Future PLAN carrier operations

Lethe

Senior Member
So strategically, I think I think it is a good thing for Chinese nuclear carriers to be delayed, because it frees up resources for other naval systems which have a better cost-benefit ratio.
Nuclear is capital intensive with benefits that pay off over time. As such it is not necessarily wise if one is seeking to maximise capability in the short-medium term, which PLAN would be looking to do owing to the deteriorating strategic situation, i.e. an increasingly hostile United States. As such it seems entirely plausible to me that PLAN would defer any plans for nuclear-powered carriers for the time being.
 
Nuclear is capital intensive with benefits that pay off over time. As such it is not necessarily wise if one is seeking to maximise capability in the short-medium term, which PLAN would be looking to do owing to the deteriorating strategic situation, i.e. an increasingly hostile United States. As such it seems entirely plausible to me that PLAN would defer any plans for nuclear-powered carriers for the time being.
Yes sir!, and I believe its highly likely that China will work to bring a functional steam catapult on line shorrly.
 

Tam

Captain
Registered Member
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Nuclear is capital intensive with benefits that pay off over time. As such it is not necessarily wise if one is seeking to maximise capability in the short-medium term, which PLAN would be looking to do owing to the deteriorating strategic situation, i.e. an increasingly hostile United States. As such it seems entirely plausible to me that PLAN would defer any plans for nuclear-powered carriers for the time being.
There are reasons not to use nuclear in any situation and one of that is that they are too dangerous and difficult to scrap. Decommissioned nuclear carriers such as the USS Enterprise are still around sitting in ports because there is no money to scrap them. Scrapping nuclear submarines are already extensively expensive if not hazardous. The PLAN or the CCP may not see the cost-benefit ratio of the situation, and go argue that going with the "Kitty Hawk" rather than the "Nimitz" might be more economically advantageous for the situation both in the short and long run.
 

ZeEa5KPul

Junior Member
Registered Member
Oh, for god's sake, it's Minnie Chan. She has no sources, no inside information, nothing. Everything she says is completely worthless, absolutely everything without exception. She is the definition of fake news. China's aircraft carrier construction schedule is what it was yesterday, a month ago, a year ago, a decade ago. Nothing's changed.

I'm convinced she does this on purpose. She's been writing about the Chinese military long enough know that everything she's written has been proved incorrect and concluded that 1) her sources are garbage and 2) she doesn't know what she's talking about. I'm going to assume she has at least enough intelligence and self-awareness to have picked up on that, so the only conclusion that remains is that she's deliberately trolling.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
^ Irrespective of this particular article and its sourcing, I find it plausible that PLAN would seek to build up a force of conventional carriers in the short/medium term, i.e. the 2020s, leaving nuclear carriers for the longer-term, i.e. 2030s. One scenario I raised previously was of a steady-state force consisting of four smaller conventional carriers, of which 003 would be the first representative example, operating primarily throughout the Pacific, coupled with four nuclear-powered supercarriers, operating primarily throughout the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf regions.

There are reasons not to use nuclear in any situation and one of that is that they are too dangerous and difficult to scrap. Decommissioned nuclear carriers such as the USS Enterprise are still around sitting in ports because there is no money to scrap them. Scrapping nuclear submarines are already extensively expensive if not hazardous. The PLAN or the CCP may not see the cost-benefit ratio of the situation, and go argue that going with the "Kitty Hawk" rather than the "Nimitz" might be more economically advantageous for the situation both in the short and long run.
That is also possible, yes. We can only assume that PLAN will do its due diligence in calculating costs and benefits of nuclear vs. conventional carriers in the context of all relevant factors.
 
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Dante80

New Member
Registered Member
Yes sir!, and I believe its highly likely that China will work to bring a functional steam catapult on line shorrly.
My understanding is that China had already developed a steam catapult launch system for their third carrier, and then decided to move to EMALS anyway. There was some relevant information some time ago from a source that used to work on the team developing the steam launch system. As per official sources, the Chinese Electromagnetic system is designed to not need a nuclear reactor for its power supply. So, the two tech items are somewhat unrelated to each other.
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
^ Irrespective of this particular article and its sourcing, I find it plausible that PLAN would seek to build up a force of conventional carriers in the short/medium term, i.e. the 2020s, leaving nuclear carriers for the longer-term, i.e. 2030s. One scenario I raised previously was of a steady-state force consisting of four smaller conventional carriers, of which 003 would be the first representative example, operating primarily throughout the Pacific, coupled with four nuclear-powered supercarriers, operating primarily throughout the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf regions.
Remember that the key objectives are in the 1st Island Chain (Taiwan, ECS, SCS), just next to the Chinese mainland.
If China can secure these, it wins and any conflict is over.
Then there's no reason to get into or continue a high-intensity war with another country.

In the context of a hostile US Navy, 4 smaller Chinese carriers operating between the 1st & 2nd Island Chain is not enough.
Even 8 carriers is questionable.

Going forward, if/when the Chinese Navy have 8 carriers, I agree they will end up operating a carrier in the Indian Ocean or Persian Gulf, during peacetime and for low-intensity conflicts. But it should still be able to quickly return to the Western Pacific for operations.

So for the next 15+ years, I think the Chinese Navy should still keep the vast bulk of their assets at home in a high state of readiness, and focused on contingencies in the Western Pacific.
 

AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
That is your objective, not that of PLAN carriers.
Q. What is the purpose of fielding Chinese carriers?
A. To support China's strategic objectives.

Q. So what are China's strategic objectives?
A. China is secure on land. All of China's neighbours know that a land war with China is potentially catastrophic for them.
But China has a number of unresolved territorial issues in the 1st Island Chain, and the US Navy is big enough to deny China those objectives. But if the 1st Island Chain is secured, China doesn't have any further territorial disputes, nor any reason to go to war or continue an existing war. Remember China is the world's largest trading nation and relies on seaborne trade to flow freely, so it can import raw materials and export manufactured goods all over the world.

If you disagree with this summary, I'm happy to dig out some older posts which give more detail.
 

obj 705A

New Member
Registered Member
there is a persistent myth that China only seeks minimum defence & is building all of those dozens of DDGs in addition to the 1 aircraft carrier per 3 years just to secure the South China sea & nothing more, but the thing is China doesn't only do trade with the islands in the SCS but it does trade with countries as far as Africa & latin America & they as an economic superpower need to provide security for these trade routes, ofcourse I don't mean security against Pirates but security against America's carrier groups & nuclear submarines, and for that achieving parity with at least 70% of US armed forces is needed.

China is producing DDGs at an insane rate of like double that of US production yet some people still refuse to admit that China wants maximum defence not minimum defence, any one who has been following the PLAN's buildup would realize... the PLAN is not content with being cornered in the immediate seas & wants to be king of the oceans, so that they can send carrier strike groups to America's west & east cost.
 
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