China's navy is getting bigger and better and doing it at a speed unmatched by any nation around the globe.
Earlier this month, the People's Liberation Army Navy launched two 13,000-ton Type 055 guided-missile destroyers -- Asia's largest, most sophisticated and most lethal combat ships.
"This ship in particular has a sophisticated design, stealth features, radars, and a large missile inventory. It is larger and more powerful than most US, Japanese, and South Korean destroyers," said Rand Corp. senior analyst Timothy Heath.
The double launching shows Beijing's unmatched military shipbuilding ability and its desire to project naval power far from Chinese shores, said Heath and other military analysts.
According to a report by China Daily, posted on the PLA's English-language website, the Type 055 will have double the firepower of China's Type 052D destroyers, which it said are currently "the largest and most powerful surface combatant commissioned in the PLA Navy."
China says each new destroyer will have 112 vertical launch tubes, from which it can fire long-range attack missiles, the equivalent of the US Navy's Tomahawk missile used as recently as Washington's strikes in Syria this year.
The missile launchers can also carry weaponry to target incoming aircraft, enemy ships and missiles. Anti-submarine warfare operations are the responsibility of two helicopters aboard each Type 055.
The new destroyers also boast a stealth design and high-end electronic battle management system to integrate Chinese aircraft carrier battle groups, the China Daily report said.
"This ship ... is designed for escorting Chinese aircraft carriers to more distant regions such as the Middle East," said Heath.
That would give China a so-called "blue water" navy, one that can operate far from homeland coasts, something that right now only the US Navy can do in overwhelming numbers across the world's oceans.
"The PLA Navy is progressively building a particularly well-defined 'blue water' fleet that will be in place at a certain date," said Peter Layton, a former Australian military officer and now fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute.