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Type 053H2G Jiangwei frigates
Type 053H3 Jiangwei-II frigates
Type 053H2 Jiangwei-III frigates

There is some confusion concerning the nomenclature for this class. The Chinese designation is Type 053, while the Western designation of the Type 053 is "Jiang Wei". The "Jiang Wei" class follow-up models include the 053H1, 053H2, and 053H3. But these do not seem to be in sequence, and apparently authoritative sources disagree on the details. The so-called Type 055 Jiangwei frigates, Type 057 Jiangwei-II frigates, Type 059 Jiangwei-III frigates are probably in error.

The F22T Jiangwei class was the first Chinese patrol combatant to have anti-submarine capability. It is 115 meters long, a displacement of 2250 tons, and a speed of 25 knots. The Jiangwei class represents a shift in Chinese naval thinking away from ships that operate close to shore and toward ocean-going warships. Its major weapons system is the CY-1 anti-submarine missile. There is a helicopter deck for one helicopter, and six C-802 anti-ship missiles are deployed, though the units lack any real ASW capability.

Historically the biggest weakness of Chinese destroyers and frigates has been their inadequate ship-to-air missiles. Because they have small displacements, most of the destroyers and frigates are not equipped with short-range and intermediate-range missiles, but use artillery with a limited firing range, one-man air defense missiles, and a small number of PL-8H short-range ship-to-air missiles for air defense. The weakness in air defense capabilities has confined the activity of China's destroyers and frigates to the Chinese coastal waters, within the area covered by the fighters of the Chinese Navy. Jiangwei class frigates are equipped with ship-to-air missiles, including the HQ-61B with a firing range of 10 km and Sea Sidewinders with a firing range of 14 km. However, the PLAN's HQ-61 and HQ-7 systems [based on the French Crotale land-based surface-to-air missile system] do not provide surface units with an effective area-defense capability. This deficiency makes PLAN surface units extremely vulnerable to air attack.

The PLA Navy's three most advanced missile-equipped warships of the late 20th Century -- the Jiangwei-class frigates, the later versions of the Luda-class destroyers, and the Luhu-class destroyers -- were probably the first Chinese warships to have combat direction systems that provide tactical integration of shipboard sensors and weapons.

Four Jiangwei units completed in the early 1990s [although a fifth unit is suggested by some sources, authoritative sources agree that only four units were built].

By June 2012 the JIANGWEI I class (Type 053H2G) frigate 540 Huainan was completing a major refit at Shenjia Navy Yard (No. 4805) in Shanghai, the East Sea Fleets main repair yard. The 100 mm twin turret was replaced by a stealthy new Type 99 twin turret. The missile canisters for the obsolete HHQ-61A air defence missiles were removed, but will probably be reinstalled, as the launcher itself remains in place. Sister ship 542 Tongling underwent a similar modernisation a few years earlier, retaining the HHQ-61A SAMs, as well as six YJ82 SSMs.

FFG 540 was transferred from 15 Frigate Squadron at Dinghai to 8 Frigate Squadron at Shanghai early 2011 in company with sistership 539 Anqing, after having been replaced in 15 Squadron by JIANGKAI II class (Type 054A) 548 Yiyang and 549 Changzhou. 541 Huaibei and 542 remain in 15 Squadron, as their replacements, JIANGKAI II 531 and 532 would not arrive until 2013/14. Bangladesh has reportedly bought two of the JIANGWEI I class frigates, believed to be 541 and 542. It is not known which configuration will want for her ships, but it seems most unlikely that they would want to keep the obsolete HHQ-61A.

The Chinese PLAN are declaring many of those surplus to requirement and transferring them to Coast Guard service as they induct brand new Type 54 frigates and Type 52 destroyers. The Bangladeshis have placed an order for a new F22P frigate and have also reached out for two surplus Type 53H2 frigates at knock-down prices. The Burmese also snapped up two used older Type 53H1 frigates.

Jiangwei-II Type 057 / Type 053H3

Three years after the launch of the last Jiangwei [542 Tongling], Hudong Shipyard started construction of the improved Jiangwei II in 1996. The new Type 057 Jiangwei-II are generally similar to the original Jiangwei in size and arrangement. They have upgraded radar and fire control systems, a pair of quadruple YJ-8II SSM systems (compared to the original pair of triple launchers), and an octuple HQ-7 SAM system. Despite these major improvements over existing ships, they lack vertical-launch system air defense missiles, which places them in a vulnerable position. The Jiangwei II, which featured a Chinese-built copy of the original Jiangweis French-built AAW missile system, was un-successful.

