China is on its way to equaling the U.S. Navy in achieving blue-water status, that is, if it could step up its nuclear submarine production.
The Chinese Navy needs to build more subs, which the U.S. has plenty of in its arsenal.
One of China's stumbling blocks in expanding its submarine production is how many of these subs it can build. However, it seems that Beijing's think-tanks have decided to remedy that.
One shipyard is getting upgraded for just that purpose. Once the improvements are finished, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) will rise into a bigger fleet. The works being done were seen in recent satellite images, reported USNI.
The ominous rise of the PLAN's nuke powered subs is watched by the U.S. Navy. If more subs are included, the Chinese Navy's arsenal will be a problem, especially in the Indo-Pacific, noted Real Clear Defense.
If submarine production is increased, everyone is thinking of how many can be built. For many, this is crucial and makes all the difference in guessing what is on the mind of the PLAN.
The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) predicts an additional number of six submarines until 2030. Experts like retired Capt. James Fanell of the Office of the Director of Intelligence and Information Operations, speculated that there might be more submersibles produced than just the six.
It is unlikely that the Chinese Navy will reveal how many they want to add to their nuclear forces. Given the track record of China, it will only increase their belligerence. During the pandemic, U.S. subs were shadowing the Chinese fleet in the Indo-Pacific. If it were the Chinese, then it will not be a good sign.
Photos from a commercial satellite show that something like a construction hall is built at the Bohai Shipyard located in Huludao. The building is similar to another structure built in 2015. Experts speculated that China is rolling out its next generation of nuclear submarines very soon. Increased nuclear submarine units for China is a critical task for their Navy.
To be able to build four subs at once, the structure should be large enough for four. It will be an adjunct to the older building close to it. Having the capacity for four units built at the same time is an advantage. This production capacity will increase the Chinese sub fleet if unchecked.
The Chinese submarine units are composed of ballistic missile submarines and attack submarines, just like the U.S. Navy. One assumption is that these boats will be made at the Bohai Shipyard, not in another secret facility. But, China has been known to run smokescreen on their true intentions.
It has not gone unnoticed, and the U.S. Navy is not taking China's challenge sitting down. More powerful subs such as the Virginia class can outclass China's best. An increase from 70 to 80 submarines composed of attack and ICBM submarines, all nuclear powered. These weapons have the power to pummel China should it cross the line.
Several new types of a nuclear submarine that include the Type-093B, Type-09IIIA, Type-09V Tang Class are said to be made at the Bohai shipyard in China. Not much is known about how technically close these subs are to the American subs, but more of them are not good for the world.