America and China’s Armed Forces Are Training Together in the Pacific Right Now

America and China’s Armed Forces Are Training Together in the Pacific Right Now

South China Sea tensions take place in a broader context of growing U.S.-China military-to-military exercises - as China participates in a 2016 multi-national training exercise.

 

China has plans to grow its navy to 351 ships by 2020, the Congressional report said. The U.S. shipbuilding plan calls for a 306-ship fleet, however most observers believe the U.S. Navy will likely maintain a technological superiority when it comes to weapons, missiles, radar and various ship defensive systems. At the same time, this margin of superiority is likley to keep decreasing at an alarming rate given the pace of Chinese military modernization. 

The Congressional report, called the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, catalogues China’s rapid increase in defense spending and cites that China spent $132 billion on defense in 2014.

 

China is also building a new class of destroyers called LUYANG IIIs armed with long-range anti-ship missiles. Part of this naval modernization effort includes ongoing construction of new amphibious assault ships called, YUZHAO LPDs able to carry 800 troops, four helicopters and 20 armored vehicles. This ships will be complemented by a new class of cruisers as well, also equipped with land-attack missile and potentially able to fire lasers and rail-guns in the future.

China is also building fast-moving HOBEI-class guided missile patrol boats and light frigates armed with naval guns, torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

Also, of concern to Pentagon analysts is the Chinese move to build more nuclear capable submarines.  Chinese SSBNs (nuclear-armed submarines) are now able to patrol with nuclear-armed JL-2 missiles able to strike targets more than 4,500 nautical miles, an ability which puts them in range to potentially strike some parts of the United States.

Kris Osborn became the Managing Editor of Scout Warrior in August of 2015. His role with Scout.com includes managing content on the Scout Warrior site and generating independently sourced original material. Scout Warrior is aimed at providing engaging, substantial military-specific content covering a range of key areas such as weapons, emerging or next-generation technologies and issues of relevance to the military. Just prior to coming to Scout Warrior, Osborn served as an Associate Editor at the Military.com. This story originally appeared in Scout Warrior.