How to Build a Navy
Strategypage reveals how China is now the world’s largest shipbuilder, proving she has what it takes to potentially create a world class Navy:
Sooner than anyone expected, China has surpassed South Korea as the world’s largest shipbuilder. Currently, Chinese firms have orders for 54.96 million CGT of ships, compared to 53.63 million CGT. Thus China has 34.7 percent of the world market. Since 2000, South Korea has had the largest share of the world shipbuilding market. South Korea took the lead from Japan…
China has invested much money and effort into expanding its merchant shipbuilding industry, as a way to improve its warship building capability. Three years ago, China produced about a quarter of the worlds merchant shipping, while South Korea was in first place, producing about a third. It was then believed that China would take first place in the next 5-10 years.
The big thing holding China back in the warship building area was the shortage of skilled personnel. By encouraging merchant shipbuilding, the government creates experienced ship builders for the more complex task of building warships.
I don’t know. The way the West builds warships, government sponsored yards which produce 5-6 vessels annually, many very complicated, fueled with nuclear power, is clearly a much better way to maintain the fleet. I’m positive. Definitely. Sigh…
The major difference between merchant vessels and warships is what equipment they have. Merchant ships are quite basic and plain. A 300,000 DWT VLCC is about the same size as a Nimitz class carrier, but costs much less to build ($130 million for the VLCC, versus over $4 billion for the carrier). Actually, it costs more to run a carrier for one year, than the VLCC costs to build. Part of that has to do with crew size, with the carrier having a hundred sailors for everyone needed to run the VLCC.
Here the idea of “missile barges” or arsenal ships might come into play. China could potentially create a large number of missile firing spartan warships, a handful of radar command motherships, even drone warships which yours truly proposed. This would be a major expansion of a very potent armada at less cost than the US could build a single carrier battlegroup.
(Oh please, let China build carriers. Oh please let them build aircraft carriers!)