China launched its 8th Type 055 (Renhai-class cruiser) and 25th Type 052D (Luyang III-class) destroyers at Dalian Shipyard, Liaoning Province, on 30th August.
The new warships are touted to be on par with world’s top destroyers including America’s Arleigh Burke-class and Zumwalt-class, Chinese media reported.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) plans to have a fleet of 8 Type 055 destroyers, its most powerful naval vessel till date. Displacing more than 10,000 tons, the Type 055 is a 180-meter-long, 20-meter-wide guided missile destroyer with 112 vertical launch missile cells capable of launching missiles such as surface-to-air, anti-ship, land-attack and anti-submarine missiles, according to media reports. There are plans of the destroyer being deployed for anti-ballistic missile operations.
In addition, China reportedly wants to build over 30 Type 052D guided-missile destroyers. These ships come equipped with weapons and equipment including advanced active electronically scanned array radar systems and 64 vertical launch missile cells. They are capable of undertaking missions including escort and air defence.
The Type 052D destroyer is a larger variant of the Type 052C; the Type 052D uses a canister-type, instead of revolver-type, vertical launching system (VLS) and has flat-panelled active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The new VLS is not limited to surface-to-air missiles, making the Type 052D China’s first dedicated multi-role destroyer.
The Type 052D is equipped with Type 346A AESA and Type 518 L-band radar.
The Type 052D is also equipped with both variable depth (VDS) and linear towed array sonar. The VDS is deployed through a hinged opening in the transom by a hydraulic lifting mechanism. The VDS body is a streamlined fairing fitted with Y-shaped hydrodynamic vanes for towing stability.
The Type 52D is the first Chinese surface combatant to use canister-based universal VLS, as opposed to the concentric type VLS carried aboard earlier vessels. 64 cells are carried; 32 forward and 32 aft. The VLS is reportedly an implementation of the GJB 5860-2006 standard. The VLS may fire the extended-range variant of the HHQ-9 surface-to-air missile, YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles, and CY-5 anti-submarine missiles.
The main gun is a 130 mm weapon.
Early units were completed with 7-barrelled Type 730 close-in weapon system (CIWS). This was replaced in later units by the larger 11-barrelled Type 1130 CIWS.
Type 055-class destroyer :
The Type 055 destroyer is a class of stealth guided missile destroyers being constructed for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force. It is a multi-mission design; the combination of sensors and weapons suggests a main role of area air defence, with anti-submarine warfare capabilities surpassing previous Chinese surface combatants.
The Type 055 is expected to undertake expeditionary missions and form the primary escort for Chinese aircraft carriers.
The Type 055 adopts a conventional flared hull with distinctive stealthy features including an enclosed bulbous bow that hides mooring points, anchor chains and other equipment. The bow and main deckhouse are configured similarly to previous Type 052C/D destroyers.
Sensors include four S-band Type 346B active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, X-band radar, a bow hull-mounted sonar, and a towed-array sonar.
Various electronic warfare support measures (ESM), electronic countermeasures (ECM), and electro-optic (EO) sensors and datalinks are mounted. They are likely more advanced than those deployed on previous ships.
A deployment port exists for variable depth and towed array sonar.
The primary armament is missiles carried in 112 universal vertical launch cells (VLS); 64 cells forward and 48 cells aft. The same VLS model is used on the Type 052D destroyer, which is believed to be an implementation of the GJB 5860-2006 standard. The longest variant, with 9-metre cells, is likely used. Type 055 is expected to carry HHQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles, CJ-10 land-attack cruise missiles, and missile-launched anti-submarine torpedoes upon entering service. Potentially, the larger cells may also carry anti-ship ballistic missiles.