UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Destroyer Shipbuilding

In 2019 China launched 9 "Aegis class ships" - 2 Type 055 cruisers plus 7 Type 052D destroyers - breaking the world record previously held by the United States. The year when the U.S. Aegis ship was launched the most was in 1992, when the United States launched the three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, DCG-54, DDG-55, and DDG-56, as well as CG-71, CG-72, and CG. -73 three Ticonderoga-class cruisers. Perhaps because the launch speed of the new destroyer is too fast, the outfitting / mooring space around the entire Dalian shipyard is already saturated.

However, when everyone was excited about the nine shields a year, Jiangnan Shipyard quietly launched a 052D destroyer in a low profile. The ten shield ships launched this year far surpassed the US Navy in terms of quality, tonnage and quantity. It is equivalent to launching one Royal Navy and two French Navy destroyers a year. China's mid-sized surface vessel have experienced changes of focus over the years. From the 1950s to 1970s, its destroyers were focused on anti-ship capability. At that time, the fundamental purpose of vessel design was to sink the target vessel with one-time volley of enough anti-ship missiles, and the anti-aircraft and anti-submarine capabilities were to guarantee that the anti-ship missiles could be in shooting position.

After the 1980s and 1990s, China's key combat capability turned to focus on air defense, which gave rise to "Chinese Aegis" such as type 052C and type 052D guided-missile destroyer, because mid-sized surface vessel should be capable enough to survive the battlefield in that age, and they couldn't survive without strong regional and short-range anti-aircraft capability and multi-layer air defense network.

China has solved this problem today. Its Defense White Paper explicitly stated that the Chinese Navy's strategy is offshore defense and open-sea escort, the latter is the mission of mid-sized surface vessel. Anti-ship capability is out of question now, and China is also able to fend off saturation air strike thanks to its considerable progress on ship-borne air defense technology with the commissioning of type 052C and type 052D guided-missile destroyer.

The U.S. is producing Virginia-class nuclear submarines in large quantities, and countries surrounding China are energetically developing advanced conventionally powered attack submarines. This means that China may face more underwater threats in the future. As anti-submarine capability is China's weakness now, more importance will be attached to it when China designs its future mid-sized surface vessels.

China's production of destroyers is very un-American. For many decades, the American pattern of destroyer construction has been to have a single design under construction at any given time. Since 1980 all American destroyers [and cruisers] have been built at the Bath and Ingalls, with both yards building one or two ships a year.

China has frequently had more than one design building simultaneously. Construction has been episodic, with intervals of building followed by intervals of inactivity. And construction has shifted location over time, with yards entering and exiting the destroyer building business, almost never building at a rate faster than one a year. The most recent batch of a half dozen destroyers were all evidently laid down during the 10th Five Year Plan [2001-2005], while no destroyers appear to have been authorized under the 11th Five Year Plan [2006-2010], but previously there did not appear to be any synchronization between the Five Year Plan cycle and the shipbuilding program, which is rather odd.

China's emergence on the global stage as an economic power and as a net importer of oil has had a significant impact on China's maritime strategy. In order to protect oil and other trade routes, the PLAN is beginning to develop the foundations of a naval capability that can defend sea lines of communication (SLOCS). While China's submaline force is well suited to interdiction, protection of SLOCs with a submarine force is more challenging.

The State Council and CMC modernized its fleet of first generation destroyers by retrofitting them with new technology to improve their combat systems. Emphasis was placed on the electronics and the development of a combat-intelligence-command system. Improvements to the ships were made in the Dalian shipyard in 1987, which resulted in improved weapon systems, living conditions, and most significantly in electronic counter measures. The newly improved destroyers were made available to the PLAN in 1989. While improving the existing destroyer fleet, the Seventh Academy began work on new class of guided missile destroyer. Initially it involved a joint partnership with another country. Such a relationship could not be established, and instead research was concentrated in China's own research bodies. The new generation of destroyers emphasized an advanced combat-intelligence system that was superior to the ones already installed in the first-generation destroyers. It also had better real-time information capabilities and improved long-range surveillance. The anti-submarine, air-defense, and electronic counter measure capabilities were also enhanced.

To effectively protect shipping, a visible and demonstrable naval capability, generally based on surface combatants with the endurance and range to operate farther from shore for an extended period of time, is preferable. To suit this need. China is building improved classes of destroyers, including the long-range SA-N-20 SAM -equipped LUZHOU DDG and the HHQ-9 SAM equipped LUYANG II DDG. The long-range SAM systems these platforms possess will provide Chinese surface combatants with an area air defense capability as they operate farther from shore and outsIde of the protection of land-based air defense assets, Under the protection afforded by these advanced area air defense destroyers, which are also equipped with long-range ASCMs. the Chinese Navy can operate combatants such as the four SOVREMENNYY II DDGs. These long-range engagement and air defense capabilities now being fielded by the PLAN give China a significantly improved capacity for operations beyond the littoral in support of SLOC protection.

