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Russian Assistance for the Type 093 Nuclear Attack Submarine

Status: First launched in 2002; 6-8 projected; uses Russian technology and assistance

Displacement :  7,000- 8,000 tons dived (est.)

Propulsion:  2x nuclear power plants; steam turbine drive

Dive Depth:  400m operational, 600m maximum, if comparable to Russian VICTOR III

Speed: 30 kts at least

Armament: may have 533mm and 650mm tubes; wire-guided torpedoes; long-range anti-ship torpedoes; possible supercavitating torpedoes; anti-ship cruise missiles; Novator CLUB-S; PLA-made land-attack cruise missiles; mines; countermeasures











            The PLA's long-standing ambition to deploy a second generation of nuclear-powered attack (SSN) and ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) was realized some time in 2002, with the help of Russia. In July 2003, for the first time in a Western source, the Pentagon reported that the PLA had launched its first Project 093 nuclear powered attack submarine in 2002.[1] The 093 nuclear attack submarine is also the basis for the new Project 094 SSBN.  Russian assistance for the 093 program from the Rubin submarine design bureau is reported to date back to at least 1995.[2]  Rubin assistance is reported to include new hull coatings to reduce radiated noise.[3]  However, Rubin potentially would have been able to offer a range of critical assistance to the PLA, to include overall hull design, engine and machinery quieting, combat system design, plus weapon system and countermeasures outfit. 


            In 1997 the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence estimated that the 093 would be similar in capability to the Soviet era VICTOR III SSN,[4] the last of which entered the Russian Navy in 1992.  Furthermore, in 2003 the Pentagon stated, "The Type 093-class, will compare to the technology of the Russian VICTOR III SSN and will carry wire-guided and wake-homing torpedoes, as well as cruise missiles."[5] Russian contributions based on this design would have been eased considering that VICTOR III SSNs were built in the Komsomolsk shipyard near Vladivostok.  If the 093 succeeds in matching or exceeding the performance of the VICTOR III, then it would represent a significant advance in PLA SSN technology over its first-generation Project 091 HAN class.  The VICTOR III is rated nearly as quiet as early models of the U.S. 688 (Los Angeles) class SSN,[6] but it should be expected that the PLA would incorporate further quieting advances developed by the Russians.  Furthermore, the VICTOR III uses a sophisticated sonar system, to include bow, flank-mounted and towed sonar arrays.  The 093 can be expected to incorporate either Russian or PLA-designed sonar of each type.  In addition inasmuch as the VICTOR III's maximum dive depth is said to exceed 400 meters,[7] perhaps up to 600m, it is possible that the 093 may also be able to reach these depths.  This would exceed the reported maximum depth for the 688 class SSN, and complicate detection in deep-ocean areas. 


            Regarding weapons, comparison with the VICTOR III and Chinese sources[8] suggest that the 093 will be armed with both regular 533mm-width and the unique Russian 650mm torpedo tubes.  The latter would allow the 093 to use Russia's unique class of heavy torpedoes like the TT-5.  Twice the weight of the largest Russian 533mm torpedoes, these are designed for long range strikes against large combat ships like aircraft carriers.  In addition, it can be expected that the 093 will carry a range of other Russian and indigenous designed weapons.  These might include the Russian SHKVAL rocket-propelled supercavitating torpedo or a new PLA-designed version of this weapon, and Novator CLUB-S long-range anti-ship missiles. It is also likely that by the end of the decade that the 093 SSNs will be equipped with new PLA-designed land-attack cruise missiles.


            In 1997 the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence projected that the PLAN would have 3 Type 093 SSNs by 2010.  In 2003, the Pentagon reported that there could be four 093s by 2010.[9] Other sources report that eventual production could reach 6 to 8 units.[10] The first unit was reported to have commenced construction in 1999.[11] In 1997 ONI artists projected that the 093 would feature a teardrop hull similar to the U.S. SKIPJACK class. A PRC artist's projection from a 2001 issue of the Mainland magazine Modern Ships showed the 093 with a bow structure that resembles that of the Russian VICTOR or  AKULA class nuclear attack submarines.[12] This would be consistent with reported of Russian assistance to the Type 093 program. The PRC artist's projections have also shown six flank sonar arrays on the 093, which would indicate an advanced passive sonar detection capability.  The artist's projection illustrated the 093 launching a cruise missile from a torpedo tube. 


            This artist's projection may or may not reflect real plans, but is consistent with PLA aspirations for its second generation nuclear powered attack submarines.  The advent of the 093, especially when eventually armed with land-attack cruise missiles, means that the PLA will have a limited means of global naval power projection for either nuclear or non-nuclear weapons.  So equipped, the 093 SSN could enable the PLA to undertake global precision strike missions to defend clients or to intervene on the side of favored factions abroad.  It is also possible that 093 SSNs could perform long-range patrols to secure sea lanes to the Persian Gulf that will become increasingly important to Beijing.  And finally, it is possible that 093 SSNs will play a key role in escorting new Type 094 SSBNs to protect them from U.S., Indian or other hostile submarines.  


Russian Assistance for the Type 094 Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine

Status: Now in development or early construction; will benefit from Russian assistance to the 093 SSN

Displacement:  10,000-15,000 tons submerged (est.) 

Propulsion:  2x nuclear powerplants; steam turbines

Dive Depth:  300-600m  (est.)

Speed:  @ 30 kts

Armament:  16x JL-2 SLBMs (8,000+km range); torpedoes; anti-ship cruise missiles; land-attack cruise missiles; countermeasures










            While the PLA's single Type 092 XIA class SSBN emerged from a long term refit in 2002, it is clear that the PLA is investing heavily in developing, or even the initial construction of its second generation Type 094 SSBN.  Following the example of the relationship between the 091 SSN and the 092 SSBN, it is expected that the 094 SSBN will be based on the new 093 SSN.  As such, the 094 will also incorporate Russian design assistance from the Type 093. The 094 is also expected to incorporate an improved nuclear power plant, quieting technology, sonar, countermeasures and combat control systems first developed for the Type 093.  It is expected to resemble the Russian DELTA-1 class SSBN in size and capability, but to be much quieter.[13]  A Chinese source notes the 094 may be quieter than Russia's most advanced SSBN, the TYPHOON.[14] 


            In 1997 the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) projected that the 094 would be equipped with 16 tubes to carry the new JL-2 SLBM.  This missile will have a range greater than 8,000km.  In 1997 ONI also estimated that the first 094 would be ready by 2005.[15]  This projection is now obsolete, with more recent estimates noting the 094 SSBN may not be launched until 2008 or after,[16] and the Pentagon expecting launch "by the end of the decade."[17]  In 1997 ONI estimated that three 094s would be completed by 2010, while other reports suggest that the PLA may build a total of three to four 094s.[18]


            For the PLA, the advent of truly reliable SSBNs capable of regular long patrols in high degrees of stealth would revolutionize its second strike nuclear capabilities, bringing it to par with Russia and the United States. And with an expanded number of nuclear attack and ballistic missile submarines, it is also possible that the PLA will expand the number of submarine bases beyond those in the North Sea Fleet.  Should the PLA, for example, build a new nuclear submarine base in the area under control of the South Sea Fleet, this would allow the PLA to sustain a second strike capability aimed at India.  It could conceivably allow the PLA to consider SSBN patrols deep into the southern hemisphere in order to be able to out flank projected U.S. National Missile Defenses that will be expecting attacks from Northern or trans-oceanic routes. 


Possible Interest In Purchasing Russian OSCAR and AKULA Submarines

OSCAR II (Project 949A)

Displacement:  22,500 tons submerged

Propulsion:  Two nuclear reactors

Dive Depth:  500m maximum

Speed:  32 kts

Armament: 24x SS-N-19 500km range anti-ship missiles; 4x 533 torpedo tubes with 18x weapons and 2x 650mm torpedo tubes with 4x weapons; to include wire-guided and wake-homing torpedoes, supercavitating torpedoes and tube-launched cruise missiles


AKULA II (Project 971A)

Displacement:  12,770 tons submerged

Propulsion:  One nuclear reactor

Dive Depth:  600m operating, 800m maximum

Speed:  35 kts

Armament: 4x 533 torpedo tubes with 28x weapons and 4x 650mm torpedo tubes with 12x weapons; to include wire-guided and wake-homing torpedoes, supercavitating torpedoes and tube-launched cruise missiles





















            Prior to the 2000 summit between PRC President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was reported that Russia would, in the future, consider selling its AKULA class nuclear attack submarine and its OSCAR II class nuclear cruise missile submarine (SSGN). [19]  One indication of the PLA's interest in the latter are reports that a PLA officer perished on the Russian OSCAR II SSGN Kursk when it sank in August 2000 following an onboard explosion.[20]  Sale of the 18,000 ton OSCAR II would give the PLAN a potent attack platform.  The OSCAR II is armed with 24 NPO Machinostroyenia Granit 4K-80 (SS-N-19 SHIPWRECK)  500km range supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, which when launched in salvos, are able to assess a target naval group and assign individual targets to specific missiles.[21]   With this armament, the OSCAR was designed to attack U.S. aircraft carrier task groups seeking to prosecute Soviet SSBNs.  Should it be acquired by the PLA, the OSCAR II's Granit missiles could be cued by new Russian-designed radar satellites the PLA intends to launch around 2006.  Possible PLAN possession of OSCAR II class SSGNs would pose a grave risk to U.S. naval forces seeking to come to Taiwan's aid in the event of a PLA attack.  The OSCAR II SSGN would greatly increase the PLA's ability to mass submarine-launched missiles, which would be coordinated by air and ship launched missiles, to saturate U.S. Navy ship defenses. 


            A possible sale of the AKULA II SSN to the PLA is made more realistic by India's apparent decision to purchase two of these SSNs.  Were it to occur, sale of the latest AKULA II would provide an immediate boost to the PLAN's anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities.  Currently the most modern SSN in Russian service, it is also among the most capable and effective SSNs in use today.  The AKULA II SSN's design is thought to have radiated noise levels comparable to the U.S. 688-class SSNs. It incorporates active noise-reduction technology and credited with an maximum operational dive depth of 600 meters,[22] which is reported to be matched in the West only by the new U.S. SEAWOLF SSN.[23]  For emergency operations, however, the AKULA II may be able to dive as deep as 800 meters.[24] At such depths, however, it is possible to suffer acoustic vulnerabilities because noise is trapped and easier to pick up by bottom-mounted acoustic sensors. In PLA Navy service the AKULA II would likely feature the latest Russian weapons, to include wake-homing torpedoes and the 250+km range CLUB anti-ship missiles.  The particular danger posed by PLA operation of AKULA II submarines would be their capacity to elude detection, perhaps, by all but the most modern U.S. SSNs, and thus pose a real threat to U.S. SSBNs. 


