Chinese Navy Continues to Modernize. Quickly.

Office of Naval Intelligence: China’s Fleet Advancing Faster Than US Expected

The Chinese navy has 77 surface combatants, more than 60 submarines, 55 amphibious ships and about 85 missile-equipped small ships, according to the report first published by the U.S. Naval Institute. The report explains that more than 50 naval ships were “laid down, launched or commissioned” in 2013 and a similar number is planned for 2014.

During the late 1990s, “virtually all of [China’s] ships and submarines were essentially single-mission platforms, poorly equipped to operate beyond the support of land-based defenses,” ONI said. Now, China’s newest destroyer, the Luyang III-class DDG, will likely enter service this year, featuring a sophisticated phased arrary radar system.

With new multi-mission platforms comes an improved ability to fire high-tech Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles, or ASCMs, at a greater range, the report explains. In fact, the assessment explains that the Luyang III is equipped with a new, vertically launched ASCM. The Luyang III may also be outfitted with anti-submarine missiles and, eventually, land-attack cruise missiles.

VLS on Type 052D Luyang III destroyer:

Type 052D VLS Luyang III DDG  PLAN Chinese destroyer

Type 052D VLS

The Type 052Ds also sport a 130mm gun.