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China Navy: The Way to World Class (1 Part - Free Fleet)

In recent years, Beijing has made significant efforts to modernize its own naval forces, the most active phase of which dates back to the 18 CPC Congress in 2012, when then-PRC President Hu Jintao called China is to become a maritime power and, in accordance with the new requirements of the national development and national security strategy, to embark on a military-strategic course on active defense, while paying close attention to maritime security.

In the White Paper China's National Defense 2015 The year underlined that the seas and oceans are the guarantors of China's stability and sustainable development, and the traditional notion that land is more important than the sea must be rejected. Great importance should be given to "management of the seas and oceans" and the protection of maritime rights and interests. To this end, China should develop a modern Navy structure to protect national interests off the coast and foreign interests, participate in international cooperation, and provide strategic support in building China as a "naval force".

This position was enshrined in the next recently published White Paper China's National Defense in the New Era 2019 of the year, which noted that the Chinese Navy occupies a very important place in the overall configuration of China's national security and development. In accordance with the "requirements of defense" of the near and far seas, the Navy will accelerate the transition of its missions from defense in the near seas to missions defense in the distant seas and will improve its capabilities for strategic deterrence and counterattack at sea, maneuver operations, joint maritime operations.

At the same time, there is an actualization of the defense of precisely the "foreign interests" of China, for which forces are created in the "distant sea", the logistics support abroad and the possibilities for solving various military tasks are being expanded.

In October, 2017, at the 19 CPC Congress, Xi Jinping, Chairman of the People's Republic of China stressedthat it is now important for China to "force the creation of a maritime power", and in April 2018 during a speech on the occasion of a naval parade in the South China Sea notedthat the task of creating a powerful Navy was never as urgent as it is today. "We will steadily accelerate the modernization of the Navy and seek to transform them into the world," he said, standing on the deck of 052D's new Changsha missile destroyer.

Efforts to expand the PLA Navy

Active efforts to build and modernize the Naval Naval Forces Navy resulted in an unprecedented increase in the size and capabilities of the fleet. By data research by the US RAND think tank, China's 1996 surface fleet consisted of 57 destroyers and frigates, but only three of these ships were equipped with anti-aircraft missiles, leaving the Chinese fleet virtually defenseless against modern anti-cruise missile missile (ASM missiles) missiles. )). The situation with the submarine did not look better: three-quarters of the approximately 80 submarines were the 633 diesel-electric project (Romeo classification), which came into service in the 1950's. Subsequently, China's fleet has expanded rapidly over the last few decades. As of 2018, the Navy has more than 300 ships, which is even more than the number of ready-to-use US vessels data US Navy Ministries as of January 2019, number of ships deployed in the military, counted 287 units). Fleet sizes other leading maritime countries are even smaller: the British Royal Navy consists of 75, and the Royal Australian Navy has 48 ships. Currently, new Chinese ships are being built at an impressive rate: from 2014 to 2018, China built and commissioned more submarines, warships and auxiliary vessels than the number of ships currently operating in individual Navy nations such as Germany, India, Spain and the United Kingdom. Only during the 2016 year did China put into operation 18, in 2017 - 14 ships. By comparison, the US put for the service of 5 ships in 2016, and 8 in 2017 years. It is envisaged that, if China continues to launch ships at similar speeds, then in the next 15 years it will include a grouping of 430 surface vessels and 100 submarines.

In this case, according to annual report The US Department of Defense and much attention in the modernization of the Navy Navy is paying attention to enhancing its military capabilities in the South China and East China Seas, which speaks to the top priority of efforts to protect national interests in the region. In this regard, China has significantly stepped up the production of 056 Type Corvettes: from the time of its first commissioning in the 2013 year, up to the middle of the 2018 year, more than 41 ships were commissioned in this class.

Figure 1 Dynamics of Increase in Naval Composition of the Naval Forces of the Navy (2005-2007)

The increase in numbers has led to a qualitative upgrade of the fleet, which, according to the RAND study, has increased the proportion of ship composition considered modern during the 2010-2017 years from 50 to 70 percent.

