Ask anything Thread


Lime

New Member
Registered Member
The military spending figures for the US and Russia are fairly solid at 3.5%-4% over the past 20 years
IIRC, even the high Pentagon estimates for Chinese military spending top out at 2.5%, which is substantially below this level
So I'm happy to go with SIPRI's estimate of 1.7% for Chinese military spending

The conclusion is that China isn't in a serious military arms race
But if China did double military spending to 3.4%, we'd be seeing military procurement running at twice current levels

Eg. In the next 5 year plan (2021-2025), naval shipbuilding could look like this

40 Type-054 Frigates
40 Type-052 Destroyers
16 Type-055 Cruisers
2 Supercarriers (85k tonnes with EMALs)
etc etc

I'd also see them building up to 6 SSNs per year. That would would mean 30 SSNs just in this period
I don't know how much PLAN's budget accurately, maybe 80~100 bn USD or more every year.
In the 13th five year plan.
1 type-003 7.3 bn
8 type-055 7.3 bn
16 type-052d 8.6 bn
10 or more type-054A 2.1 bn

I think the total cost of ship building is no more than 10bn every year.

So the cost of ship building is not the major expenditure of military budget. So I think if the rate goes to 3.4%, at least the tonnage will be more than 4 times than today. We can see 4 carriers under constuction at the same time.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
I don't know how much PLAN's budget accurately, maybe 80~100 bn USD or more every year.
In the 13th five year plan.
1 type-003 7.3 bn
8 type-055 7.3 bn
16 type-052d 8.6 bn
10 or more type-054A 2.1 bn

I think the total cost of ship building is no more than 10bn every year.

So the cost of ship building is not the major expenditure of military budget. So I think if the rate goes to 3.4%, at least the tonnage will be more than 4 times than today. We can see 4 carriers under constuction at the same time.

I've got 1.8 Billion RMB as the cost of a Type-054A
But I see you have 1.3-1.4 Billion RMB for them?

Also, where the did the Type-003 cost come from?

Also note there are more auxiliary and other ships being built

Plus remember that each Type-003 airwing (based on 60aircraft) is going to cost more that $5 billion
You've also got ongoing maintenance and operations costs which will start increasing rapidly with more ships and aircraft

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If both Dalian and Jiangnan were to dedicate one slot for carrier assembly, I think they could each produce a proven carrier design in 30 months. The John C Stennis carrier previously took 32months for the blocks to be assembled at Newport News. The first of the Roosevelt carriers took 36months.

But if you have 4 carriers simultaneously under assembly as suggested, you're looking at 4 carriers in 3 years
Then another 4 carriers in the following 2.5 years
That just seems too high to me, particularly since the KJ-600 AWACs and J-35 stealth fighters need at least 5 more years of development

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With a higher Chinese military budget, I reckon a vast expansion in nuclear submarine construction is the way to go
That is based on the 2 new assembly halls, plus the strategic benefits of a brand new SSN fleet for distant power projection and sea denial at maritime chokepoints

Given the Astute submarines cost $2 Billion, let's say Chinese SSNs cost $1.5 Billion each.

If China did end up doubling military spending because of deteriorating relations with the USA, then Chinese SSN production could be ramped up to 10 per year. But that still would only cost $15 Billion per year in construction costs
There would also be about $50M per year in operating costs per submarine, based on the Virginia SSN costings

So after 5 years, you'd be looking at 50 new Chinese SSNs. And after another 5 years, there could be 100 new SSNs in total. But I reckon construction would slow down to something more sustainable.

But anyway, the current situation looks like China will continue with a modest level of military spending at 1.7% of GDP
After all, there are still many priorities in terms of domestic economic development
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Another thing is that the US currently has an inventory of approximately 4000 Tomahawks and 3000 JASSMs

If war with the USA was seen as inevitable and China doubled of the defence budget, then I think China would build a stockpile of at least 10000 LACMs like the JASSM-ER (900km range) and JASSM-XR (1900km range). I expect the cost of the actual missiles would be about $15-20 Billion which would be very affordable.

