Type 052D / DDG-X [Area Defense Project]
The PLAN seeks to push its maritime defense perimeter further seaward. This change in operations will require newer, more modern warships and submarines capable of operating out to the Ryukyu Islands and into the South China Sea. At these extended ranges, the platforms will have to be better armed to enable defense from all methods of attack. The Navy has been conducting research and acquiring foreign technology in an effort to improve the broad range of naval warfare capabilities; it also is acquiring new classes of ships that will be better suited for operations out to the limits of the East and South China Seas.
The PLAN continues to have long-standing concerns about its capability to engage enemy aircraft, cruise missiles and precision-guided munitions. This problem is becoming more significant as the Navy strives to operate away from the protection of land-based air defenses. PLAN surface combatants have a limited, and primarily self-defense, anti-air warfare (AAW) capability. Only about twelve of its destroyers and frigates are outfitted with SAM systems; the others are armed only with AAA and possibly man-portable air defense systems. In addition, PLAN warships lack the modern air surveillance systems and data links required for area air defense missions. The combination of short-range weapons and lack of modern surveillance systems limits the PLAN to self-defense and point-defense anti-air warfare only. Consequently, except in unusual circumstances, no PLAN ship is capable of conducting air defense of another ship. Additionally, the PLAN could not reliably defend against either current or projected anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM).
There has been some speculation that a new design would be constructed with a 10,000 ton displacement. This might be equipped with the "Rif" Naval S-300 system, which utilizes a single Tombstone phased array radar, in a vertical launching system (VLS).
As of 2005, another new destroyer class was expected to begin to enter the fleet by 2010, as could a new frigate. By 2020, China was expected to have its new destroyer classes in full production, with several in service or on the way. The new frigate likely will experience a similar rate of production. As they go into service, these platforms will replace the older JIANGHU I/II. By 2020, China probably will have phased out most of the LUDA Class DD.
One source reports that "Type 052D DDG ... will be a 10,000 ton destroyer, upgraded version of the Type 052C, with up to 96 VLS launchers and 128 YJ-12 anti ship missiles. Construction is expected in 2012. This will be the main surface combatant of the future PLA Navy."
At least one Chinese source of uncertain reliability predicted The Type 052D would have a vertical launch system with a a total of 96 new missile interceptors [16 VLS system with six VLS with 96 VLS cells] , and eight new Eagle 12e anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of about 180-240 km. The ship was projected to have a top speed of 32 knots, and an endurance of 14,000 nautical miles. The ship was projected to have a light displacement of 9500 tons, and a full load displacement of 12,000 tons. The length was reported as 180 meters, a beam of 20 meters, and a draft of 6.5 meters.
Even if these specifications are little more than wishful thinking, they are indicative of an expectation that China would eventually deploy a locally designed surface combatant with a displacement of about 10,000 tons, significantly larger than the 7,000 tons of the Type 052. Whether the Type 052D is this vessel, or whether something larger remains in the wings, remains unclear.
China Defense Mashup reported 09 May 2009 that "Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing shipbuilding base will build other 3 general 7000-tonne class (some opinions say 9000-10000 ton) missile destroyer, whose armament includes HHQ-9G long-range air-defense missile, HHQ-16 medium-range air defense missile, YJ-XX anti-ship/land-attacking missile, anti-submarine missile and 1 Z-15 helicopter. As the fire-control system, the improved Array Scan Radar in Type 052C is an option but Chinese people are developing a ship-borne sensor which is similar to SAMPSON multi-function air tracking radar used in British Type 45 destroyer. Type 052D, the upgrading version of well-known Type 052C destroyer, will become the air-defense core of PLA Navy Aircraft Carrier Group. ... China’s first aircraft carrier (36+ combat aircrafts) group will consist of 4 type 052D Destroyers, 4 General missile destroyer, 2 Type 054A frigates, 2 Type 093 Nuclear Submarines. This is a frightful striking force in the disputing areas, such as the South China Sea Islands."
In August 2012 images began surfacing on Chinese military Web sites depicting the long-rumored Type 052D destroyer. China Military News repots that the new destroyer mounts two 32-unit vertical launch systems capable of launching HQ-9B air-defense missiles, anti-ship and anti-submarine missiles. The YJ-62 missile launchers seen on the Type 052C do not appear on the new DDG. Some sources speculate that the Type 052D could be equipped with a navalized version of the DH-10 land-attack cruise missile.
About 160 meters long and with a beam of 18 meters [versus 157 and 18 meters for the DDG-51], the Type 052D is slightly larger than its predecessor, the Type 052C, and is believed to displace slightly over 6,000-7,000 tons [rather less than the 9,200 ton Arleigh Burke]. The vessel uses the Type 346 Active Phased Array Radar System and a Type 518 L-band long-range radar. The main 100mm gun on the Type 052C, which was reportedly unreliable, has been replaced by a new PJ-38 130mm gun. The vessel also has a helicopter-landing platform [and probably a hangar for two helicopters, as the Type 52C] and the Chinese Type 730 counterpart to the US Close-In Weapon System.
The 130 mm gun was developed by the Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering of Zhengzhou (Zhengzhou 713 Institute), and produced by by the 2nd Machinery Factory (Baotou,Inner Mongolia). The original design used a single tube dual link ammunition handling and water-cooled systems; the barrel length (with breech) is 70 calibers. Using fully automatic loading gear teh gun has a rate of fire 40 rounds / minute. The range of non-guided shells is about 30 kilometers. The entire gun has a weight (excluding peripherals) greater than 50 tonnes, including the stealth housing. The design of this gun is thought to be based on the proven technologies of the Russian AK-130 130 mm twin-barrel gun, mainly the mechanical design, which is a weak element in Chinese ship-borne guns. The gun electrical control and aiming servo system are dependent on a new localization design.
With the first Chinese vertical launch system, some analysts compare the Type 52D to the Aegis-equipped Arleigh Burke class destroyers of the US Navy. But the Chinese vessel is smaller than the DDG-51, featuring a smaller missile launching capability. The Type 52D also has a much less extensive superstructure than the DDG-51, a curiously subdued single exhaust stack, and shorter main mast than seen on the Arleigh Burke.
Jane’s Fighting Ships 2011-2012 reported that a third Luyang II-class ship, built to a modified design, was launched (i.e., put into the water for the final phase of its construction) on 28 November 2010, and was expected to enter service in 2012, and that three further ships are expected. In April 2012 informationdissemination reported that this ship had joined the PLAN’s East Sea Fleet, and that two further ships in the class were under construction. In July 2012 informationdissemination reported that the first Type 052D appeared to have entered service, while the second ship might have entered sea trials and the third had been launched. At that time, three additional destroyers of either the same design or a new design appear to be under construction.
A pair of hulls were seen at China State Shipbuilding Corp’s Jiangnan Changxing shipyard near Shanghai in early August 2012, with the first “dock launch” occurring in late August. Some analysts believed that as many as 10 Type 052D DDGs might be under construction, a major departure from past practice. The previous three flights of the Type 052 have consisted of just a pair of ships each, Chinese shipbuilders building just two hulls for testing, prior to moving on to the next design. The last destroyer series production was the Type 051 Luda, with 17 being built from 1872 through 1991. In this case, Chinese engineers may developed sufficient confidence in the subsystems on the new ship to begin accelerated production. Defense analysts believe the Type 052D could enter service in 2014.
In 2009 the US Office of Naval Intelligence projected no change in the total number of destroyers in service with the PLAN over the period 2009 to 2020. Given the expected service life for the Type 051 Luda DDG, a total of about 10 Type 052D DDG would be required by 2020 to support the ONI projected destoyer force level.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|