22 December 2010

China SignPost™ (洞察中国) #12–LNG Carriers to Aircraft Carriers? Assessing the potential for crossover between civilian and military shipbuilding in China

Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, “LNG Carriers to Aircraft Carriers? Assessing the potential for crossover between civilian and military shipbuilding in China,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国), No. 12 (18 December 2010).

China SignPost洞察中国–“Clear, high-impact China analysis.”©

Key policy implications:

  • China’s growing proficiency in building massive ore carriers and oil tankers suggests that Chinese yards can physically fabricate ship hulls of up to supercarrier size.
  • However, the ability to fashion a carrier’s hull has little bearing on the ability to build the ship’s internals and turn it into a floating airbase with planes, fuel, munitions, catapults, and at least several hundred personnel aboard.
  • Building the internal components of the ship and then learning to operate this immensely complex vessel as part of a battle group will likely require many years of trial and error unrelated to China’s growing shipyard capacity. …