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Huangfeng Class (Type 021 / Project 21) missile boats

The Huangfeng Class missile boats were Chinese copies of the popular Soviet Osa I Class missile boat. Armed with the SS-N-2 Styx surface-to-surface missile (SSM), the Osa and Komar missile boats were staples of most Third World navies. The Huangfeng Class guided missile boats built on the model of the Soviet Osa type. In January 1965, China acquired 1 of these from the USSR, 4 in 1966-67 period and 2 in 1968. In the subsequent period, these were built at a rate of ten per year, acquiring its Chinese name in 1985.

The Huangfeng boats, along with many Luda destroyers and Jianghu frigates, carried four C-201 missiles (also called HY-2 or CSS-N-2), a Chinese modified version of the Russian Styx missiles. They are large with a diameter of 76 centimeters (30 inches) and are 5.8 meters (19 feet) long in their cells.

In 1965 the Soviet Union provided China with its first Osa Class and Komar Class fast attack boats, with two and four Styx SSMs, respectively. The boats had Russian M503A diesels for each shaft. Osa was equipped with three propellers and diesels, and Komar had four propellers and diesels. These engines were reportedly unreliable, with only 600 hours being the average between overhauls. China had only the Square Tie search radar to control its SSN-1 missiles, and no Drum Tilt gun fire control radar like Soviet Osas.

Ten years later, China began mass producing copies of the Osa, giving them the name Huangfeng. Several Chinese shipyards built about 10 per year, and by 1985 the PLAN had achieved a maximum inventory of 120 Huangfeng. As they aged, the active inventory dropped to about 50 active and 25 in reserve by 1995. By 2008 only around 14 Huangfeng boats were active, so a new modern high-speed missile boat was needed to replenish this type in the PLAN order of battle.


The Huangfeng enjoyed some export success. As of 2002 a total of 4 had been sold to North Korea in 1990, four sold to Pakistan in 1984, four sold to Bangladesh in 1988 and one more in 1992. The first actual variant of the Huangfeng was the Hola (also sometimes referred to as Hela), an enlarged Osa-I design appearing in 1970. The design appeared to be unsuccessful, though it was updated and still offered for sale during the 1990s with provisions for 6 C-801 missiles, 2 twin 30mm AA stations, decoy rocket lauchers, and a radar intercept system.

In September 1994, 5 variants of the Huangfeng design, named Houdong, were delivered to Iran. Another 5 more were delivered in May 1995. In March 1996, Iran took delivery of the last 5 Houdong FACs. The Houdong were equipped with the long-range C-802 anti-ship cruise missile (120 km range with 700 kg warhead). This brought the Iranian fleet to ten Houdong FACs. Other reports claimed that China sold Iran about 40 Hudong fast attack missile boats and more than 80 C-802 anti-ship cruise missiles during the mid-1990s.

Another variant, the Hounan, was sold to Yemen in May 1995.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:40:36 ZULU