Russian Project 887EKM KILO Class Attack Submarine


Status:  Two delivered in 1995 and assigned to the East Sea Fleet

Displacement:  3,076 tons submerged

Crew:  53

Powerplant:  2x diesel engines; one electric engine

Dive Depth:  300m

Speed:  10 kt surface; 17kt submerged

Systems:  Sonar: Shark Teeth low-/medium-frequency passive search, Mouse Roar high-frequency active search/attack; Radar: Snoop Tray 2, EW: Squid Head radar warning; Combat system: MVU-119/Murena

Weapons:  6x 533mm torpedo tubes with 18 weapons, to include wire guided, wake home torpedoes; or up to 24 mines; man-launched anti-aircraft missiles












            By the early 1990s, the PLA's failure to produce modern conventional submarines forced it to purchase Russian KILO submarines made by the Rubin design bureau.  In 1995 the PLAN received two Project 887EKM KILOs, which marked the beginning of the modernization of the PLAN submarine fleet.  The Project 877EKM were Russian export versions that carried the improved Murena combat system and were capable of firing wire-guided active/passive torpedoes.[25] The KILO incorporates a double-hull construction and significant reserve buoyancy, both of which allow it to sustain battle damage and still fight. The KILO is significantly quieter than PLA-made submarines, as it utilizes advanced quieting techniques like isolating engines and other machinery on noise-insulated platforms.  Its sonar suite and combat control systems are likely more advanced. The bow sonar has a surface array of 6.4m2 which can detect a submarine target at 11nm, a surface vessel at 43nm and a task force at over 100nm, depending on environmental conditions and the noise of the targets.[26]


            However, when it purchased its first two KILOs, the PLAN did not also purchase adequate maintenance training and two submarines quickly suffered major breakdowns.  Reportedly the problems concerned the batteries and electric motors.  One may have even suffered a fire.[27]  By 2000 reportedly these KILOs were repaired and were also to visit the Bol'shoy Kamen yard in the Russian Far East for scheduled overhauls.[28]


Russian KILO 636/ 636M Class Attack Submarine


Status:  two Project 636 delivered in 1998 and 1999, assigned to East Sea Fleet; eight Project 636M ordered for delivery by 2005-2006

Weight:  3,126 tons submerged

Crew:  52

Powerplant:  2x diesel engines; one electric engine

Dive Depth:  300m

Speed:  12 kt surface; 20 kt submerged

Systems:  Sonar: MGK 400EM; Radar: Snoop Tray 2, EW: Squid Head radar warning; Combat system: MVU-119/Murena

Weapons:  6x 533mm torpedo tubes with 18 weapons, to include wire guided, wake home torpedoes; or up to 24 mines; man-launched anti-aircraft missiles; 636M: 18+ weapons; CLUB-S/CLUB-N anti-ship missiles





Dive Depth:

















The PLAN acquired two Project 636 KILOs, delivered in 1998 and 1999. The 636 incorporates significant improvements in quieting, to include elastic drive shaft couplings, a slower RPM skew-back seven-bladed propeller, and new sonar designed to monitor hull and propeller-generated noise.[29] The 636 is said to be almost as quiet as the U.S. Improved 688 class SSN.[30] This version is also slightly larger, faster and has a greater range than its predecessor. 


A contract to purchase at least eight more KILOs was signed in May 2002.[31]  To ensure their delivery by 2005-2006, this batch of 636 KILOs will be built in three Russian yards: five will be built at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg, one at Krasnoye Sormovo shipyards in Nizhny Novgorod and two in Severodvinsk.  In mid-2002 the decision to shift two KILOs from the Komsomolsk-na-Amur to Severdovinsk was criticized because the latter had not build diesel-electric submarines for 40 years.[32] But by mid- 2003, KILO construction was underway at Severodvinsk.[33] The decision to purchase the second batch of KILOs may demonstrate dissatisfaction with the capability or building pace of the indigenous Type 039 conventional submarine, or a political desire to visibly exceed the 2001 U.S. decision to sell eight new conventional submarines to Taiwan.  Given the political and funding controversies surrounding Taiwan's submarine plans in late 2003, it is likely that the PLA will have all its new KILOs many years before Taiwan receives new submarines.[34]  In November 2003, a visiting U.S. Navy delegation reportedly told officials in Taipei that at its current pace, Taiwan would not get its eight subs until 2019.[35] 


            This new batch of KILOs is likely to be an improved model that could include most of the improvements slated for the 636M KILO.[36]  Expected improvements in the 636M may include increased missile stowage, an integrated weapon and machinery control system, an ability to launch larger missile salvos, upgraded digital sonar with mine detection capabilities, improved target classification, non hull-penetrating periscope and radar, better batteries and eventually, new fuel cells.[37] Reports noted that the second batch of 8 KILOs will be armed with the CLUB-S anti-ship system.  This 220km range anti-ship missile will make the PLA's new KILOs the best-armed submarines in any East Asian navy. Full utilization of the capabilities of the CLUB-S, however, will require that the PLAN KILOs be tied into a larger surveillance and communication net. 


Type 039 SONG Class Attack Submarine


Status:  prototype delivered in 1995; four improved SONG-A delivered; now in series production in Wuhan and Jiangshan shipyards

Displacement:  2,250tons submerged

Crew:  about 60

Powerplant:  4x German designed MTU diesel engines; electric engine; future AIP based on PEM fuel cell technology

Dive Depth: about 300m

Speed:  15kts surface, 22kts submerged

Systems: low frequency, high frequency, flank array sonar (French influenced designs); surface search radar, EW, ESM, digital weapons and machinery control systems

Weapons: 6x 533mm torpedo tubes; wire-guided torpedoes; anti-ship cruise missiles; mines













            The 2003 DoD PLA report notes, "The SONG is a blend of Chinese and Western technology and has several key features that point to a major shift in diesel submarine design philosophy."[38]  Indeed, the SONG represents the PLA's attempt to replace the 1950s era design Type 035 MING with a modern 1990s level technology submarine. By the end of 2003, the PLAN had built one SONG and about four improved SONG-A diesel-electric submarines.[39]  In 1997, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence estimated that the PLAN would have about six SONG submarines by 2005 and close to 10 by 2010.[40]  This rate of production may be exceeded now that the SONG is being built in two shipyards, Wuhan and Jiangshan. 


            However, for a period in the mid to late 1990s, this submarine's future was in doubt as the first Type 039/SONG was reported to have dissatisfied the PLAN, because it was too noisy and it failed to successfully integrate German MTU diesel engines, Israeli electronics, French sonar and (possibly) Russian weapons.  While it is not possible to verify this information, a German submarine industry source has noted that Israel played a key role in this unsuccessful submarine's design integration.[41]


            Subsequent improved SONG-A submarines, perhaps with Russian help, are reported to have been more successful, especially in reducing radiated noise.[42]  Pictures of a new Project 039 released by the PLA in 2001 showed that it lacks the distinctive "step" sail of the first 039.  This improves underwater stability.  Internet-source pictures of a the SONG-A indicate that it resembles the French AGOSTA-90B class conventional submarine. The first 039 is said to have launched the new YJ-82, very likely a C-802 anti-ship missile modified to be fired from a submarine.  It may carry the new C43 PRC-made wire-guided torpedo and the Russian TEST 71 wire guided torpedo.[43]  The third SONG is said to have a new weapons control system.[44]  To wit, a cut-away model of the SONG-A built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Harbin Technical University indicates extensive use digital systems in the control room, which may also indicate the use more modern automatic combat control systems. 


            It is likely that future versions of the SONG will feature PLA-developed Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems that will allow this non-nuclear submarine to spend considerably more time underwater than current diesel-electric submarines.  The most likely AIP technology to be employed by new SONG variants will be fuel cell technology, to be developed at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, a leading PRC fuel cell technology center since the early 1970s.[45]  In 1999 this institute was visited by Jiang Zemin, who was shown the fuel cell systems.[46] An early 2002 Internet report noted that the Dalian Institute had produced a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell that exceeded the performance of the PEM fuel cells Germany intends to use on its new Type 212 submarines.[47] There is substantial cooperation on fuel cell technology between the Dalian Institute, Germany,[48] and with other countries. PEM fuel cells, with an output of 30-40kW on Germany's new Type 212 submarine, allow it to cruise for 420nm at 8kt speed, or a longer range at a slower speed.[49]  Other sources note this may confer the ability to remain underwater for 15-17 days,[50] significantly increasing the submarine's tactical flexibility.  Germany's newer Type 214 submarine is slated to use more powerful PEM fuel cell with a 120kW output.  A second possibility for submarine fuel cell technology transfer is from Russia, which is marketing a liquid oxygen-hydrogen PEM fuel cell AIP system for its latest KILO and newer AMUR submarines. 


            In early 2004 there were references in the Chinese Internet to a next-generation SSK, the "Type 041."[51] It is possible that this submarine will incorporate even better AIP, combat systems and weapons developed largely in the PRC.  But this program would also offer the PLA an opportunity to incorporate new European technologies that may become available should there be a lifting of the EU arms embargo. 


Russian Project 956E SOVREMENNIY Missile Destroyer


Status:  Two delivered in 2000 and 2001; assigned to East Sea Fleet

Displacement: 7,940 tons

Powerplant:  4x turbopressurized boilers

Performance:  33 kts top speed; 3,920nm range at 18 kts

Crew:  368

Systems: RADAR: 1x MR-700MA Fregat-MA, 3-D, 300km range; Mineral-ME, 450km range, for SSMs; 6x Orekh guidance for SA-N-7, 60km range; Sonar: 1x MG-335 Platina, medium frequency, bow-mounted; EW: 2x Start-1; 2x (Bell Squat); 4x (Foot Ball-B); decoys; electro-optical systems

Armament:  SSM: 8x 3M-80 MOSKIT; SAM: 2x SA-N-7 launchers, 48 missiles;GUN: 4x 130mm main gun; CIWS: 4x AK-630m 30mm Gatling gun; 4x 533mm torpedo tubes; 2x RBU-1000 ASW rocket launchers; 1x Ka-28 ASW/Missile guidance helicopter













In 1996 the PLA purchased two 8,400 ton Russian 956E SOVEMENNIY class destroyers that were delivered in 2000 and 2001.  These missile destroyers were purchased in response to the PLAN's inability to counter the U.S. deployment of two aircraft carrier battle groups during the PLA's intimidating exercises near Taiwan in March 1996.  At the time of their delivery these two ships possessed the most capable anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles in the PLAN.  Each ship carries eight Raduga 3M-80 MOSKIT (SS-N-22 SUNBURN) Mach 2.5 speed, 160km range missiles.  Navies that do not have AEGIS anti-aircraft defense systems, very advanced close-in defenses, or the means to sink the SOVREMENNIY, have little defense against these missiles.  These ships also carry the 32km range SA-N-7 anti-aircraft missile, and one Kamov Ka-28 ASW/missile targeting helicopter.  This ship has notable weaknesses, to include its cluttered non-stealthy design, engines that have a poor service reputation and a very low fuel load for its Ka-28, which only permits a scant three missions.  It is not known whether the PLA had these shortcomings changed in its first or second batch of SOVREMEMMNIYs. 


