15 September 2012

New Ships Give China’s Navy a Stronger Punch

Michael Richardson, New Ships Give China’s Navy a Stronger Punch,” The Japan Times, 12 September 2012.

Michael Richardson is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore.

SINGAPORE — In the latest step in its naval modernization and expansion, China recently announced that it is accelerating serial production of an advanced destroyer. This will tilt the regional balance of power at sea in its favor and put it in a stronger position to enforce its sovereignty claims over Taiwan and in the South and East China Seas. …

Meanwhile, several decades of double-digit growth in military spending and improvements in Chinese naval engineering are producing a fleet that is primarily focused on regional maritime dominance and deterring intervention by the United States in any potential conflict over Taiwan or in the South and East China seas, where Beijing contests control of disputed islands and maritime resources with several Southeast Asian countries and Japan.

The Chinese Navy is “acquiring the hardware it needs to prosecute a major regional naval showdown,” according to Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, two leading U.S. analysts of Chinese military developments.

The latest reports in the Chinese media say that the sixth destroyer in the Type 052C Luyang II-class has been launched and that the shipyard that builds them in Shanghai is laying down an average of two hulls per year.

The Global Times newspaper, controlled by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, reported on Sept. 5 that a new destroyer under construction in the shipyard in a nearby hangar appears to be the Type 052D, the 052Cs successor.” …

The Type 052D is described by Japanese and U.S. specialists as a stealthy, 6,000-ton destroyer with 64 vertical launch canisters embedded in the hull to enable quick firing of anti-air, anti-ship, or land-attack missiles. …

For the full text of the article quoted here, see Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, China’s Real Blue Water Navy,” The Diplomat, 30 August 2012.