China’s PLAN Surface and Sub Order of Battle

Earlier I published “Chinese Navy Submarine and Major Surface Ship Order of Battle,” that included three infographics prepared by Dr. Sarah Kirchberger that I found on the CIMSEC Internal Discussions Facebook page. At the time I noted that they did not include Chinese aircraft carriers, amphibs, and numerous frigates, corvettes, and other small combatants.

Dr. Kirchberger recently emailed me additional and updated infographics that provide a more complete picture of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s rapid growth. I have included them all below, including updated versions of the three previously published.

Another resource available is the “Office of Naval Intelligence’s Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, Coast Guard, Ship Identification Guide.”

From a Coast Guard perspective, the most interesting development sighted below was the transfer of 22 Type 056 corvettes {photo above) from the Navy to the China Coast Guard. This follows the earlier transfer of four type 053H2G frigates (NATO designation Jiangwei I). In both cases heavier weapons were removed but significant gun armament remained. These added significantly to the China Coast Guard’s close in firepower. When the new China Coast Guard was formed in 2013, very few of their ships were armed with anything larger than 14.5mm machine guns.

Chinese H/PJ-17 30mm

That has changed, particularly since the China Coast Guard was absorbed into the country’s Central Military Commission (CMC), effective July 2018. The standard fit now seems to be a 76m gun and one or two 30mm H/PJ-17.

Undated photo of carrier Shandong. PLA Photo

Type 055 Destroyer (Cruiser) image

PLAN Type 054A Huanggang (FFG-577), Japanese Self Defense Force photo.

Type 056 corvette, credit 樱井千一

Image: Creative Commons.

CSR Report RL33153 China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress by Ronald O’Rourke dated February 28, 2014. Page 8 – Figure 1. Jin (Type 094) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Source: Photograph provided to CRS by Navy Office of Legislative Affairs, December 2010.

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