The SOVREMENNIY was developed in the late 1970s to support the Soviet Navy's goal to protect areas or "bastions" near the Soviet Union for the safe operation of their SSBNs.  The ships were designed to counter U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups, in cooperation with, and secondary to, Soviet submarines, land-based attack aircraft and perhaps even land-based missiles.  For this purpose the SOVREMENNIY was designed for rapid and offensive missions; to find its target quickly and launch its missiles first.  Early versions of the MOSKIT were armed with nuclear warheads.  It is possible that the PLAN could so arm its missiles.  For the PLAN the SOVREMENNIY adds a much needed long-range strike capability that adds greater credibility to possible counter-U.S. Navy operations.  It gives the PLAN a ship that is superior to all of Taiwan's surface warships. The PLA Navy is reported to have fired a MOSKIT missile from a SOVREMENNIY destroyer during at least one naval exercise in late Summer 2001.[52]



Russian Project 956EM SOVREMENNIY Missile Destroyer 


Status:  Two ordered in 2002 to be delivered by 2006

Displacement: 7,940 tons

Powerplant:  4x turbopressurized boilers

Performance:  33 kts top speed; 3,920nm range at 18 kts

Crew:  368

Systems: RADAR: 1x MR-700MA Fregat-MA; Mineral-ME, 450km range for SSMs; 6x Orekh guidance for SA-N-7/12; Positiv ME1 for KASHTAN; Sonar: 1x MG-335 Platina, medium frequency, bow-mounted; EW: 2x Start-1; 2x (Bell Squat); 4x (Foot Ball-B); decoys; electro-optical systems

Armament:  SSM: 8x 3M-80MBE MOSKIT, 200km range; reports of arming w/ YAKHONT, 300km range; SAM: 2x SA-N-7 or SA-N-12 launchers, 48 missiles;GUN: 2x 130mm main gun; CIWS: 2x KASHTAN 30mm Gatling gun/missile; 4x 533mm torpedo tubes; 2x RBU-1000 ASW rocket launchers; 1x Ka-28 ASW/Missile guidance helicopter















As a follow up to the purchase of the first two Russian Project 956E destroyers, in early January 2002 the PLAN signed a $1.4 billion contract to purchase two more advanced Project 956EM SOVREMENNIY class destroyers to be delivered by 2006.[53] This contract, however, quickly became mired in controversy when the main contractor was shifted from the Severnaya Verf shipyard, which built the first two, to the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in St. Petersburg, which is building the stealthy Project 17 frigates for India.[54]  This switch was protested by the PRC, which was concerned about delays in delivery.  Further reporting noted scandalous dealings in which the Severnaya Verf yard had access to two Russian Navy SOVREMENNIY destroyers to obtain parts for the two new destroyers for the PLA.[55]  By August 2003 it was reported that the controversy between the two yards had been settled in favor of Severnaya Verf.[56]  Because of the controversy there are doubts that the ships will be delivered on time. 


At first the two new Project 956EMs were thought to be highly modified versions of the 956E SOVREMENNIYs.[57] It was concluded by some analysts that they would incorporate new stealth features, similar to the Project 17 frigates being built for India,[58] but subsequent reporting has discounted this possibility.[59] The 956EMs were also expected to incorporate new Russian sensors and weapons.  Originally it was reported that Russia proposed to arm these two new SOVREMENNIYs with 12 new smaller vertical launched missiles, to include the supersonic 300km range YAKHONT or the Novator CLUB system.[60]  However, it was reported subsequently that the 956EM would be armed with a new 200km range version of the Moskit developed especially for the PLA, designated the 3M-80MBE.[61]  It remains possible, however, that the removed stern-mounted 130mm gun may be replaced by new missiles, like the YAKHONT. The 956EM will carry one Ka-28 ASW/Missile guidance helicopter.     








Possible Interest in Project 1164 SLAVA Class Attack Cruiser


Status:  Reports in 2002 of Chinese interest in buying a SLAVA cruiser from the Ukraine

Displacement:  11,490 tons full load

Powerplant:  6x gas turbine engines

Performance:  32kts top speed; 7,500 miles at 15kts

Crew:  454

Systems: RADAR: Top Sail, Top Plate; Front Door (for SS-N-12); Top Dome (for RIF-M)

Armament: SSM: 16x SS-N-12, 550km range; SAM: 64x SA-N-6 (RIF-M); 40x SA-N-4 (KLINOK); GUN: 2x 130mm; CIWS: 6x AK-650 30mm gatling; 10x 533mm torpedo tubes; 1x Ka-27 ASW/ Missile guidance helicopter  












            In November 2002 the Ukrainian press reported possible interest by the PRC in buying the Ukrainian Navy's single and then 95 percent completed SLAVA-class cruiser Ukraina. Sale of the ship reportedly was advanced during a November 2002 visit to Beijing by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who discussed the idea with then PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian.[62] This likely indicates more interest on the part of Ukraine in selling its cruiser to the PRC.  Since Kuchma's visit, however, there have been no subsequent reports that the deal is advancing.  If it were to buy the ship, the PLA would have to pay for its completion.  A Russian Navy Far East Fleet SLAVA visited the PRC in late 1999.


            Acquisition by the PLA Navy of a SLAVA class cruiser would add a very potent new surface attack and air defense capability.  The large size of this cruiser would additionally serve to raise the profile of the PLA in Asia, and regional fears of its growth.  In a sense, the SLAVA is the surface analogue to the OSCAR class SSGN and the non-nuclear powered compliment to the nuclear-powered KIROV class cruiser.  These, along with long-range bombers, formed the late Soviet Navy's triad of anti-U.S. carrier forces.  The SLAVA would also be useful to PLA Naval forces in that its RIF-M anti-aircraft system is the naval version of the very effective S-300 land-based SAM system.  But like the SOVREMENNIY, the SLAVA was designed for a "shoot first" doctrine which could be destabilizing.  As a large unstealthy ship, it would be easy for U.S. forces to find and attack.  Its SS-N-12 missiles have a high flight profile which eases detection by U.S. ship defenses, but then dives down fast which complicates interception.  A PLAN SLAVA class cruiser would present a significant threat to the U.S. and its allies Asian navies, in addition to the possibility of using its missiles to attack land targets. 


Interests in the Russian Project 12421 MOLNIYA Class Fast Attack Craft


Status:   Reports of PLA interest in acquiring many MOLNIYA class fast attack craft

Displacement:  550 tons

Powerplant:  2x gas turbine engines

Performance:  37 kts maximum; 2,400km range at 12 kts

Crew:  44

Systems:  RADAR: Mineral-ME (Band Stand)

Armament:  SSM:  4x MOSKIT anti-ship missiles; SAM: Igla man-launched missile; CIWS: 2x AK-630 30mm gatling gun; GUN: 1x 76mm automatic









            A smaller MOSKIT missile-armed ship that may interest the PLA is the Project 12421 MOLNIYA fast attack craft.  Reports have surfaced in previous years, and then again in November 2003,[63] that the PLA is interested in buying a significant number of these fast attack craft.  Such news should be balanced by reports that the PLA is also building a large number, perhaps 20, of a new indigenous missile-armed fast attack craft.[64] But were it to buy the MOLNIYA the PLA's ability to impose a naval blockade on Taiwan would increase dramatically, as would the PLA's ability to mass deadly supersonic attack missiles against U.S. Navy forces that would seek to assist Taiwan.  The MOLNIYA would be useful in the shallow areas of the South China Sea; Vietnam is reported to be buying four of these ships.[65] 


            The largest development of the Russian TARANTUL series of fast attack craft, the MOLNIYA is designed to operate in concert with many other fast attack craft, or ships, submarines and aircraft, to mass a large number of anti-ship missiles against an opposing naval force.  While Russia is now marketing cleaner and stealthier fast attack craft, the PLA would be interested in the MOLNIYA because it has been in production (over 25 built) and it is armed with the deadly and familiar MOSKIT missile.  As a small ship its ability to fight effectively decreases in poor weather and its endurance is limited.  But these limitations are balanced by its cheaper cost and its ability to conform with established PLA Navy doctrine which has long stressed the use of large numbers of fast attack craft.  With the MOLNIYA platform, however, this doctrine can be expanded to exploit the greater range of the ship and its missiles, and the ability of the missiles to be cued by satellite, airborne, ship or submarine systems. 


Russian Systems for No. 168 Class Air Defense Destroyer


Status:  Two launched in 2002; uses extensive Russian weapons and systems; may go to South Sea Fleet

Displacement: 5,000 to 6,000 tons

Powerplant:  2x Ukrainian DN-80 gas turbines, 2x German MTU diesel engines

Performance:  30+ kts top speed, (est.)

Crew:  200-300 (est.)

Systems: RADAR: Russian Fregat M2-EM (Top Plate B) 3D search radar, 300km range; Mineral-ME, 450km range for SSMs; 4x Front Dome to guide SA-N-12, 60km range; 1x target cuing radar for CIWS; EW/ELINT; 2x satcom

Armament:  SSM: unknown but likely long range missile; SAM: SA-N-12, 2x launchers, up to 48 missiles (est.), 42km range; GUN: 1x 100mm automatic; CIWS: 2x Type 730 30mm gatling; 4x 18-barrel rocket launchers, possible anti-torpedo; 1x ASW/Missile guidance helicopter, Ka-28 possible














Early in this decade the PLA demonstrated that it can significantly improve its ability to produce world-class combat ships by launching two similar modern air-defense destroyers.  In doing so the PLA has made great progress in fulfilling a long-standing need in its Navy for dedicated air-defense ships. In late 2001, sources in Taiwan noted that the PLAN would build a new destroyer-size ship in two versions, for air defense and anti-submarine warfare. [66]  In early 2002 reports indicated that the PLAN was building two new destroyers in Jiangnan shipyard in Shanghai, where two LUHU destroyers were built.[67] One source noted these new ships will be based on the LUHAI design and displace between 5,000 and 6,000 tons.[68]  In late May 2002 the first of these destroyers was launched, No. 168, and the second, No. 169, was launched in August 2002.


