China Builds Warships For Fighter Jets That Could ‘Sink & Kill Occupants,’ Report Claims

Image Credits: Sun Zifa/China News Service via Getty Images.

The issue of naval competition has gained great importance amid the increased tensions in the South China Sea, where both China and the United States maintain a strong military presence. In recent years, Beijing has been actively developing its navy, triggering serious concerns in Washington over its naval superiority in the region.

Sam Armstrong of the Henry Jackson Society think tank has claimed that China is secretly constructing military vessels that are capable of carrying fighter jets, the Sun reported on Tuesday.

Referring to recent reports about China constructing a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier for missile attack training, Armstrong pointed out that there is no need for such efforts unless the country is planning a “bombing raid on an aircraft carrier”.

“If China is building aircraft carriers built to the scale of US ships, it’s developing the capacity to send its fast fighter jets around the world with the sole intention of sinking that vessel and killing its occupants,” he said.

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“These are working models that are ready to be deployed as a training exercise for a real-life operation against Western forces.”

Analysts have of late been almost unanimous in the view that the US may soon lose its naval advantage. Chinese naval modernization includes a wide range of programs for the production of new ships, aircraft and weapons, improvement of maintenance and logistics, along with the development of a naval doctrine and the improvement of naval personnel.

The exact size and composition of China’s naval force have never been revealed by Beijing. To date, it is believed that the country has at its disposal 355 warships, including large surface ships, submarines, aircraft carriers, landing and minefield ships. According to The Washington Times, China is set to acquire a total of 460 warships by the end of this decade.

Apart from that, China has introduced a new naval component of its nuclear triad, nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) of Type 094. The warships are capable of firing ballistic missiles with a range of 7,200 kilometers, which means that they could reach the US’ Hawaii and Alaska as well as the US West Coast.

Reports of China’s increasingly powerful naval forces were accompanied by news of its two alleged testings of hypersonic weapons earlier in the summer.

The Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea have been deemed the Near Seas by Beijing, an area the country considers to be a core national interest. The Near Seas are bounded to the west by an island chain that includes Okinawa, Taiwan and the Philippine, with all of them being mainly controlled by the US. A potential area of local military conflict between the US and China is believed to be in the area surrounding Taiwan and in the South China Sea.