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New Study Says Chinese Navy May Overcome US Navy Capabilities Within 15 Years


New Study Says Chinese Navy May Overcome US Navy Capabilities Within 15 Years

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A new study finds that the Chinese Navy may overtake the US Navy within 15 years as global superpower.

On November 28th, the Asia Times published an article by Peter J. Brown, which mostly cites an essay written by Boston College Political Science Professor Robert Ross, an expert on Chinese defense and security policy, which appeared in the influential Lawfare blog on November 18th.

It is titled “The End of US Naval Dominance in Asia,” and claims that the US Navy is not receiving enough funding and requires more so as to secure its position as the world’s dominant naval power.

“The rapid rise of the Chinese Navy has challenged US maritime dominance throughout East Asian waters,” Ross writes. “The US, though, has not been able to fund a robust shipbuilding plan that could maintain the regional security order and compete effectively with China’s naval build-up. The resulting transformation of the balance of power has led to fundamental changes in US acquisitions and defense strategy. Nonetheless, the US has yet to come to terms with its diminished influence in East Asia.”

Ross also stated that China’s fleet will soon outnumber the US one, and it will also be more modern. “From 2017 to 2018, for example, as China’s Navy grew from 328 to 350 ships, more than 70% were of the latest designs – up from 50% in 2010, based on a RAND Corp study.

“China is the largest ship-producing country in the world and at current production rates could soon operate 400 (naval) ships. It commissions nearly three submarines each year, and in two years will have more than 70 in its fleet. The Chinese Navy also operates growing numbers of cruisers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes, all equipped with long-range anti-ship cruise missiles. Between 2013 and 2016, China commissioned more than 30 modern corvettes. At current rates, China could have 430 surface ships and 100 submarines within the next 15 years,” the essay reads.

New Study Says Chinese Navy May Overcome US Navy Capabilities Within 15 Years

The Bohai Chinese Naval facility, displaying two JIN class submarines, taken on November 16th, 2018, courtesy of Planet Labs.

Ross reiterates that currently the US Navy retains its maritime superiority in East Asia, however the trend is not so optimistic. “In 12 years, the active US naval fleet will decline to 237 ships and in six years, the US submarine fleet will decline to 48 boats, according to Ross’ data.

“Both the navy and the White House have pushed to grow the US fleet, but budgets have not kept pace with their plans,” Ross writes. “In 2015, the navy planned to increase the fleet to 308 ships by 2022, and the Trump administration plans a 355-ship navy. To reach 308 ships, the navy will have to spend 36% more than the average shipbuilding budget over the past 30 years, requiring a one-third increase in its current budget.

Ross concluded that there is a necessity for a large increase in budget, however it is unlikely that one would be provided.

“If funding continues at the same average maintained for the last three decades, the US Navy will likely purchase 75 fewer ships than planned over the next three decades. To reach a fleet of 355 ships, the navy will need a budget 80% higher than the average shipbuilding budget over the past 30 years, and approximately 50% more than the average budget of the past six years,” Ross found.

Ross also focused on the apparent reluctance or maybe even inability of the US Navy to address the situation it faces. Furthermore, he claimed that strained relationships with traditional allies in East and Southeast Asia are becoming more apparent.

“Developments in the maritime balance have weakened the confidence of East Asian countries in the ability of the United States to fulfill its security commitments and they are improving security cooperation with China,” Ross said.

He also cited Seoul’s recent steps to “calm” China over the deployment of a Theater High-Altitude Terminal Air Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.

“South Korea recently reached an agreement with China to limit missile-defense cooperation with the US and security cooperation with the US-Japan alliance.”

Furthermore, South Korea appeared to be improving its relationship with the North, with Chinese assistance and despite opposition by the US.

There appear to be signs of insecurity among the US ASEAN partners. Furthermore, ASEAN countries appear to be improving relations with Russia and China.

“The Philippines has reduced the scale of its defense cooperation with the United States and improved security ties with China. Beijing now constrains Vietnamese defense cooperation with the US, as well. And China and Malaysia have begun joint military exercises and Malaysia has not supported US policy on Chinese claims in the South China Sea,” writes Ross.

