As we know, the Chinese military naval industry has been extremely successful for several years. Thus, from 2017 to 2020, it allowed the Chinese Navy to accept into active service no less than 21 destroyers, or three times more ships of this type than those entered into service within the US Navy , from the South Korean Navy, the Royal Australian Navy and the Japanese Naval Self-Defense Forces over the same period.
Far from slowing down the pace, it sets a new record in 2021 with no less than 8 destroyers delivered to the Naval Forces of the People's Liberation Army, or more precisely, 3 Type 055 cruisers and 5 Type 052DL anti-aircraft destroyers , two classes of a ship with absolutely nothing to envy of the most powerful Western naval units.
This is the largest number of destroyers ever delivered in a single year in the last 50 years, the previous record dating from 1994 when the US Navy simultaneously delivered six Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
The more than sustained pace of Chinese shipyards does not seem destined to diminish in the months and years to come. Thus, according to Chinese media, a new order for 8 Type 055 cruisers and 16 Type 052DL destroyers would have been notified to the country's shipyards at the end of the year, so as to maintain the pace of current deliveries.
In addition, a new batch of Type 054A frigates was also ordered last year , and deliveries began this year, while 20 Type 056 corvettes in service with the Chinese navy were transferred this year-end to the coast guards , so as to free the crews to equip the new high seas vessels currently under construction.
If this rate is maintained until 2026, and there is no reason to believe that this will not be the case, the Chinese Navy will then have, in terms of surface combatants, 16 Type 055 cruisers, 42 Type 052 anti-aircraft destroyers of all types, including 24 Type 052DL in elongated version, and 50 Type 054A regattas , i.e. a naval force substantially equivalent to that available to the US Navy and its Australian, New Zealand and Japanese allies. and South Koreans in the Pacific.
Force equivalence will also be achieved, or close to being achieved, in the field of amphibious ships. Western naval forces will have little left than their submarine and naval fleet to maintain ascendancy over the Chinese Navy, even though the latter did not represent 1/5th of the forces of these same allies in 2000.
Beyond the unparalleled industrial capabilities available to Beijing, we see, and the episode of the transfer of the Type 056 corvettes is there to demonstrate, that the expansion of the Chinese Navy is beginning to come up against other factors, in particularly in human resources.
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