- DECEMBER 2015 Chinese announced to build their own Made-In-China carrier.
- Just 15 months later Shandong to join PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy)
- China’s 2nd aircraft carrier, 1st to be built entirely in China.
From having no aircraft carrier before 2012, the Chinese can now make a brand new carrier in under 15 months. I think they may soon take this down to under 12 months.
Here is some news :
China’s first domestic aircraft carrier to sail within three weeks
Shandong 2nd carrier to join People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)
Shandong significantly modernized carrier, constructed in Dalian
Type 001A Shandong commissioned April 23 — 68th anniversary of PLAN
Shandong will displace 65,000 tons, compared with Liaoning’s 60,000.
“hard to recall growth at similar pace in any navy across history” UK think tank.
new carrier Shandong will carry 36 Jian-15 fighters [J-15].
Liaoning carrier can carry 24 J-15 fighters
Liaoning Type 001 class, rebuilt out of Soviet aircraft cruiser Varyag in early 2000s
Sept 2012 Liaoning commissioned into PLA Navy.
Dec 2015 Chinese announced plans to construct new aircraft carrier
My comments : The latest American aircraft carrier the USS Gerald Ford class was under construction for about 12 years. The USS Gerald Ford will join the US Navy in 2019 !! Almost 15 years for the Americans to put a carrier into service.
The Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has been under construction since 2005. It is not expected to be commissioned until 2023. That’s 18 years, if they make it.
The Chinese have built their 65,000 ton aircraft carrier in 15 months !!
With this 2nd carrier the Chinese Navy will have two aircraft carrier battle groups.
An aircraft carrier battle group means the aircraft carrier will sail in an armada escorted by ‘support ships’ like destroyers, frigates, cruisers and submarines. Not only to protect the aircraft carrier but to also act as a ‘aircraft carrier strike group’.
Here is a diagram of an American aircraft carrier strike group :
I believe the Chinese may have from three to five aircraft carrier battle groups like these within the next five years. They will likely dominate the South China Sea, the western Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
The US Navy has 10 aircraft carrier battle groups but they cover all the oceans of the world.
We need to catch up. We can. It is not very difficult.
How? Just do what the Chinese do.