Houxin Class (Type 037-IG / Type 343M) large missile boats
The Houxin Class large missile boats are missile armed submarine chasers introduced to provide a less expensive alternative to the larger Houjian Class boats. The design of the Houxin was in line with traditional missile boats in service with the PLAN, fitted with a heavy load of four C-801 surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft guns. The basic design and propulsion plants are the same as those of the Hainan Class submarine chasers that began production in the 1960s. The missile attack boat was developed to replace the much older Houka and Huangfeng class. The Houxin was effectively a missile armed variant of the lengthened Haijiu Class.
As of early 2004 a total of 22 units of this class had been completed since 1990, with production continuing at about three per year. However, by another estimate the Houxin Class fast-attack craft program had delivered only 16 vessels by early 2004. Assuming the current force structure of 150 fast-attack craft, China's future force could include about 30 Houxin-class vessels.
The PLAN was planning to upgrade its large fleet small and medium coastal fast attack craft with the locally-developed C-101 supersonic surface-to-surface missile. The new missile would replace obsolete HY-2/SS-N-2 missiles previously in service with the fleet. Initially a Hegu class FAC served as the testbed, with one C-101 missile inside a large fixed cylindrical launch tube. After completion of sea trials, all other classes of FACs, including the new Houxin class, were expected to be fitted with two to four C-101 launch tubes.
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