PLAN Nuclear Submarines
PLAN Conventional Submarines
PLAN Amphibious Warfare Ships
PLAN Patrol and Mine Countermeasures Ships
PLAN Fleet Replenishment and Auxiliary Ships
Chinese Coast Guard Ships
PLAN Shipborne Radar
PLAN Shipborne Weapons
The PLA Navy is now the largest navy in Asia, equipped with more than 300 surface combatants, submarines, amphibious ships, and patrol craft. Over the past two decades, the PLA has been investing heavily to modernise its naval forces, retiring legacy combatants in favour of larger, multirole warships equipped with advanced air-defence, surface strike, and anti-submarine weapon systems and sensors.
The PLA Navy’s first aircraft carrier, CV-16 Liaoning, was declared ‘combat ready’ in late 2016, followed by the launch of the first indigenously-built Type 001A aircraft carrier in April 2017. It is also introducing a number of multirole surface combatant programmes, including the 10,000-t Type 055 large missile destroyer, the 7,000-t Type 052D (Luyang-III class) missile destroyer, the 4,000-t Type 054A (Jiangkai-II class) missile frigate, and the 1,300-t Type 056 (Jiangdao class) light frigate. They are augmented by a variety of amphibious warfare, mine countermeasures, fleet replenishment, and auxiliary ships.
The underwater fleet has also been modernised with the steady introduction of newer hulls including the Type 093 (Shang class) nuclear attack submarine and the Type 039A/B/C (Yuan class) diesel-electric submarine. The new-generation Type 095 (Sui class) nuclear attack submarine and Type 096 (Tang class) nuclear missile submarine are also in development.