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Type 51C Luzhou / Luhai II AAW DDG

The Luzhou class air-defence missile destroyer is designed primarily for anti-air warfare. Little technical data is publicly available on this ship class, which is equipped with the Russian SA-N-20 RIF-M/S-300F SAM system, controlled by the TOMBSTONE phased array radar. THe SA-N-20 more than doubles the range of previous PLAN systems. The Type 51C is generally similar in appearance to the somewhat larger Arleigh Burke-class Batch I destroyers, with no helicopter facilities. The two Type 51C's are similar to the rather larger Arleigh Burke, but unlike the Arleigh Burke ships they lack hangar facilities for their onboard helicopters.

The Type 051C (NATO codename: Luzhou class) is built by Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning Province for the PLA Navy. Internet source photos first revealed that a new type of destroyer was under construction at China's northern Dalian Shipyard in 2004. In June 2005 Bill Gertz reported that two Luzhou guided-missile destroyers were under construction. This nomenclature was not previously attested. There were suggestions that a design dubbed 051C (8,000 ton class) based on 051B was planned to be built at Dalian Shipyard. The first-of-class, Shenyang (hull No.115), was launched in December 2004 and completed its system installation in late 2005. The sea trial began in early 2006 and the ship was finally commissioned in October 2006. A second hull Shijiazhuang (hull No.116) was launched in late 2005 and commissioned in March 2007. Both hulls were deployed by the North Sea Fleet based at Qingdao. Both ships joined the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet.

The ship is based on the hull design of the older Type 051B (NATO codename: Luhai class) multirole destroyer, but fitted with a Russian-made S-300F/RIF (SA-N-6) shipborne air defence missile system. The ship appears to be an enlarged version of the Type 051B (Luhai class) destroyer, which was built in the same shipyard in the late 1990s. The Type 051C lacks the evident radar cross-section (RCS) reduction features found on the Type 052B/C Luyang class destroyers built by Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard between 2002 and 2004. The 7,100 ton ship is reported to be powered by a steam turbine propulsion, indicating China's continuing limited marine gas turbine propulsion capabilities. The ship's anti-surface weapon is also less impressive, comprising merely eight YJ-83 anti-ship missiles. This is mitigated somewhat by the anti-surface capability of the S-300 missile system.

The most distinctive feature on the Type 051C is its Russian-made S-300F/RIF (NATO codename: SA-N-6) air-defence missile complex. The PLAN acquired two sets of the system in 2002. The system, which was installed on the Soviet/Russian Kirov class and Slava class, has been significant capabilties against airborne targets. The missiles are guided by a Top Plate phased array radar, which can direct 12 missiles to engage 6 targets simultaneously.

Each Altair RIF complex includes 48 vertically launched semi-active radar homing 5V55RM S-300F air-defence missiles. The single-stage missile, generally comparable to the American Patriot, has a maximum range of 90km and an operating altitude of 25m~30km. The missiles are housed in six large-size revolver vertical launching systems (VLS). Two launchers are located on the bow deck aft of the main gun and four are in the superstructure fore of the stern helicopter flight deck.

The ship's surface-to-surface missile system is the indigenous YJ-83. The missile system two groups of box launchers, each with 4 launchers. The missile uses active radar homing and is powered by a turbojet (with a solid rocket booster). The anti-ship missile has a range of 120km and approaches the target in sea skimming mode at a speed of 0.9 Mach. The 165kg shaped charge warhead has time delay impact proximity fuses

The Type 051C has two (one front, one rear) Type 730 close-in weapon system (CIWS) for short-range air defence. Two seven-barrel 30mm Type 730 CIWS are located both sides behind the bridge. The weapon system has a maximum rate of fire of 4,600~5,800 rounds/min.

The ship has a single-barrel 100mm gun developed by 713 Institute on the basis of the French Creusot-Loire T100C design. The gun can be used against surface targets and air targets such as aircraft and low speed missile, with a maximum rate of fire of 90 rounds/min. The gun can be operated in fully automatic mode from the radar control system, from the shipborne optical sighting system, or laid manually. The turret design incorporates strong radar cross-section reduction features.




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