Military Review

Sea power of China. Through 20 years, the Celestial Empire will become the mistress of the seas

Today, the PLA Navy is unable to fully support the foreign policy and foreign economic expansion of the country, which is due to the technical backwardness of the vast majority of the ship. Nevertheless, we are talking about one of the most dynamically developing fleets of the world, which are equipped with the newest ships.

The main problems of Chinese fleet are associated with relatively underdeveloped scientific and engineering schools in the fields of military radio electronics, rocket and aircraft engineering, and also power plants.

Today, China’s naval forces comprise about 250 thousands of people and have one Liaonin (formerly Varyag) aircraft carrier, three nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles and five non-nuclear (diesel-electric) nuclear submarines in service. ) submarines, about 60 destroyers and frigates, more 60 mine and landing ships and about 160 boats of various classes.

Underwater fleet

Nuclear-based ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) of the 094 Daqinqyu type will form the basis of China’s nuclear triad. Currently, the PLA Navy has two such ships. Three more are under construction. According to their characteristics, these boats roughly correspond to the similar Soviet third-generation ships - projects 667B and 667BD.

Sea power of China. Through 20 years, the Celestial Empire will become the mistress of the seas

These ships can defeat targets throughout the United States, Russia and Europe. However, their high noise level by modern standards will force the Chinese naval leadership to limit the areas of use to the coastal zone, where it will be necessary to solve the problem of ensuring their combat stability from the antisubmarine enemy submarines. Given the high level of development of stationary, positional and mobile means of search for submarines in the United States, it will be very difficult to solve this problem of the Chinese Navy.

The value of these ships as a means of guaranteed retaliation will be relatively small - during the period of military operations usual weapons most of them can be destroyed by anti-submarine forces in areas of military mission or at basing points aviation and rockets.

The newest are atomic multipurpose submarines of the 093 type. The fleet has two such units and another one is under construction. Before 2020, five more types of 095 are supposed to be put into operation, which represent an upgrade of the 093 type.

According to their characteristics, these ships correspond to the Soviet submarines of the project 671РТМ. They entered service with the USSR Navy at the beginning of the 80s, and are currently being withdrawn from the combat strength of the Russian Navy as obsolete.

A prospective group of multi-purpose nuclear submarines of China consisting of seven to eight units will be able, in conjunction with naval aviation, to destroy one aircraft carrier and sink two to four escort ships from the standard AUG, losing up to half of its forces.

Among the non-nuclear submarines of national construction, one should mention one 041-type submarine, similar to the Russian submarine of the 636 project, and three types of 039. It is planned to build three more submarines of the 041 type.

In terms of their tactical and technical data, these ships are fully consistent with the world level and are able to effectively deal with modern nuclear submarines - the American Los Angeles and the Russian 971 project.

In total, the composition of the Chinese Navy expected in the near future, seven such ships.

In addition to national-built submarines, China has 12 submarines of Russian-built 636 and 877ECM projects.

Such a grouping can, in cooperation with anti-submarine surface ships and naval aviation, solve anti-submarine tasks in the coastal sea zone of China.

In general, the submarine forces of the Chinese Navy, even in the medium term, will have very limited capabilities for conducting combat operations in the ocean zone. At the same time, considering their large number, they will be able to resist (albeit at great losses) both submarines and surface ships of a potential enemy in cooperation with surface forces and naval aviation in China’s coastal zones.

Aircraft carrier on the cheap

Of the new surface ships of China, first of all, the aircraft carrier Liaoning should be noted, the commissioning of which marks the creation of the Chinese aircraft carrier forces. Received from Ukraine for only 20 million dollars at 68 percent availability, it became the cheapest aircraft carrier in the world. In the process of completion, the main technical equipment received by him (in particular, electronic weapons, air defense systems and power plant) were of Chinese design. It is supposed to have about 60 aircraft, including up to 40 J-15 aircraft (copied from the T-10K sold by Ukraine, which in turn is a prototype of the Russian carrier-based Su-33 fighter) and based on 20 helicopters Russian Ka-28. Foreign analysts, in particular American, believe that the value of this ship is small. Firstly, J-15 in its characteristics, primarily electronic equipment and weapons systems, is significantly inferior to the American F-18E (F). Secondly, it has neither airplanes, nor DRLO, EW and reconnaissance helicopters, which significantly limits its capabilities. And finally, there is practically no means of self-defense. In particular, the air defense system is capable of ensuring the destruction of only single airborne targets at low altitudes.

