File photo shows the Chinese PLA hosts a military parade off the coast of Sanya, Hainan Island on April 12, 2018. A total of 48 warships and nuclear submarines, 76 warplanes, and tens of thousands of officers and soldiers participated in the parade.
April 23, 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of China’s PLA Navy. China will host multinational naval fleet review to commemorate the big date, which will surely make a new history both in scale and form.
China’s first domestic-made aircraft carrier will continue to undergo sea trials, and the world-leading 10,000-ton Type 055 guided-missile destroyer will be commissioned soon. Both the Type 055 destroyer and the Liaoning aircraft carrier will participate in the massive 70th anniversary’s fleet review on April 23. This will be an important milestone in China’s steady rise as a major naval power.
Senior Colonel Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Spokesperson for the MND, said that the multinational naval activities will include high-level symposiums, a multinational fleet review, military band performances, cultural and sports exchanges, and so on. Up till now, over 60 countries have confirmed that their navy delegations will participate in the activities, and many of them will send their naval vessels to the international fleet review.
The PLA Navy, as the host, has attracted international attention on what vessels will showcase in the fleet review. A recent photo shows that the new Type 055 destroyer, one of the most powerful battleships in Asia, is decorated with flags awaiting its time to be commissioned into service. It is highly likely that the destroyer will appear in the fleet review. According to data, the Type 055 destroyer is 180 meters long and 22 meters wide, with a full displacement of 12,000 tons, setting a new record for Chinese naval destroyers.
In terms of ship-borne weapons, the Type 055 guided missile destroyer uses the same general-purpose missile vertical launching system as Type 052D, carried in 112 launching cells. It can launch CJ-10 cruise missile, YJ-12, YJ-18 and YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, as well as HHQ-9 and HHQ-16 air defense missiles. Among them, the most notable CJ-10 cruise missile has been fitted on China’s homemade naval ship for the first time. It has a missile warhead of up to 500 kilograms and is capable of sea-skimming to strike ground targets 1500 kilometers away.
Chen Guangwen, a well-known military commentator, said that the Chinese navy’s development in the past 10 years can be considered a miracle in the world. At present, China has 17 Type 052C/D guided-missile destroyers. Though it’s still difficult to catch up with the US, it has been nearly four times the number of Japan.
In terms of underwater combat capability, China has Type 039A, Type 041, Type 041A, Type 041B and AIP submarines. The Chinese Navy’s conventional submarines are among the world’s most advanced ones. After adopting sophisticated mute technology, these submarines will exert their infinite power in the underwater ambush battles inside and outside the second island chain. At the same time, the development of nuclear submarines including Type 093, Type 093A and Type 093B have transformed China’s nuclear submarines from the torpedo-based era into the era of anti-ship and missiles with land attack capability.
In addition, the PLA Navy also has strong aviation forces. In the past 10 years, the leading Su-27 and the J-8II have been gradually replaced by J-11B, Su-35, and Su-30MKK fighter jets in the PLA Naval Air Force. KJ-200, KJ-500, H-6K, H-6U and GX series of special aircraft have played their supportive roles in this hybrid fleet.
With the support of the domestic-made J-15 carrier-based aircraft, as well as the Type 055 destroyer and the Type 095 attack nuclear submarine, China’s navy will surely continue to rise and reach a new high level in the next 10 years.