- May 11, 2011
What South African and other news outlets didn't feature prominently this week was the Russian Naval Review by Putin in which their latest was shown. According to Western analysts, the Russians are rebuilding their fleet with the emphasis on quality and are flexing their muscles:
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has marked the 325th anniversary of the founding of its navy with ship parades at major ports. President Vladimir Putin attended the main parade of more than 50 vessels Sunday in St. Petersburg, which included ships from the navies of Iran, Pakistan and India. The Iranian frigate Sahand, which sailed down the Neva River in the parade, and the sea-base vessel Makran attracted attention from naval observers due to their unusually long voyages to Russia. Parades also took place in the Russian naval bases of Severomorsk, Caspiisk, Baltiisk, Sevastopol, Vladivostok and at the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria.
More than 50 vessels and 4,000 troops took part in the parade ahead of the navy's 325th anniversary.. Read more at straitstimes.com.www.straitstimes.com
U.S. Navy Captain Mike Kafka said the Russian vessels had left the area following drills in the Pacific.www.newsweek.com
The Chinese are starting to worry the US Congress:
Beijing has undertaken sweeping efforts to modernize its navy. Between 2014 and 2018, China launched more naval vessels than the number of ships currently serving in the individual navies of Germany, India, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Learn more with this ChinaPower exclusive.chinapower.csis.org
The size and strength of the PLAN is massively over-exaggerated by including their coastal fleet. Most of their fleet is made up of frigates and patrol boats that are useless outside of their territorial waters. Their blue water capabilities are a lot less impressive and they still lag way behind the USN in the area of force projection.
The most obvious disparity is in carriers. The USN currently has 11 active supercarriers, with a 12th fitting out and a 13th under construction. China only has 2 active carriers (1 of which is a converted cruiser) with a further 2 under construction. The PLAN also has exactly zero experience with carrier warfare. Their first arrested landings on a carrier were conducted 9-years ago.
The USN fleet is also battle-tested, so while China is pumping ships out, its a case of quantity over quality at this point. It is one thing bullying Vietnam and the Philippines over fishing rights, another thing altogether dealing with the USN.