This ship is not able to withstand the US aircraft carrier groups, not to mention the connections. However, performing tasks in the coastal regions of China in cooperation with ground-based DRLO airplanes, he is able to repel the strikes of carrier-based tactical aviation groups of up to 16 – 20 vehicles at sea and ground targets, providing zonal cover to a depth of 400 – 500 kilometers.

It can also effectively operate as part of anti-aircraft carrier groups. But the solution of all technical problems necessary for the construction of a full-fledged aircraft carrier, is possible in China only in the medium term.

New destroyers and frigates

Among the modern destroyers of Chinese construction can be attributed two ships of the type 051C, the main purpose of which is to provide air defense of operational groups of surface ships.

Another new destroyer is a ship of the 052 type, the main weapon of which is the HHQ-9 SAM (64 vertical launchers). It is a copy of the Russian ship multichannel SAM "Fort-M".

Among the most advanced destroyers of the Chinese Navy are four ships of the 956E and 956EM projects of Russian construction. They have a powerful Mosquito anti-ship missile system (eight anti-ship missiles on each ship) of short range (up to 120 km), which has exceptionally high capabilities for overcoming the most modern air defense of ship connections due to high speed (the highest among anti-ship missiles in the world) and low altitude flight, as well as noiseproof homing head. The ship’s air defense system includes the Uragan multi-channel medium-range air defense missile system and the Kashtan self-defense missile system.

China has more than 20 modern ships capable of operating in the ocean zone. The complex of air defense systems of such ships is able to repel group attacks of air attack weapons.

Of the new frigates of the Chinese Navy, 14 of the 054 type should be noted.

So, having at its disposal a certain number of modern ships with multi-channel air defense missile systems and anti-ship complexes of medium and short range, China can form up to six ship strike groups or one aircraft carrier group and two or three ship strike groups. In cooperation with nuclear submarines and naval aviation, these forces are capable of smashing one US carrier group. In this case, the loss of the Chinese side can amount to up to 30 – 40 percent of the ship composition.

The influence of other ships of the Chinese fleet on the course and outcome of warfare in the ocean zone will be insignificant, despite their relative numbers.

At present, the Chinese fleet cannot effectively confront the American fleet in the ocean zone. In comparison with the Russian Pacific Fleet, the capabilities of the Chinese Navy in the ocean zone are also lower, primarily due to the superiority of the Russian side in submarine forces, in particular submarines, having long range missiles (949 project).

In the near sea zone

Of the new ships of the near-sea zone of the Chinese Navy, corvettes of the type 056 should be distinguished, which now numbers about 10 units. They have four anti-ship missiles YJ-83 and SAM FL-3000N (PU on 24 cells), as well as quite relevant anti-submarine weapons. Among the modern missile boats of China are more than 40 catamarans "Hubei 022", the main weapon of which is the anti-ship missiles YJ-83. This composition allows the Chinese Navy to form in the coastal zone up to three naval search and attack groups to combat submarines and up to 10 strike groups of missile boats with surface ships of the enemy.

In cooperation with non-nuclear submarines and naval aviation, these forces are capable of destroying five to seven Los Angeles-type nuclear submarines and, prior to 15 – 20, surface destroyer-frigate class ships for the first 10 – 15 days of combat operations.

The loss of the Chinese Navy can be up to 30 percent naval vehicles, 30 – 35 percent of frigates and up to 40 percent of missile boats.

naval aviation

As part of the naval aviation of China, its strike component is the most developed — aircraft designed for striking surface ships.

