“A great advantage of our nation
is its ability to project power, and
the Navy is a key part of that,”
Carter said. The Navy cannot maintain the quality and size of the fleet
without “a vibrant industrial base,”
he said, which requires long-term
budgets, “not a one-year project.
“As a nation, we need to base
our defense budget upon our long-term national security strategy, not
a one-year thing,” he said.
Dempsey echoed that view, noting that the service members
“serve faithfully. It seems to me
they deserve clarity. Get us out of
the one-year cycle” and “help us
keep the men and women we need.
They are our decisive edge.”
China’s SSBNs Likely to
Begin First Deterrence
Patrols This Year
China’s People’s Liberation Army
Navy (PLAN) nuclear-powered
ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs)
are forecast to begin strategic deter-
rence patrols this year, according
to a new Department of Defense
In a congressionally mandated
annual report, “Military and Security
Developments Involving the People’s
Republic of China,” the DoD says
that the PLAN has four operational
Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs, which the
report called “China’s first credible
sea-based nuclear deterrent.”
The patrols will mark the entry of
China into the exclusive nuclear-
deterrence patrol club, joining the
United States, Russia, the United
Kingdom and France. India may fol-
low in the coming decade.
The report also predicts that
China may build one more Type
094 before switching to a next-generation SSBN, the Type 096.
The Jin class carries the CSS-NX- 14 (JL- 2) ballistic missile,
which can hit targets at an estimated range of 7,400 kilometers.
The PLAN’s submarine force of
all types is likely to grow by 10 to
18 boats over the next five years,
the report said. The PLAN currently operates 62 submarines, including four SSBNs, five nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs)
and 53 diesel-electric submarines
(SS and SSP). The report says the
force is likely to grow to between
69 and 78 submarines by 2020.
“China continues to improve its
SSN force, and four additional
Shang SSN (Type 093) will eventually join the two already in service.
The Shang SSN will replace the
aging Han SSN (Type 091). Over
the next decade, China may construct a new Type 095 nuclear-powered, guided-missile attack
submarine, which not only would
improve the PLA Navy’s anti-surface warfare capability, but
might also provide it with a more
clandestine, land-attack option,”
the report said.
China’s fleet of all warship types
now exceeds 300 ships, although
86 are coastal patrol vessels.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 8 SEAPOWER / JUNE 2015
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff GEN Martin E. Dempsey, left, testifies before the Senate Appropriations defense
subcommittee in Washington May 6 with Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter.