Meanwhile, the U.S. will have only a bit over 300 ships by 2020. The balance of power is shifting before our eyes and a new chapter in world history will open up, especially as China strengthens its alliance with Russia to form One Clenched Fist.
James Fanell, the former director of the US Pacific Fleet’s intelligence and information, predicted China will eventually have about 415 warships including four aircraft carriers and 100 submarines in the near future while attending a two-day conference held by the US Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute in Newport, Rhode Island last week, reports the Defense News.
The event was held to discuss the PLA Navy’s shipbuilding progress and challenges. It concluded that the PLA Navy is making achievements and will continue to grow. Most experts and scholars attending the conference agreed that the PLA Navy has devoted more resources to develop new vessels including destroyers, frigates and submarines armed with with the capability to hit and destroy enemy warships.
“Both surface vessels and subs seem to be largely focused on anti-surface warfare,” said Andrew Erickson, one of the experts attending the event. “That doesn’t mean they’re not working to progress in new directions, but it doesn’t seem to have borne as much fruit that we can easily see.” A lot of the anti-ship missiles equipped by the Chinese warships or submarines have ranges far in excess of similar missiles in service with the US Navy.
Fanell said those 415 warships include 99 submarines, four aircraft carriers, 26 corvettes, 73 amphibious ships, three missile craft, and 102 destroyers and frigates. China’s Type 052D guided-missile destroyer may not be as good as the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, but Fanell believes that it is good enough for the PLA Navy since it is fitted with a vertical launch system, the YJ-18 anti-ship missile and an active array radar system.
Full article: PLA Navy will have 415 warships in near future: US expert (Want China Times)