The modern ones include 48 Russian-made Su-30МК2 and its Chinese copy J-16, a number of new fighters J-10A. The 54 fighter-bomber JH-7A and 124 fighter J-8 will also have combat significance.

These forces are able to provide cover from enemy air strikes (up to 40 machines) to the naval forces of the Chinese Navy when hovering from DRLO aircraft to a depth of 400 kilometers from the coast.

On the surface ships of the opposing side, these forces can deliver group strikes to a depth of 500 kilometers from their coast.

Anti-submarine aviation in China is represented by 60 helicopters of Russian and Chinese origin and is able to counter enemy submarines up to 50 – 10 kilometers from the coast. That is, it cannot make a substantial contribution to the fight against enemy submarines.

Thus, at present, the ship structure of the Chinese Navy, as well as the fleet of naval aviation, can operate effectively only in the near sea zone under the cover of ground defense aviation.

The main problems of the Chinese fleet are associated with relatively underdeveloped scientific and engineering schools in the areas of military electronics, rocket and aircraft construction, as well as power plants.

Overcoming these problems will allow China in the medium term, with the release of a sufficient number of modern surface ships and submarines to become one of the leading naval powers.

Today, comparing the Chinese Navy and the Russian Pacific Fleet, some military experts talk about the overwhelming superiority of the Chinese Navy.

This is not quite true. At present, based on the existing ship structure, the Pacific Fleet is fully capable of withstanding the Chinese Navy, however, provided that the entire ship structure of the Pacific Fleet is repaired.

The situation when the Chinese Navy gains absolute superiority while maintaining current trends in both China and Russia comes about in 7 – 12 years, it is then that the main part of the Chinese shipbuilding program will be executed.
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  1. xetai9977
    xetai9977 22 August 2013 08: 01
    In 20 years, China will become not only the mistress of the seas, but also the most powerful power in the world. While others engage in nonsense with endless meetings, chatter and campaigning, they methodically and calmly do their job.
    1. Aryan
      Aryan 22 August 2013 11: 39
      For each mistress there is a master wink
      1. Far East
        Far East 22 August 2013 14: 38
        Quote: Aryan
        For each mistress there is a master

        good good good drinks
        1. alone
          alone 22 August 2013 18: 39
          nothing strange. the guys set a goal and systematically fulfill it. At this pace, even 20 years will not have to wait.
          1. 225chay
            225chay 23 August 2013 14: 24
            Quote: lonely
            set a goal and systematically execute it.

            This is the advantage of the planned economy that we forgot. Planning and Five Year Plan ...)
  2. Trailer
    Trailer 22 August 2013 08: 38
    And what new ships will arrive at the Pacific Fleet in the next 10 years? Well, except for the refurbished Soviet ones?
    1. Nick_1972
      Nick_1972 22 August 2013 09: 52
      Of course Mistral wink as well as frigates and corvettes, which are promised more and more. Only by this time the most active ships of the Pacific Fleet BPK Panteleev, Shaposhnikov, Vinogradov can finally "get tired".
    2. Kibalchish
      Kibalchish 22 August 2013 12: 33
      Mistral, one or 2. 2 corvettes 20380 and one cruiser "Atlant" transferred from the Northern Fleet. All.
      1. Sokol peruna
        Sokol peruna 22 August 2013 16: 41
        The Commander of the Northern Fleet, Admiral Korolyov, three months ago announced that the RRC "Marshal Ustinov" remains at the Northern Fleet.

        We look forward to completing the repair of this cruiser in 2014. The transfer of the missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov to the Pacific Fleet is not planned. He will perform tasks in the Northern Fleet.
  3. pinecone
    pinecone 22 August 2013 09: 43
    Another component of the PLA. Coastal ballistic anti-ship missiles.
    The information is scarce.
  4. Kovrovsky
    Kovrovsky 22 August 2013 09: 47
    It is alarming to realize that the modern Russian weapons that China is armed with can hypothetically be used against Russia!
    1. sub307
      sub307 22 August 2013 11: 38
      History unfortunately tends to repeat itself.
  5. denson06
    denson06 22 August 2013 10: 48
    Quote: Karavan
    And what new ships will arrive at the Pacific Fleet in the next 10 years? Well, except for the refurbished Soviet ones?

