In protracted warfare, logistics and sustainment capabilities are as important as force composition, something China will struggle to mitigate.
Despite recent successes by the People’s Liberation Army Navy to fulfill Xi Jinping’s goals of modernizing China’s military by 2035, its Navy lacks requisite logistics and sustainment capabilities for blue water operations.
Currently the Chinese Navy conducts maritime operations with the help of commercial replenishment ships and ports. While an effective solution in peacetime, civilian logistics and sustainment practices are untenable in combat operations. In pursuit of a truly modern navy, China requires: additional combat capable replenishment ships, such as the Type 901; basing access in critical regions; and securing prepositioned stockpiles like fuel, munitions, and repair parts in countries like the Seychelles and Pakistan.
Read the full article in National Defense.
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