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How Many Flattops for China?

[ 11 ] September 13, 2012 |

I have a new weekly gig at The Diplomat.  First offering:

Reports on Monday indicated that the PLAN has finally settled on a name for its aircraft carrier, heretofore known as the ex-Varyag.  While speculation included names such as “Beijing,” “Mao Zedong,” and “Shi Lang,” the PLAN instead decided to adopt a relatively conventional naming strategy, dubbing the refurbished Soviet-era carrier “Liaoning” in honor of the province that has hosted the warship’s refit.

Most analysts agree that China will pursue the construction of additional aircraft carriers, but at this point the opacity of Chinese defense planning has not revealed how many ships the PLAN intends to operate.  In a recent article for Globe Magazine, a Chinese security scholar and major general argued that China needs up to five carriers to manage its maritime security…




Comments (11)

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  1. J. Otto Pohl says:

    How much of this acquisition is simply prestige for the navy and by extension the PRC as a whole and how much is due to actual plans to project force in the Pacific?

  2. thusbloggedanderson says:

    The more money China spends on giant targets for cruise missiles, the better!

    • timb says:

      I have to agree with this. The infrastructure for a carrier task force is as important as the carrier.

      I mean, if you want to project force in the South China sea, I would be more scared of 25 late era attack submarines.

      Then again, much I trust Farley’s judgement on the greatness of the Cincinnati Reds (take that Scott L….suspect back of a pitching rotation? My ass), I will also defer to his expertise here

  3. bob mcmanus says:

    How many aircraft carriers does the United States need?

    “Battleship Bob” Farley knows that if the Chinese believe their interests don’t exactly coincide with US interests, why, the Chinese need to very quickly correct that misunderstanding. The ability to defend themselves would only confuse the Middle Kingdom.

  4. wengler says:

    I guess it depends how often China intends to park them off of SW Asia or Africa fighting over mineral interests.

  5. melior says:

    Is it just me, cause it seems like only yesterday you could hardly say CVN without some young upstart of a warblogger slinging around words like “obsolete” and “asymmetric”… What’s old is new I guess!

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