    The deployment region of our Pacific Fleet is one of the most explosive .. other states are saturating the presence of their Navy forces in it .. we have a problem with this, and time goes on ..
  6. AvadraCedavra
    AvadraCedavra 22 August 2013 12: 12
    The leading maritime power was, is, and will be the United States. China is very far behind in the creation of modern weapons and no alterations of the old Soviet weapons will help China, even remotely approach the United States, but it can easily crush Russia's toy fleet if necessary.
    1. strannik595
      strannik595 22 August 2013 23: 52
      but he can easily crush the toy fleet of Russia, if necessary.
      said how he pushed into a puddle
  7. Sochi
    Sochi 22 August 2013 12: 28
    The question is controversial, the sizes can be intimidating, only the question of efficiency ... and how is it with it? And how are they with military experience? As far as I remember (I can be wrong), all their experience is getting in the face ... in the absence of external support. Yes - technologists can be stolen, drawings can be stolen, but experience is not being stolen, it is only necessary to develop it yourself. But the experience of creeping expansion is probably unsurpassed by anyone.
    1. patsantre
      patsantre 23 August 2013 22: 42
      And what, Russia has a lot of experience in modern wars?
  8. svskor80
    svskor80 22 August 2013 13: 06
    Sculpt ships according to outdated technologies in order to become masters of the seas, several thousand of which must be made. And hope that we or the Americans will not have enough RCC. In general, it is not clear from the article how China was going to rule something.
    1. barbiturate
      barbiturate 22 August 2013 17: 45
      Lagging is a great incentive, especially not from scratch, but on the solid foundation of a powerful economy and enormous human resources + the vast majority of our developments are known and sold to China, and amers already have a haemorrhage because most of the most talented and most diligent students are Chinese ( fifth column). So far, everyone speaks for China and the speed of their training is amazing
  9. Ka-52
    Ka-52 22 August 2013 13: 53
    The next 5 years will be crucial for China, the USA and Russia. Let's see what will happen and who turned out to be better prepared.
  10. Radoslav
    Radoslav 22 August 2013 18: 17
    Do not write nonsense - China, the lord of the sewer puddles was and will be. This country still stretches in the tail of industrialized countries, barely barely keeping up with them, and then thanks to the ability to perfectly copy other people's designs. Read the history of China, for 2500 years of Chinese civilization, there was not one conquest, there was not one commander of the level of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Frederick the Great, Our Russian commanders Suvorov, Kutuzov, and many many others. Until the mid-20th century, China was a semi-colonial country, the Japanese Imperial Army smashed ten times the forces of the Kuomintang and the Chinese Red Army (by the way, its role in the war with Japan was minimal, they were constantly beaten by Japanese troops sitting in mountain caves, while the Kuomintang armies were bleeding hundreds of thousands continued to fight and heroically die) And only gratuitous help from the USSR helped China to get out of poverty, and the betrayal of Khrushchev, who gave China an atomic bomb, created the illusion of China that it stood flush with the Great Powers. I remember, while still in school, a retired military colonel came to us, he talked about the political and military situation in the world, regarding the situation on the border of the USSR and China, he said that the Soviet Army of 800000 people successfully opposed the Chinese army of 1800000 people. And this was really so, if the war with China had begun at that time, he (China) would have suffered a crushing defeat. Do not scare anyone with China, but rather take the history of foreign countries and read at your leisure.
    1. alone
      alone 22 August 2013 18: 43
      no one scares anyone. and China is no longer the one that was in the 60s, and Russia is certainly not the USSR of that time. that you are not shy, it pleases. but you have to be on the alert with China. Caution never bothers.
    2. poquello
      poquello 23 August 2013 01: 38
      Quote: Radoslav
      Do not write nonsense - China, the lord of the sewer puddles was and will be. This country still stretches in the tail of industrialized countries, barely barely keeping up with them, and then thanks to the ability to perfectly copy other people's designs.