Fig. 2 The number of destroyers and frigates adopted by the PLA Navy during the 1994-2018.

Expanding shipbuilding

The rapid increase in the naval composition of the PLA Navy was made possible by the strengthening of the shipbuilding capacity of the PRC, in particular, favorable market conditions and joint ventures with Japan and South Korea in the mid-1990-ies. allowed China will modernize its shipbuilding enterprises and improve its maintenance and operation system. As a result, according to the US Department of Defense, the modernization and expansion of Chinese shipyards "has increased China's shipbuilding capabilities for all types of military projects, including submarines, surface ships and naval aviation." This also contributed to the transition of the PRC to the category of commercial shipbuilding giant, resulting in the first 11 months of 2018, China's shipbuilding industry was 36,3% of the world market, leaving to the first place in the world.

Fig. 3 Top shipbuilding countries in the world by 2017

At the same time, Chinese state-owned companies that dominate the commercial shipbuilding sector are both key players in the military sector, including China's two largest shipbuilding companies - China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) and China State Shipbuilding Corporation China State Shipbuilding Corporation. (CSSC) produce three quarters of all China's civilian shipbuilding products and at the same time the entire Navy military component. The six shipyards located in the PRC, which account for the lion's share of military shipbuilding, also have commercial craft production equipment and are part of either the CSIC or the CSSC. For example, Shanghai's Jiangnan Shipyard produces 055 cruisers and a third aircraft carrier, while 2016 produced one of the world's largest Navigator Aurora liquefied gas tankers and Xue Long XNUM icebreakers in 2. 2) in the 2018 year.

Figure 4 Placement of major PRC shipyards

The high level of integration between military and commercial shipbuilding, which is relatively rare in European countries and the United States due to significant differences in operating standards and technical requirements, is a consequence of the policy of the State Council of the People's Republic of China to encourage increased technology transfer practices across sectors. From 2013 year of the State Council of China called domestic shipbuilders "to eliminate bottlenecks in increasing the potential of the military industry in key products, materials, production equipment", "relying on large civil research projects."

New ships for the new surface fleet

Among the newest vessels that currently form the basis of the PLA Navy, it is advisable to highlight and summarize the following:

Figure 5 Aircraft carrier Type 002 (layout)

Carrier Type 002 - is currently under construction at the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard, and Chinese experts are projected to launch after 2021. It is expected to become the first aircraft carrier to be fully made using Chinese developments. In particular, its feature is the installation of a brand new Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) system for the Chinese Navy. Some sources say it may have an EMALS similar to the one used on the USS Gerald R. Ford US Gerald aircraft. According to other sources, the new aircraft carrier will be equipped with at least three steam catapults. This is standard equipment for American ships of this class, which allows launching large aircraft. But for the Chinese Navy, this will be a major breakthrough: both the Liaoning aircraft carrier (the former Soviet aircraft carrier cruiser Varyag) and the 001A are equipped with just a ramp. It does not provide for lifting of maximum take-off aircraft, which is why Chinese J-15 fighter jets carry out training flights either with an incomplete fuel tank or with no armament. Using a steam catapult will solve these problems.

The other problem, which is currently hampering the launch of the Type 002 has difficulty in developing an upgraded deck aircraft with the required performance characteristics for the aircraft engine. Existing J-15 fighter decks are considered defective and have repeatedly encountered system malfunctions. The current WS-10 aircraft engines are slightly improved for them, but still have a much shorter useful life compared to their American counterparts. The production of each engine costs millions of yuan.

Two previous aircraft carriers, including Liaoning (acquired by China in Ukraine in the 2002 year and adopted by the PLA Navy in the 2012 year), as well as the 001 type (launched in the 2017 year, and currently undergoing running tests), use a launch system using springboard made by Soviet technology. Using a catapult instead of a springboard will significantly expand the capabilities of the aviation component in terms of aircraft launch rate, the ability to take off in difficult weather conditions, reduce fuel consumption, increase the intensity of combat, combat radius and scale of tasks being solved.

