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Opinion: Intensive commissioning of PLAN warships in line with China’s goal to safeguard its maritime rights and interests

( Source: China Military Online  )         2014-January-9 16:07

  BEIJING, January 9 (ChinaMil) -- The commissioning of the home-made new-type light guided missile frigate “Ji’an” at the end of December 2013 continued the momentum of intensive commissioning of new warships to the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLAN).

  It is learned that over the past year, the PLAN made greater breakthroughs in its military equipment development. In addition to the many time successful trainings of the aircraft carrier “Liaoning”, the commissioning of a large number of warships of the PLAN was also a highlight.

  In 2013, a lot of new warships for different purposes of the PLAN were commissioned, including the type-054A multi-purpose fully-closed guided missile frigates, the type-56 light guided missile frigates, the type-052C guided missile destroyers and the type-903A large comprehensive supply ships.

  Li Jie, a researcher with the Military Academic Research Institute under the PLAN, said that one of the most important reasons for the intensive commissioning of the warships is that the PLAN’s requirement for carrying out maritime operations.

  He explained that with the constant increase of China’s maritime rights and interests in recent years, the number and intensity of the PLAN’s maritime operations might increase, putting forward higher requirements for the PLAN in its equipment development and maintenance which must be supported by new warships.

  At the same time, the technical development is also an important reason for the PLAN’s equipment to enter the “blowout period”, Li Jie added.

  As a lot of technical problems of China’s military enterprises and shipbuilding industry have been successively overcome and the technical barriers in the past have been broken through, it is technically possible for the PLAN to develop its equipment, Li Jie said.

  It is very necessary for the PLAN to properly develop its equipment and to “build a powerful military force suitable for China’s position as a big country and the capabilities of safeguarding the rights and interests of its islands and waters,” according to Rear Adm. Li Fanglai, former deputy director of the Equipment and Technology Department of the PLAN.

  According to statistics, the South China Sea Fleet of the PLAN received a relatively large number of newly commissioned warships last year. In reply to this matter, Li Jie explained that due to the large area of the South China Sea and the relatively small number of medium and large warships in the South China Sea Fleet, the commissioning of many warships including the guided missile frigate “Sanya” is the necessary supplement to the South China Sea Fleet, and in addition, with the more and more international naval escort tasks and peacekeeping tasks in which China will participate, the South China Sea Fleet will need the support of more warships to implement these missions as it is more reasonable for the PLAN’s warships to depart from the South China Sea for implementing the above mentioned missions in light of the distance to the mission areas and the personnel arrangement.

  During a period of time in the future, the South China Sea will be always an important area for the PLAN to deploy its new-type warships and safeguard China’s maritime rights and interests, Li Jie added.

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Editor :  Zhang Tao