Type 055 Cruiser - Design
The size of the ship is important. Needless to say, the navies of only a few countries in the world are so ambitious to deploy or plan to deploy such surface warships. The Model 055 has a VLS of 128 units, each with a large capacity, and its strike capability will undoubtedly rank among the greatest in the world of surface combatants.
The 055 missile destroyer is a continuation of the 052C/D. The core elements of the propulsion system and major combat equipment basically follow the results of the 052D, while the larger displacement and the more powerful propulsion system provide higher sustained speed, endurance, self-sustaining and stronger arming than the 052C/D.
The Type 055 is about 175 meters long with a beam of about 20 meters. The Ticonderoga class cruiser is 173 meters long and a beam of 16.8 meters with a full displacement of 9,600 tons. The Burke-class IIA destroyer has a length of 155 meters, a beam of 20 meters and a full displacement of 9,200 tons. The DG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer has a length of 180 meters, a beam of 24 meters and a full displacement of more than 15,000 tons. Therefore, Model 055 is estimated to have a full-load displacement of more than 12,000 tons, and may even approach 13,000 tons. This coincides with the statement of at least one Chinese military commentator who published an article in the official Liberation Army news media describing the full displacement of the 055 to 13,000 tons.
The size of the 055 cannot be underestimated. The second largest domestic surface ship of the Chinese Navy is the 052-ton type 052D (apart from the 001A aircraft carrier), which is 157 meters long and 17 meters wide. In addition, only a handful of surface combat ships of more than 10,000 tons are currently under construction in the world or have recently formed a plan. The US Navy’s Jumwalt class, the South Korean Navy’s Sejong class, and the Chinese Navy’s 055 type. The Russian Navy's Slava and Kirov-class cruisers also meet this requirement. However, these two types of warships are definitely not up to date or modern.
The 052D destroyer is equipped with a 64-unit China Navy general vertical launch system (VLS). The number of 055 type of units is 128, twice the 052D. This type of weapon will make the Model 055 one of the most powerful surface ships in the world. This is not only because the 128 number of dip units is the largest in the world, but also because the size of the Chinese Navy's VLS cell is 0.85 meters in diameter and 9 meters in length, which is significantly larger than the size of the same general-purpose vertical in other countries, such as Mk-41 or Mk-57. When using the cold launch mechanism and utilizing the full cross section of the VLC cell, the Chinese Navy's sag system may launch missiles larger than the largest that the world's other VLS systems can accommodate.
Of course, it is important to note that many other warships also have a large number of VLSs. Ticonderoga has 122 VLS units and dedicated 8-piece tilting harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, while Sejong has 128 VLS and dedicated 16-shelf tilt-type anti-ship missile launchers. This makes it the world's largest number of general purpose VLS equipment. However, the above issue does not discuss the huge Kirov-class battlecruiser, which may be equipped with a large number of modern VLS.
The 055 is equipped with the latest generation of sensors from the Chinese Navy. Some of these sensors may be existing versions, or variants of existing systems, or new systems. The Model 055 is equipped with the same S-band active active phased array radar as the 052D, or it may be a newer, more capable upgrade. In addition, an X-band active active phased array radar is mounted on its integrated mast. In addition, a variety of passive sensors, such as the new ESM kit, infrared camera, and data link are expected to be included in the Model 055 electronic equipment. The stern VSR radar is also considered a candidate for the Model 055.
In addition, the Model 055 is equipped with a more modern and capable command and control and combat management system, fulfilling its role as a command ship and acting as a "fleet umbrella" air defense cruiser. Since the size of the 055 is much larger than the previous 052D, this prospect is not only logical.
It is worth mentioning that the 052D destroyer equipped with the H/PJ-45A 130mm gun is the first one. Because the 130mm gun system is too heavy and heavy for the 052D, the overall design of the ship is responsible for the development of the gun. The research is to reduce the weight of the 130mm gun. For this reason, the performance has to be sacrificed. For example, the original dual-circuit supply is changed to a single circuit, and the muzzle retractor is added to reduce the recoil. According to the photograph when the 055 was launched, the version of the turret shape 052D of the ship's 130mm gun (the full model is H/P-45A-130-1) is somewhat different, and the muzzle brake is removed; therefore, The 130mm gun used in the 055 may be the full version of the original design.
