ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 21st, 2013 at 5:57 pm

China’s New Oilers Give Navy Global Reach

» by in: China

Here is a further example of the growing capabilities of the Chinese Navy:

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy now has an aircraft carrier, new jet fighters to fly off the flattop and even new submarines and guided-missile destroyers able to protect the refurbished Soviet carrier. And with the successful first sea trials of two new, 590-foot-long fleet oilers — tanker ships designed to keep other vessels fueled, or “replenished,” while sailing long distance — the PLAN could soon be able to deploy all this new hardware beyond coastal waters.

“Replenishment vessel construction rate will be a particularly revealing barometer of the PLAN’s future expeditionary intentions,” wrote Andrew Erickson, an analyst at the U.S. Naval War College. The more new oilers, the farther China will be able to send its new capital ships. Without underway replenishment, most naval vessels can travel only a few thousand miles; with fuel top-offs, they can circle the globe.

The latest, upgraded Qiandaohu-class oilers, also known as Type 903s, were launched at a shipyards in Guangzhou and Shanghai last spring. After additional work, the tankers began sea trials in the China Seas, testing out the vessels’ mechanical systems plus the storage tanks, valves, hoses and other gear for refueling other ships at sea. This week the first of the new Qiandaohus reportedly completed her trials, clearing her for frontline use.

When it comes to prepping new naval vessels for service, nine months is not a long time. Many U.S. vessels take years to go from launch through trials to commissioning. One U.S.-based Chinese military analyst, who blogs under the pseudonym “Coatepeque,” calls the oilers’ speedy trials “impressive.”  []

You can read the rest at the link, but it seems to me that China will need to have basing agreements in other countries around the world before their Navy really has a global reach.  This probably why the Chinese state run media has already been urging the government to expand their overseas bases.  They already have naval bases in Pakistan and Burma and Oman allows Chinese ships to be based out of there for anti-piracy patrols.  Thus in the Indian Ocean the Chinese already have strategic influence with their Navy.  This is significant first step for the Chinese because they are depended on their energy supplies coming across the Indian Ocean from the Middle East.  However, I doubt that the Chinese will be able to any time soon support global patrols with their Navy to the extent the US Navy currently does, but they are definitely appear to be heading in that direction.

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  • Leon LaPorte
    9:29 pm on January 21st, 2013 1

    One torpedo is all it takes.

  • 2ID Doc
    9:55 pm on January 21st, 2013 2

    #1 As my old retired submariner friend says “There are 2 types of ships, submarines & targets.”

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:56 pm on January 21st, 2013 3

    2. Giant fuel tankers have to be double plus good.

  • Dragonfly
    10:04 pm on January 21st, 2013 4

    True, but everyone has to start somewhere. I’ve even heard that, at one time, the US Navy used to patrol the seven seas and engage in naval battles in ships made from wood that used canvas sails for propulsion! Then, as our country prospered, we upgraded over time to become what we are now. That’s where they eventually want to be.

    The recent Chinese naval upgrades are the first major steps toward being able to project their presence to the other side of the planet. Hmmm, get a good handle on the world economy and then updgrade your military to be able to physically control portions of the globe. I know they are still communists, but I just hope they aren’t still following that part of the Communist Manifesto that calls for world domination, by whatever means:)

  • Conway Eastwood
    10:13 pm on January 21st, 2013 5

    PLA-N UnRep!

  • Glans
    4:25 am on January 22nd, 2013 6

    Dragonfly, which part of the Communist Manifesto calls for world domination, by whatever means?

  • Dr.Yu
    4:32 am on January 22nd, 2013 7

    I wonder what is holding the USA from imposing restriction on China’s naval ambition like they did to Japan over a century ago? As an observer it intrigues me what is the line the USA drew to let China move freely without USA intervention. As for Japan it is sad to notice that they have become the symbol of a free Asia in the West while they still have not served their tires with their colonialist history and nationalism feeling is growing …

  • Chris In Dallas
    5:19 am on January 22nd, 2013 8

    Dr Yu, we had a lot of leverage over the Japanese during the time of the Washington Treaty since Japan was a resource starved island nation. If they didn’t cut a deal, we had ways to isolating them diplomatically and economically. That’s not the case with China. Besides we’re out of the world police business now.

  • Dr.Yu
    6:43 am on January 22nd, 2013 9

    #8. Thanks for your answer.
    I think USA still has capacity to isolate China diplomatically and economically, the question is what is preventing them to do so …..

