Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chinese navy eyes major expansion

The Chinese navy is expected to see a major transformation over the next decade

China is not satisfied with a single refurbished aircraft carrier and has plans to build two conventional and one nuclear-powered aircraft carriers by 2020, as well as 200 more vessels, a Russian military analysts’ Web site says.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy will also continue developing its submarine and missile forces, with the principal objective of breaking out of the first island chain, the Russian Military Review said.

In the view of Chinese strategists, the first island chain, an invisible line that extends from the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and the Philippines into the South China Sea, has kept China bottled in and prevents it from assuming its role as a major regional power.

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.


Michael Fagan said...

"Military analysts believe the marine surveillance aircraft — possibly an ASW version of the Shaanxi Y-8 — will operate from China’s aircraft carriers."

At somewhere around 40 tons, that's a big plane to lug around on a carrier - and given that the Varyag's forward flight deck ends in a ski-jump, that means the Y-8 would have to take off from the much shorter port-side flight deck which, to my untrained eye, would appear to be too short - it would be just like throwing an expensive brick into the sea, would it not?

Surely it makes more sense to expect them to be developing a radar plane with something like half the weight, i.e. something more like an E2.

J. Michael Cole 寇謐將 said...

@Mike: A cock-up in editing. There's in fact no way this beluga could be hauled round on a carrier, let alone launch from it. Thanks for alerting me to this. Had I been in good shape last night (I've got a bad case of salmonella from a weekend wedding down south), I would have caught the change that was made to my article.