Global Data: China’s Drone Carrier Will Aid South China Sea A2/AD Bubble

Global Data China’s Drone Carrier Will Aid South China Sea A2AD Bubble - Merchant Navy Info - News

As the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) asserts its dominance in the Western Pacific. Details of a small aircraft carrier-type warship that appears to have been designed. From the ground up as an unmanned aircraft carrier have emerged. Suggesting that China may be going a step further than U.S. naval developments. In images circulating widely on social media recently. The purported unmanned aircraft carrier appears to be too short to carry. And also operate larger manned fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft. 

Suggesting that the country may be launching an entirely new class of developed warships. According to GlobalData’s report, “World Naval Ships and also Surface Combatants Market Forecast 2024-2034.” China will spend approximately $46.2 billion on procuring various naval vessels over the next decade. Of this, 8.5% will be dedicated to procuring amphibious ships and also aircraft carriers, including the purported unmanned aircraft carrier.

Analysts at Global Data 

They said the deployment highlights the Chinese Navy’s intention to expand its use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In different types of maritime operations. “Growing U.S. support for Taiwan and also escalating territorial disputes with neighbouring countries. In the South China Sea have long been an irritant to Chinese politicians. 

In response, China is expanding its naval power by introducing a dedicated unmanned aircraft carrier. Following the deployment of fixed-wing and helicopter carriers in recent years.” Said Harsh Deshmukh, an aerospace and also defence analyst at GlobalData. Adding that the Fujian and also Type 075 are the two largest unmanned aircraft carriers in the country.

As the Role of Unmanned Aircraft in Naval Warfare Expands

China’s unmanned aircraft carrier, roughly one-third the size of the recently launched Type 003/Fujian carrier. Could be a key asset in carrying out long-range surveillance missions far from home. The carriers are likely to originate from mainland China, GlobalData analysts said.

Deshmukh added that the PLA’s drone carriers will also improve China’s ability to conduct anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) operations. Making it “more difficult” for competitors to operate freely in disputed areas of the South China Sea. “As China continues to expand its capabilities at sea. The commissioning of this drone carrier ahead of its fourth aircraft carrier (Type 004). Demonstrates China’s plans to diversify its naval power by adding more drones to its fleet,” Deshmukh explained. “This rapid militarization of China. Is a cause for concern for many of its neighbours and also could plunge the region into a new arms race.

Defensive” Fujian Type 003

” China’s Ministry of National Defense describes the carrier as “defensive” Fujian Type 003 aircraft carrier in response to recent media reports of naval sea trials. The Chinese Ministry of National Defense said in mid-May that the ongoing investigation into the vessel “is not targeted at any specific target, region or country,” a ministry spokesman said at the time. “China continues to resolutely pursue the path of peaceful development and an essentially defensive defence policy,” the spokesman said. The maritime trial took place at the same time as a joint U.S.-Philippine military exercise aimed at asserting free and open use of the South China Sea, an area China claims virtually in its entirety along its infamous “nine-dash line.” 

Traditionally offensive in nature, carriers are used to project power in areas where an operating nation does not have land bases, making them ideally positioned to create an A2AD bubble in the South China Sea to deter other regional and U.S. warships. Similarly, a nation would not develop manned and unmanned platforms capable of housing and operating fixed-wing aircraft without a specific goal. China has long sought to assert its claims in the South and East China Seas to deter regional rivals such as Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines and to deny the U.S. further access to waters that Beijing considers its territorial waters. A recently published guide to China’s surface fleet development by the IUS Office of Naval Intelligence reveals the extent of China’s maritime spending and describes the PLAN’s surface forces, which already far surpass those of the U.S. Navy.

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