Video Above: US Navy Attack Submarines Could Save Taiwan
There is already concern at the Pentagon that the Chinese Navy is already larger than the US Navy, and it is a threat compounded by the visible and often-discussed pace of Chinese shipbuilding.
China has already completed its second aircraft carrier which is now operational and is well along with building a third. The People’s Liberation Army - Navy is also fast-tracking a new fleet of Type 075 amphibious assault ships which seem similar to the US Navy’s America-class.
Alongside this, the PLAN is also adding new destroyers at an alarming rate and plans to nearly double its fleet of destroyers quickly within coming years.
Now, the Chinese government backed Global Times newspaper reports that China is progressing quickly building a new shipyard to be operational by 2023.
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New Shipyard to be Operational by 2023
“The new site is expected to allow China to build a range of warships - including amphibious assault ships, amphibious landing ships and frigates - faster, better and more efficiently,” the paper writes.
The high-pressure jet grouting pile is 40 percent complete, and the steel columns are in place.
The shipyard raises an interesting question about fleet size versus quality. Many maintain that even if the Chinese do now operate a larger number of warships, that does not mean that they are in anyway way superior. A superior warship in terms of sensors, weapons, computing and range could be well positioned to outperform a larger number of less capable ships.
While China may not have been able to match US Navy technological superiority on the ocean for many years now, despite how many ships they have, there is broad discussion that they are closing the gap quickly.
Given this scenario, building a larger and much more threatening group of new warships which are also competitive technologically presents what could be seen as an unprecedented threat.
As an example of quality, the Chinese are also adding a new generation of ultra high-tech, quasi-stealthy destroyers called Type 055. While particulars and many details related to the technology and weapons on board the ship might not be available, the ship appears to be a hybrid mix between both the stealthy Zumwalt-class destroyers and high tech DDG Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.