Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

A blog dedicated to defense issues

Denying the China threat is becoming more and more difficult

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on July 3, 2014


As the Chinese military threat grows, it is becoming more and more difficult for the enemies of a strong American defense to deny that threat – not that they’ll stop trying.

But now the evidence of the gravity of the Chinese military threat is so overwhelming that it’s impossible to deny that threat and retain any shred of capability any longer.

From the Inside the Ring Column by renowned journalist Bill Gertz, we find out that:

China’s military is investing heavily in advanced submarines, including both ballistic and cruise missile firing vessels and attack subs. Recently, Beijing showed off what appears to be a mock-up of its next-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine, according to veteran military analyst Rick Fisher.

“A large outdoor model of a next generation nuclear attack submarine [SSN] has appeared at the People’s Liberation Army Navy [PLAN] submarine academy in Qingdao, China,” Mr. Fisher stated in a report published by the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a think tank.

“The role of this model may simply be to inspire the academy’s students, but it may signify a larger personnel investment by the PLAN to prepare for its next generation submarines, as it may also offer some indications about a new class of SSN,” he said, referring to the military acronym for attack submarines

Photos of the model were first published in April during a Chinese naval conference, and Mr. Fisher said the Chinese have long used such photos of mock-up weapons as political messages for both domestic and foreign audiences.

The mock-up could be the first peek at China’s Type-095 attack submarine — the second nuclear-powered attack submarine being built by the Chinese after its current Type-093.

In addition to the attack subs, the Chinese also are building two new ballistic missile submarines, the Type-094 and Type-096.

The Pentagon in its latest annual report on China’s military said currently two Type-093s are deployed and four improved Type-093s will be fielded in the next five years.

However, Mr. Fisher said Asia military sources have indicated that in addition to the six Type-093s, two new Type-095s could be deployed by 2020.”

In March this year, the commander of all US troops in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel Locklear, underlined the growing threat posed by China’s submarine fleet:

“The head of U.S. Pacific CommandAdmiral Samuel Locklear III, told Congress on Tuesday that the ballistic missiles on China’s newest submarines would have an estimated range of 4,000 nautical miles.

This will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, probably before the end of 2014,” Adm. Locklear told the Senate Armed Services Committee, Agence France Presse reported.

China’s advance in submarine capabilities is significant. They possess a large and increasingly capable submarine force,” Adm. Locklear continued.

The head of the U.S. Pacific fleet said that within the next decade China would possess 60 to 70 submarines, with its JIN-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines armed with new JL-2 missiles.

The testimony came the same day that the head of the U.S. Pacific Command said that the U.S. Navy does not possess the capacity to conduct amphibious assaults in the wake of a crisis, as it did during World War II.”

And from WantChinaTimes, quoting Jane’s, we find out that China already has over 900 modern, 4th generation fighter jets, and will possess 1,500 such fighters by 2020 – more than the USAF does or will at that time have. In fact, the USAF is significantly cutting its fighter fleet. China has also decided to procure the Russian Su-35 Generation 4++ fighter jet that is as good as any 5th generation fighter as well as powerful supercruising AL-41 engines – both of which China will copy.

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2 Responses to “Denying the China threat is becoming more and more difficult”

  1. Nuno Gomes said

    So? What do you propose doing about it?
    China will continue to grow until social and economical factours hit it hard in the 2030s…
    The response to that should be what?
    Your armed forces are spending all their Money in weapons that dont work like:F-35,LCS,DDG-1000,Srykers,the GCV the ACV and many outhers while looking away from things that actualy work,like : the F-22,the F-15Se,the F-16V,the Super Hornet,the navy UCAV,cruise and ballistic missiles…
    Stop building the Ford class carriers and retire the B-2 bomber . Invest in the LRS-B and in long range land based air power(FB-22,B-1R) that actually work and can perform more than one sortie a week.
    Upgrade the B-52 and the B-1 :better Ew suite and long range CM(airborne Tomahawk,JASSM).Use then for AShW with Harpoon and LRASM…bring back the EB-52 concept….

    • zbigniewmazurak said

      Nuno, there is a lot the US and its allies can do. I will write more tomorrow as I’m currently quite tired after 12 hours of nonstop work.

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