The People’s Liberation Army Daily admits there is a shortage of highly qualified soldiers, making it impossible for the PLA to take advantage of modern weapons.
“The situation of ‘equipment waiting for operator’ has become more and more serious in recent years, amid a series of new warships being commissioned and old warships being decommissioned.
Imbalance of resources causes difficulties for systematic training with key commanders and soldiers,” PLA Daily, China’s military daily, said in an article published last week.
The newspaper pointed to one of the examples that Wang Yubing, mate of the Type-056 Zhangye missile ship, failed to complete a critical training assessment due to problems with the ship’s schedule and maintenance.
According to Chinese military experts, this is an indirect and rare acknowledgment of the country’s military that there is a shortage of highly qualified personnel to operate modern weapons, limiting the maximum utilization of capabilities Of the latest weapons on the payroll, especially with the navy.
“Naval from the decommissioned ships must undergo conversion training to get used to the new warships, which are increasingly automated and operate based on information technology.
Many seasoned officers have experience. Must be retrained as recruits to be ready for the new role,” said Song Zhongping, a former training officer with the Chinese army.
Ni Lexiong, a military analyst based in Shanghai, said that the Chinese navy’s modern weapons require a higher level of operation than before. “Soldiers in the modern navy need to understand and master skills such as operating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and synergizing with air and ground forces,” he said.
Experts admit that China is facing a talent shortage because the training process has not kept pace with the modernization of its armed forces.
Since 2015, President Xi Jinping has launched a large-scale project to transform the Chinese military into a “world-class force” on par with the US military. After 7 years, China has the largest navy in the world and is continuing to pursue its ambition to reach out to the great sea.
In 2015, the Chinese navy had only 225 warships in service. But by the end of 2020, this force has about 350 warships, compared with 293 of the US Navy.
The US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) predicts that the Chinese navy may have up to 400 warships in the next four years, while the US Navy aims to maintain a fleet of 355 ships.
The Type-056 class corvette, also known as the Zhangye class, is a class of warship developed and used by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
The ships are named after cities in China, and the class is sometimes referred to as the “Jiangdao class” in the West, after the first ship of the class, the Jiangdao (hull number 561).
The Type-056 class is designed for coastal patrol and defense missions and is equipped with anti-ship, anti-aircraft, and anti-submarine weapons. The ships are relatively small, with a displacement of about 1,300 tons, and are powered by a combination of diesel and gas turbine engines.