China is building two aircraft carriers in the 60,000-70,000 ton class.
Currently, the submarine force consists of five nuclear attack submarines, four nuclear ballistic missile submarines, and 53 diesel attack submarines. In reference to the submarine force, the term “modern” applies to second generation submarines, capable of employing anti-ship cruise missiles or submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles. By 2015 approximately 70 percent of China’s entire submarine force will be modern. By 2020, 75 percent of the conventional force will be modern and 100 percent of the SSN force will be modern.
China has a robust mining capability and currently maintains a varied inventory estimated at over 50,000 mines. China also has developed a robust infrastructure for naval mine related research, development, testing, evaluation, and production. China has a robust mine inventory consisting of a large variety of mine types including moored, bottom, drifting, rocket propelled and intelligent mines. China will continue to develop more advanced mines in the future, possibly including extended-range propelled-warhead mines, anti-helicopter mines, and bottom influence mines equipped to counter minesweeping efforts.
Over the next decade, China will complete its transition from a coastal navy to a navy capable of multiple missions around the world. Current acquisition patterns, training, and operations provide a window into how the PLA(N) might pursue these objectives. Given the pace of PLA(N) modernization, the gap in military capability between the mainland and Taiwan will continue to widen in China’s favor over the coming years.
Potential 40,000 ton Type 081 Amphibious Ship for China
The U.S. Navy has about a dozen 45,000 ton LHD/LHA-type amphibious assault ships.