The second best in the world? US media say the parade in Qingdao highlights the great leap forward of the Chinese Navy

 The second best in the world? US media say the parade in Qingdao highlights the great leap forward of the Chinese Navy

Reference News Network reported on May 13 that the US World Political Review website published on May 10 an article entitled The Chinese Maritime Parade Shows the Achievements of the Chinese Navy and Some Long-standing Weaknesses by Shahriar Passandide, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, George Washington University, USA. The original version is as follows:

The highlight of this naval parade was the first public appearance of the Chinese Navys six upcoming 055 destroyers. The destroyer was given a very important position as a naval ship of reading vessels. Its port number 101 is the same as the port number of Anshan, the first modern destroyer of the Chinese navy, but the ship is Nanchang - Nanchang is the birthplace of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army. Next came the 052D destroyer in service and the only aircraft carrier in service in China, Liaoning.

DATA PICTURE: The first ship of the Chinese Navys 055 missile destroyer, Nanchang. (Pictures come from the Internet)

The maritime parade has attracted wide attention from the international community. China used the parade to demonstrate its progress in military technology. The improved type of 093 attack nuclear submarine and the improved type of 094 ballistic missile nuclear submarine appeared on the ship-reading type respectively. Previously, the situation of these new submarines was only speculation and analysis, which was officially confirmed by the naval reading.

A careful study of the new warships participating in the naval reading shows that they are equipped with towed array sonar and variable depth sonar. These two important tools can largely help to remedy Chinas long-standing shortcomings in anti-submarine warfare. The Chinese side also disclosed the official technical parameters of several new ships that had been speculated before. International observers now know the real drainage of the new Type 055 destroyer and the Type 901 fast replenishment ship, Chinas first large integrated replenishment ship built specifically for the carrier formation. Both warships are substantially larger than previously estimated, highlighting the ambition of the Chinese navy.

However, the Chinese Navy still has potential weaknesses, the most prominent of which is the shortage of ship-based helicopters. These helicopters are equipped with radar and hoisting sonars for the detection of warships and submarines, and are equipped with anti-ship missiles and torpedoes to attack surface or underwater targets. Each 055 destroyer can carry two shipborne helicopters. This capability shows that the Chinese Navy plans to rely more on ship-based helicopters to support naval operations. China is building more 052D destroyers at the same time. Each 052D destroyer also needs to carry a helicopter.

DATA PICTURE: China Navy Type 093 Attack Nuclear Submarine. (Pictures come from the Internet)

However, although China has these more and more advanced warships, the number of ship-based helicopters is obviously insufficient. Many warships are not equipped with carrier-based helicopters at all, because the Chinese navys carrier-based helicopter force has not developed as rapidly as combat ships.

Without shipborne helicopters, the operational capabilities of these Chinese warships are limited, especially in anti-submarine warfare. Shipborne helicopters equipped with hoisting sonars are essential for detecting suspicious enemy submarines. The gap in Shipborne helicopters affects other aspects of Chinas naval forces, including its aircraft carrier, amphibious attack capability and naval logistics, all of which rely on shipborne helicopters to transport personnel and supplies. Without a large number of ship-based helicopters - enough to equip all warships and provide training and security, the Chinese Navy will be subject to considerable constraints, especially when deploying its forces to distant areas and sea areas.

Over the past 10 years, the Chinese navy has made tremendous leaps in its military strength, making it arguably the second largest fleet in the world. Many achievements were demonstrated at the Yellow Sea parade in April. But the contradiction of Chinas naval construction is that the more advanced it is, the more prominent its remaining shortcomings become, such as the serious shortage of carrier-based aircraft in the rapid modernization of Chinas fleet. Of course, China will still remind the public of its growing naval power when the next big maritime parade, which is supposed to take place sometime next year, is held twice.

DATA PICTURE: Chinese Navy Zhi-9 Shipborne Helicopter and Navy Warship Formation. (Pictures come from the Internet)