China’s military is developing ships, submarines, aircraft, intelligence systems and foreign bases in a bid to become a global military power, according to a forthcoming congressional China commission report.
Nextbigufuture agrees that China’s global power projection capabilities lag behind Russia, France and the UK. In about ten to fifteen years, China will more clearly develop into the number two world military. This will be after building about 1000+ fifth generation fighters, two to four additional more advanced aircraft carriers with catapult launchers and a lot more advanced submarines.
The late draft of the annual report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission contains a chapter on Beijing’s power projection development and warns that once fully developed, the weapons and forces could contribute to a regional conflict in places like the South China and East China seas.
The expanded military power projection capabilities could “also strengthen China’s traditional war-fighting capabilities against weaker neighbors.”
Expeditionary warfare capabilities include six large amphibious transport docks and a new class of amphibious assault ships, new aircraft carriers, and advanced guided missile warships as escorts for far seas operations by China.
Chinese Type 071 YUZHAO Class Amphibious Transport Dock (LPD)
China to Start Construction on 1st Type 075 LHD Amphibious Assault Ship
According to a source in China, the steel cutting of the first Type 075 Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) is expected to take place by the first quarter of 2017.
The Type 075 LHD is expected to have a displacement of 36,000 tons. In comparison, a Mistral-class LHD displaces 21,000 tons full load, the Juan Carlos LHD 26,000 tons and the Wasp-class 40,500 tons.
Type 075 LHD should be able to deploy and accommodate up to 30x helicopters (Z-8, Z-9, Z-18, Ka-28, Ka-31) with 6x helicopter spots on the flight deck and the main elevator located at the stern.
For self protection, the LHD is set to be fitted with 2x H/PJ-11 eleven-barreled 30mm CIWS and 2x HQ-10 short range SAM launchers.
The naval expeditionary forces will also be bolstered by three types of attack submarines, including nuclear-powered, diesel electric and air-independent powered submarines. Its six nuclear-powered Type-093 submarines are being augmented by two even more advanced nuclear submarines that by 2020 will make China the third most powerful state for attack submarines, behind the United States and Russia.
China has nearly completed a domestic Type001A aircraft carrier and has begun construction of a Type 002 aircraft carrier. The type 002 is believed to be larger and will use a catapult launcher.
New aircraft also are being added to the PLA for long-range operations. China is deploying a new Y-20 transport that is similar to the US C-17 and Beijing will co-produce a version of the Russian An-225 transport, the largest cargo aircraft in the world.
To fill out its logistics network, China’s military is building new fueling ships and will have 10 oilers by 2020
Overseas bases will also contribute to the power projection capability, including a new military base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. Civilian ports constructed by China in Sri Lanka and Pakistan also will provide for strategic power projection.
To keep tabs on threats to long-distance forces and provide them with intelligence, China is also developing global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. They include long-range drone aircraft, space-based sensors, and shore-based radar and intelligence-gathering ships.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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