Thursday, February 6, 2014

China's Blue Water Navy

China has an aircraft carrier that was built by the Russians.  The Chinese Navy is in the process of building another.  These carriers do not have the steam catapult launch capability of US carriers making the range and effectiveness of the Chinese carriers far less than the US Navy.

However, Ralph Cossa misses the point when he says, “A single aircraft carrier, with limited range aircraft and little blue water experience, hardly makes China a major sea power, but people are already reacting to the shadow rather than the little guy behind the screen,”--Press TV

The point is not carrier-on-carrier battles but rather the ability of China being able to project power somewhere the US is not, forcing one of the few remaining carrier battle groups to relocate.  By having the ability in the future to send Chinese forces to foreign shores, the US will be obliged to move in kind taking its carriers away from strategic locations.  It is not about effectiveness, it is about numbers.  Even a few, Chinese carrier battle groups would be enough to cause US Navy planners some serious problems.  The US carriers can only be in so many places at one time.

The Chinese carrier is also means China is demonstrating a commitment to being a world superpower at a time when US nuclear forces (now including the US Navy) are facing cheating scandals.  The US military may still be qualitatively superior but our reliance on technology over numbers means we simply can't be everywhere.  China and Russia realize a larger presence can compensate for lack of advanced technology. You don't need to fire a shot if you can get your enemy to go bankrupt trying to flex its dwindling numbers.

No comments: