Author(s): Bruce A. Elleman; James C. Bussert
There are a few books on all naval weapon systems for all nations in the world. These are limited in many Chinese technologies, with not a single entry on several important areas such as communications, weapon integration/ control and sonars. There are other excellent books on PLAN organization, high level assumed goals and political structure, but little on actual ship combat system details except possibly in limited areas. This book traces, in detail, the long path from a coastal defense force of obsolete ships and crude systems to the current complex unique new construction coastal missile catamarans and AEGIS-like large DDGs with indigenous Vertical launch weapons and long range cruise missiles.
In war gaming or operational tactics, many tables with frequencies, loadouts and ranges are useful, especially if unclassified. With this book, all of these platforms and systems are in one source. The book is divided into sections on frigates, destroyers, missile destroyers, patrol craft, naval aircraft and helicopters, nuclear and diesel submarines. Antisubmarine, anti-air, antisurface and mine warfare, amphibs and auxuiliaries are in their own areas. Even state-owned paramilitary vessels are covered. Hull, machinery and electrical and deperming are also addressed.
This book prompts the reader to discern PLAN areas of weakness as well as threats based upon the sum of tables, rather than merely accept an author's conclusions. The enigmatic PLAN aircraft carrier preparations in pilots, shipyard and battle group basing will be noted. The only fact pending is when the keels will be laid in Shanghai and the actual tonnage.