lørdag 6. november 2021

Yes, China Has More Warships Than the USA. That’s Because Chinese Ships Are Small.

China possesses the biggest navy in the world by number of hulls, the U.S. Defense Department confirmed in its latest report on Beijing’s armed forces. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has 355 front-line ships in three fleets arrayed along the Chinese coast. The U.S. Navy, by contrast, has 305 front-line ships, divided roughly 60-40 between the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. Worse for U.S. planners, the PLAN is on track to add another 70 warships by 2030, while the USN optimistically might add just 42.

But there’s an important caveat in this hull tally. American vessels on average are much larger than Chinese vessels are. The smallest USN warship type—the Littoral Combat Ship—displaces 3,000 tons of water. The median USN ship—an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer—displaces up to 9,500 tons.