In November 2018, “the [US] Navy carried out its largest-ever exercise with Japan,” Ross says, and goes on to add a cautionary note:

“But increased up-tempo US naval presence in East Asia without the requisite underlying naval capabilities to contend with China’s rise will neither constrain China’s naval activism nor reassure US Allies.”

Meanwhile, China is working on its third aircraft carrier, in addition to unmanned radar and optical monitoring stations are being established in the South China Sea. Artificial Intelligence submarines are also in development, in addition to the unmanned missile boat which was unveiled in early November.

On November 20th, Defense One reported that Western observers likely underestimated the number of Chinese nuclear submarines in development. They have, however, overestimated how many are operational, according to an analysis by Catherine Dill and Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

It appears that only half of China’s nuclear-armed SSBNs appear to be in operation. Photos of the Bohai Shipyard and the Longpo Naval Facility produced by Planet Labs suggest that “China does not yet have a credible sea-based deterrent,” Dill said. Two of China’s four JIN (or 094)-class subs “appear to not be in operation and are undergoing maintenance or repairs at the Bohai shipyard, suggesting to us that credibility is still in question.”

That is in contrast to the Defense Department’s 2018 China Military Report and CSIS’s Chinapower group, both of which claim China had four operational 094-class submarines.

Dill and Lewish also discovered that China had one more nuclear submarine in development than was previously believed. There were three at Longpo and two at the Bohai shipyard, suggesting that China is well on its way to meeting its goal of eight.

“China is continuing to modernize its nuclear weapons program, broadly,” Dill said. “There’s a big emphasis on the SSBN program because all of their deliverable nuclear weapons are on land-based systems. Expanding into these SSBNs gives China more flexibly and credibility.”

Thus, it appears that China’s constant reported progress may actually put the country ahead, amid the US military’s constant need for more and more money for some of their “money pit” projects.



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  • potcracker2588


    this becomes more and more like a slapstick comedy

  • RichardD

    Trillions down the sewer for Yinon plan implementation for blood sucking Jew pedophiles. And the only thing that the US has to show for it is global hatred and a mountain of debt. The US has some of the worst politicians on the planet. Just the way that the Jews like it.

    • John Whitehot

      “Yinon plan”

      I prefer to call it “Wolfowitz doctrine”, seems that more people is aware of it.

  • Daniel Miller

    Improbable their technological inferiorety will hold them back.

  • John Whitehot

    it depends.

    If we are talking about blue water, ocean capability, then the Chinese Navy could reach the USN in 15 years, although it’s too early to speculate – for example, hypersonic weapons could reduce that time considerably.

    if it comes to defend its shores or the surrounding green waters instead, the Chinese navy is already today more than capable to hand an invading USN amphibious groups their asses, since they would be in range of the entire spectrum of land based chinese defensive systems (Aviation assets, air defense, land based missiles and so on).

    Even in the unlikely case a US TF manages to break through chinese defenses, the engagement would become instantly nuclear and any amphibious group would not be allowed to even set a feet on China.

  • Kimbell

    15 Years???……Meanwhile the U.S. Navy will not be standing still…..A VAST Improvement of the Chinese Navy means only one thing…..A Vast Improvement…..Period…….There will be No “Catch up” with the U.S. in any category……unless they steal more Technology?????

    • Ricky Miller

      Right. And the only way to do it would be for the U.S. to default on it’s world leading overwhelming debt and to stiff tens of millions of Americans out of their medicare and social security. Already Corporate debt is at record levels and most states and municipalities are hundreds of millions of dollars in arrears in pension funding. Keep up with China? The U.S. can’t even pay it’s current obligations for much longer.

      • Kimbell

        Economics is not the Most popular subject with Political figures…..The attempts by the Obama Administration to keep Social Security under control by faking the Inflation Rates was close to what you are suggesting, “Stiff millions of Americans”!!!!Corporate Debt, State and Municipal Debt which could and has affected State and Municipal Pension Funds is separate and apart from any Federal Debt…….However, if the Federal Government decided to”Bail Out” a Corporation, State or Municipality, that of course would be included as Federal Debt or…..with “Creative Accounting”….it may even DISAPPEAR!!!!!!!

        • Jens Holm

          They do need changes. The Sander proposals was an american version of taking the goof parts of the Scandinavian models.

