Plan is in Place

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.

Type 001A aircraft carrier at Dalian
Type 001A aircraft carrier at Dalian

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
Type 056A

Type 056A

552

551

Guangyuan

Suining

Corvette ASW

Corvette ASW

1,340

1,340

2017-11-16 18th Frigate Flotilla of South Sea Fleet

2017-11-28 17th Frigate Flotilla (Unit 91939) of South Sea Fleet