DOD: Chinese Navy now largest, Beijing doubling nuclear capability

The latest Defense Department 200-page report, “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China — 2020”  has some startling facts in it.

Below are some of the starkest excerpts, in the report’s language, not mine:

> The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)—the largest navy in the world—is an increasingly modern and flexible force that has focused on replacing previous generations of platforms with limited capabilities in favor of larger, modern multi-role combatants. As of 2019, the PLAN is largely composed of modern multi-role platforms featuring advanced anti-ship, anti-air, and anti-submarine weapons and sensors.

> Naval Shipbuilding and Modernization: The PLAN remains engaged in a robust shipbuilding and modernization program that includes submarines, surface combatants, amphibious warfare ships, aircraft carriers, and auxiliary ships as well as developing and fielding advanced weapons, sensors, and command and control capabilities.

The country’s rocket forces are increasingly advanced.

Nuclear Deterrence

> China’s strategic ambitions, evolving view of the security landscape, and concerns over
survivability are driving significant changes to the size, capabilities, and readiness of its nuclear
forces.

> China’s nuclear forces will significantly evolve over the next decade as it modernizes, diversifies, and increases the number of its land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear delivery platforms.

> Over the next decade, China’s nuclear warhead stockpile—currently estimated to be in the low200s—is projected to at least double in size as China expands and modernizes its nuclear forces.

> China is pursuing a “nuclear triad” with the development of a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) and improving its ground and sea-based nuclear capabilities.

> New developments in 2019 further suggest that China intends to increase the peacetime readiness of its nuclear forces by moving to a launch-on-warning (LOW) posture with an expanded silo-based force

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