          We as Scandinavians see the good part educating more better – even having big losses – making a bigger and very productive middle class. USA systematicly ha reduced its middleclass, which in many ways are the center of any economy.

          USA by immigration go to cheep low tech productions and never should compete with others in that apart from the parts, which makes a lot of money based on machines.

          We also – a propos Obama – see its less expensive to keep people healthy then ill and not even able to have or keep a low paid job.

          We have some succes according jailing. We partly prefare to pay a lot to keep people out of jail instead of paying more to keep them in. Those are long time investmenents. Unfortunatly You cant see which ones becomes drug addicts or criminels and only treat them different.

          Anbd true. We have different levels too even we are a very small state. But facts are even we are named as socialists in greta parts of USA we sell mpore to USA then they and You sell to us.

          • Kimbell

            OK Jens I’ll try to answer some of your Concerns…….I don’t know which county your referring to, however, all of the Scandinavian Countries have an “Open Door“ immigration Policy so your economy may be suffering at present due to the influx of cheap Labor, most of whom need Welfare…….The U.S. had one of the most successful Educational Programs before Socialist (like Bernie Sanders) came into the picture and began Force Feeding Young people with Failed Socialist Idea`s!!!!….My suggestion, Build more Jails…..Your not going to Cure a drug addict or Rapist, because you can`t control them in Society, You will end up with a Bigger problem, Guaranteed !!!! Free People are entitled to Health care they can afford….Period!!!…..Bernie Sanders and Obama care gave a very expensive health care Program for everyone……unfortunately it was cheap health program with questionable Medical Practitioners and those who could afford better Health Programs did not want but would be Forced to help Pay for…..You can blame any reduction of the Middle Class to Socialist- Communist like Obama and Clinton……You are Correct, A Vibrant Middle Class is the center and Life Blood of a Good Economy, something the U.S. has always strives for….only to be slowed down by Socialist Democrat Programs!!!…Now the Record is Straight !!!!!

      • Jens Holm

        You totally forget, that USA is a part of the world economy and We all as China have for billions and billions of stockings and partly ownership.

        So if USA kind of collapse, we are the ones, which never will be payed. We wont allow that at all. My pension fond has for many million of USA investments. I should allow that to be zero. So the solution is to help them with reforms or if they wont – To lower silently. By that they losse less and we loose hardly nothing.

        Thats why WTO, IMF and others should be used much better solcing things.

    • Nexusfast123

      Not sure why you got so many up votes. Deluded comment like the article referenced in the article above. The race to build complex and expensive surface assets is now irrelevant. A strategy that combines an asymmetrical strategy with new technologies means that missiles have now gone beyond the realm of supersonic to being hypersonic and launched from sub, surface ship, air and land and increasingly well beyond the range of the defence systems and combat air patrols. A million dollar missile will obliterate a $2Billion destroyer.

      • Kimbell

        Do you think the U.S. has problem?…..Technology works both ways……..depends on Who’s $2 billion Destroyer is wasted…..My Chinese Associate(now living in Kauai in Obscene Comfort with Two wives) He also Passed the California Bar on the FIRST try and speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese as well as taken $ thousands off me in Gin Rummy tells me China has embraced Capitalism more than any Western Country……so going to War with the their Biggest customer, the U.S. would be foolish…..Anyway, the so called Technology that goes with China’s Subs is actually a German Design, maybe third Generation……China no doubt has many Smart People, they also have Poverty Problem…….sorta like the U.S. don’t you think????

        • Sinbad2

          “so going to War with the their Biggest customer, the U.S. would be foolish.”

          That’s exactly the sort of misconception that Nexus was talking about.

          Of the $2,200 billion China exported, the US accounted for $430 billion. about 20% of China’s exports.

          So why does the US import so much from China, because companies like Apple IBM GM etc find it a good place to get their “quality” American goods made.

          So going to War with your biggest supplier, China would be foolish.

          • Jens Holm

            Yes, Trumps are quite naive. We see the same for Europe. Its a matter of more fair agreemenets, because the chines are dumping prices and dont let us into their market.

            Wars in weapons as well as trade wont solve things in thise. Better as in old “Wargames” only playing TIC-TAC-TOE having no winners and no loosers.

