167 Shenzhen - Type 051B Luhai-class Command Ship
The command ship of the South China Sea Fleet is the "Shenzhen" large missile destroyer. In 2014 the 167 ship was returned to the shipyard for modification and upgrading operations. After the change, it will be no problem to continue as the flagship + command ship of the South China Sea Fleet. Shenzhen started a major upgrade of its weapons and electronics systems. It was later spotted at a naval base of the South Sea Fleet with new weapons and a streamlined superstructure, indicating it has finished the modernization work, People's Daily reported.
The Shenzhen ship carried out a mid-term repair combined with a modern modification at the Navy 4804 repair shop in 2014. The modified combat command system, formation combat command system, alert detection system, main gun weapon system, near-ship gun weapon system, electronic countermeasure system, ship-to-ship and ship-to-ship missile weapon system, anti-submarine weapon system, and Communication, navigation, underwater sound, underwater acoustic countermeasure system, etc. are fully and completely replaced
A captain of a Navy guided missile destroyer who wished not to be named told China Daily 22 February 2017 that the overall capability of the refitted Shenzhen is at least double that before the upgrade. He said the ship's information capacity and firepower are much stronger than before.
Cao Weidong, a researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said that the biggest change to the Shenzhen is with its weapon systems. "The HQ-7 short-range surface-to-air missile launcher has been replaced with a vertical launch system, which enables the ship to carry a larger number of missiles and to use more kinds of missiles," he said, explaining that the change will extensively improve the ship's combat capability.
In addition, its four 37-mm two-barrel anti-aircraft guns have been replaced with two close-in weapon systems, whose faster rate of fire increases the vessel's survivability against incoming missiles. The radars and sonar systems on the ship were also upgraded to enhance its capabilities in terms of reconnaissance, detection and monitoring, according to Cao.
Fang Bing, a weapon expert from PLA National Defense University, said the modifications on the Shenzhen's masts and superstructure would reduce its radar signature, thus give it stealth capability. Before the Shenzhen, the Navy upgraded the CNS Guangzhou as well as the two Type 052 class destroyers - CNS Harbin and CNS Qingdao.
The ship's double 100mm main gun, the Haihongqi 7 ship-to-air missile system, and the original two masts have been removed. The hull is calculated according to the 40-year life of the ship. The 112 and 113 ships have been upgraded. The 167 ships also entered the dock and began a large-scale mid-term modification.
China's naval weapon system has been greatly developed, and the 167 ship has a relatively large internal space, so its improvement effect is worth looking forward to. Judging from the leaked photo, the interior of the hull was definitely re-planned, especially in the tower, and the interior cabin was even cut and reorganized. Moreover, all the electronic equipment on the mast and the tower were completely dismantled, and the near-anti-aircraft and anti-aircraft missiles were also demolished together. Due to the large tonnage, the upgrade potential of the 167 is much larger than that of the 112 and 113 ships, which are also used as command ships.
Due to the obvious internal re-planning of the tower, the electronic equipment is extremely updated. The rear mast can be equipped with the newly developed flat phased array in China (already tested on the 891 ship), and the main mast can be designed in a stealth manner. The radar is wrapped inside the protective cover, and the "music station" radar is installed on the top of the bridge. Used for remote guidance. A red flag-16 guided radar is installed on both sides of the bridge and on both sides of the hangar. Finally, the open stern is closed and only the towed sputum is reserved. At the same time, from photos, the hangar seems to have signs of heightening, probably preparing to accommodate the card-28 or even the upcoming Z-20 medium helicopter.
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