The Chinese Navy now boasts of 14 newly commissioned warships
Prasun K. Sengupta
The year 2017 saw the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy (PLAN) commissioning 14 warships (see table below), compared to 18 in 2016, including guided-missile destroyers (DDG), guided-missile frigates (FFG) and guided-missile corvettes.
In addition, five 150-tonne Type 726A hovercraft were nearly completed at the Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co Ltd’s Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai, and will soon join six Type 726 Yuyi-class hovercraft already in service with the PLAN. Last year also witnessed two significant events: Launch of the PLAN’s first homegrown aircraft carrier, the Type 001A on April 26 by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp’s Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company after four years of hull construction activity; and the launch of the first of four Type 055 DDGs at the Changxing Shipyard.
The Type 001A weighs about 70,000 tonnes, is 315 metres long, 75 metres wide and has a cruising speed of 31 knots. It can house 48 fixed-wing and rotary-winged aircraft, and is due for commissioning by 2020. The Type 055 DDG project had commenced on 20 December 2009, and the keel laying of the first two DDGs (each costing 6 billion Yuan, or 775 million Euros) was done in 2014 at the shipyards in Shanghai and Dalian. The first Type 055 DDG was launched on June 28 in Shanghai. It is 186m long and 21m wide with a displacement of up to 12,300 tonnes and a draught of 8 metres, and will have a crew complement of 380 officers and sailors.
The Type 055 sports an integrated mast housing L-band and S-band active phased-array radars, plus a 112-cell universal vertical launch system that can accommodate HQ-9B long-range surface-to-air missiles, YJ-12A supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, and CJ-1000 land attack cruise missiles. Others on-board armament fitments include an FL-3000N laser-guided missile suite for close-in air-defence, a 130mm H/PJ-38 main gun, and twin H/PJ-11 ten-barrel 30mm point-defence systems.
All four Type 055 DDGs are being built with large pre-equipped blocks, i.e. the warship is divided into three large blocks of less than 8,000 tonnes, and the modules that make up these blocks are already pre-equipped (with equipment pre-installed, wires, cables and piping already connected) up to the maximum level, which considerably reduces post-launch fitting-out time in the wet-basin.
|Design Type||Pennant No||Name||Role||Tonnage||Date of Commission & Deployment Status|
|Type 815A||856||Kaiyangxing||SIGINT||6,000||2017-01-11 North Sea Fleet|
|Type 056A||513||Ezhou||Corvette ASW||1,340||2017-01-18 East Sea Fleet|
|Type 052D||117||Xining||Destroyer||7,000||2017-01-22 North Sea Fleet|
|Type 744A||Dong Biao 265||Logistics Vessel||2,000||2017-01-23 East Sea Fleet|
|Type 927||83||Qi Jiguang||Training Ship||9,000||2017-02-21 Dalian Naval Academy|
|Type 056A||514||Liupanshui||Corvette ASW||1,340||2017-03-31 South Sea Fleet|
|Type 056A||518||Yiwu||Corvette ASW||1,340||2017-07-17 South Sea Fleet|
|Type 054A||536||Xuchang||Frigate||4,053||2017-06-23 South Sea Fleet|
|Type 054A||539||Wuhu||Frigate||4,053||2017-06-29 10th Destroyer Squadron of the North Sea Fleet|
|Type 056A||520||Hanzhong||Corvette ASW||1,340||2017-07-11 South Sea Fleet|
|739||Bei Tuo||Ocean-Going Tug Boat||6,000||2017-07-20 North Sea Fleet|
|Type 901||965||Hulunhu||Fast Combat Support Ship||50,000||2017-09-02 South Sea Fleet|
|Type 056A||556||Yichun||Corvette ASW||1,340||2017-10-17 East Sea Fleet|
|2017-11-16 18th Frigate Flotilla of South Sea Fleet
2017-11-28 17th Frigate Flotilla (Unit 91939) of South Sea Fleet