Fig. 6 Hefei Destroyer Type 052D

Destroyer Type 052D (NATO Classification - Luyang III class destroyer) - the newest destroyer ship of the Chinese Navy. This is the first Navy ship to be equipped with vertical launch installations similar to the US Aegis combat system vertical launch launcher, instead of the revolvers previously used (in particular, the former Type 052C). The ship's missile armament consists of three types: the "Chanin-2" anti-submarine torpedo (CY-2) with a firing range up to 18 km; Hunzi-9 anti-aircraft missiles (HHQ-9) of various modifications with a firing range exceeding 140 km; Ying-18 anti-ship missiles (YJ-18) with a firing range up to 220 km. The first destroyer Type 052D was commissioned in the 2014 year, and as of May 2018 year, seven ships of this type have already been built and transferred to the Navy, six more are in various stages of construction.

Total displacement Type 052D - 7500 t, length - 157 m, width - 17 m and draft - 6 m. The ships are equipped with a diesel-gas turbine power unit (CODOG scheme), which allows to develop the maximum 31 node speed. The destroyers are equipped with a multifunctional H / LJG-346A radar with four flat active phased array antennas that is connected to an automatic combat control system. Chinese version AegisNamed "Chinese Aegis" (Zhonghua Shendun, another version of The Divine Shield), it monitors, targets, and controls various weapons systems. The main arsenal is housed in 64's universal cell-type vertical launchers. In total there are eight blocks of 8 installations in each. The four units are located in the bow of the destroyers - between the superstructure and the single-barrel 130-mm H / PJ-45A universal artillery unit, developed on the basis of the paired Soviet AK-130 system. Four more vertical launchers are located on the superstructure between the 517 radar antenna post and the helicopter hangar. Launchers can accommodate long-range HHQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles, medium-range HHQ-16 and DK-10A missiles, CJ-10 cruise missiles for ground firing, YJ-18 and YJ-CYNUM anti-ship missiles, as well as anti-ship missiles - 83. For short-range air defense, a HHQ-5 short-range SAM on the roof of a helicopter hangar and an H / PJ10 artillery shell in the bow of the superstructure are used.

Fig. 7 Cruisers Type 055 in Dalian port

The 055 Type Cruiser (NATO Classification - Renhai-class cruiser), is the latest model of Chinese rocket cruise ship, a series of which is currently being built for the PLA Navy at Jiangnan and Dalian shipyards. The first cruiser 055 was launched in June 2017 year and is currently undergoing testing, and in the 2018 year were launched three more ships. Adoption of the first sample is expected in 2019 year. According to a US Defense Intelligence Agency report, Type 055 is one of the newest and the most powerful ships in the world, equipped with a wide range of weapons. He is expected to perform the basic command and control functions and is likely to carry out the task of supporting the Navy PLA Navy striking aircraft groups in offshore operations. The purpose of the ships is to provide, as well as to enhance, anti-missile, anti-aircraft and anti-aircraft defense of Chinese ship-based strike groups, including aircraft carriers. According to some sources, each carrier group, in addition to the aircraft carrier, four 052D destroyers and four 054A frigates must include two 055 destroyers. Previously, Chinese military leadership announced plans to have at least 3 of such aircraft carriers, so six ships are currently being built and eight 055 ships are planned. Four QC280 gas turbines allow the ship's speed to be displaced by a displacement of 12 000 tons to 35 knots. They will host ship-to-air, ship-to-ground, ship-to-ship and submarine-class weapons. An improved version of Chinese "Divine Shield" will not only fight aircraft, anti-ship missiles and helicopters, but also ballistic missiles. Therefore, in addition to the traditional HHQ-9A and HHQ-16 long and medium range SAMs, the ships will be equipped with promising HHQ-26 rockets that are analogous to the US SM-3. The HHQ-10 SAM (FL-3000N), with two 24 rocket launchers in each, is designed to combat air targets in the near zone. In addition, two to four 30-mm anti-aircraft artillery complexes of the type 1130 (H / PJ-110) are on board. Artillery weapons are represented by the automatic 130-mm gun H / PJ38, developed by the 713 Research Institute of the 7 Academy on the basis of the Soviet AK-130 gun. The ships will be based on two large anti-aircraft helicopters.

