Surface Forces: Chinese Navy Heads for the High Seas


November 10, 2007: The Chinese navy is going through a lot of changes. It is getting stronger, and developing new capabilities. Current strengths include ballistic missiles that may be able to hit moving U.S. surface ships. There are also anti-ship versions of cruise missiles, several different models of ship based anti-ship missiles and several types of land and ship based anti-aircraft missiles. There are more ships (30 destroyers, 57 frigates, 55 diesel-electric submarines and six nuclear subs) in service, and an ambitious building program. Ships are getting more time at sea, which means the crews are becoming more experienced.

But there are a lot of negatives. Chinese ships are not trained or equipped to operate effectively far from China. Just invading Taiwan, which is two hundred kilometers from the Chinese coast, is seen as a major undertaking. The navy also has little experience in joint operations (cooperating closely with the army and air force.) There are also serious weaknesses in C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance). Long range surveillance and targeting is a major problem. Against modern equipment, the navy would have a problem with anti-air warfare (AAW), antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and naval mines. Finally, the navy has a shabby logistics system.

The government is putting more money into areas where the navy is already strong, than into those where the fleet is weak. At the moment, and immediate future (next 5-10 years), this could cause serious problems in wartime.


Article Archive

Surface Forces : Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close