Want to hear something scary that, on closer examination, isn't.
Consider that, while the United States is currently building, or planning,
seven warship classes (Littoral Combat Ship, Arleigh Burke class destroyers,
DDG-1000 destroyer, Wasp class amphibious ship, San Antonio class amphibious ship,
CVN-21 carrier, Virginia class SSN and ). China has fourteen classes of
warships in the works. These include;
051C, Shenyang Class Destroyer. These 7,200 ton ships are mainly for air
052C, Lanzhou Class Destroyer. These 6,500 ton ships are for air defense, and
use a phased array radar similar to the Aegis system used in many American
052B Guangzhou Class Destroyer. These 6,500 ton ships are general purpose, with
Ckass Destroyers are Russian built Sovremenny Class ships. These 8,000 ton
ships are similar to the American Arleigh Burke class destroyers.
054 Jiangkai Class Frigates. These 3,600 ton ships are similar to the French La
Fayette class frigates.
054A Class Frigates are similar to the 054, but heavier (probably closer to
3,900 tons) and with vertical launch cells for missiles (similar to U.S.
093 SSN, a new nuclear powered attack submarine displacing about 6,000 tons on
094, SSBN, a new nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine displacing about
9,000 tons on the surface.
039, Song class SSK, a 1,700 ton diesel electric attack submarine, some of
which are equipped with AIP (Air Independent Propulsion).
Class SSK, Russian Kilo Class diesel electric attack submarine. A modern, 2,400
42, Yuan Class SSK, a 1,900 ton diesel electric attack submarine designed for
Air Independent Propulsion (AIP), and China's first diesel-electric sub with a
tear drop hull.
072-II Class Large Amphibious assault ship, displacing about 5,000 tons.
071 Class LPD Amphibious assault ship, displacing about 17,000 tons.
2208 , similar to the U.S. LCS (Littoral Combat Ship), but much smaller (220
tons) and more of a patrol boat than a flexible ship (as the U.S. LCS is). The
2208 is a stealthy, wave-piercing catamaran.
scary as the lineup appears, there are factors that make it much less so.
Chinese ships are much less capable and reliable than their American
counterparts. The sailors are less experienced, less well-trained and led by
less capable officers. Many of the ships under construction are experimental.
Well, not always intentionally experimental (like the Type 2208), but the Chinese
are still working on their warship building techniques, and experimenting with
new design and construction ideas. Not all of these efforts work out. There are
also problems with poor workmanship. As a result of all this, Chinese ship
classes tend to me much smaller, often only two or three ships. If something
doesn't work out, the Chinese stop building it, and move on to a new and
improved design. In short, China's current building program is mainly intended
to develop skill and expertise. The Chinese are building today for the future,
as in 20-30 years down the road.