At least five Type 057 frigates were constructed at Hudong Shipyard. According to some reports, the first two may have entered service by the end of 1999, with at least three more Jiangwei-II units under construction at that time. Other sources suggest that as of late 1999 the first vessel (521) was undergoing sea trials, while the second (522) had yet to be launched. By May 2000 it appeared that the fourth Shanghai-built Jiangwei-II class had been delivered to the East Sea Fleet. The construction of the Jiangwei-II-class frigates expanded to a second yard, Huangpu Shipyard at Guangzhou [Canton] in southern China, with at least two of the class said to be building by early 2001. By May 2003 the PRC had commissioned three, launched a fourth, and had as many as six more under construction with others possibly planned.

As of May 2004 two additional units (527 & 528) were being built in Shanghai and Guangzhou, with 528 launched on 30 May 2004. These are believed to be a stop-gap until the new Type 054A FFGs enter construction.

At least one if not as many as four of these ships were laid down for Pakistan's Navy to replace four US warships. Purchase of four of the ships was deferred in 1995 due to economic and diplomatic problems. The first unit was reportedly built for Pakistani Navy (numbered 597), but when budgetary constraints terminated the deal the ship was later renumbered as 521.

The F22-P [P for Pakistan] class frigates are the export version of the Jiangwei-II Type 053H2, built by China between 1996 and 2005. The Chinese version carries a pair of quadruple YJ-8II SSM systems and an octuple HQ-7 SAM system. While the hull and the main machinery of the Pakistani ships are expected to be the same as China's, the command-and-control systems, the weapons, and the sensors were specially modified to Pakistans requirements. The ships were equipped with Pakistan's existing inventory of naval weapons: French Exocet, Chinese C-802, and US Harpoon Missiles. The F-22s will also had better ASW capability than the ex-Leanders.

The C28A [A for Algeria] is a frigate that has been successfully exported to Algeria after the F22P model. This model first saw the whole picture in 2014. The design tends to be more 053H3 type, but the large-scale redesign has not been carried out before. The high-performance frigate is outstanding, but according to official reports, the C28A missile frigate is the first in the country to adopt the British Lloyd's Register of Military Ships on the military and ships, using a series of new technologies and new world-class technologies. Equipment, excellent overall performance. It can be said that the smooth delivery of the three ships of this class has pushed China's foreign trade main warships to a new height.

The C28A-class corvette, was designed by the Marine Design and Research Institute under China State Shipbuilding Corp. In 2011, it defeated 10 competitors from eight countries for the Algerian Navy contract for three corvettes. The first C28A was delivered in September 2015 and the second in January 2016.

The C28A-class corvette represents the highest technological level of China's export warship, China Ship News quoted shipbuilding sources as saying in July 2016 that it has the best combat capability and is very competitive on the international market. With a displacement of 3,000 metric tons, the 120-meter-long corvette can conduct offshore defense operations and long-distance combat tasks. It is larger than previous warships China has sold to foreign nations, has new equipment, a stealth design and a higher level of automation. It has a cruise speed of about 30 km/h and an operational range of nearly 10,000 km.

Wu Qiang, general manager of China State Shipbuilding Corp, the parent company of the Hudong-Zhonghua, told China National Radio at the commissioning ceremony that the ship is a symbol of China's achievement. "In the past, naval ships we sold to other countries mostly used foreign-developed weapons, but all of the weapons and radar installed on three C28As, including anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, torpedoes and naval guns, are domestically developed," he said. "The results of these C28A ships' tests are very satisfactory, and our clients are happy with their performance."

Ren Yi, chief designer of the C28A, was quoted by China Central Television as saying that the ship can perform reconnaissance, aircraft and missile defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine operations, as well as maritime humanitarian missions. Gao Zhuo, a military observer in Beijing, told China Daily that China's new-generation naval vessels are reliable, have outstanding combat capabilities and are attractive in terms of price and operational costs, making them good choices for developing nations.

Jiangwei-III Type 053H2 [059?]

The last three vessels, Xiangfan (567), Luoyang (527) and Mianyang (528), have slightly different weapons and radar configuration. As the Jiangwei-II lacked vertical-launch system air defense missiles, they are being succeeded by the Jiangwei-III Type 059, to be built with VLS missiles. The Jiangwei-III Type 053H3 [seemingly not 059] class frigates was expected to begin construction before 2005. This anticipated to remedy the anti-air deficiencies of the Type 055 class through the addition of a vertical launch system battery of surface-to-air missiles. Construction of this third variant had apparently been abandoned in favor of the Type 054 Maanshan, similar to Jiangwei III except stealthy features and CIWS.

But Bernard D. Cole, author of "The Great Wall at Sea: China's Navy in the Twenty-First Century" visited a Jiangwei IIIclass FFG in May 2006, during which the ship's commanding officer described his ship, then just six months in commission, as a Jiangwei III. The Jiangwei III, of which at least one was in commission as of 2010, seemed to differ from its earlier models mainly in its improved command and control capabilities.


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Page last modified: 25-12-2019 18:43:10 ZULU