Fig. 8 Frigate Type 054A

Frigate Type 054A (NATO Jiangkai Class II Classification) - designed to search for and destroy nuclear submarines in the sea, anti-submarine security, anti-aircraft and missile defense aircraft carriers. It is estimated that four such frigates will be part of each aircraft carrier group. At present, Type 054A is the basis of Chinese patrol missions in the South China Sea and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. It was first put into service in the 2007 year, and as of January 2018 year, there were already 26 frigates of the 054A type. A few more ships will be put into service on the 2019-2020. The 054A frigates are the real "working horses" of the Chinese fleet. These ships can be found off the coast of South America, Australia, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Western Europe and Russia. Their total displacement - 4053 t, body length - 134 m, width - 16 m. Four diesel engines 16 PA6V-280 French technology SEMT Pielstick (manufactured at Shaanxi Diesel Engine Factory) provide the maximum speed of 29 knots. Maximum navigation distance is 8000 miles. The crew consists of 190 persons. On their board - 32 Vertical Launchers Mine HHQ-16 medium range, and anti-submarine Yu-8, two launchers for firing anti-ship missiles YJ-83, 76-mm artillery unit, four six-gun 30, is a Chinese version of the Soviet AK 730, two 630 mm anti-submarine torpedo tubes. The 324 / 054A project is far more sophisticated than previous Chinese-made frigates, such as the Jianghu 054H Project and the Jiangwei 053H053G / H2 Project, and are close in size and capability to modern Western frigates. In particular, the presence of vertical launch installations for medium-range SAMs makes it possible to provide air defense to ship connections at distances up to 3 km. Like the French Lafayette frigates, the 35 project was built using elements of stealth technology, including smoothing of joints to minimize effective scattering area, special body color for absorbing radio waves, and reducing the area of ​​projecting structures. A helicopter stern with a hangar provides a single Harbin Z-054C or Ka-9 helicopter.

Fig. 9 Anti-aircraft Missile Navigation Range of PLA
Fig. 10 Corvette Type 056

Corvette Type 056 (NATO classification Jiangdao) forms the basis of a Chinese shipping group for action in coastal waters. Implementing a shore-based naval expansion strategy, since the beginning of mass construction in 2012, 40 is now in the works. Their total displacement - 1440 tons, maximum speed - 28 knots. Corvette weapons include two two-container anti-ship missile launchers YJ-83, 76-mm universal artillery unit PJ26, short-range SAM HHQ-10, two remotely controlled 30-mm automatic rifles for these inflatable rifles, torpedoes. There is a helicopter reception area in the stern. The 056A modification differs from the basic variant by the presence of a lowered, towed hydroacoustic station, which extends the possibility of detecting submarines.

056 type Corvettes are the first Chinese modular combat vehicles. This allows you to create, modify, and combine individual parts (modules) of the ship without having to change other modules, making it easier and cheaper to upgrade individual ship systems. In addition, the modular design allows the selection of modules to create corvettes for various purposes: patrol, anti-ship, anti-ship, anti-aircraft, staff, multipurpose.

US Naval Intelligence Office describes Type 056 as "intended to patrol China's declared EEZ and protect Beijing's interests in the South China and East China Seas.

Fig. 10 Boat Exit Aircraft Type 726 From Landing Ship Type 071 During Marine Training

Type 071 (NATO classification - Yuzhao) - A class of versatile helicopter landing craft armed with the Chinese Navy. The ship is capable of performing four tasks: landing of military units, receiving military transport helicopters, providing command and control, and performing the functions of a naval hospital. The Type 071 can accommodate up to 800 Marines, four Z-8 transport helicopters (SA 321 Super Frelon)), four airborne assault ships in the dock, and 20 combat armored vehicles. At present, six ships (four of them in the Southern Navy, two in the Eastern Navy) are in operation, and two more are being built.

Yuri Poyta, Head of the Asia Pacific Section