In a relatively short period of time, China managed to overtake Russia and now planning to overtake the US in the size of its maritime fleet. In 2021, Beijing plans to increase it even more. A photo posted on Chinese social media shows how big its Navy will be this year.
According to this image, China could increase the number of surface ships to 174 units. In fact, it should be noted that this list does not include dozens of ships of earlier projects and ships of the auxiliary class.
According to Western military experts, in a relatively short period of time, the PLA navy has moved to second place in the world in terms of its performance, overtaking the Russian Navy and is already “stepping on the heels” of the US Navy.
At the end of 2021, Beijing plans to finish its third aircraft carrier, which is currently in full assembly at a shipyard in Shanghai. It is the non-nuclear ship that will be added to the two existing nuclear aircraft carriers: the Liaoning (Type 001) and the Shandong (commissioned as Type 002). Electromagnetic catapults are expected to be installed on the new aircraft carrier.
Another helicopter carrier will also appear (project 075). It is a cross between the French “Mistral” type UDC and the American “America” type UDC. Now China has two such ships.
The Chinese Navy currently has two of these helicopter carriers and plans to build a total of eight such ships in the future.
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In 2021, the Asian country plans to increase its fleet of large Type 055 destroyers from one to eight, or Renhai according to the sources. All these ships have already been launched and are in various stages of completion. For its part, the number of destroyers of the Kunming class (Type 052D) will increase to 37 units this year.
Despite the fact that China has increased the pace of its shipbuilding, the Asian country’s Navy has made the decision to suspend the construction of certain ship models. Beijing stopped production of the Type 071 project amphibious transport ship for domestic use. In the Asian country, they consider that the eight units of this model are already enough for their fleet. China had been putting them into service between 2006 and 2020. Today only one vessel of this type is under construction for export to Thailand.
In addition, Beijing decided not to build the Lanzhou destroyers of the Type 052C project, as it has six units of these ships in service. It also has a sufficient number of Jiangkai frigates from the Type 054 project – 32 ships – and is producing one for the Pakistani Navy.