    USA economy still depends so much on China’s market to buy cheap products and to keep financing USA’s debt, now if I´m wrong and USA has really no power to control China, than in my opinion the USA should be in panic since China could be a real treat to USA hegemony, however you don’t see it happening …. should it be the case than USA is being very passive to this situation to the level of incompetence (which I really, but I mean really doubt) or there is something else that we ordinary people can’t see …..

    Today USA economy depends on two basic pillars to keep its hegemonic position: the dollar and the army. Dollar means credit and there is no credit without debtors, and since the USA market is no longer big enough to support the dollar growth (debtor saturation) they need the Chinese market to find new clients (more debtors) and the army is there to assure that no one will threaten the dollar as the dominant currency in the world (Saddan Hussein paid with his life to prove that). Under this context, for USA China is a very complex country to deal with, since you can’t kill your best client but also can’t tolerate a new contender looming in the horizon …. So the dilemma for USA now is when your best client becomes your most dangerous enemy …. (it resembles Apple and Samsung´s partners/competitors paradox).

    Since I can’t believe USA is so incompetent to allow China to become its most formidable enemy, I believe that there is something beyond our knowledge that assures USA power to curb China whenever they want to ….. so the question is what is this “something beyond our knowledge” that the USA possess???

    BTW, USA giving up its business of “sheriff of the town” is just a fantasy ….. they need to keep playing this game for the sake of the dominance of the dollar, so in my opinion japan is there to save some USA money and to spare Americans life when USA will go to war with China (yes, send the Japanese to the front line to die while Americans are busy fighting the Chinese pressing their buttons and playing with their joysticks …) and that´s clever ….

  • Chris In Dallas
    10:35 am on January 22nd, 2013 10

    9: The difference between 1920s Japan and 21st Century China is a matter of degree. Sure, the US could influence modern China, but we had the ability to nearly shut down Japan as far as naval construction went. At that time they bought pretty much all their fuel from us and a whole lot of other raw materials like steel, copper, strategic minerals, etc. Today China has most of the basic ingredients in their own borders. About all we can do here is inconvenience them.

    As to this hegemony business, why do you think the US wants such a thing? We just had an election a couple months ago and the unwashed masses decided they wanted free stuff much more than being a major operator on the world stage.

  • Dr.Yu
    12:09 pm on January 22nd, 2013 11

    If you are right, why did the USA let this happen? I mean, they cant control china´s rise? Honestly I don´t believe American leaders are that incompetent … Let me repeat it again, today USA´s most important asset is its currency and its army, but China will soon be able to bring its currency and army to the same level of the USA (maybe 1 generation time) and I have no illusion that the USA will do whatever it is necessary to prevent this to happen. The question is what and when …
    I have this suspicious that the USA could loose the objectivity and mess up business with policy and end up loosing the focus ….
    Regarding hegemony and free stuffs, give the masses food and circus so that the politicians can do their “stuffs” freely …

  • Glans
    6:42 pm on January 22nd, 2013 12

    Chris, Obamistan is unworthy of you. Russia beckons.

  • Chris In Dallas
    4:22 am on January 23rd, 2013 13

    Russia is a has been nation. China and maybe India is where the action is going to be.

  • Glans
    4:34 am on January 23rd, 2013 14

    All right Chris, you have your destination, now get you a ticket, and you’re on your way! Don’t even wait to hear Hillary Clinton’s testimony about Benghazi. You don’t have to worry about her ever again.

  • Chris In Dallas
    1:19 pm on January 23rd, 2013 15

    14: I seem to recall the “America, love it or leave it” line of thought was forbidden in discourse even in the face of seditious or treasonous pronouncements! Perhaps this has changed too.

  • someotherguy
    7:45 pm on January 23rd, 2013 16

    Their decades behind where they need to be. Open ocean refueling isn’t viable for any area undergoing combat operations. And no scaring off a bunch of punk rifle wielding “pirates” doesn’t count as combat operations. Those tankers would be incredibly vulnerable and easy targets. Disabling them would cripple any Blue Water navy that relied on them.

    Refueling concerns is the primary drive behind the USN’s goal of an all nuclear fleet.

  • Kangaji
    9:02 pm on January 23rd, 2013 17

    Well, it’s a big target if you’re going after a country with a blue water navy and air assets that can defeat your air defense, but is that the only type of country you can project power into?

  • someotherguy
    11:11 pm on January 23rd, 2013 18


    Considering China’s geographic position and the region it wants to project power in. It’s concern would be an opponent that utilizes nuclear powered long range ships.


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