Pentagon report highlights Chinese submarine buildup

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier is seen during its launch ceremony in Dalian. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

The large-scale buildup of China’s naval forces is the most visible part of a major rearmament campaign that has been under way for more than a decade. But Chinese development of modern and increasingly quiet submarines poses one of the more serious strategic challenges for the United States and other nations concerned about Beijing’s growing hegemony in Asia.

The increasing size of the People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet of surface vessels captures most international attention, based on the sheer numbers and advanced weapons on an array of new warships. Continue reading

China is building the world’s largest nuclear submarine facility

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In Parallel – The module assembly hall is well equipped, with gantry cranes for lifting SSN modules in position and parallel rails for moving completed hull sections further down the assembly line. Once fully operational, the assembly line could enable China to at least match USN SSN production. [BSHIC]

 

It can build four subs at a time.

Starting later this year, China’s new submarine factory on the Yellow Sea will churn out nuclear-powered attack submarines—also known as SSNs—all but ensuring that the sub program of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) will be a deadly global force.

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China gets Three Warships in One Day

China Type 1130 CIWS Gatling Cannon

The Type 1130 CIWS, with 11 30mm barrels, is the largest Gatling cannon in the world, firing up to 11,000 rounds a minute (that’s nearly 200 rounds a second). Its designers say that it can shoot down 90% of incoming supersonic missiles.

 

 

Shipyard Setting a Record

Not since World War II has a single shipyard launched multiple large warships in a single day. But Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, one of China’s best naval and civilian shipyards, just did that. On January 22, 2015, it showed off its prowess in military mass production simultaneously launching a Type 071 Landing Platform Dock (LPD) amphibious warship, a Type 054A frigate, and a Type 815G Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) ship. For comparison, the U.S. Navy commissioned only four warships (including a submarine) in all of 2014.

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Rising red tide: China’s Navy in frenzy to build new nuclear-powered attack subs

China’s military is investing heavily in advanced submarines, including both ballistic and cruise missile firing vessels and attack subs.

Recently, Beijing showed off what appears to be a mock-up of its next-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine, according to veteran military analyst Rick Fisher. Continue reading

Inside the Ring: Power politics behind PLA general’s ouster

The ouster of retired People’s Liberation Army Gen. Xu Caihou from the Communist Party of China this week represents a major political blow to China’s all-powerful military.

For a decade, Gen. Xu was the most powerful man in uniform in China as the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in charge of political affairs. From that post between 2002 and 2012 he wielded enormous power, ultimately controlling all things military in China, from the PLA’s multibillion-dollar budgets to appointments and promotions of all senior leaders.

According to U.S. government China analysts, there is high confidence that the outgoing Mr. Hu warned his successor Mr. Xi that Gen. Xu, a Jiang loyalist and member of the ruling Politburo, was someone not to be trusted. And that is what officials say led Mr. Xi to the use the party investigatory system to bring criminal charges against the Chinese general, culminating his prosecution and disgrace within the party. Continue reading

Declining Power

Admiral: U.S. submarine forces decline as forces of China, Russia, Iran advance undersea warfare capabilities

China, Russia, and Iran pose regional and strategic submarine threats and are building up undersea warfare capabilities as the Navy is cutting its submarine force by 30 percent, the admiral in charge of Pentagon submarine programs told Congress on Thursday.

Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, director of Navy undersea warfare programs, said the decline of U.S. submarines is placing a key U.S. military advantage at risk.

“Our adversaries are not standing still, and so even though we have an advantage and we have a lead, we can’t sit on our lead,” Breckenridge told a hearing of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee. Continue reading