Since 1971 there have been six different shipyards involved with building destroyers (DDG) for the PLAN. As of 2006 only two remain. The three shipyards that have produced destroyers in the past but have now been absorbed with other shipyards are as follows:

  • Luda Naval Facility - is located in the Liaoning Province, in Liaoning. This shipyard was responsible for constructing six Type 051 Luda-class Guided Missile Destroyers between 1971 and 1975. This ship yard has been incorporated into the Dalian New Shipyard.
  • Guangzhou Naval Base - is located at the mouth of the Pearl River, 70 nm (nautical miles) north of Hong Kong. This shipyard was responsible for constructing seven Type 051 Luda-class Guided Missile Destroyers. The first was produced on or about late 1972 or early 1973. This ship, a Luda-I #160 was lost near Zanjiang due to an explosion in August 1978. Further, this shipyard produced two more destroyers in 1983 and then one per year for the next three years. The last destroyer produced in this yard was a Luda-III series in 1991. This shipyards development is limited by the extensive shallow areas and heavy siltation. China has been renovating this shipyard since the early to mid-1990s, by adding more berths for vessels and by deepening the approach channel by 12.5 meters, which should be completed by 2005.
  • Qiuxin Shipyard - was founded in 1902 and is located on the west bank of Huangpu River, near Shanghai. This shipyard only produced one destroyer, a Type 052 Luhu-class Multi-role Destroyer in 1994. In August of 2000 this shipyard merged with Jiangnan shipyard.

As of 2010 the PLA Navy continued its acquisition of domestically produced surface combatants. These include two LUYANG II-class (Type 052C) DDGs fitted with the indigenous HHQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM); two LUZHOU-class (Type 051C) DDGs equipped with the Russian SA-N-20 long-range SAM; and four (soon to be six) JIANGKAI II-class (Type 054A) guided-missile frigates (FFG) to be fitted with the medium-range HHQ-16 vertically launched naval SAM currently under development. These ships reflect the leadership's priority on an advanced anti-air warfare capability for China's naval forces, which has historically been a weakness of the fleet.

Jiangnan Shipyard

The Jiangnan shipyard was established in 1865 and is located near Shanghai. This shipyard has in the past built some frigates, but more recently, with the exception of two SS Song-class submarines built in 2005, has been focused on the production of destroyers. The first DDG built here was a Type 052 Luhu-class Multi-role Destroyer in 1996. It is possible that a second ship of this class was launched about 1995 and then halted, and then possibly restarted in 1999. Between 2003 and 2005 Jiangnan shipyard has completed four Type 052 Luhai-class Multi-role Destroyers. One of the series Type 052B Luyang I was completed in 2003 with an additional ship of the same series completed in 2004. Also in 2004, the first of two in the series Type 052C Luyang II was completed. The second in this series was completed in early 2005. There is speculation as to another ship in this series being launched in 2005, if so; this boat could be completed sometime in 2006.

This shipyard has maintained a build rate of one boat per year; with an exception in 2004 when it built two boats, one each of two different series'. It is projected that the Jiangnan shipyard can produce approximately one DDG every year. This shipyard has also proven, in relation to destroyer building, that if necessary, it can produce two boats per year as meets P.L.A.N.'s requirements.

Dalian Shipyard

Dalian City was founded in 1899. Since then it has grown into a major seaport and center for industry. Dalian sits on the southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula facing the Bohai and Yellow Seas. The Dalian shipyard has produced Type 052 Luhai-class Multi-role Destroyers. One of the series Type 052A was completed in 1999. Two additional ships were launched, one in 2004 and another in 2005. It is expected that these ships can be completed by 2006 and 2007 respectively assuming construction is not impeded. The types are also unknown but it is possible that a new DDG Luzhou Type 051C could be the result.

Though the 1990s this shipyard has undergone massive renovations which would explain the low production rates. It is estimated this shipyard, when fully operational, will produce approximately one DDG per year as meets PLAN's requirements. The type 51C built at Dalian, while advanced relative to previous Chinese destroyers, was still short on quality relative to those produced at Shanghai.

Hudong-Zhong Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd.

Hudong-Zhong Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. builds varieties of advanced ships ranging from 147210m3 LNG carrier and 2,700 TEU container ship of high-tech to super-large 8,530 TEU one. The Group also builds various sophisticated ships such as Ro-Ro ships and self-loading and unloading bulk cement carriers. Zhonghua Shipyard - was established in 1926 in Shanghai. This particular shipyard was responsible for constructing four Type 051 Luda-class Guided Missile Destroyers over a four year period between 1980 and 1983. This ship yard, as of mid-2000, has been negotiating a merger with the Hudong shipyard.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 31-12-2019 16:03:20 ZULU