U.S. Navy Take Notice: China is Becoming a World-Class Military Shipbuilder
Image Credit: Wikicommons

U.S. Navy Take Notice: China is Becoming a World-Class Military Shipbuilder


China’s military shipyards now are surpassing Western European, Japanese, and Korean military shipbuilders in terms of both the types and numbers of ships they can build. If Beijing prioritizes progress, China’s military shipbuilding technical capabilities can likely become as good as Russia’s are now by 2020 and will near current U.S. shipbuilding technical proficiency levels by 2030. China is now mass producing at least six classes of modern diesel-electric submarines and surface warships, including the new Type 052C “Luyang II” and Type 052D “Luyang III” destroyers now in series production.

Eight key themes, listed sequentially below, characterize China’s rise as a world-class military shipbuilder. For reference, the companies building the warships are China State Shipbuilding Corporation (“CSSC”) and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (“CSIC”).

1. China’s warship buildout thus far supports modernization and replacement, not rapid expansion

Over the past six years, China’s overall fleet of frontline combatants has expanded, but slowly, growing from 172 ships in 2005 to an estimated 221 vessels in 2012. However, the fleet has improved substantially in qualitative terms as newer ships and subs replace older ones. For instance, as Type 052 C/D Luyang-series destroyers, Type 054A Jiangkai II-series frigates, and Type 041 Yuan diesel-electric submarines have come into the fleet, they are allowing the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to steadily retire obsolete platforms like Luda destroyers and Ming submarines.

2. Chinese military shipbuilders are catching up to Russian and U.S. Yards

China’s large state-backed military shipbuilders are approaching their Russian and U.S. peers in terms of the number of warships built. China’s large submarine and surface warship buildout will, in a decade, likely have it become second only to the U.S. in terms of total warships produced since 1990. More importantly, the ramp-up of China’s construction of large warships in recent years will mean the PLA Navy will likely be taking delivery of larger numbers of modern surface combatants and submarines annually than the U.S. Navy.

February 5, 2014 at 00:43

USAs military is the best in the world nobody can over throw them nor defend against them.

February 22, 2014 at 18:29

The Persians, Roman, and British empires at one time all thought as you do. What makes the U.S. Empire any different with that ideology. If there is any one truth in predicting the future it is this: history doesn’t repeat it’s self but it sure as he’ll echoes.

December 1, 2013 at 15:30

You mention selfishness and greediness, those are the most important characteristics of U.S. they want to prevent the military development of other countries so that they will not be challenged. china will surely catch up within them in six years!!

December 18, 2013 at 14:31

Catch up with the U.S. in 6 years? What a laugh !! The Red Chinese Navy would be wiped out in no longer than a week in the event of a war !! The Chinese have one carrier – a rebuilt hand-me-down from Russia – the U.S has 10 !!!

Hedd Wyn John
February 23, 2014 at 23:33

The Chinese navy (PLAN) will not catch up with the US Navy in six years, however the PLAN will be much better equipped to fight the US Navy in 2020 than it is now. If the Chinese ever did engage the Americans it is unlikely that it would be a carrier v carrier fleet action such as Midway or Coral Sea. The Chinese carrier is inferior in almost every respect to its US counterparts and in reality is most a training vessel/status symbol for the PLAN. The Chinese are developing their ASCM,ASBM, attack submarines and strike aircraft technology and aim to deploy such assets in sufficient numbers, with sufficient capability for area-denial/ anti-access to the USNavy. In other words China can’t compete 1v1 with America in terms of carriers, nuclear subs, guided missile cruisers etc but what they aim to do is make the threat to US carrier groups sufficiently dangerous to keep the US intervening in a war against Taiwan, Japan etc. if America thinks it might lose 1 or 2 super carriers will they go to war over Taiwan or the senkaku Islands.

govinda basnet
September 21, 2013 at 01:13

i have read all view view of millatary expert and other people.they have only concerned about the power will decrease in future of usa , and they are saying that china can’t meet the a comparison of usa technologies so we have to concerned that if china devloped it’s milliatary activity with rapidly like current time it will back of usa in 10 years. millatary expert of usa proud of that the china cant meet the usa millatary budget they have also known that the usa spend 4% more than gdp in milliatary the comparison of 2% of gdp in millatary of china.so millatary expert also cocerned about the real fact than waisting time by dreaming in day usa always will be super power in the world.

