?
 

Bltizo

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A question on this article:

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The article states that the new sheds could allow for 4 submarines to be constructed simultaneously.

The first shed is about 140 meters wide and 290 meters deep, measured in Google Earth. It seems to have six groups of rails. Each group of rails has a sliding door that is about 20 meters wide. According to Wikipedia, Chinese nuclear submarines have beams of 11m to 12.5m and lengths of 110m to 135m. If submarine dimensions remain similar, the shed seems to have room for 12 construction slots.

The second shed seems to be about 2/3 of the first shed in terms of width, so it should have 8 construction slots.

Even if dimensions of new nuclear submarines are very large, the two sheds still seem to be divided into 5 distinct sections, so there should be at least 5 slots.

How did the article reach the number 4? Does submarine construction require more space?

I've spoken with him about this.

Basically I think his operating assumption is that the full length of the hall (288m to be specific) is used to construct one SSN sized boat.

As an operating assumption I think it's fine, but in reality you don't build a 288m long construction hall and waste over half its length to assemble an SSN for the entire duration of its time there. In reality you might be able to fit 1 SSN and modules for another half of an SSN in the same length, or perhaps if you timeshare things perfectly you can assemble 2 SSNs in tandem.
 

Bltizo

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There seems to have been a huge burst of construction of destroyers and cruisers recently that are now being fitted out. Once those become operational it will lead to a substantial increase of both operational capabilities and available ships.

It might be China is in the process of designing new ships or this might be a matter of state priorities. AFAIK the current shipbuilding boom predates Xi's rise to power and he might have a different focus. The carrier program still seems to be going on as scheduled.

It does make one wonder where the resources are being channeled though.


Current and recent ship production would have been the result of procurement decisions made years ago, 5, 10 years ago.

We are in late 2020 now -- I expect procurement decisions for the next 5 and 10 years have only recently been made or may still be in the works of being decided. I think we'll see the next phase of shipbuilding in a year or two start to emerge.



Perfectly rational...
 

zxcv872

Just Hatched
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A question on this article:

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The article states that the new sheds could allow for 4 submarines to be constructed simultaneously.

The first shed is about 140 meters wide and 290 meters deep, measured in Google Earth. It seems to have six groups of rails. Each group of rails has a sliding door that is about 20 meters wide. According to Wikipedia, Chinese nuclear submarines have beams of 11m to 12.5m and lengths of 110m to 135m. If submarine dimensions remain similar, the shed seems to have room for 12 construction slots.

The second shed seems to be about 2/3 of the first shed in terms of width, so it should have 8 construction slots.

Even if dimensions of new nuclear submarines are very large, the two sheds still seem to be divided into 5 distinct sections, so there should be at least 5 slots.

How did the article reach the number 4? Does submarine construction require more space?

A follow-on question, for the case if the sheds do have 20 construction slots.

Surely, one would not build such a gargantuan complex if it was just going to stand mostly unused for years. Instead one would build something smaller with expansion potential, and defer the full costs until later. That way the money could be instead spent on something that would be useful right away. One certainly wouldn't build a second construction shed if the first wasn't already nearing capacity.

According to the Wikipedia articles on the Virginia and Ohio classes, these submarines built in similar sheds take about 14 to 30 months from being laid down to being launched. If each slot can be used to build one submarine in 14 months, then if all 21 slots (including the old one) were used, that would mean a capacity of 18 submarines per year. If construction takes 30 months, then that would mean 8.4 per year.

Going from less than one a year to 8.4 or more a year within a few years seems like a very fast expansion rate. Is that even doable? According to people quoted in this article, the US would have difficulties building an additional submarine per year.
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The article does cite a report by the Congressional Research Office that in turn cites a report by the Office of Naval Intelligence to the Senate Armed Services Committee which estmiates that China will finish 6 SSNs and 4 SSBNs by 2030 (of which 2 SSBNs are already launched). However, the ONI report also says "Current expansion at submarine production yards could allow higher future production numbers." So the estimate seems to just be an extrapolation of the historical construction rate.
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I looked for some historical data from the Cold War to compare to. Even tough the US completed the first nuclear submarine in 1955, and the second in 1957, it then expanded production capacity quickly. It commissioned 17 James Madison, Layafette and Thresher/Permit in 1964 alone. However the construction rate seems to have fallen quickly once the "41 for freedom" plan was finished. Would it be possible to expand nuclear submarine production that fast for modern submarines also, or was that something only possible with early model nuclear submarines?

Would it be possible for China to expand nuclear submarine production to 8.4-18 per year within the not too distant future?
 

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