Chinese Naval Expansion Hits High Gear: China’s Navy Acquires 15 Warships in 7 Months

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Ticonderoga Class cruiser USS Lake Champlain CG-57. Decommissioning of these vessels will begin in 2019, with no viable replacement. The U.S. Navy command has proposed keeping half of the 22 vessels in service. Despite the largest defense budget of any nation in the world, and larger than that of Russia and China combined, the U.S. Navy cited budget constraints as a key factor in being unable of replacing the vessels.

 

While there was much fanfare and attention given to the July 3rd launch of two Type 055 guided missile destroyers at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co. (DISC) shipyard in Dalian, very little mention has been made of the many other warships that the PLAN has launched or commissioned since the beginning of the year. Although the Type 055 DDG is the PLAN’s most powerful surface combatant, and the largest such vessel constructed by an Asian nation since World War II, they are one component in a steadily growing naval force structure. While the addition of three Type 055 DDGs this year, added to the first vessel in class which rolled into the water from Dalian just over a year ago in June of 2017, showcase China’s growing capabilities not only in producing powerful and modern warships, they also illustrate the maturity and  stunning capacity of the Chinese ship building industry. This industry has launched and/or commissioned 15 modern warships in just the first seven months of 2018. Continue reading

China Makes First Step in Shifting Naval Balance of Power in Pacific

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The Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) launched the first Type 055 Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) on June 28th, 2017. The vessel represents a major technological step forward for China’s navy. The Type 055 meets and likely exceeds the capabilities of the U.S. Arleigh Burke Class DDG, the Japanese Atago Class DDG, and just about any other DDG in service in the world today. Continue reading