          • Kimbell

            As I said…….China is becoming more and more like the U.S……Or maybe South America where there is No Middle Class, only the very Rich and the Very Poor??? The U.S. was Headed that way too, If Hillary had Won the Election, she would have wiped out the Middle Class with Higher Taxes!!!

      • beypuutyina

        Not sure why you got so many up votes

        you are jealous

        • Jens Holm

          If we did the same future perspective in the same way, we probatly had 15 mobilphones each.

          We also could use Edison lamps after one generation after that using 11 watt instead of 75 and now in LED even not that.

          We see the same here according to emmigrants and refugees. True they in first generation often has 8-12 children, when they arrive, but those children only make 2,1 when they have children. Thats a very big difference in inhabitants – especiaslly that part, which dont integrate and get jobs.

    • Sinbad2

      The US is going backwards, all the US has done for the last 20 years is put new paint on old systems.

      • Kimbell

        Thank you Sinbad…..Your obviously an Old Salt……..You might want to tell that to the People at Newport News…….

  • C R Lord

    You’re joking right? LOL! So many false prophets in these days. Now everyone can see down the road fifteen years or whatever and tell the future of the world. DUH! Only God knows the future accurately!

    • Jens Holm

      I agree. If You spread out all food for free, none in the whole world would starve as well.

      Unfortunatly we see the same kind of calculations even in our Goverementhel administration. Its as if they replace brain porridge with computers in stead of IT as an extra help.

  • Barba_Papa

    Billions have been wasted on useless projects like the littoral combat ship, the F-35 and of course the massive carrier building program that produces a lot of carriers, but neglects their airgroups. And that’s excluding the many wars that have seen increased wear and tear on its inventory for no gain at all. Akin to the German spring offensives of 1918, which saw Germany piss away its temporary advantage into useless offensives while the Allies waited them out. Maybe if America’s resources were managed more wisely and not in a state of constant war who knoiws? But I reckon we can count on America’s political establishment to waste more money on projects that serve the interests of the industrial complex and not the needs of the military. And continue to send them out to fight, die, and return home scarred for life for the interests of others.

    • Jens Holm

      Hahaha. Its the best airplane ever but too expensive for that. We see the same for several kinds of weapons. Russia has develloped a very good Armata Tank. But they hardly can effort to use it themselves and none are rich enough to buy it.

      So its about limits for economy. The famous T34 also was the best, because it was the best compromize and You instead could produce many of them.

      Its also forgotten, that several functions are much cheeper covered by missiles, drones and satelites.

  • Smaug

    Ok, there’s enough fact fudging here that the whole thing can be dismissed. The US Navy has several facelift projects and will only diminish in size if no further building projects are taken and normal decommissioning schedules are adhered to in spite the obvious lack of logic in doing that. China’s Navy has increased exponentially in the last few years, because of shifting conflicts and at the expense of massive layoffs in the Army in order to shift funds to R&D and coastal defense. The Chinese Navy is clearly focusing on the China Sea because there is not a single active duty capital ship in service yet (they’re slowly refurbishing an old carrier). You should not only look at number of ships but the combined tonnage of ships and number of aircraft available.

    North and South Korea has had mellowed relations, but that does not remotely mean that the US will be unwelcome. Especially since South Korea and Japan do not like Beijing any more than we do. And these ships have the proverbial “Made in China” sticker, their quality suffers from China’s internal problems.

    Overall we’re talking about a nation that has more than 4 times the population as the US, but less the 2/3rds the GDP. Also, China is primarily a land power, with the majority of its funds going to the army. It is a formidable force but the idea that it could spontaneously replace America in every way shows a clear lack of understanding of geopolitics.

    • Joe Kerr

      U.S. “GDP”? October 2018 U.S. trade deficit increased to $77 billion, expanding its already bloated debt currently standing at $21.7 trillion. China’s debt/GDP ration is 44%, while the U.S. is at 107% and growing.

      • Smaug

        You never took an economics class, have you? And the statistics are off in China due to internal issues.

        • Joe Kerr

          They’re official stats, moron. Go do the research yourself, or just google “U.S. China GDP” (assuming you know how to use a keyboard).

          • Smaug

            If you knew China, you wouldn’t depend on official statistics even if they are reported honestly. But I don’t expect an internet troll to care about any info that doesn’t further his agenda, so mute!

