US Navy has lost its supremacy as the most feared naval force to China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) Navy when a USN Admiral told US lawmakers about the six more submarines against Uncle Sam’s.
China outpaces America in sub numbers – US admiral
Published time: February 26, 2015 07:51 Get short URL
Reuters/Guang NiuReuters/Guang Niu
The Chinese Navy now has more diesel and nuclear attack submarines than America does, a US Navy admiral told lawmakers. Some of them are “fairly amazing” and Beijing is exploring new ways of projecting its power on the seas.
The Chinese are experimenting with new geographic location, length of missions and new weapons, Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower Subcommittee on Wednesday.
“They may not be the same quality, but their submarine forces are growing at a tremendous rate. They now have more diesel and nuclear attack submarines than we have,” the admiral told the lawmakers. “They are producing some fairly amazing submarines and they are actually deploying them.”
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The Chinese naval missions included at least three deployments into the Indian Ocean, Mulloy told the committee. They can also send strategic ballistic missile submarines on missions lasting for 95 days.
“We don’t think they have nuclear weapons on board, but we’ve seen them producing the missiles and testing them,” the admiral said. “We know they are out experimenting and looking at operating and clearly want to be in this world of advanced submarines.”
The US Navy reported having 71 commissioned submarines. The Chinese, according to Pentagon estimates voiced last year, has 77 principal surface combatant ships, more than 60 submarines, 55 large and medium amphibious ships, and about 85 missile-equipped small combatants.
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Despite having world largest defense budget, the US has been looking wearily at other nations building up their armed forces. China is investing heavily in new technology, seeking to project its military power in the Pacific region.
Washington has repeatedly criticized Beijing, saying it’s using its military to put leverage on other regional players, including US allies like Japan and South Korea, in territorial disputes.
If a submarine is deemed to be the equivalent of ten surface warships when a consideration for naval conflict is drafted, then PLAN now has 60 additional surface warships as compared to the USN.
USN currently operates 283 ships and 3,659 aircrafts.
The U.S. Navy has identified a need for 313 combat ships, but under the current plans will only be able to afford 232 to 243. In March 2014, the Navy is considering counting deployable ships such as minesweepers, patrol craft, and hospital ships in the “battle fleet” in order to reach a count of 291 and also ships that have been put in “shrink wrap”.
The navy had established a minimum requirement for 11 aircraft carriers, but dropped to 10 when Enterprise was retired in December 2012, before Gerald R. Ford enters service.
As compared to PLAN, as of 1987, it consisted (as it does now) of the naval headquarters in Beijing; three fleet commands – the North Sea Fleet, based at Qingdao, Shandong; the East Sea Fleet, based at Ningbo; and the South Sea Fleet, based at Zhanjiang, Guangdong and about 2,000 ships.
This massive naval force power is without a doubt be a major threat around the region, especially with China’s heavy-handedness attitude and approach towards issues such as multiple claims on specific areas which include Exclusive Economic Zone such as the fictitious Nine-Dash-Line.
PLAN has been deploying warships right into EEZ of her neighbours, which include Malaysia. The oath taking in James Shoal almost two years ago is still fresh in everyone’s mind.
This is new development is something not comforting.