These ships feature greatly improved stealth shaping over the single No. 167 LUHAI destroyer.  Their degree of stealth shaping does not match that of the proposed future U.S. DDX destroyers, but in some respects is better than the U.S. BURKE class destroyer, and approaches that of the Russian Project 17 Talwar class frigate and other current European stealthy designs. That Russia is selling production technology for the Talwar to India at a minimum raises the potential for similar naval stealth technology having been sold to the PLA. Both new classes of PLA destroyers also use Ukrainian DN-80 gas turbine engines for high speeds and German MTU diesel engines for cruising.[69]


By early 2003 it was possible to determine from Internet-based reporting that the 168 class made extensive use of Russian weapon and sensor components. Internet-sourced pictures revealed that their armament would consist of the Russian SA-N-12 surface-to-air missile, a new 100mm main gun, the new Type 730 30mm Gatling gun CIWS, and an ASW helicopter.[70]  In late April 2003 Internet-sourced photos of No. 168 showed a new radar dome atop the bridge similar to the BAND STAND over-the-horizon targeting radar on the SOVREMENNIY.  This indicates that the destroyer will be equipped with a long-range over-the-horizon anti-ship missile.  Possible candidates would be the C-803, the Russian CLUB-N, or the Russian Kh-35.  The inclusion of the BAND STAND radar had led to some speculation that the new missile would be the Raduga MOSKIT, but that missile is too large to be placed in ship's current anti-ship missile racks.  The 168 may also be equipped with a new low-frequency bow sonar, giving it a far better ASW capability than previous PLAN ships.  With a clear anti-air capability and a possible new level of ASW capability, the No. 168 class will give the PLA Navy a similar capability to Taiwan's new U.S. KIDD class destroyers, very likely before the KIDDs are integrated into the Taiwan Navy.[71] 


No. 170 Class Air Defense Destroyer


Status:   Two launched in 2003; may use some Russian components; may go to South Sea Fleet

Displacement:  6,000-7,000 tons est.

Powerplant:  2x Ukrainian DN-80 gas turbine engines, 2x German MTU diesel engines

Performance:  30+ kts maximum speed

Crew:  200-300 est.

Systems:  RADAR: new phased array system, w/ possible Ukrainian assistance; new meter-wave radar; Mineral-ME 450km range for SSMs; 1x CIWS cueing radar; EW/ELINT systems; 2x satcom links

Armament:  SSM: 8x new long-range anti-ship cruise missile; SAM: 48x new vertical-launch anti-aircraft missile, Russian or new indigenous design; GUN: 1x 100mm automatic; CIWS: 2x Type 730 30mm Gatling; 1x ASW/Missile guidance helo, Ka-28 possible













            In early 2003 the first photos emerged from the Shanghai Jiangnan yards of an even more ambitions warship, clearly equipped with four arrays for phased-array radar arrays, similar in style to the U.S. BURKE and the Japanese KONGO class AEGIS warships.  This ship, designated No. 170, was launched on April 29, 2003. A second ship, No. 171, was launched on October 30, 2003. The No. 170 adds a far more powerful dimension to PLAN surface task groups in that it will be able to give modern defensive cover to other long-range SSM armed ships and aircraft, allowing them to achieve greater closure with other modern naval forces.  For a Taiwan blockade mission, the two 170 class ships could serve as radar picket and command-control platforms stationed at either end of the Taiwan Strait.   It will also allow the PLAN to provide escort for future capital ships like aircraft carriers. 


            No. 170 is estimated to weigh 6,000 to 7,000 tons and is similar in layout to the No. 168 class, sharing the same engine and propulsion systems. Recent reports indicate this radar may be a co-development program with the Kvant-Radiolokatsiya company of the Ukraine.[72]  The band and performance of this radar have not yet been publicly reported. The radar may be a developed version of that first seen on the No. 970 weapons development ship, and could either be S-Band or Russian-style X-Band.  At first the SAM was thought to be the 90km range Russian Altair Bureau's "Rif" naval SAM system, which was reported to have been purchased in 2002.[73]  However, it is judged that the SAM containers are too small to accommodate the RIF-which may yet be seen on an additional new PLA Navy destroyer. In contrast to Russian ships, however, the 170 uses a non-rotary, or fixed vertical launch system for its SAMs.  Both, however use a "cold-launch" system that ejects the missile before motor ignition, which increases safety in the event of a misfire, and decreases motor damage to the ship structure. 


            It is possible that the 170's SAM could be either a new smaller Russian missile derived from their S-400 system or a new PLA SAM that is either indigenous or which uses Russian components.  For example, this new naval SAM could mirror the cooperation between the Agat Bureau and the Louyang Company on the Project 129 AAM. In addition, the 170 carries 2x Type 730 CIWS, and launch rails for 8x  surface-to-surface missiles, which are the same size as the launch rails on the 168, indicating they may be the same missile.  There is a helicopter hanger that is large enough to accommodate a single Kamov Ka-28 ASW/Missile guidance helicopter. 


European and Russian Systems for the Type 054 Frigate


Status:  Now in series production in shipyards in Shanghai and Guangzhou

Displacement:  3,000 tons (est.)

Engines:  4x Licence-built French-designed SEMT-Pielstick PA6 STC diesel engines

Performance:  25-30kts maximum speed


Systems:  RADAR:  new search and target acquisition radar; SONAR: medium frequency sonar; EW/ELINT

Armament:  SSM:  new anti-ship cruise missile; SAM:  unknown new SAM; GUN: 1x 100mm automatic; CIWS:  4x 30mm gatling similar to Russian AK-630; 2x 18-barrel anti-torpedo rocket launcher; possible ASW torpedoes; one Ka-28 ASW/Missile guidance helicopter











            In early 2003 Chinese Internet sources revealed a model for new design frigate to succeed the PLA Navy's JIANGWEI class series.  In a rare instance of such reporting bearing truth, by early Spring it was possible to view a frigate of the same design under construction at the Hongdu Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.  This frigate, No, 525, was launched on September 11, 2003.  The Type 054 is also being built in the Huangpu shipyard in Guangzhou, which launched its first ship, No. 526, was launched on November 30, 2003.  The Hongdu shipyard features conventional ship construction techniques in which the ship is gradually built-up.  But the Huangpu yard uses very modern techniques in which the ship is built from pre-fabricated components in a large covered building, and transferred in a dry dock to be floated in deeper part of the local bay. 


            This frigate does not yet have a formal PLA designation but it has been dubbed the "Type 054" by several sources.  This frigate uses a high degree of stealth shaping that approaches the level used by the French LAFAYETTE class frigates sold to Taiwan.  While PLA Navy design bureaus are able to produce such designs, it is also possible that France gave the PLA data related to French stealth designs as part of its larger payoffs to PRC officials to avoid political fallout from its sale to Taiwan, as revealed in Taiwanese investigations.[74]  Russia is another possible source of technology assistance in naval stealth shaping. 


            One stealth concession made by this PLA ship is that it has a higher bow to improve sea-keeping, which has a consequence of reducing stealth slightly.[75]  And while the new stealth shape, and presumably, improved combat control systems, would improve warfighting capabilities, it is not yet clear that the armament outfit for the Type 054 will convey a radically improved capability over the JIANGWEI.  The previously mentioned model showed the new ship armed with the same HQ-7 SAM of the JIANGWEI II.  The Type 054 launched at Huangpu showed, like the JIANGWEIs, it was equipped with a medium-frequency sonar, which is more suited for active-search in the shallow areas around Taiwan.  A larger low-frequency sonar is preferred for passive search in deep oceans.  One clear improved capability indicated by the model is that the Type 054 will be equipped with the Russian Kamov Ka-28 ASW/Missile guidance helicopter.  It is also equipped with CIWS systems similar to the Russian AK-630, which may indicate this system is under license production in the PRC.


            Other significant foreign content for Type 054 includes the engines.  In April 2002 the French but German-owned company SEMT Pielstick announced on its web page, "8 x 16 PA6 STC engines will equip the two (2) first frigates of a new generation to be built in Shanghai.The 16 cyl. PA6 STC will be manufactured under a license agreement by Shaanxi Diesel Engine Works."[76]  It can be concluded that the Type 054 will be powered by these French-designed diesel engines. 






Russian FEDKO Class Underway Replenishment Ship


Status:  One delivered to PLA Navy in 1993

Displacement:  37,000 tons

Powerplant: 3x diesel engines

Performance:  16 kts maximum speed

Crew:  125

Systems:  One solid transfer station and two liquid transfer stations; one helicopter for store transfer

Armament:  CARGO: 23,000 tons of liquid or solid stores; GUNS: three anti-aircraft gun mounts











            Taking advantage of rapidly warming relations in the early 1990s, in 1992, the PRC purchased the newly built underway replenishment ship (AOR) Vladimir Peregudov, then renamed, Nancang.  Delivered in 1993, it has since been the most modern AOR in the PLA Navy and has been the principal AOR used by the PLA Navy in the conduct of its recent world-wide program of naval diplomacy.  When purchased it only increased the total number of AORs in the PLA Navy to three.  At that time this was interpreted as indicative of a lack of ambition to project naval power. 


French-designed engines for new No. 886 Class Underway Replenishment ships


Status:  One launched in 2003, one building

Displacement:  22,000 tons

Powerplant: 2x license-produced SEMT-Pielstick diesel engines

Performance:  19 kts sustained speed; 10,000 nm range at 15kts


Systems:  2x solid transfer station and 2x liquid transfer stations; one helicopter for store transfer

Armament:  CARGO (est.): 10,400 tons of fuel; 250 tons fresh water; 70 tons lube oil, 680 tons dry cargo or solid stores; GUNS: 4x twin 37mm anti-aircraft guns mounts











            In 2003, the PLA launched a newly designed AOR based on the Similan AOR built by the PRC for the Royal Thai Navy in 1995.  AOR No. 886 was launched on March 29, 2003,[77] and a second is reported building.[78] At 22,000 tons full load, it is comparable to the smaller French DURANCE class AOR.  Regarding foreign content, the No. 886 class is powered by two license-built French-designed SEMT-Pielstick 12,000 brake-horsepower diesel engines.[79]  With two new No. 886 class AORs, that will bring to five the total number of PLA Navy underway supply ships.  Again, this is a small number compared to the U.S. Navy's inventory, which relies on its large supply ship fleet to sustain global power projection capabilities for its combat fleet.  But for a blockade mission focused on Taiwan, factoring in the ability to return to port often for new supplies, a smaller number of AORs may be able to sustain two groups of modern naval combatants intended to block the main approaches to Taiwan for weeks at a time. 





