TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is ending the year with a bump in output of new vessels as it ramps up production across the Chinese seaboard.
On Thursday (Dec. 24), three PLAN warships put to sea in one day. Two of the vessels are heading to Thailand and Pakistan, according to a South China Morning Post report.
Bangkok ordered a 071E landing platform dock (LPD) from Beijing in September of 2019. Despite being a U.S. ally, Thailand has bought weapons platforms from China in recent years, with the LPD becoming its first of that vessel class
Meanwhile, a Type 054 frigate is headed for the Indian Ocean. Pakistan ordered four such vessels from China several years ago, and one was delivered one last month, made to Pakistan’s specifications with an added 3D multifunction array radar.
This signals the evolution of the Chinese navy — the world’s largest by vessel count — as it takes on more shipbuilding for foreign forces as well as its own. China’s total shipyards surpass the U.S.' in terms of scale and output, with more than 20 military shipyards and dozens more commercial yards.