          • Joe Kerr

            Don’t believe OECD stats? Then just look at the collapsing 3rd world railways in the U.S., or the increasing investments from China for infrastructure projects in Asia and elsewhere. The U.S. economy is finished- wars are expensive, especially wars for lies.

          • Jens Holm

            Not renewing is not for USA only.

            A very good example are socalled dry oil wells. Most of them are not, and they reagain 3-4-5 times more, then they once thought.

            Railroads are same thing, and You do forget, they actually are replaced by trucks and pipelines. And didnt they start with horses and waggons ?

            So You might have a choise according to, where You are. They could close all down or upgrade it moving faster, cheeper using no fossile fule for electricity.

            And You do forget, that in very populated areas there are trains all over above and below.

          • Concrete Mike

            Lol pot calling kettle black

          • Sinbad2

            Who cares about China’s debt, they run at a profit.

            The US hasn’t made a profit in decades, every year the US loses money. Eventually the US will hit the wall.

            “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
            “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
            (E Hemmingway)

          • Jens Holm

            We do know keyboards. More like You might not know the letters on them and ask the wrong questions and by that also get limited and maybee false answers.

            Whatever Smaug is, he is no moron. Often I not even like him as well.

      • Jens Holm

        I agree with Smaug in this. As long as USA can pay their debt. its fine. This is not Muhammed Economics. I dint say they have not big problems, but You cant compare apples and oranges like that with no remarks.

    • Sinbad2

      “You should not only look at number of ships but the combined tonnage of ships and number of aircraft available.”
      How terribly WWI of you, the more steel and the bigger the guns the better?
      If you want to see what tonnage produces, read the regular SF US carrier task force dispositions, all in port, because the US can’t afford to put them to sea.

    • observerBG

      China already has 25 % bigger GDP (PPP) which is a more accurate way of comparing countries. It is already the world’s biggest trading nation and the world’s biggest foreign direct investment destination. Germany or even America’s backyard – Southern America – have more business with China than with the US.

      • Smaug

        There is no accurate way of measuring China’s economy because of internal problems. The official Chinese numbers are unavoidably inflated. What you should look at is that most Chinese subsist on >15USD a day. And America, for the moment, is definitely their largest trading partner.

        • observerBG

          Its quite accurate since they are the world’s largest trading nation – the world already trades more dollars with China than with the US, including countries in the US backyard. It attracts more foreign investment than the US as well.

          • Jens Holm

            Its not like that at all.

            You mig devellop some Observations Yourself and see the whole picture. Fx the Chinese internal an external growth is lower, then they have planned and hoped for.

            USA do have need for internal reforms as well. Trump kind of think all problems are done by foreigners as well. But Trump is not owner but just President.

            And Your conclusions dont see most things.

          • observerBG

            Actually it is the other way around

            U.S. Trade Gap Widens Most Since 2015; Record China Deficit

            I hope that you can read. Even with the trade war, US just recorded record level trade deficit with China. Lol


      • Jens Holm

        You must be blind or worse. EU is bigger too.


  • One of the Obamanation’s goals, aided and supported by the Demonrat Traitor Party and the Quislings (aka RINO’s).

  • beypuutyina

    New Study Says Chinese Navy May Overcome US Navy Capabilities Within 15 Years

    but only if yanks will generate :P

    New Study Says Chinese Navy May Overcome US Navy Capabilities Within 15 Years

    and russian navy capabilities in 15 months

  • Joe Kerr

    One thing Chinese have aplenty, is patience- from the way they drive a car to their financial prudence. The U.S. tried to push China into a war it couldn’t win when it bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade 20 years ago, but China didn’t take the bait and has bided its time. China will win Trump’s trade war, and any other war that the U.S. wishes to impose on it.

  • Sinbad2

    China will overtake the US within 5 years.
    Not because the Chinese military will grow more rapidly, but because the US military is already in decline, and the rate of decline is growing.
    The fatal mistake the US has made, is to value everything in dollar terms.
    The US doesn’t have a 100 ship fleet, it has a trillion dollar fleet.
    If an American plane costs 10 times more than a Chinese plane, it’s 10 times better.
    Their obsession with money is bringing them undone.