Russian Raduga MOSKIT Supersonic Anti Ship Missile


Status:  3M-80E version in service on 2x Sovremenniy destroyers; 3M-80MBE version said to arm 2x more Sovremenniy destroyers

Weight: 3M-80E: 4,150kg

Powerplant:  Solid fuel booster and ramjet sustaining engine

Guidance:  active radar, home on jamming

Performance:  SPEED: M 2.3 max speed; RANGE: 3M-80E, 120-150km; 3M-80MBE, 200km

Warhead: 300kg penetrating warhead with 150kg high explosives










            Raduga's 3M-80E MOSKIT is today the most powerful anti-ship missile in the PLA Navy.  The extended range 3M-80E version now equips the two SOVREMENNIY destroyers, No. 136 and No. 137, now stationed with the East Sea Fleet.  It is reported that a new version developed especially for the PLA, the 200km range 3M-80MBE, will equip the next two SOVREMENNIY destroyers due to be transferred to the PLA by 2005-2006.[80]  The MOSKIT is feared because it combines high Mach-2 speeds with multi-mode guidance, and a large 300kg warhead.  It is made more deadly by its ability to perform 15g evasive "S" maneuvers just before target impact in order to evade defensive close-in weapon systems (CIWS).[81]  Its large size, however, means that it can only be used by surface ships and aircraft.


            The PLA's funding of a new longer-range version for the second batch of SOVREMENNIY destroyers raises the prospect that the first two will be back fitted with the 3M-80MBE.  Taiwan's ship defenses based on early models of the U.S. PHALANX 20mm Gatling gun may not be sufficient to defend against MOSKIT missiles.  In the late 1980s, Taiwanese sources noted that their PHALANX systems might hit a MOSKIT once or twice, but that the resulting missile pieces would still cause great harm.  As such, on the Taiwan Strait the PLA's deployment of the MOSKIT is destabilizing in the sense that it forces Taiwan to adopt an offensive strategy against the PLA.


Russian Novator CLUB-S Anti-Ship Missile Complex


Status:  reported to arm the PLA Navy's eight new KILO class submarines

Weight:  3M54E: 2,300kg; 3M54E1: 1,780kg

Powerplant: 3M54E: turbojet first stage, rocket engine second stage; 3M54E1: turbojet engine

Guidance:  Radar MMS ARGS-54 active radar seeker, 65km maximum range

Performance:  3M54E: subsonic first stage, Mach 3 second stage, 220km range, 20km second stage;      3M54E1:  subsonic speed, 300km range

Warhead: 3M54E: 200kg; 3M54E1: 400kg










            Russian reports in 2002, mainly in connection with the second order for eight new KILO submarines, mentioned that the new submarines would be armed with the CLUB-S anti-ship missile system.[82]  Products of the secretive Novator bureau, these two anti-ship missiles comprise the CLUB-S (for submarines) and CLUB-N (for surface ships)[83] complexes were revealed to the West for the first time at the 1992 Moscow Airshow, when they were put on display briefly for a visiting PLA delegation.[84]  The two anti-ship missiles are derived from Novator's 3K14 Granat sub-launched cruise missile, which is similar to the U.S. TOMAHAWK cruise missile.  The 3M54E1 most resembles the Granat and the TOMAHAWK, but is smaller and has only a 300km range.  The 3M54E (NATO code name SS-N-27 SIZZLER) however, is radically different.  While using the subsonic first stage of the 3M54E1, it also incorporates a rocket-propelled second stage which is released 20-60km from the target.  This second stage then accelerates to Mach 3 to defeat ship defenses.  Both missiles in the CLUB complex use a common active radar guidance system and both fly a low-altitude sea-skimming mission profile.[85]  Should it equip its second batch of eight KILO submarines, the CLUB-S system would give the PLAN yet another missile with which to saturate the defenses of opposing naval forces.  Full usage of the CLUB-S will require off-board targeting information, but the PLA is working on multiple programs to provide such data to all naval strike forces.   


Russian NPO Mashinostroyenia 3N55 ONIKS/YAKHONT Anti-Ship Missile

Status:  Sale to PLA is reported but not confirmed

Weight: 3,000kg

Powerplant:  Rocket booster and liquid-fuel ramjet sustainer engine

Guidance:  Passive/active radar seeker

Performance:  SPEED: M 2.5; RANGE: 300km, hi-level trajectory; 120km, low-level trajectory

Warhead:  200kg









            Reports from Taiwanese military sources,[86] and from a diplomatic source interviewed at the 2002 Zhuhai Airshow[87] note that the PLA intends to purchase the NPO Machinostroyenia 3N55 YAKHONT supersonic anti-ship missile.  This purchase is associated with the purchase of the second batch of Project 956EM SOVREMENNIY destroyers, but there appears to be some conflict over whether the YAKHONT will indeed be purchased for these ships.  Sale of the YAKHONT is complicated by the potential objections from India, which is co-producing this missile as the BRAHMOS in a high profile program with NPO Mashinostroyenia.  Nevertheless, should the PLA purchase this missile, it will obtain a system that was intended to be the successor to the Raduga MOSKIT, and indeed, is a much more useful system.  The YAKHONT is designed to be fired from ship, submarine, air and land-based platforms.  Its smaller size means that more can be carried in the space allocated to the MOSKIT.  It can be backfitted to submarines like the KILO by inserting a new hull plug.  In contrast, the Novator missiles do not require such expensive modifications for the submarine, but they operate at subsonic speeds and thus are more vulnerable to interception. 







Russian Naval Surface-to-Air Missiles and Technology


Shtil-1 (SA-N-7)

Status: In service on 2x PLAN SOVREMENIY destroyers

Weight:   715kg           Warhead: 50-70kg

Powerplant: Solid Rocket  Speed: 850 m/s (M 3)   Range: 25-32km

Guidance:  FRONT DOME radar, 60km range; semi-active missile radar and infrared homing



Status: Arms 2x No. 168 class destroyers and may arm 2x new PLAN SOVREMENNIY destroyers

Weight: 715kg      Warhead: 50-70kg

Powerplant: Solid rocket Speed: 1,200 m/s (M 4)   Range: 42km, 12km for anti-ship missile at 30m

Guidance: FRONT DOME radar, 60km range; semi-active missile radar, possible upgrade to active radar


RIF (SA-N-6 )

Status:  Two RIF-M ship air defense systems reported sold to PLA in 2002

Weight: 1,625kg   Warhead:  133kg  HE

Powerplant: solid rocket Range:  90km for high altitude targets

Guidance: TOP DOME engagement radar, 100km range, track via missile, engage up to 6 targets simultaneously




















            With the 2000 delivery of the first SOVREMENNIY destroyer, the PLA Navy received its first modern medium-range air defense system in the Shtil-1 (SA-N-7) surface to air missile, which is analogous to the ground-based BUK-M1.  Though it only had a range of 25-32km it also had a high Mach 3 speed and a far more sophisticated guidance system.  With a loadout of 48 of these missiles the SOVREMENNIY was the only destroyer that could hope to survive for even a brief period in a hostile air environment. 


            The PLA, however, has been quick to insist that Russia sell it the superior SA-N-12 missile, an upgraded model analogous to the BUK-M2 SAM.  This missile reportedly will arm the two newly ordered SOVREMENNIY destroyers.  But more importantly, it has been observed being loaded on the new No. 168 class destroyers now being completed in Shanghai.  The SA-N-12 has slightly greater range, but even more importantly, has a higher Mach 4 speed.  This gives the SA-N-12 the capability to intercept incoming subsonic anti-ship missiles out to 12km, and even SCUD-like short-range ballistic missiles.[88]  As such, the No. 168 class destroyer has more staying power than the first two SOVREMENNIY destroyers.  Only a higher speed ramjet-powered anti-ship missile has a chance of overcoming the SA-N-12.  


            In 2002, the PLA reportedly purchased two Altair RIF air defense systems for two yet-to-be-built air defense ships.  It is designed for ships over 5,000 tons in part because of the weight of its associated phased-array radar director.  The naval analogue to the land-based S-300P SAM, the PLA likely purchased this system in part due to its proven capabilities over many years in Soviet/Russian naval service.  It's high Mach 4 speed and phased array radar/track-via-missile guidance system makes it hard to jam and evade.  The future PLA ship that is armed with the RIF will command respect from most other naval and air forces.  


            Originally it was thought that the RIF would arm the new No. 170-class air defense destroyers but it turns out the RIF is too large for the missile launchers it carries.  As such, there is a good possibility that the SAM of the No. 170 is a yet unidentified new missile.  Possibilities include a vertical-launch version of the SA-N-12.  However, it could also be a new type of SAM analogous to a new yet-to-be revealed land-based SAM.  That the PLA could be working on such a new SAM is suggested by high possibility that the PLA has been insisting on regular technology transfers from all the Russian companies selling it new anti-aircraft missile systems.  For example, PLA cooperation with the Agat Bureau, which probably dates to the mid-1990s, has now resulted in the Project 129/SD-10 active-guided AAM.  It is conceivable that a PLA-Agat SAM program mirrored the AAM program. Agat has had the funds in recent years to accelerate its development of new active and passive seekers for missiles.[89]  Its new ARGS-PD active seeker can intercept a target at 44 miles (70km), conferring a potential 125 to 188 mile range for an AAM,[90] but less for a SAM. With a seeker diameter of 280mm, a conceivable size for the new SAM on the No. 170 destroyer, it may be that the PLA will be the first beneficiary of Agat's new work.   


KASHTAN Close-in Weapon System (CIWS)


Status: reported to be ordered for second 2x SOVREMENNIY destroyers for the PLA Navy

Weight: 9 tons

Missile:  9M311 missile, 8km range, 4x missiles on launcher, 32x missiles in storage area

Gun: 2x 6-barrel 30mm gatling guns; 4km range, 10,000 rounds per minute rate of fire







            Reported to have been ordered to outfit the second group of two SOVREMENNIY destroyers to be delivered by 2005, the KASHTAN will be the first ship defense system in the PLA Navy that will combine guns and missiles into one complex.  It has been ordered at the same time the PLAN is introducing the indigenous Type 730 30mm Gatling gun system onto its No. 168 and No. 170 class destroyers.  The KASHTAN is reported to be a very effective ship defense system, using radar and TV guidance for the guns, and possibly, a laser guidance system for the 9M311 missile.


