PLAN Current Vessel Inventory Thread


Hendrik_2000

Lieutenant General
Andrew Erickson just release the new summary of DOD estimate of Chinese naval strength which can be downloaded from this site
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At first appearance it gives the impression as if China naval strength has eclipsed the US but the increased is due to preponderance of smaller ships , corvette and missile boat. Also there is difference in counting the ships

But in the long run Chinese naval strength will definitely surpass the US and her allies.
Interesting tidbit is the pace of submarine construction and length of construction and for the first time US now concede that China is self sufficient when it come to naval technology

Here is the link to the complete article
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RL33153 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 24 April 2020).

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via the new public CRS website.

In addition to his continuous incremental improvements, Ronald O’Rourke has revised this latest edition of his report on Chinese naval modernization to incorporate new projections and related assessments from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) that ONI provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and SASC provided to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The changes include a new table of note (Table 2), and a dozen instances in the text where ONI’s narrative points were incorporated. Given the authoritative analysis supporting these revelations, and the rarity with which they are made publicly available in this manner, they are all worth reading carefully in full!

Table 2 (p. 23) has shows ONI estimates/projections regarding numbers of China Navy Battle Force Ships—both by ship type and in aggregate—for 2020, 2025, and 2030, respectively:

SSBN: 4->6->8

SSN: 7->10->13

SSK: 55→55→55

CV, CG, DDG: 43->55->65

FFG, FFL, DDC: 102->120->135

TOTAL: 360->400->420

Submarine construction

13 For example, China’s naval shipbuilding programs were previously dependent on foreign suppliers for some ship components. ONI, however, states that “almost all weapons and sensors on Chinese naval ships are produced in-country, and China no longer relies on Russia or other countries for any significant naval ship systems.” (Source: Unclassified ONI information paper prepared for Senate Armed Services Committee, subject “UPDATED China: Naval Construction Trends vis-à-vis U.S. Navy Shipbuilding Plans, 2020-2030,” February 2020, pp. 2-3. Provided by Senate Armed Services Committee to CRS and CBO on March 4, 2020, and used in this CRS report with the committee’s permission.)

p. 7

ONI states that “China’s submarine force continues to grow at a low rate, though with substantially more-capable submarines replacing older units. Current expansion at submarine production yards could allow higher future production numbers.” ONI projects that China’s submarine force will grow from a total of 66 boats (4 SSBNs, 7 SSNs, and 55 SSs) in 2020 to 76 boats (8 SSBNs, 13 SSNs, and 55 SSs) in 2030.
21

China’s newest series-built SS design is the Yuan-class (Type 039) SS (Figure 4), its newest SSN class is the Shang-class (Type 093) SSN (Figure 5), and its newest SSBN class is the Jin (Type 094) class SSBN (Figure 6). ONI states that “nuclear submarines are solely produced at Huludao Shipyard and typically undergo two to four years of outfitting and sea-trials before becoming operational. Since 2006, eight nuclear submarines have reached IOC [initial operational capability], for an average of one every 15 months…. Diesel-Electric submarines are produced at two shipyards and typically undergo approximately one year of outfitting and sea-trials before becoming operational.”22

Overall conclusion and table

Numbers of Ships; Comparisons to U.S. Navy

The planned ultimate size and composition of China’s navy is not publicly known.
The U.S. Navy makes public its force-level goal and regularly releases a 30-year shipbuilding plan that shows planned procurements of new ships, planned retirements of existing ships, and resulting projected force levels, as well as a five-year shipbuilding plan that shows, in greater detail, the first five years of the 30-year shipbuilding plan.53 In contrast, China does not release a navy force-level goal or detailed information about planned ship procurement rates, planned total ship procurement quantities, planned ship retirements, and resulting projected force levels. It is

p. 21


It is possible that the ultimate size and composition of China’s navy is an unsettled and evolving issue even among Chinese military and political leaders. Table 1 shows numbers of certain types of Chinese navy ships from 2005 to the present (and the number of China coast guard ships from 2017 to the present) as presented in DOD’s annual reports on military and security developments involving China. DOD states that China’s navy “is the region’s largest navy, with more than 300 surface combatants, submarines, amphibious ships, patrol craft, and specialized types.”54 DIA states that “although the overall inventory has remained relatively constant, the PLAN is rapidly retiring older, single-mission warships in favor of larger, multimission ships equipped with advanced antiship, antiair, and antisubmarine weapons and sensors and C2 [command and control] facilities.”55

