Saturday, February 20, 2016

To the Shores of South China Sea Islands

China is building Coast Guard ships essentially designed for small-scale amphibious warfare:

In 2014 China commissioned a new and exceptionally large (4,000 ton) patrol ship for its Coast Guard. That was just the beginning an even larger, 12,000 ton, patrol ship (CCG 3901) is nearing completion. While neither of these huge patrol vessels carriers much in the way of weapons both have surface and air search radars, a helicopter, boarding craft and space for several hundred people. These could be victims of some maritime disaster, or troops for some emergency in the South China Sea (like reinforcing the garrison of an artificial island). The 12,000 ton patrol ship apparently will have a 76mm gun, two smaller (30mm or so) autocannon and two heavy machine-guns.

Here we have another example of Chinese amphibious warfare capability that isn't officially an amphibious warfare capability. We shouldn't judge China by how we do the job.

And as Strategypage notes, the Chinese marines are poorly deployed for Taiwan scenarios. They are probably earmarked for the South China Sea.

This ship design is interesting since I had been working on idea along these lines for an article that I had to put on hold this winter as family matters unexpectedly took up a lot of my time and energy.

So I note this here so I can refer back to it later this year.