Possible French Assistance for new Type 730 CIWS


Status:  Deployed for use on PLAN No. 168 and No. 170 class destroyers


Gun:      7x barrel 30mm gatling gun








            During 2001 Internet source photos began to appear detailing a new, apparently indigenously designed ship defense CIWS.  At first the device appeared in model form seen on a model of the PLAN Ship No. 970, which is used to test new weapon systems.  By 2002 actual photos of the CIWS appeared. Later Internet source reporting, primarily from PRC military magazines, identified the CIWS as the Type 730.  At first glance the Type 730 looks like the Dutch GOALKEEPER CIWS, in that a 30mm Gatling gun and radar are contained in a single turret. However, subsequent analysis of the prototype of the Type 730 shows a striking similarity to the defunct French SEAMOS ship defense program of the 1980s.[91]  The French program was an early but failed attempt to combine a 30mm Gatling gun with small missiles.  The Type 730 just uses a 30mm cannon, but the turret contains both radar and optronic guidance systems.  These presumably guide the gun, while a larger search radar-seen on all the No. 168 and No. 170 ships-very likely cues the Type 730 CIWS.  


Russian Torpedoes

Type        Guidance             Size         Weight         Motor/Speed         Depth       Range  Warhead


Shkval                                 534 mm    2,700kg      Rocket/ 200kts          100m        7km        210kg HE  


TE-2      Wake homing       533mm     2,400kg       Electric 50kts (?)       500m (?)  40km (?)  400kg HE


Test -71ME Wake homing  534mm   1,820kg       Electric/ 40kts        400m(est)       20km     205kg HE         


SET-65KE Wire guided      533mm     1,703 kg      Electric/ 40kts     600m(est)        16 km    205 kg HE


APR-3E    Sonar                  350mm      525kg      Rocket/ 64kts            800m     2km radius     74kg HE

















            As the PLA Navy has come to rely on Russian submarines and submarine technology to propel its modernization, it follows that it has purchased several new types of Russian torpedoes to arm its new submarines.  Two Russian torpedoes that reportedly arm its KILO submarines are the Test-71ME and the SET-65KE.[92]  Both are wire-guided which allows the crew to direct the torpedo based on targeting date gathered either by ship sonar or from sonar on the torpedo.  These two Russian torpedoes have the capability to home in on a ship's wake, which it most often cannot detect.  Inasmuch as the KILO 636 is equipped to fire the heavy TE-2 wire-guided torpedoes from two of its launch tubes, it is very possible that PLAN has it.  The TE-2 has a deadly 400kg warhead, which would be most effective against large ships. While the U.S. Navy has an active anti-torpedo torpedo program, it has not yet fielded a system capable of defending ships from wake-homing torpedoes. 


            The PLAN has also possibly purchased two varieties of Russian rocket-propelled torpedoes from the Region Bureau. In August 1998, the PRC was reported to have purchased 40 Shkval rocket torpedoes from Kazakhstan.[93]  This 200kt speed underwater missile is an example of a "supercavitating" weapon that creates a pocket of air in the water just ahead of itself to enable very high underwater speeds.  Such speed is often sufficient to punch a hole straight through the ships. The U.S. is also working hard to create such new torpedoes.  The PLA is working diligently to develop its own versions.  According to a Taiwanese source, the PLA has already tested its own supercavitating torpedoes.[94] Also according to a Taiwanese source, the PLAN may have the Region Bureau's rocket-propelled APR-3E air-dropped anti-submarine torpedo.[95]  After being cued by ship or helicopter sonar, the APR-3E is then able to conduct its own search pattern and can find its target in one to two minutes.[96] Another source notes that the APR-3E's motor does not switch on until the homing system has found its target, decreasing interception time and "virtually excluding the target's evading actions or countermeasures."[97] Region is working on the ARP-3EM, with even better sensors that will enable a hit to the submarine's mid-section, which "guarantees penetration through its pressure hull."[98] In addition, Region has developed the PAKET-E/NK anti-torpedo, which is designed to intercept other torpedoes attacking surface ships,[99] but which may also form part of a future submarine-launched anti-torpedo system.


Possible Sale of Russian Mobile Naval Mines


PKM-2 Anti-Submarine Mine System

Status:  Possibly being sought by the PLA

Length: 7.9m    Weight:  1,850kg,  130kg warhead

Operating Depth:  up to 1,000 meters


SMDM (Model 3) Self  Propelled Bottom Mine

Status:  Possibly being sought by the PLA

Length:  6m   Weight:  1,400kg, 425kg warhead

Operating Depth:  up to 120 meters  Range:  Unknown, but likely comparable to torpedoes











            When discussing trends in PLA submarine modernization, the 2003 Pentagon PLA report notes, "A second major improvement entails the use of advanced mobile mines to augment the Navy's large inventory of submarine-laid mines."[100]  While the Pentagon was specific, this could be a reference to the possible purchase by the PLA of Russian mobile and deep water anti-submarine mines.  Mobile mines can refer to mines which travel horizontally, like torpedoes, to a pre-set distance, or moored mines which detach a torpedo when a target is within range.  The PLA Navy possesses a large inventory of mines, including the indigenous EM-52 and EM-55, which are both moored rocket-propelled mines.  It also has the EM-56 self-propelled mine with a range of more than 13km. The PLA would likely seek Russian mines with similar capabilities to compliment their growing inventory of KILO submarines.  The PKM-2 is a deep-water moored mine designed primarily for anti-submarine missions.  This could be laid by KILO submarines in the likely approaches that U.S. submarines might take to reach Taiwan.  In addition, Russian SMDM propelled mines would be useful for attacking well-defended ports from a stand-off distance.   









Ukrainian Radar Systems for the PLA


Status:  The PLA uses the Ukrainian Mineral-ME and Kolchuga radar systems, and is co-developing a new naval phased array radar system


                                                     Mineral-ME                                Kolchuga


Range:                                                 450km                                       600km

Active/Passive:                                   Passive (?)                                 Passive

No. of  Simul.Targets Tracked:           50

PLA Users:                                 Navy, Sovremenniy                        Air Force (?)

                                                     No. 168, No.170 DDGs











            The PLA uses two types of Ukrainian designed radar and is co-developing a new phased array radar, very likely for the new No. 170 class destroyer.  These radar will play a crucial role for the PLA Navy and the PLA Air Force. The first type of Ukrainian radar acquired by the PLA was the Kvant-Radiolokatsiya company's Mineral-ME naval targeting radar. The Mineral-ME is used on the PLA Navy's Sovremenniy destroyers and has been purchased to equip the new No. 168 and No. 170 class destroyers. Believed to be a passive radar, meaning it does not emit signals and just collects them, it has a 450km range and can simultaneously track up to 50 targets, while processing information from up to 200 targets.  The Mineral-ME provides both guidance and data-link functions for the MOSKIT SSMs on the Sovremenniys and for the new SSMs to equip the two new PLA Navy destroyers. 


            In late 2001 it was revealed that the Ukraine had sold the PLA its KOLCHUGA passive radar as well.  It is intended to operate in a configuration of three detection vehicles and has a range of 600km.  The secret of the KOLCHUGA lies in its computer programs that identify a range of received signals and then compare them to a data base of known adversarial data signals to establish the location of a target.  Any data emission made by a potential target is received and classified. It is advertised as being able to "provide detection and recognition of" the Patriot SAM, F-15, F-16, F-22, Mirage-2000, KC-135, E-2, E-3, F-177 and the B-2 bomber.[101] A later Ukrainian report noted that the PRC put up $2 million of  the Kolchuga's $2.5 million development budget.[102]


            The PLA and the Kvant-Radiolokatsiya company are also developing a new phased array radar.[103]  Given this company's emphasis on naval radar it is likely that the new co-developed phased array radar is intended for the PLA Navy's new No. 170 class destroyers.  Inasmuch as the aforementioned report says the company is using the PLA's investment to develop "new technology," it is possible that the radar will be an active phased array.  Such a radar would likely be used both for surveillance and for SAM guidance. Eventually it may also be capable of missile interception missions. 






Kamov Ka-28 HELIX Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopter


Status:  6-8 delivered to the PLA Navy; more expected to be ordered

Weight:  12,000kg; 800kg combat load

Powerplant: 2x Klimov TV-3-117 turboshafts, 2,190 shp

Performance:  270km/h max speed; 900km range in attack; 2.25h endurance

Systems: search radar, dipping sonar, sonobouys

Armament: APR-3E homing torpedo; S3V controlled depth bomb; anti-submarine mines; mines









With the 1997 acquisition of the Russian Kamov Ka-28 ASW helicopter, the PLAN took a significant step toward improving its combat helicopter capability.  The PLAN is now thought to have four ASW versions of the Ka-28 to equip its two SOVREMENNIY destroyers, and two search and rescue versions.  This initial batch was delivered in September 2002.[104] It will likely purchase more ASW versions to equip the two new SOVREMENNIYs expected after 2005, and to equip new 168, 170 class destroyers, and new 054 class frigates.  The export version of the standard Russian naval helicopter, the Ka-28 uses a twin contra-rotating rotor that makes for a shorter, squatter, but taller aircraft.  It can carry up to 800kg and has an endurance of about 2hrs for anti-ship targeting or ASW missions.[105] Its radar provides long-range targeting data for the MOSKIT and CLUB anti-ship missiles.  For its anti-submarine missions the Ka-28 is equipped with dipping sonar and sonobouys.  PLAN Ka-28s very likely carry the deadly Russian APR-3E rocket-propelled homing torpedo.  They may be armed with the SV3, a depth bomb with a sonar guidance system to aid target interception.  


