US Defense Department: Chinese Navy is largest in world

According to a special report on the topic of military and security developments involving China, the country today has a force of 350 naval platforms. Also, there has been advancement in the building of the fleet's third aircraft carrier that will be larger and more sophisticated than its predecessors  

A Chinese aircraft carrier during an exercise, 2019. Photo: Oriental Image via REUTERS

The Chinese Navy is today the largest in the world as a direct result of Beijing's aspirations to "return" to a position of strength and leadership in the world, according to a US Defense Department report for the year 2020 on the topic of military and security developments involving China.   

Among other things, the report says that the Chinese military has today a force of 350 naval platforms including major surface combatants, submarines, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, mine warfare ships and fleet auxiliaries. In comparison, the US Navy has 293 platforms of the same types.   

The report notes that there has been advancement in the building of the Chinese Navy's third aircraft carrier that will be larger than the two existing ones and be equipped with a special system for launching fighter jets. According to the Janes website, the new aircraft carrier is supposed to enter service in in 2023 and become operational the following year. 

The US report also notes advancement in development of the multirole fighter of the Chinese Air Force, the J-31/FC-31, which is intended for export or for use as a fighter of the country's naval battle force.