September 14, 2013 at 06:51

2% of Chinese GDP vs 4% of US GDP.

So Chinese military budget is a very small fraction of US budget. Your point makes no sense.


August 13, 2013 at 02:19

Usa can do anything like attacking other nations but china cannot build its military to defend against aggressor. What the heck.

Ship car to St. Thomas
July 23, 2013 at 12:07

international shipping company law:: Ocean Transportation Intermediaries (OTIs) are either Ocean Freight Forwarders or Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers and are regulated by the FMC pursuant to the Shipping Act of 1984.

luis orta
July 11, 2013 at 02:40

the U.S. may be spending more than china with 4% of its GDP on military spending compared to chinas 2% but remember how much more china gets for its money. think how much less thay spend per soldier than we do in terms of pay, aquipment, food, healthcar,housing ext…. it isin't just cheaper to make shoes in china.












June 29, 2013 at 14:44

It is wrong to read China's navy build-up as anything other than to cater for defensive needs.  China is a land-based power.  Never in China's long history did she ever use her navy for anything other than protecting her long coastlines against hostile forces. A few more navy ships become a necessity due to the growth of the country's commercial activities.  Why should anybody view that as a challenge? USA, Japan and India always view China as potential enemy.  China never takes aim at anybody.

[...] capability include missiles, space, and shipbuilding. The report characterizes China as being “among the top ship-producing nations in the world” and China’s ballistic and cruise missile industries to be “comparable to other international [...]

March 19, 2013 at 12:18

Lets be serious here. USA has nuclear driven subs and aircraft carriers. Its like comparing the Japanese Zero to the F15 for heavens sake. The usa were FAR supererior 40 years ago then China is now. The latest generation of USA Carrier will be commisioned 2015. They already have 10 carriers now more superior and they are 40 years old. China in essence is 40 years behind, and the USA spend 10 times their amount on defence spending. Its not contest folks. The usa have technology that we have no idea about yet. Top secret, and they, with their attititude will not concede to anyone on this planet. Just a fact, so get over it!

[...] 2012 China has been stepping up its presence in the area with new warships – including its very first aircraft carrier – and  expanded naval patrols and swarms of [...]

February 14, 2013 at 01:28

@eagle from davao Unfortunately, the ordinary Philippinos are not getting the full story. Right of navigation is never an issue here, neither is the sharing of resources. SE Asia has to sit down and negotiate in good faith with China, but it needs to keep an open mind about putting all the claims on the table. With the entire Pacific Ocean to its west, why does the Philippines need more ocean territory than  China?

February 14, 2013 at 01:17

@Commentingonline Again, BRAVO!! It is always only a handful holding immense power that wants and needs war, we're all missile fodder as far as they are concerned. From the lessons of history, I'm afraid we're too stupid to overcome them.

February 14, 2013 at 01:09

@Commentingonline  BRAVO!

Richard Lambert
February 13, 2013 at 22:08

The Bible says, ‘The United Satan Army’ will cause havoc in God’s Land but will eventually be vanquished by the Righteous forces that rise up.
Guess who, the United Satanic Army is?
No prize for guessing it right, as that nation goes by the first letter inferred to!

January 6, 2014 at 19:52

Oh yeah? Where does it say that?

February 13, 2013 at 13:59

Would the Chinese loan us the money to wage war against them?

Would the US have the chutzpah to ask? Ok, I know this one.

[...] with the imagery of Nian, poised to eat our babies?  It could be pointed out that China’s modernizing military capabilities will potentially equal Russia’s by 2020. It could also be pointed out, with just cause, that [...]

February 10, 2013 at 21:54

I agreed with you.I hate the dirty ways that Chinese gorverment bully its neighbors such as Vietnam, Philippine.They just use their power to bully weaker countries.I don't like the way that a part of Chinese destroyed Japanese departments, factories, cars or atacked Japanese either.So their image to the world becomes so bad, and dirty.

February 9, 2013 at 13:49


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