Access To Russian Aircraft Carrier Technology


Project 11435  KUZNETSOV Class Carrier


Status:  Former carrier Tiblisi  purchased in 1998, towed to Dalian Naval Base in 2002

Displacement:  60,000 tons full

Powerplant:  Boiler/steam turbine

Performance: 29kts maximum speed; 12,000nm range at economical speed

Crew:  2,500

Systems: RADAR:  SKY WATCH phased array; TOP PLATE 3D search; FLY TRAP aircraft control; EW: ESM/ECM, decoys; SONAR: low frequency

Armament:  AIRCRAFT: up to 24 CTOL combat aircraft and 21 helicopters; SSM: 12x SS-N-19, 550km range; SAM: 192x KLINOK ; CIWS: 8x KORTIK


Project 11434 KIEV Class ASW Carrier


Status:  Former carriers Minsk and Kiev acquired by the PRC, now operated as museums   

Displacement:  42,100 tons full

Powerplant:  Boiler/steam turbine

Performance:  30.5kts maximum speed; 6,900nm range at economical speed

Crew:  1,500

Systems:  RADAR: TOP SAIL; TOP STEER; SONAR: low frequency

Armament:  AIRCRAFT:  up to 24 helicopters or VSTOL fighters; SSM:  12x SS-N-12; SAM: SA-N-3; SA-N-4; CIWS: 8x AK-630 30mm Gatling gun























            While the PRC leadership has not yet decided to build aircraft carriers, it has approved of an aggressive research and development program. Beginning in the early 1980s this program has included the testing of hydrodynamic models and the building of a simulated carrier deck complete with a catapult and arresting gear.  In 1987 a J-8II is reported to have been test flown from this deck. [106]  In 1990 the PLA reportedly displayed a mock up of a 40,000 to 50,000 ton carrier.  At the time the PLAN was thought to envision a fleet of two such carriers and their attendant ships.  In 1996 the U.S. Office of Naval Analysis released a picture of a large PLAN carrier mock-up,[107] and in late 2001 a near full-scale aircraft carrier was built in a PLA park near Shanghai.  This structure appears to be an office building, but could also serve as a target for calibrating electronic surveillance and attack systems.      


            The PLA has purchased several used Western and Russian carriers, ostensibly for scrap or to turn into casinos or museums.  The reality is that the PLA has likely used these hulls to study Western and Russian carrier construction technology in order to design their own carrier.  Another reason to buy old carriers is to study them in order to gather the necessary knowledge base to sink them.  In addition, if outfitted to run, even without aircraft, these carriers could be used as mobile realistic targets to refine anti-carrier doctrine and tactics.  


            Acquisition of former Russian aircraft carriers began in 2000, when the former Pacific Fleet KIEV class ASW carrier Minsk was towed to a port in Shenzhen, after being purchased from a South Koran scrap yard, and turned into a museum.  The Minsk's engines were reportedly inoperable, rendering the ship unusable.  One 1997 Russian report notes that for $896,000 the Chinese purchased "the complete design documentation package or [an] aircraft carrying cruiser,"[108] the latter most likely referring to the KIEV class. A more recent report notes that the technical blueprints for this ship were part of a package deal that required the purchase of the ship's hulk.[109] A second carrier of this class, the Kiev, was purchased in 2001, to serve as a tourist attraction.


            It is not clear whether the PLA is interested in building a modest size carrier, like the KIEV class.  Designed for the specific Soviet-era mission of protecting SSBNs in oceanic "bastions" near the Soviet mainland, the KIEV class stresses a unique combination of large anti-ship missiles, ASW helicopters and a small number of VSTOL fighters.  The later were largely unsuccessful due to their limited range and weapons payload, but did serve to introduce the Soviet Navy to carrier aviation.  Land-based bombers formed the main air strike assets for the bastion strategy, in which naval and air forces were subordinate to land-based Army commanders.  For the PLA, adoption of a KIEV-like carrier might also indicate that it was adopting a "bastion" strategy of defending areas near SSBN operating areas.  However, it cannot yet be determined whether this design will influence future PLA large anti-submarine, helicopter carrying or aircraft carrying ships.  India, which purchased the last KIEV class ship to be built, the Gorshkov, is having it converted to a CTOL carrier.  


PLA interest in buying the Varyag, along with a compliment of Su-33 fighters, was first reported in 1992,[110] with Japan reported to have protested the deal to Russia.[111] In early 2002, after years of negotiations with the Ukraine, and then Turkey, to get transit permission through the Bosporous Straits, the PRC obtained the partially completed Soviet era carrier the Varyag.  The partially completed ship was reportedly purchased for $20 million in 1998, by a PRC company closely tied to the PLA Navy. The official reason for acquiring the Varyag is to convert it into a casino to be placed in Macao.  However, one report noted that British and French companies had been retained to refurbish and outfit the carrier with advanced electronics.[112]  While this would entail great expense, the Varyag could be refurbished.  A review of Internet source photos of the Varyag in Dalian Harbor shows that some work has been done to restore the vessel, and the aircraft elevators appear to be in good shape.  However, as of late 2003 such intermittent sources did not indicate that the Varyag was being refurbished either for use as a combat platform, or as a casino.  But it could serve as a limited-role mobile target, or as the template for a future indigenously designed carrier.[113] 


The possibility that the Varyag could serve as a template for a future PLAN carrier was made real during August 2003 celebrations marking the 50th Anniversary of the Harbin Technical Institute.  This is the first military-technical university started by the PRC leadership under Mao, and has since been deeply involved in military-technical research.  For this celebration students built a 1:100 scale model of an aircraft carrier that bore a striking resemblance to the Varyag.[114]  The main differences included moving anti-ship missiles from under-deck launch tubes to racks on the sides of the hull, replacing the small KLINOK SAMs with anti-aircraft missiles similar in size to those used on the No. 170 class destroyer, and using Type 730 CIWS.  Otherwise, this model represented a carrier the size and shape of the 60,000 ton KUZNETZOV, with Russian SKY WAVE style phased array radar and a pronounced ski-jump on the bow to assist aircraft take-off.  Like the KUZNETZOV it could 18 Sukhoi Su-33-size fighters and about 17 Kamov ASW and radar helicopters, though the Russians claim it can carry up to 60 aircraft.[115]  In PLAN service, it might carry a navalized version of the Shenyang/Sukhoi J-11 fighter or a version of the Chengdu J-10 modified for carrier usage.  


            For the PLAN this carrier could serve as the nucleus of a strike group to be escorted by No. 170- class air defense ships and Project 093 SSNs.  Such a carrier task group could defend PLAN SSBN operations within, or ensure their break out from the Yellow Sea and South China Sea.  This kind of operation would require close cooperation with other naval ships and the PLAAF. But with 20 to 30 fighter aircraft and a near equal number of supporting helicopters, such a carrier group could dominate the navies of all its neighbors and easily extend PRC control into the South China Sea.  In addition, the KUZNETZOV's size allows it to play a powerful diplomatic power projection role.  The PLA could deploy its carrier group to support Pakistan, North Korea or other client states under threat from the United States or countries allied with the U.S.. 


Access To Western Aircraft Carrier Technology


            The PLA has sought to obtain aircraft carrier and helicopter carrier-related technology and knowledge from the West.  In 1985 Australia's British-built World War II MAJESTIC-class carrier HMAS Melbourne was towed to the PRC. Ostensibly the PRC purchased the carrier for scrap metal, but in reality, it stayed in port for two years as it was scoured for technical information by PLA engineers.  And while its aircraft-launching steam catapults were destroyed by the Australians, the carrier's deck was reportedly removed and reassembled at a PLA airfield to allow pilots to practice carrier take-offs and landings.[116] 


            The 1990s saw other efforts to obtain European aircraft carrier technology. In 1995 Spain's Bazan shipyard was reported to have tried to sell the PLA plans to its 25,000 ton CTOL carrier concept.[117]  Bazan's deal, however, is reported to have been prevented by pressure from Washington. Then in 1996, it was reported that the PLA attempted to buy the then just retired French carrier Clemenceau, but the deal never came to pass.[118]  France quickly denied that it was considering such a sale. 


            In 1997 it was reported that the PLA might instead opt for a smaller helicopter carrier.[119]  It was reported that the PLA was approaching Spain and Italy for technology to build such smaller carriers.[120]  Then in 1997, the PLAN took delivery of the 10,000 ton helicopter training and defense mobilization ship Shichang.  Similar to, though smaller than the British Argus container ship-turned military transport, the Shichang gives the PLAN a multi-purpose naval air platform that could support helicopters designed for anti-submarine, minesweeping, or Special Forces insertion.  A ship of this size could also provide limited air support for outposts in the South China Sea. 


[1]  Report to Congress Pursuant to the FY2000 National Defense Authorization Act, ANNUAL REPORT ON THE MILITARY POWER OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.  July 28, 2003, p. 27, , hereafter referred to a "DoD PLA Report."

[2] "Russia Helps China Take New SSNs into Silent Era," Jane's Defence Weekly, August 13, 1997, p. 14.

[3] Ibid.

[4] U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, Worldwide Submarine Challenges, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, February 1997, p. 23.

[5] DoD PLA Report, 2003, p. 27.

[6] Rupert Pengelley, "Grappling for Submarine Supremacy," Jane's International Defense Review, July 1996, p. 51.

[7] "Victor III (Project 671RTM(K))," IMDS 2003, International Maritime Defense Show, St. Petersburg 25-29 June, see also, Vladimir Shcherbakov, "Soviet Underwater Predators: A Story of the Victor Family Attack Submarines," Arms Defense Technology Review (Moscow), 2 (15) 2003, p. 38. 

[8] Jian Je, "Shenhou Zhong de Xuangzi Zuo" (Myth of the Twins), Guoji Zhanwang, August 2002, p. 23, cited in Dr. Lyle Goldstein and Lieutenant Commander Bill Murray, U.S. Navy, "China's Subs Lead the Way," United States Naval Institute Proceedings, March 2003, p. 59.

[9] DoD PLA Report, 2003, p. 27.

[10] Hui Tong, "093", Chinese Military Aviation,

[11] A.D. Baker, Combat Fleets of the World,

[12]Artist projections of the Project 093 and 094 appeared in the PRC naval magazine Kuo Chi Chan Wan and were viewed on the Internet in late 2000.

[13]Mark Farrer, "Submarine force in change-the People's Republic of China," Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, October-November, 1998, p. 14.

[14] "Zhongwai  He Qianting Bijiao (A Comparison of Chinese and Foreign Nuclear Submarines)," Jianchuan Zhishi, September 1998, p. 30, cited in Goldstein and Morris, op-cit.

[15] Worldwide Submarine Challenges, op-cit.

[16] Goldstein and Morris, p. 59.

[17] DoD PLA Report, 2003, p. 31.

[18] Hui Tong, "094," Chinese Military Aviation,

[19] "China To Remain Largest Russian Arms Importer in Coming Years," Interfax, July 17, 2000, see also, "Official says improved Russia-West ties have no effect on arms trade with China,"

Moscow Agentstvo Voyennykh Novostey, May 31, 2002 in FBIS  CEP20020531000249.