That pretty much guarantees that the industrial, civilian and military infrastructure can be crippled in Korea, Japan and the Philippines - if they decide to go to join the US in a war against China.
 

banjex

Junior Member
Registered Member
Can we pump the brakes on this claim of 10 SSN per year?! Even if one has the capacity to build so many subs, the biggest bottle neck is crew training. It's wildly unlikely to be training 10 SSN crews per year. The Soviet Navy's main strength was SSNs, as we know, and they topped out at 3-4 subs per year. 10 a year and sustained for 10 years is pure fanboism.
 

gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
I think the facilities were built for both attack and strategic submarine production.
But they are gargantuan, and we know they already use block modular production. So the production rate could be quite high.
If they had no intended design why build such huge facilities in the first place? Double the new production halls even.
China knows they have a nuclear submarine gap against the US and they are working on it full speed ahead.
 

Overbom

Senior Member
Registered Member
I think the facilities were built for both attack and strategic submarine production.
But they are gargantuan, and we know they already use block modular production. So the production rate could be quite high.
If they had no intended design why build such huge facilities in the first place? Double the new production halls even.
China knows they have a nuclear submarine gap against the US and they are working on it full speed ahead.
Are the facilities also able to accommodate production of unmanned submarines?
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Can we pump the brakes on this claim of 10 SSN per year?! Even if one has the capacity to build so many subs, the biggest bottle neck is crew training. It's wildly unlikely to be training 10 SSN crews per year. The Soviet Navy's main strength was SSNs, as we know, and they topped out at 3-4 subs per year. 10 a year and sustained for 10 years is pure fanboism.

The Russians actually topped out at 8 nuclear submarines per year, which included larger SSGNs and SSBNs
This happened on a number of years during the 1970s

That is the equivalent of more than 10 SSNs per year
If China did start building 10 SSNs per year, it would be indicative of a full-scale arms race on the part of China, as US-China relations had gotten really bad and China has doubled military spending to 3.4% of GDP, which almost matches the USA

Given the timescales for SSN construction (likely 4+ years), there is time to undertake a massive personnel training and expansion programme

There is already a core submarine force with:
12+ nuclear submarines
42+ conventional submarines

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And if you look at the pace of surface warship construction in the 2021-2025 plan, it looks like China is running at almost twice the US level, or soon will be.

Eg.
20 Frigates (2x the US construction rate)
28 Destroyers/Cruisers (2.8x the US construction rate)
1x Supercarrier (currently matching the US construction rate, but I reckon this will double in the next 2026-2030 plan)

It would be very strange if nuclear submarine construction wasn't targeting a similar construction rate
China matching the US would mean 3 SSNs per year, which is what I see as the bare minimum once they ramp up

But I wouldn't be surprised if they settled on double the US, like we see on the surface fleet. That would mean 6 SSNs per year
So a spurt to 10 SSNs per year is possible, if there is a Cold War Arms Race
The 2 new submarine assembly halls have more than enough capacity to accommodate this
Theoretically they've got space for 12+8 at the same time, and assembly time would be less than a year
So just one of assembly halls could assemble 10 SSNs per year, yet they've decided to build an additional assembly hall

And could they pay for this?

China's economy is currently about 25% larger than the USA
The Australian government white papers project China to have an economy twice the size in about 10 years time.
So in a hostile Cold War, you would expect the Chinese military to build twice as many submarines per year, which takes you to 6 SSNs per year
 
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banjex

Junior Member
Registered Member
it was the peak rate. sustainable rate was 3.
tech, especially electronics, was cheaper and simpler back then.
again, crews.
pure fanboi BS.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
it was the peak rate. sustainable rate was 3.
tech, especially electronics, was cheaper and simpler back then.
again, crews.
pure fanboi BS.

Nope

Look at Destroyer construction in past years

In the 5 year period from 2016-2020, we saw 24 destroyers launched. That's an average of 5 per year
In the 5 year period from 2021-2025, it looks like 28 destroyers are planned. That's almost 6 per year
In 2019, we saw a total of 10 destroyers launched in a single year

5 years ago, China sustaining 3 destroyers per year was viewed as unsustainable. Yet look at where we are now

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Given the economic projections AND if there is a worsening Cold War, my view is that 6 SSNs per year would be a sustainable figure.
With 10 as a potential surge figure, but of course, it would take a few years to ramp up

Remember we've already seen similar production increases in Destroyer construction
 
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