Type 055 DDG Large Destroyer Thread

Discussion in 'Navy' started by FarkTypeSoldier, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Lethe
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    Lethe Junior Member

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    I doubt that China will seek to maintain destroyer production at 3 units per year because such a rate, if sustained over the long-term, translates to a fleet of 90+ destroyers. Coupled with robust numbers of frigates and corvettes, such a fleet would be clearly (and in my view, unnecessarily) superior to the US Navy.

    Maintaining production at a steady rate of 2 destroyers, 2 frigates per year translates to a fleet of 120 blue water surface combatants, which is comparable to the US Navy.

    Of course it is possible that China could vary its production rate over time (beyond the minor variations -- gaps and overlaps -- that are inevitable) but doing so creates its own long-term problems when those peaks and troughs reappear later on. USN is facing such problems in the 2020s through mid-2030s, as vessels commissioned during the surge of the Reagan years retire faster than new builds can replace them.

    Unlike almost every other nation in the world, China has the resources and requirements to produce warships at a rate high enough to benefit from economies of scale, while avoiding the boom-and-bust cycles that smaller powers have to deal with, and which inevitably lead to inflated costs and schedule delays. In the absence of a compelling near-term threat, it would seem unwise to discard or diminish this advantage.
     
    #3161 Lethe, May 19, 2017 at 7:10 PM
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 7:25 PM
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  2. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Senior Member

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    Well it depends on what we call "long term". I imagine China won't sustain a 3 unit/year destroyer production rate over the "long term" if we consider that to be 20+ years, but I can imagine them sustaining it over like 10+ years or something (just throwing a number out there).

    I see their past and present and near term future naval procurement as being a case of modernization+expansion, where their goal is to both rapidly modernize their capabilities as well as to expand the capacity of those modern capabilities. Eventually I think they will modernize and expand to a "critical mass" level where they will be satisfied with the extent of their capabilities in being able to achieve their core strategic missions to an acceptable degree of risk, whereupon they will move from rapid modernization and expansion, to a more steady pace of modernization and sustainment or at most a more steady rate of expansion.


    So IMO what we've seen over the last decade or so was the first phase/early part of modernization+expansion where they produced a small to medium number of capable and competitive but not world leading capabilities to provide an interim/immediate capability and seed/training for future assets, while also heavily investing in R&D and infrastructure to allow them to build future more advanced and more complex ships in greater numbers.

    Now going forwards I think we may see a more robust, synchronized push of modernization+expansion (building on the R&D and infrastructure investments of the previous phase) to reach the "critical mass" of modernization+capacity in the medium term future.
     
    #3162 Bltizo, May 19, 2017 at 7:42 PM
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 7:52 PM
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  3. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Senior Member
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    I don't know how many people actually consider 10 years to be "long term"; that's not any kind of long term projection. I don't even think the PLAN is going to build 3-4 055s/year over 10 years; these first 4 are IMO not representative of any "long term" building trends. That would be 30-40 cruiser-sized ships over 10 years, which even the US doesn't have, and is even now struggling to come up with the money to maintain and modernize its own aging fleet of 22 cruisers. Yet somehow the PLAN which spends what, a third? of what the USN spends, is going to have almost double the number of cruisers the USN has? This kind of projection fails the sniff test even just superficially.
     
  4. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Senior Member

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    I don't think 10 years is "long term" either. That's why in my first sentence I wrote 20+ years as "long term" and instead said 10+ years could be more plausible (thus meaning 10+ years is not long term -- I would consider that to be medium term).

    And yes, of course it's possible that the Navy might not go forwards with building the rate of 055s they've been doing as they have initially just as it is possible that I think they might seek to continue a similar rate of production going forwards.

    Of course, it's still very early days yet so I'm not going to say 055s will definitely be produced in the sort of numbers you've described, but I do think based on some of the initial stage rumours over the last few years I think it is not implausible.
    As for comparing notional 055 production rates with the USN's cruiser orbat -- well, for this I think it's important to look at things through an overall orbat manner rather than just comparing individual categories of ships. 30+ 055 sized ships over 10+ years IMO sounds over the top and unrealistic, but considering the rest of the Chinese Navy's blue water capable surface combatants will be made up of a likely similar number of much smaller destroyers of the 6k-7k ton class (052C/D) and a larger number of even smaller 4000 ton class frigates (054A and 054B), compared to the USN which over the same time will likely retain or slightly expand its current number (over 80 to 90+) 9k-10k ton class destroyers/cruisers while also buying a large number of LCS/frigates... well I think the implausibility of 30+ 055 sized ships is significantly diminished because it becomes apparent the two navies would end up having different orbat structures. I wouldn't be surprised if the overall blue water capable surface combatant tonnage still significantly favours the USN in such a scenario.

    This also doesn't account for the fact that after 10+ years the USN will likely be in the early stages of producing a new class of heavier future surface combatant to replace their Burkes en masse so it isn't like having 30+ 055s in service after 10+ years vs the USN having no surface combatants over 10k tons (sans Zumwalt) would be any kind of permanent state of affair but rather a temporary one.

    And over this same time it is likely the Chinese Navy's funding will continue growing at a faster pace than the USN of course, meaning the difference in expenditure will narrow over time. And other factors like shipbuilding industry, procurement policy overall cost of labour etc are all factors as well.



    I would also venture to say that the USN's lack of a true cruiser sized Tico replacement is due to various poor procurement and development decisions in the 90s (specifically regarding the whole DDX/Zumwalt/CGX programmes) and not because the US shipbuilding industry is unable to develop such a ship or that the USN is unable to buy it, but instead it was a conscious result of the USN's botched development of something as complex as Zumwalt class whose number was drastically truncated, which indirectly forced the cancellation of CGX, and also related to their large scale procurement of the near cruiser-sized (or effectively cruiser sized) Burkes.
     
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  5. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Senior Member

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    What I meant to say was "IMO sounds over the top and unrealistic at first,"
     
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  6. MrCrazyBoyRavi
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    MrCrazyBoyRavi Just Hatched
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    why only 112 !! I was hoping for 128 VLS cells. What is the reason behind down-scaling the VLS cells in 055 ?
     
  7. jobjed
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    jobjed Junior Member

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    Up-scaling the size of each cell so they can hold bigger missiles. The cells on the 055 and 052D are considerably bigger than MK 41 and MK 57 cells.
     
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  8. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Senior Member

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    To be honest I'm not sure if that's the best answer. It's not like the 055 is the first to adopt the universal VLS or that a previous variant of 055 existed which had been equipped with a different number of VLS or anything. So I think the word "downscaling" is incorrect, because that implies there was something previous to "downscale" from.

    If the VLS is 112 it's because the Navy decided such a number would be sufficient to meet their requirements for this ship and the best compromise and balance between other opportunity-cost factors.
     
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  9. jobjed
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    jobjed Junior Member

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    Yes, that is my opinion too. However, our brains forms connections easier when words are similar so using "up-scaling" to reply to his "down-scaling" would click faster neurally. In essence, he asked "why is the number of VLS cells small?" and the reply is "because the cells themselves are big."
     
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  10. Jura
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    Jura Senior Member

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    I just noticed a new development here ... I have a very basic question related to this picture:
    is a Type 052D in green, a Type 055 in red now:
    [​IMG]
    please?
     
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