Friday, April 2, 2010

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Buildup- The Significance

The US Defense Department reported in early 2009 that China's PLA Navy "is considering building multiple carriers by 2020".

In 2006, Lt Col Christopher J. Pehrson highlighted the significance of the U.S. aircraft carrier fleet in his excellent report entitled "String of Pearls".

"The U.S. ability to project power is unrivaled, particularly at sea. U.S. Naval power is charged with peacetime management of the “blue water” high seas. Since World War II, America has enabled much of Asia’s free trade by guaranteeing freedom of navigation throughout Asia’s major SLOCs. No nation, including China, has the capacity to assume the responsibility of protecting the commons or the means to usurp the U.S. Navy in this role. American warships have a combined displacement of 2.86 million tons whereas the PLAN’s combined fleet has a displacement of only 263 thousand tons. Of the world’s 34 aircraft carriers, 24 are U.S. Navy vessels, while China possesses none. This traditional “blue water” navy, centered on the aircraft carrier, is one of America’s greatest military strengths."

Photo by Lietmotiv

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