Houjian Class (Type 037-II / Type 520T) large missile boats
The Type 037-II Houjian (also written Houjan and referred to as Type 520T) Class large missile boats carry 6 C-801/YJ-1 anti-ship missiles in 3 triple launchers. Conflicting reports suggested that these boats carried either four or six missiles, although the manufacturer reported that six missiles were carried. An examination of photographs of this class revealed that on certain vessels the mid-ship missile launchers could be asymmetric, with the 2 missiles to port and 3 to starboard. Another photograph shows only one missile launcher to port, while another shows a reverse of the previous configuration with 3 missiles to port and 2 to starboard. The divergent estimates of the weapon load apparently deriving from contemplating either the port or the starboard launcher, and assuming that the other was identical. The operational or engineering source of this unusual asymmetric configuration was not apparent. However, pictures showing a single launcher suggest the mounting is modular. The fifth Houjian Class boat, pennant number 774, had the forward twin 37mm turet replaced with a single Russian 76mm AK-176 automatic gun.
From 1980 to 1982, to meet the need for new type ship to ship missile tests, a small steel guided missile boat was retrofitted for firing four ship to ship missiles. Later, concept studies and preliminary research for a 300 ton new assault type guided missile boat was also conducted.
As of early 2004 the Houijan Class program had delivered at least 10 units. Assuming the existing force structure of 150 fast-attack craft, China's speculated future force included 30 Houijan Class. As of 2008 there were between 5 and 7 Houijan Class vessels in service.
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