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C-14 China Cat Class Fast Attack Craft, Missile

During the 1990s, the Chinese Navy started two indigenous fast-attack craft programs, while also considering the acquisition of Russian-built fast-attack craft. The China Cat-class 20-ton missile boat was developed for use in the Middle East, but was also to be built for Chinese naval service.

In 2002 the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) demonstrated the "China Cat" high speed boat prototype, for which Iran was the first customer. This ship uses the catarmaran hull, 23 meters long, with a water line length of 14 meters. Powered by two diesel engines, the maximum speed was approximately 50 knots.

The Cat has a lightweight search radar in the mast crown, a photoelectric surveillance installment in the mast substructure platform. It was not initially clear which model missile would be carried, possibly the short-range C-701 guided missile, which the China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation CMPIEC developed. CMPIEC had already completed the shipborne C-701 testing by 2000. Providing the equipment for the fast assault boat was a way to push this guided missile to exports the market. The boats delivered to Iran were equipped with this missile.

In May 2002 it was reported that China had sold Iran high-speed catamaran missile patrol boats. The first of the new C-14 patrol boats was reportedly observed by US military intelligence in an Iranian port. A Chinese delegation of technicians was in Iran to help the Iranian navy train and equip the new boats. The boats for Iran were designed to carry up to eight C-701 anti-ship cruise missiles and usually had one gun.

Reports appeared at the same time suggesting that the PLAN was interested in the type as well. Assuming the pre-existing force structure of 150 missile-and gun-equipped fast-attack craft, the Chinese Navy's future force could include 30 China Cat Class. As of 2008 there was no indication that the PLAN had or was looking to acquire this type.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:46:03 ZULU