      The quality of Chinese products is growing every year - this is not the ability to copy, but the initial low cost of the projects. China studied and is successfully learning to copy. What is the tail of industrialization - continuous joint ventures for the production of world brands. I would be careful not to say that China was and will be in Zh.
  11. gerafak
    gerafak 22 August 2013 19: 16
    In its history, China lost most major wars, they always had enough people, but almost never had modern weapons (although gunpowder, guns, rockets, etc. themselves invented), wild corruption, low morale of soldiers. However, the Chinese are not quite, so as not to draw the appropriate conclusions AND THEY DID THEM! Do not forget that this is a different culture, mentality. This is not calm Europe, here you can wait for any surprises and you need to be prepared for them. But what you can’t do is underestimate the eastern neighbor.
    1. Radoslav
      Radoslav 22 August 2013 19: 39
      Nothing changed. The war of China with Vietnam in 1978. The Chinese army, having a large numerical superiority, having suffered enormous losses with difficulty, broke through the defense of the Vietnamese semi-partisan formations of the first line of defense of Vietnam, behind which stood the well-trained, experienced combat regular army of Vietnam. I am sure that this is what influenced the cessation of hostilities by China and the hasty retreat that began from the occupied territory of Vietnam. I am sure the Chinese army was doomed if hostilities continued.
  12. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 22 August 2013 20: 27
    So we must do everything in our power so that this does not happen and does not happen ...
    Who knows what fantasies the leadership of the Celestial Empire with a strong ocean fleet wishes to turn into reality. And the guys from Beijing are rich in imagination. And the appetites are not small ...
    So while the Han Maremans stupidly plow the waters off the coast of "great" China on corvettes-frigates, I can sleep much more calmly. So let them remain there forever and ever, from here to the end of time. For the Chinese have nothing to do in the ocean ...
    1. lilit.193
      lilit.193 22 August 2013 21: 44
      Quote: Chicot 1
      So while the Han Maremans stupidly plow the waters off the coast of "great" China on corvettes-frigates, I can hardly sleep more calmly.

      Me too. smile
      Quote: Chicot 1
      Let them stay there forever and ever, from here to the end of time. For in the ocean, the Chinese have nothing to do ...

      Agree! good +
      Quote: Chicot 1
      So we must do everything in our power so that this does not happen and does not happen ...

      It is necessary and as soon as possible! am
    2. alone
      alone 22 August 2013 22: 41
      and if honestly, hard workers are still the ones who can do what they thought up in 10 years
      1. Chicot 1
        Chicot 1 23 August 2013 00: 55
        Quote: lonely
        and if honestly, hard workers are still the ones who can do what they thought up in 10 years

        And to be honest, I personally spit on which of the Han people are hard workers. Without replenishment from behind the mound, without draining technology from the former Soviet republics and troch from America-Europe, they would still have melted the iron in their yards and drove sparrows through the fields with red rags ...
        So while these Han workers did not understand that rice is only a side dish, it is necessary to drive them again during the smelting of cast iron on a personal plot and the race for sparrows over rough terrain ...
        In a word, "great" China should stop being associated with the concept of "power", and even more so with the concept of "great power" ...
        1. Kapitänleutnant
          Kapitänleutnant 24 August 2013 22: 13
          Must be Papuan, as it was before!
  13. Vadim117
    Vadim117 26 August 2013 15: 09
    underestimation of the probable enemy and violent bravado already led to the gravest losses from the 41st to the 43rd until the turning point! China of the 60s and today's China are 2 different development countries!
  14. D_L
    D_L 8 September 2013 15: 49
    With strong industrial growth and stable economic growth - China can achieve a lot, one minus they have little practical skills in military operations.