China’s new advanced destroyers and frigates have pushed the total count of surface combat ships over the number possessed by Japan, reports the Hangzhou-based Qianjiang Evening News.
Japan currently has 138 warships, including four helicopter destroyers, 16 submarines, and 44 destroyers and frigates. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) also operates 162 fixed-wing aircraft and 131 helicopters.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy has six Type 052C and five Type 052D guided-missile destroyers, which gives China a total of 11 destroyers fitted with the Chinese Aegis Combat System. Four additional Type 052D destroyers are currently under construction.
In addition, China has two Type 052B and two Type 051C destroyers. The PLA Navy also has four Russian-built Sovremennyy-class destroyers. As for frigates, the PLA Navy operates a total number of 22 Type 054 and Type 054A guided-missile frigates.
China will eventually launch the more advanced 12,000-ton Type 055 guided-missile destroyers into service. Zhang Ming believes that the fighting capability of the PLA Navy will inevitably will surpass that of the JMSDF by that time.