The 055 with integrated mast system has greatly reduced the number of types of antennas, and because the shape of the mast itself is conducive to stealth, the overall stealth ability is bound to be greater than the earlier 052C/D generation of Chinese domestic ships. Like the 052D, the 055 incorporates anti-ship missiles that were typically mounted on the slanted frame in a vertical launch system to eliminate radar reflections on a ship's surface. The 055 uses various signature reducing designs previously developed from ships such as the 052B/C/D and 054A to comprehensively reduce the signal of various exposed ship traces including radar echoes, infrared thermal signals, acoustic noise signals and magnetic signals. In terms of radar signature reduction, in addition to the integrated mast system, 055 will continue to use various typical stealth designs, including the design of the upper structure as a continuous closed, simple streamlined structure, using a slanted surface to make the reflected wave as far as possible from the radar.
In terms of reducing noise and vibration, through the main engine damping base and the use of non-residential spaces such as passages, empty spaces, and sewage tanks, the noise, vibration and heat signals generated by the shielded turbine are isolated as much as possible to reduce the noise radiated into the water. In terms of magnetic signals, the active degaussing coil is energized to create a magnetic field to offset the induced magnetic field generated by the hull due to cutting the geomagnetism, reducing the probability of detonating the magnetic mine. The system includes a sensor to detect changes in the ship's magnetic field (heading change or entry) Different sea areas may change the intensity of the magnetic field generated by the ship cutting geomagnetism, and then adjust the amount of current through the coil to achieve the most appropriate degaussing effect.
For the propulsion system, the 055 uses the same QC280 gas turbine as the 052C/D (the localized version of the Ukrainian GT25000) instead of other new technologies that are not yet mature (such as electric propulsion); however, in shipboard power management, it will be adopted. A new integrated digital power distribution control system. Due to the larger displacement of the 055, a propulsion system consisting of four QC280 gas turbines is used for two-axis propulsion.
The Model 055 is a brand new minimalist ship design with a very large volume. Considering the mode of development of the Chinese Navy's surface warfare, the Type 055 is likely to become the basis for future derivative models, and models such as 055A and 055B are likely to appear in the future.
The improvement of the 055 is uncertain, but the Chinese Navy's strong research and development of integrated electric propulsion, railguns and laser weapons is well known. They are likely to pursue future sensing technologies that will require a lot of energy and larger equipment installation space. The larger size of the 055 hull provides a huge space for future applications of new systems and new technologies, just as the original 052 hull evolved into 052B, 052C and 052D. The importance of the hull's ability to provide future growth in space is reflected in the US Navy. Concerns about the Burke-class Flight III space and power generation raise doubts about whether the ship can install the high-powered air defense radar originally planned, not to mention Whether it has the ability to eventually install railguns and laser weapons that consume very much power. The large size and development potential of the Model 055 makes it possible for future models to be improved without the same restrictions as Arleigh Burke.
In recent years, many defense critics had been skeptical about the Chinese Navy's potential to develop and shape a modern surface warship with a full displacement of more than 10,000 tons. However, in 2017, the Chinese Navy not only developed a modern, fully armed surface warship with a full displacement of more than 10,000 tons, its construction speed was quite fast and the final output is likely to reach double digits. This large ship provides a platform for future retrofits that can be equipped with unique power and weapon systems. Once the Type 055 destroyer enters active service, a paradigm shift in the perception of the strength of the Chinese navy may occur.
Few countries are building or anticipating the construction of more than 10,000 tons of modern surface combat ships, regardless of their number. In fact, only one country is currently doing this. Of course, no one can guarantee what the future will be, and this change in the situation may cause the Chinese Navy to reduce the production of the Type 055 or change their naval strategy.
However, the major influence of large surface ships on the status of the navy in their countries and the media is unquestionable. Although the comparison of naval strength should not be reduced to the size and number of comparisons, the effect of Type 055 is not only its it is larger than the surface ships of almost all the navies in the world and the number of large-scale service ships, and it will trigger a psychological reassessment of the nature and development direction of the Chinese navy.
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