Popular Mechanics, an American science and technology magazine, recently published an article on its website saying that the number of submarines in mainland China will surpass that of the United States by 2030, and the United States can balance it with the power of allies, and Taiwan, China, is also in the “alliary circle” of the United States.
According to the report, although the Taiwanese army has only two old submarines, the number of submarines under construction has reached eight. Taiwan media also said that this can more or less “help the United States”.
According to the article, Volkswagen Mechanics said that in 1993, the PLA had only 47 submarines, including one Type 092 (Summer-class) strategic nuclear submarine, five Type 091 attack nuclear submarines, 34 old Type 033 diesel-electric submarines, and six older Type 035 (Ming-class) submarines. The article commented that at that time, the submarine force of the PLA was not strong, but at best a coastal defense force.
The article points out that after 27 years of development, the size of the PLA’s submarines is no longer the same. By 2019, the PLA had four strategic nuclear submarines, six attack nuclear submarines and 50 diesel-electric submarines, according to a report from the U.S. Congressional Research Service.
All strategic nuclear submarines and attack nuclear submarines are new, and 42 of the 50 diesel-electric submarines are also new, including Type 039A submarines, “Killow”-class submarines and meta-class submarines.
U.S. media articles said that the PLA continued to expand the size of submarines, which deserves the “warning” of the U.S. military. According to the forecast of the U.S. Naval Intelligence Office, the total number of submarines in the PLA will reach 76 by 2030. Among them, 16 new submarines will be added, and eight old Type 035 (Ming-class) submarines will be replaced with new submarines. It is also possible to replace one of the two Kilo-class submarines purchased from Russia in the late 1990s.
The 2020 China Military Power Report released by the Pentagon in September also said that two Type 094 strategic nuclear submarines of the People’s Liberation Army are equipped with long-range nuclear missiles, which will bring China’s sea-based nuclear deterrence to six submarines.
The article said that the number of submarines in the United States will not increase in 2020-2030, and even reduce from 68 to 66. In addition, the U.S. military also has fewer types of submarines, mainly Los Angeles-class, Sea Wolf-class, Ohio-class and Virginia-class.
Compared with the submarines of China and the United States, the article analyzes that all the submarines of the U.S. military are nuclear-powered submarines. Although the number of PLA submarines has increased rapidly, most of them are diesel-electric submarines with limited range and cannot be silent like nuclear submarines of the U.S. military.
Of China’s 56 attack submarines, only 6 can cross the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Or the naval bases on the mainland of the United States pose a threat, while all submarines in the United States can cross the Pacific Ocean and approach the Asian continent.
According to the article, the United States has an “invisible advantage” – multiple allies have submarine fleets: Japan has 22 diesel-electric submarines, of which 12 are first-class Canglong-class submarines; South Korea has 18 small diesel-electric submarines; although there are only two old submarines in Taiwan, they are starting to build eight new submarines.
Taiwan media: Taiwan can help.
The article said that in the event of future conflicts in the Pacific region, some or all of these “allies” submarines can increase the strength of the U.S. Navy.
Taiwan media also noticed this article. Some Taiwanese media said that the number of ships built in the mainland increased like “dumpling dumplings”, but the U.S. military still has other “potential advantages”, that is, other “ally” submarines, “Taiwan can help”.