Chinese Navy fails to train crews to keep up with delivery of new ships

Like Western navies, the Chinese navy is also facing human resource challenges. But unlike its counterparts, its problem stems from the fact that it cannot train its crews quickly enough to keep up with the rates of ship delivery in recent years.

The rise of the People's Liberation Army over the past 30 years has been as rapid as it is ambitious. This has gone from a mainly defensive army, based on the precepts of popular armies inherited from Soviet doctrines, to a high-tech army, with a lot of advanced equipment and doctrines comparable to those used by the best trained armies in the world. .

For this, Beijing was able to rely on industrial planning and research that was both dynamic and remarkably executed, allowing its armies to catch up, in 30 years, with the 30 years of technological and doctrinal delay they had faced. to Western and even Russian armies in 1990.

This is how the People's Liberation Army Air Force fighter was transformed from a fleet based on fighters derived from the Soviet Mig-17, 19 and 21, to a fleet relying on fighters from Perfectly modern 4th and 5th generations, such as the single-engine J-10C, the general-purpose J-16 and the new J-20.

The army was equipped with Type 96 then Type 99/A tanks comparable to Western tanks, as well as an equally high-performance armored and artillery fleet. At the same time, the manpower was reduced from 10 million men on the basis of strict conscription, to a force of 2 million men half professional and half made up of voluntary conscripts for a service of 24 months .

But the component that has undergone the most radical transformation is undoubtedly the Chinese Navy. Over this same period, it has in fact gone from a coastal defensive force mainly employing ships armed with cannons, to a perfectly modern high seas fleet, fielding around a hundred destroyers and frigates armed with missiles, around sixty -sailors, more than a dozen of which are nuclear-powered, and even a rapidly growing naval and amphibious component, making it the world's second deep sea naval force, and the main competitor of the US Navy.

However, unlike the Chinese air and land forces whose technological progression has been relatively linear over the past 30 years, the Chinese Navy has experienced, from the 2010s, an almost geometric growth, to the point that now it is common for 7 to 8 new destroyers and frigates enter service each year, together with two or three submarines and one or two large naval or amphibious ships.

The Chinese Navy admits to service about ten destroyers and frigates per year
The Chinese Navy receives more than 6 new destroyers each year, such as the Type 055 heavy destroyers.

If Chinese shipyards have indeed succeeded in producing new, perfectly modern ships, such as the Type 054A frigates specialized in anti-submarine warfare, the Type 052D/L anti-aircraft destroyers and the Type 055 heavy destroyers, and large ships such as the heavy aircraft carrier Fujian and the Type 075 assault helicopter carriers, at a most sustained pace, it seems that the naval forces of the People's Liberation Army are struggling to supply these new ships with crews and trained and trained officers. This is in any case the meaning of an article published in the "People's Liberation Army Daily", the internal press organ of the forces, relayed by the information site

According to this article, the delivery rates of new modern ships are so high that the Chinese Navy can no longer train the most critical personnel who equip these ships, in particular the technological specialists capable of implementing the new equipment at best. of their abilities.

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