Created: 7/1/1965

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The Chinese Communist Navy

The Chinese Communist Navy isoastal defense force consisting mainly of motor patrol and torpedo boats. Its major ships are limited to someubmarinesestroyer types. Its effectiveness is hampered by this lack of equipment, andurther lack of experience. Chinese Communist naval craft have never ventured far from their coastal waters and consequently lack deep water experience.

Present Indications suggest the Chinese currently plan toairly modernforce with the capability of extended out-of-area operations. This force wouldbe used mainly ln conjunction with existing coastal defense units to augment them In case of open hostilities by providingimitedforce in the rear of any superior hostile naval force. The Chinese have also built oneclass missile submarine, now stationed in the North Sea Fleet, but are not known to possess

the missiles needed for this weapons system.

apparently has not placed aon the development of asurface naval force, and hason the construction of submarines andpatrol craft. The construction ofunits, and especially of modernunits, wouldajor effortstrain China's limited resources byindustrial, technological, and economic

resources from other sectors of the economy. ore likely line of developmentteady investment in the submarine program and small missile patrol craft for coastal defense and as an attack force against an invasion fleet. Even this limited development, however, must wait some time for the necessary missile system and for tho construction of further patrol craft on which to mount it.

Disposition of Forces

4. The Chinese Communist Navy is divided into threo Fleets subordinate to Naval Headquarters in Peiping. The bulk of its forces is concentrated in the two Fleets facing Taiwan and the Yellow Sea. The weakest of the three, the South Sea Fleet, is responsible for coastal security from the North Vietnamese border northward to the area opposite the southern tip of Taiwan.

current disposition of forcesough gauge of the importance ofgiven each fleet. All of thomajor surface units are located ln theNorth Sea Fleets. The East Sea Fleet,headquarters in Shanghai, is the largestthree, withessels Its main forces include all four

of the Chinese Communist Navy's Riga class destroyer escorts and the majority of Its coastal and miscellaneous escorts. It has recently been assigned five small World War II-type Soviet coastal submarines. The North Sea Fleet, with headquarters at Tsingtao, possesses all of Pelplng's relativelylass submarines and all four of its largest ships, the Gordy-class destroyers.

South Sea Fleet is the mostand equipped of the three fleets. Itsforce consists ofand motor gun boats of the

and Chinese Communist "Swatow" classes. In addition, it possesses about six "Kronstsdt" class large submarine chasers, its largest ships except for the Fleet flagship, an old Japanese


I class patrol escort. The Fleet alsoumber of patrol craft (YP) for offshore defense In conjunction with the coastal observation post system.

7. Although the South Sea Fleet isactivities in its area indicate awith the security situation in thethe Tonkin Gulf. The Fleet command wasCanton to Fort Bayard after the4 "



The South Sea Fleet Is also apparently constructing three ne* naval base or^hpre fac: in the northern Tonkin Gulf area,

Despite the considerable handicap imposed by the withdrawal of Soviet aid and technicians, tho Chinese Communist naval construction program ham proceeded toward the goals established before tho withdrawal, using designs andpVansleft by tbe departing






much restricted program for buildingother small craft. Moreover, two newpatrolOSA- andmissilealso appeared. apparently were built In China, andoneandpossibly two of each has beenfurther units can bs ex-

construction ofoats apparently depends on development of an adequate missile system by tbe Chinese. ew missiles may have been provided by the Soviets prior0 as models and for training.


W-class submarineU in structlon in Chinese shipyard"

13. Recent structlon of at

Tbe resumption of submarine construction also has been accompanied by the introduction of newsubmarines. Tbelassbuilt in Dalren shipyardconventionally powered shipong-range capability, and it was designed by the Soviets to deliver the surface-launchedallistic missile, which has an estimated rangeM. There is no evidence that construction of anylassas started.

ong-range torpedo attack submarine, is also being built In China. This class Is an Improvement onlass, whioh at present comprises the bulk of tbe Chinese Communistfleet. There had been indications before the Soviet withdrawal0 that preparations wero being made for constructioneplacement forlass, and this plan has apparently been-carried out unilaterally bv the Chinese. Ono com-

Shanghai. Construction of this ship, the first of its kind in the Chinese fleet, strongly suggests the Chinese intend to strengthen their submarine force by providing Itong-range capability. Like the rest of the Chinese Navy, the submarine force has heretofore been relegatedoastal defense role, and no Chinese Communist submarines

have ever been identified outside territorial waters.

14. The Chinese also are apparentlywith an indigenous effort to design and produce their own naval craft. This program has thus far been restricted to small patrol craft, such as the Swatow- and Shanghai-class patrol and gun boats. However, the submarine tender, mentioned above, is notably different in its superstructure from Soviet tenders. In addition, the Chinese are now ln the final stages inone of the largest ship model basins in the world. The new facility, located near Shanghai, will provide facilities to test ship models and predict the performance of full-scalenecessityative construction and design program. The Navy until now has been required to relyar smaller facility located near Peiping.

Naval Missile Development

Although the construction oflass submarine, as well as the Osa- and Komar-class missile patrol boats,ommitmentaval missile development program, no firings of such missiles have been detected thus far. Those missile ships were probably expected to usearmed missiles provided by the USSR.

Nevertheless, the Chinese probably intend to develop their own missile systems for naval purposes if they have not already begun to do so.aval bombers have been noted at the missile test range at Shuangchengtzu occasionally in the past,aval Interest in testing there.

If the program were given high enough priority and met with no serious problems, an initial Chinese-produced KEBM for naval use might be developed as early.


18. Tho basic outlines of the ChineseNavy have not materially changed since the. Itight, poorly equipped coastal patrol and defense force whose main combatant shipsew Soviet-designed patrol craft and alarge but inexperienced submarine fleet.


tbe Soviet withdrawalausing the temporary near-collapseChinese shlp-bulldlngeterminedhas been made to maintain an indigenousprogram. Although this program has thus

far relied on designs provided by the Soviets prior to the withdrawal, the Chinese have taken the stops necessary to test new designs. There is someevidence this effort may now be bearing fruit, but tbe process is only In its Initial stages and is as yet indistinct. However, the appearance recently of newly constructed R-robable submarine tender suggest strongly that the main Chinese Coomninist effort will parallel that of the Soviets, and will aim at the constructionarge, modern submarine force eventually with long-range capabilities. Once thelass missile submarine has been made operational, It is possible the Chinese may also Intend to exploit it for its limited valuetrategic strike threat.

capabilities of the Chineseand of the South Sea Fleet in particular,

to support the North Vietnamese in any material fashion appear sharply limited. The Chinese may be providing some advisory and technical personnel to the North Vietnamese Navy, along with necessary spare parts for patrol boats delivered from China There has been no reliable recent evidence of the training of North Vietnamese naval personnel in China, although some have been trained there in the past.






Escorts, Misc.


Osa-class Missile Gunboat

Komar-class MGB

Motor Torpedo Boats


Swatow-class Motor Gunboats

Shanghai-class Motor Gunboats




District Patrol Craft

Miscellaneous Aux





Motor Gunboats







Original document.

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