Naval Vessels

PLA Navy Liaoning (CV-16) aircraft carrier battle group

PLAN Aircraft Carriers

PLAN Nuclear Submarines

PLAN Conventional Submarines

PLAN Destroyers

PLAN Frigates

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.

Type 001A carrier 20
China’s first indigenously-built Type 001A aircraft carrier was launched at Dalian Shipyard in April 2017
Liaoning CV-16
The PLA Navy’s first aircraft carrier CV-16 Liaoning was declared to be ‘combat ready’ in late 2016
Type 093 SSN
The PLA Navy has commissioned two Type 093 Shang class and four Type 093A Shang-II class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN)
Type 052D Luyang-III DDG-172 Kunming 2
The PLAN has commissioned five 7,000 t Type 052D missile destroyers (DDG), with an additional seven hulls currently under construction
Type 054A Jiangkai-II FFG-573 Liuzhou
23 hulls of 4,000 t Type 054A Jiangkai-II class missile frigate (FFG) have been commissioned, with 4 more hulls under construction
Type 056 Jiangdao FFL-588 Quanzhou
1,500 t Type 056 Jiangdao class light frigates (FFL) has replaced older corvettes for littoral petrol and ASW roles, with 27 hulls already commissioned