As can be seen in Table 1, about 65% of the increase since 2005 in the number of Chinese navy ships shown in the table (a net increase of 77 ships out of a total net increase of 119 ships) resulted from increases in missile-armed fast patrol craft starting in 2009 (a net increase of 35 ships) and corvettes starting in 2014 (42 ships). These are the smallest surface combatants shown in the table. The net 35-ship increase in missile-armed fast patrol craft was due to the construction between 2004 and 2009 of 60 new Houbei (Type 022) fast attack craft56 and the retirement of 25 older fast attack craft that were replaced by Type 022 craft. The 42-ship increase in corvettes is due to the Jingdao (Type 056) corvette program discussed earlier. ONI states that “a significant portion of China’s Battle Force consists of the large number of new corvettes and guided-missile frigates recently built for the PLAN.”57

As can also be seen in the table, most of the remaining increase since 2005 in the number of Chinese navy ships shown in the table is accounted for by increases in destroyers (12 ships), frigates (11 ships), and amphibious ships (17 ships). Most of the increase in frigates occurred in the earlier years of the table; the number of frigates has changed little in the later years of the table. Table 1 lumps together less-capable older Chinese ships with more-capable modern Chinese ships. Thus, in examining the numbers in the table, it can be helpful to keep in mind that for many of the types of Chinese ships shown in the table, the percentage of the ships accounted for by more-capable modern designs was growing over time, even if the total number of ships for those types was changing little. For reference, Table 1 also shows the total number of ships in the U.S. Navy (known technically as the total number of battle force ships), and compares it to the total number of Chinese ships shown in the table. The result is an apples-vs.-oranges comparison, because the Chinese figure excludes certain ship types, such as auxiliary and support ships, while the U.S. Navy figure includes auxiliary and support ships but excludes patrol craft.

***

57 Source: Unclassified ONI information paper prepared for Senate Armed Services Committee, subject “UPDATED China: Naval Construction Trends vis-à-vis U.S. Navy Shipbuilding Plans, 2020-2030,” February 2020, p. 4. Provided by Senate Armed Services Committee to CRS and CBO on March 4, 2020, and used in this CRS report with the committee’s permission.

p. 22

1587826656857.png
Ronald O’Rourke, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, RL33153 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 18 March 2020). TABLE 1: NUMBERS OF CERTAIN TYPES OF SHIPS SINCE 2005
p. 23

Table 2 shows comparative numbers of Chinese and U.S. battle force ships. Battle force ship are the types of ships that count toward the quoted size of the Navy. For China, the battle force ships total excludes the missile-armed coastal patrol craft shown in Table 1, but includes auxiliary and support ships that are not shown in Table 1. Compared to the comparison shown in Table 1, the comparison Table 2 is closer to being an apples-to-apples comparison of the two navies’ numbers of ships. Even so, it is important to keep in mind the differences in composition between the two navies. The U.S. Navy, for example, has many more aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines, and cruisers and destroyers, while China’s navy has many more diesel attack submarines, frigates, and corvettes.

1587826792640.png
 

steve_rolfe

Junior Member
I see these reports every year, and every year the data seems to be out of date. Yes there are new paragraphs on new warship classes, but the inventory numbers of warships always seem to be out by quite a bit. Personally, I don't take much notice of these reports, as the info given is nothing we don't know already, or have more upto date info elsewhere!
 

lcloo

Senior Member
Should'nt they train on something that's similar to where they will work and fight one day?
You go to elementary school (or a ship) then to high school (or a ship) and finally to university (or a ship). Same in submariners training. And they keep on training while on the job either in 039/09III/09IV.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
I see these reports every year, and every year the data seems to be out of date. Yes there are new paragraphs on new warship classes, but the inventory numbers of warships always seem to be out by quite a bit. Personally, I don't take much notice of these reports, as the info given is nothing we don't know already, or have more upto date info elsewhere!

The info from public US government reports may often be out of date and consequently uninteresting to habitual PLA watchers, but they can still be useful, particularly for those (like me) who can't read or speak Chinese. The public reports can serve as an official, citeable reference, and the numbers within can also serve as a reasonably authoritative lower bound in situations where there is a lack of clarity about e.g. the number of ballistic missile submarines in service, i.e. we can be reasonably confident that there at least X number in service.
 

abc123

Junior Member
Registered Member
You go to elementary school (or a ship) then to high school (or a ship) and finally to university (or a ship). Same in submariners training. And they keep on training while on the job either in 039/09III/09IV.


I'm not an expert about submarine personell training, but I don't see any other country doing so. Let's take the US for example, US didn't leave a few Barbel or Sturgeon class submarines to train their LA and Virginia class crews. On the other hand, Japanese use two of their older Oyashio class as training boats, but these boats are still in active front-line service in JMSDF and not so far from their tip of the spear Soryu. On the other hand, Chinese Mings are about 3-4 generations behind. Don't see what can they learn there except maybe how to drown when the submarine cracks because fatigue of material.
 

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