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Luyang IV / Type 052E

With the service of the 055 destroyer, the shortcomings of the 052D destroyer have gradually begun to appear, and in order to make up for these shortcomings, the Navy is making some improvements to the 052D. For example, retrofitting with new early-warning radar, lengthening the flight deck enables take-off and landing Z-20 helicopters, etc. But these improvements seem to be deliberately avoiding something.

As is well known, most Chinese main warships will be equipped with "one pit and four bombs" in the future [one launch tube, four types of missiles - SAM, LACM, etc]. Such medium- and short-range air defense missiles generally use "semi-active" radar seekers, and fire control radars are required to meet the strike requirements. The Type 052D destroyer is not equipped with such equipment. Although the 346A radar can provide guidance for the Haihongqi 9 guided by the active radar, it cannot provide illumination for the semi-active radar guided anti-aircraft missiles.

Under such circumstances, it is destined that the 052D will not be equipped with this missile system in the future. The terminal air defense can only rely on the combination of the Hongqi 10 short-range air defense missile and the 1303 anti-aircraft gun. Therefore, under such circumstances, the significance of the 052E destroyer began to emerge.

Compared to 052D, the most important point of 052E is that it must add X-band fire control radar to take into account low-altitude blindness, detect submersible's snorkels. The most important point is to provide the most basic fire control exposure for the semi-active radar-guided "one pit and four bombs" so that it can meet the interception combat objective.

The main improvements: the Type 364 Radar to be replaced by a Single-sided X-band rotating phased-array radar, the Type 517B VHF air search radar to be replaced by an L-band remote search radar, the single hangar to be enlarged into double, flight deck extension by 2 meters more, powered by two gas turbine generators, Integrated Power System, stealthy chimney, universal VLS (96 cells) and YJ-12 anti-ship missile launchers.

Of course, in this case, it means that the tonnage of 052E will increase. According to public information, the displacement of the 052C Aegis ship is about 6,000 tons, and 052D has increased by several hundred tons, which may be about 6,500 tons. Therefore, it is impossible for the 052E destroyer to jump to 8,000 tons in displacement. A more reasonable figure may be around 7,000 tons.

Some sources suggested it may even reach 9,000 to 10,000 tons, which is only 4,000 tons less than from the 055 destroyer. So, is there any compestition in the nature of the two, and will the status of the 055 destroyer be shaken by the 052E? Regarding this issue, Chinese military experts point out that the 055 destroyer and the 052E destroyer do not have so-called "crowding", and the nature of the two is coexistent. Once the 052E is born, it can be used as a "strengthening of the 052D anti-aircraft", and better cooperate with the 055 destroyer to serve the aircraft carrier. As for the 052D destroyer, it can be downgraded to cooperate with 054A, and set up a "destroyer formation" to become a "cricket attack group", or directly provide escort for the amphibious landing cluster, which is an effective solution.

China’s state papers have praised a military scientist whose contributions could reportedly make the People’s Liberation Army’s next-generation warships “realize full electric propulsion”. In July 2018 Prof. Xiao Fei, head of a research institution at PLA’s Naval University of Engineering in Wuhan, received a first-class merit citation in an honor list signed by President Xi Jinping, who also heads the Central Military Commission. Xiao’s research concentrates on reconfiguring future warships’ powertrains in order to supply more power to shipborne weapons systems.

Technologies developed by Xiao’s team will be used on the Type 052E destroyer, an improved version of the Type 052D, and might possibly be employed in the nation’s future nuclear-powered carriers. The Global Times additionally revealed that Xiao’s MVDC power system is also the foundation of an electromagnetic gun system which, China claims , is the first operation-ready railgun to feature on a warship. The Type 055, China’s 10,000-ton class destroyer, is very likely to see an improved powertrain with electric propulsion in the near future.

The Type 052E DDG may have dimensions as of 157 meters (L), 18 meters (W), draft of 6 meters, with full-load displacement is estimated to be around 7,500 tons

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Page last modified: 31-12-2019 16:03:23 ZULU