The changes in the US Navy have caused controversy, and the main ship of the Chinese Navy is now facing extinction

“Littoral combat ships play an indispensable role in realizing the goal of free navigation in the South China Sea, and they are a powerful tool to disrupt all operations of the People’s Liberation Army in the South China Sea.” This was a remark released by a senior U.S. Navy official last year, but only a short period of time. A year later, on September 15, 2022, the U.S. Navy announced the retirement of the USS Coronado Littoral Combat Ship. You must know that this warship has just been commissioned in 2014. As a new ship that has only been in service for 8 years, such a situation is extremely abnormal. Moreover, the “Coronado” Littoral Combat Ship had been deployed in the Western Pacific region for a long time before, and only a year later, the US Navy’s attitude towards the Littoral Combat Ship has made a 180-degree turn.

Mertz, the former commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, previously said that the U.S. Navy plans to deploy eight littoral combat ships in the Western Pacific by the end of 2022. He also boasted that the Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship “Gabrielle Giffords” was almost “all over the South China Sea” during its military operations last year. It undermined all PLA military operations in the South China Sea and performed impressively. But this year, the United States began to retire coastal fighter jets. Not only that, the US Navy also plans to retire nine more littoral combat ships in fiscal year 2023. The “sweet pastry” in the US Navy is now facing extinction.

Obviously, the U.S. Navy has suddenly made a major change in the littoral combat ship, which has made the outside world again speculate about the future trend of the U.S. Navy. In fact, just before the “Coronado” littoral combat ship was retired, the U.S. Navy just announced an important fact that the construction of the first ship of the U.S. “Constellation” class frigate officially started. You must know that the last time the United States was equipped with frigates was the “Perry” class more than 30 years ago. Since the “Perry” class was fully retired, the U.S. Navy has not had such a ship type as a frigate for a long time.

As the US military’s frigates were put into construction, the Littoral fighters in service were instantly abandoned, although the US Navy ostensibly praised such ships. But the reality has proved that the Littoral Combat Ship has exposed huge shortcomings in dealing with the Chinese Navy. Littoral combat ships generally have a shallow draft and have a very high speed, with a maximum speed of more than 40 knots, and the two types of littoral combat ships of the US Navy have adopted stealth hull design, but their biggest problem is that the firepower is too poor and weak , and because of the extensive use of advanced technology, its reliability has declined.

Compared with the Type 056 light guard of the Chinese Navy, the US littoral combat ship does not have any decisive advantages except for its faster speed. Previously, the original intention of the US Navy to build Littoral Combat Ships was influenced by the previous strategy of “from sea to land”. Another less successful weapon of the US Navy, the “Zumwalt” class destroyer, was also a product of this concept. The Littoral Combat Ship was originally designed to perform asymmetrical or low-intensity combat missions at sea. With the continuous enhancement of the Chinese Navy’s vision, coupled with my country’s advanced anti-ship ballistic missile technology and hypersonic weapons, the US Navy’s biggest opponent along the Chinese coast is not our small ships. In more cases, the US military has to face air defense. pressures in the field.

The birth of the “Constellation” class frigate is equivalent to a direct sentence of death for the coastal combat ship. The main equipment of this type of frigate is still the Mk41 vertical launch system and the baseline-10 “Aegis” combat system. In addition to the “Constellation” class frigates, the U.S. military is currently stepping up the construction of “Burke III” destroyers, which proves that the previous U.S. judgment on destroyers and littoral combat ships was wrong, or the U.S. misjudged the Chinese Navy’s Direction of development.

The time was about 20 years ago. At that time, the main equipment of the Chinese navy was four modern-class destroyers imported from Russia. The Type 052C destroyer came out in 2004, and the 052D and 055 were things that we didn’t even think about at the time. . Times have changed, and today’s Chinese Navy not only has its own three aircraft carriers, but also has a large number of mature ships such as the Type 075 amphibious assault ship, the Type 055 10,000-ton large-scale destroyer, the Type 052D general-purpose destroyer, and the Type 054A frigate. The Chinese navy is second only to the U.S. Navy in terms of ship construction speed and advanced level. Gone are the scenes where the U.S. wants to show off its might in the South China Sea with just a small littoral combat ship.