[20] Steven Ashley, "Warpdrive Underwater," Scientific American, May 2001, p. 79.

[21] Richard Scott, " Russia's anti-ship arsenal targets export markets," Jane's Navy International, October 2003, p. 27.

[22] "Akula (Project 971),"IMDS 2003, International Maritime Defense Show, St. Petersburg 25-29 June, p. 17.

[23] David Miller, Submarines Of The World, St. Paul MN: MBI Publishing, 2002, p. 382.

[24] A.D. Baker III, Combat Fleets of the World, 2002-2003, Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2002,

[25] John Dikkenberg, "Regional Submarines: Just How Good are the Kilos?," Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, November 2002, p. 17.

[26] Joris Janssen Lok , "Russia's Amur Diesel Electrics Will Follow Kilo Class In Hunt For Exports," Jane's International Defense Review, July 1, 2002. 

[27] Farrer, p. 13.

[28] A.D. Baker III, "World Navies in Review," U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, March, 2001, p. 34..

[29] Rubin brochure.

[30] Rupert Pengelly, "Grappling for Submarine Supremacy," Jane's International Defense Review, July 1996, p. 51.

[31] "Russia, China 'satisfied' with joint military commission meeting," Interfax, June 1, 2002, in FBIS, CEP20020601000050; "China Major Buyer of Russian Arms," ITAR-TASS, May 29, 2002, in FBIS, CEP20020529000144.  

[32]Mikhail Khodarenok, "Underwater Scandal," Nezavisimaya Gazeta, June 7, 2002, p. 6.

[33] Vladimir Anufriyev, "Russia Inaugurates Construction of Submarines for China,"

ITAR-TASS, June 3, 2003, in FBIS CEP20030603000328.

[34] Richard Fisher, "China Accelerates Navy Building," China Brief, July 29, 2003,

[35] David Isenberg, "Taiwan's submarine saga continues," Asia Times, November 21, 2003,

[36] Dikkenberg, op-cit.

[37] Ibid.

[38] DoD PLA Report, 2003, p. 21.

[39] Jane's Sentinel, p. 106.

[40] Worldwide Submarines Challenges, op-cit.

[41] Interview, March 2002.

[42] Glen Levick, "China," in Asian Navies Overview,, updated March 2000.

[43] Farrer, op-cit; Kanwa News, March 11, 1999.

[44] Morison, op-cit.

[45] Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, "Key National Projects, Fuel Cell Technology," .

[46] Fu Xingyu, "Jiang Inspects Technological Innovation," Xinhua, August 22, 1999, in FBIS OW2808081599. 

[47]Fuel cell data posted by "SKC" on the "Dingsheng Dynasty" web page, March 13, 2002, viewed on March 14, 2002,


[48] Announcement, Second Sino-German Workshop on Fuel Cells, April 13 -April 15, 2003, Guenzburg, Germany,

[49] Miller, p. 327.

[50] Joris Jansen Lok, "Germany's submarines combine export success with propulsion progress," Jane's International Defense Review, January 2002, p. 49.

[51] Discussion on the web page "999 Military," accessed on January 7, 2004,

[52] Hsiao P'eng, "Sunburn Missiles Each of Which Is Worth Over $20 Million Were Test-Fired for the First Time," Sing Tao Jih Pao, August 14, 2001, in FBIS CPP20010814000041.

[53] "Russia, China Sign Major Contract On Arms Supplies," Interfax-AVN, January 3, 2002.

[54]Ilya Bulavinov, "'Sensational Decision' of Russian Shipbuilding Agency to Award $1.4 Billion Contract for Building Two Destroyers for China to 'Baltiyskiy Zavod' Rather Than to 'Severnaya Verf." Moscow Obshchaya Gazeta, January 17, 2002, in FBIS CEP20020116000369; "Baltiysky Zavod Plant Could Sign Contract To Build Destroyers For China," Interfax-AVN, January 28, 2002.

[55] Aleksey Khazbiyev, "Slightly Rotten Destroyers," Ekspert, July 7,2003, in FBIS CEP20030707000291.

[56] "Aleshin Seen To Have Resolved Plants' Conflict Over Chinese 956EM Order," Kommersant,  August 8, 2003, p. 7, in FBIS  CEP20030811000112.  


[57] "An exclusive interview with Severnoye Project Design Bureau deputy general director Vladimir I. SPIRIDOPULO," Kanwa News, November 20, 2001.

[58] Richard Fisher, "China's New Russian Destroyers," China Brief, Jamestown Foundation, January 31, 2002,  

[59] Yihong Chang, "New details emerge on Chinese guided-missile destroyer," Jane's Defence Weekly, July 30, 2003, p. 28.

[60] Nikolai Novichkov, "China buys two more Project 956EM ships," Jane's Defence Weekly, January 9, 2002, p. 4; Brian Hsu, "Missile deal to boost Beijing's naval prowess," Taipei Times, June 18, 2002,

[61] Chang, op-cit.

[62] "Ukrainian website profiles cruiser to be sold to China," Defense-Express, Nov 18, 2002, in FBIS  CEP20021120000113; Vladimir Pavlov,"Ukraine to sell An-140 planes," ITAR-TASS, November 18, 2002, in FBIS CEP20021118000249.

[63] "Russia Promoting Missile Boats To China," Kanwa News, November 21, 2003.

[64] Lu Yi, "Two New Types of Chinese DDGs Attracting Attention,"  Sekai no Kansen (Ships of the World), December 1, 2003, pp. 104-105.

[65] Jane's Fighting Ships, 2000-2001. 

[66] Interview in Taiwan, December 2001.

[67] Robert Karniol, "China constructing two new warships," Jane's Defence Weekly, February 27, 2002.

[68] Robert Sae-Liu, "China building Luhai variants," Jane's Defence Weekly, May 1, 2002.

[69] A.D. Baker III, "Combat Fleets," United States Naval Institute Proceedings, July 2003, p. 106.

[70] Progress in the construction of No. 168, 169 and 170, 171 were monitored via the web site.

[71] Richard D. Fisher, "China Accelerates Navy Building," China Brief, July 29, 2003.

[72] "Ukrainian Radar Designer Interviewed on Current Projects," Kiev Defense-Express, November 1, 2003.

[73]Mikhail Kozyrev and Alexei Nikolsky, "Russia to supply China with two S-300F, Vedomosti, April 30, 2002, p. A3.

[74] Thomas Crampton, "Taipei says Paris betrayed secrets on frigate deal to China," The International Herald Tribune, March 22, 2002, p. 3.

[75] The author thanks David Murphy for this observation.



[77] A.D. Baker III, "Combat Fleets," U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, August, 2003, p. 89.

[78] Lu Yi, op-cit.

[79] Baker, op-cit.

[80] Chang, op-cit; Scott, op-cit.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Mikhail Khodarenok, "Underwater Scandal," Nezavisimaya Gazeta, June 7, 2002, p. 6.

[83] Scott, p. 29.

[84] Steven Zaloga, "India joins the Russian naval missile system club," Jane's Intelligence Review, December 2000, p. 45.

[85] Scott, pp. 20, 30.

[86] Hsu, op-cit.

[87] Interview, Zhuhai Airshow, November 2002.

[88] Yuri Babushkin, editor-in-chief, Russia's Arms, 2001-2002, Moscow: Military Parade, 2001, p. 571.

[89] Iosif Akopyan, "AGAT: New Generation of Active Radar Homing Heads," Military Parade, July 2003, pp. 40-41.

[90] Reuben F. Johnson, "New AGAT seeker in a class by itself," Aviationonline, June 16, 2003,


[91] The author thanks David Murphy for this observation.

[92] Goldstein and Morris, p. 58.

[93] Robert Karniol, "China buys Shkval torpedo from Kazakhstan," Jane's Defence Review, August 26, 1998. p. 6.

[94] Interview, Taipei, Taiwan, December 2001. 

[95] Interview, Taipei, Taiwan, August 1997.

[96]Russia's Arms, p. 506.

[97] Yevgeny Shakhidzhanov, "Region-Developed Airborne and Ship-Based Guided Weapons," Military Parade, January-February, 2003, p. 39.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] DoD PLA Report, 2003, p. 26.

[101] Brochure, obtained at the Moscow Airshow, August 2003.

[102] Narodna Armiya, Kiev, November 21, 2003, Global News Wire - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, 
BBC Monitoring International Reports, December 4, 2003.

[103] "Ukrainian Radar Designer.," op-cit.

[104] "Russia delivers Ka-27 shipborne helicopters to China," ITAR-TASS September 12, 2002, in FBIS  CEP20020912000369.

[105] Russia's Arms, p. 394.

[106] Shi Fei, The General Development Trend of the Chinese Military, Chengdu: Sichuan Kexue Chubanshe, pp. 2-22, cited in You Ji, p. 196.

[107] Office of Naval Intelligence, World Wide Challenges to Naval Strike Warfare, January 1996, p. 29.

[108] Mikhail Urusov, "Destroyers in Exchange for Canned Meat," Moscow Moskovskiye Novosti, November 2-9, 1997, in FBIS-UMA-97-310. 

[109] Michael Sheridan, "Soviet ship star of China's war game," Sunday Times, October 13, 2002.

[110] "China is buying Russian aircraft carrier," Flight International, August 19, 1992.

[111] Vladimir Solntsev, "RUSSIAN ARMS EXPORTS TO CHINA MAY ENDANGER AID," Itar-Tass, July 17, 1992.

[112] Bruce Gilley, "Flying Start," Far Eastern Economic Review, March 11, 1999, p. 24.

[113] Dr. Donald J. Evans, "Beijing Commits To Carrier Aviation," Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily, September 18, 2001.

[114] Images viewed over several Chinese military related web sites in late August 2003. 

[115]  Jane's Fighting Ships, 2000-2001, p. 568.

[116] Professor Chung Chien of National Tsing Hua University, "Breaking Through the Encirclement: Chinese Communists Research the Building of Aircraft Carriers," Chien-Tuan K'o-Chi, July 1, 2003, pp. 6-15, in FBIS CPP20030827000279

[117] Joris Janssen Lok and Robert Karniol, "Spain Offers Carrier Design To Chinese," Jane's Defence Weekly, February 18, 1995, p. 8.

[118] Nayan Chanda, "No Cash Carrier," Far Eastern Economic Review, October 10, 1996, p. 20.

[119] "China Opts for Copter Carrier," Far Eastern Economic Review, November 13, 1997, p. 12.

[120] Paul Lewis, "China Seeks Helicopter Carrier," Flight International, November 26-December 2, 1997, p. 18.

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