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Type 055 Guided Missile Cruiser - Missiles

In March 2016 Chinese media reported that the 175-meter-long vessel would be outfitted with four new types of missiles, including medium-range air defense and antisubmarine missiles, as well as long-range air defense missiles and supersonic long-range anti-ship missiles. The Type 055 destroyers would also brandish long-range land attack cruise missiles and a sea-based missile interceptor. It would have ninety-six vertical launching systems, meaning the ship would not only be able to carry more weapons, but also larger missiles.

The 12,800 ton Type 055 destroyer is equipped with new type of air defense, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare weapon. It is packed with 128 vertical launch cells available. The ship is likely to be primarily armed with a sea-going version of the HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missile, as well as the HQ-16 medium-range SAM, and possibly quad-packed DK-10As. The DK-10A is based on the PL-12 air-to-air missile, and would act as an intermediate-range air defense missile roughly similar to the U.S. Navy's RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile [ESSM].

The benefits of doubling the weapons load of a warship brought about by "one pit and four bombs" are obvious, but it also brings another problem, that is, the size of the missile is limited. Take the current Chinese Navy's main medium-range ship-to-air missile, Haihongqi-16, as an example. Although it can achieve a range of 50 kilometers compared to the ESSM with high throwing ballistics, its volume and weight are almost twice that of ESSM. For example, according to the public data of its foreign trade model Falcon-80, its body is nearly 5 meters long and 340 mm in diameter. Although the 055-type guided missile destroyer uses a new generation of concentric circular hot and cold compatible universal launchers with a diameter of 850 mm, considering that the Haihongqi-9 can only accommodate one 6.8 m long and 470 mm diameter projectile. Hair, Haihongqi-16 using the existing missiles may not be able to achieve "one pit and four bombs".

The Navy version of the Red Flag-16 is reported to have adopted a more advanced active/semi-active radar composite guidance. The range may exceed 100 kilometers. From the improvement direction of the Red Flag-16, it can be seen that it is similar to the "Standard" series of ship-to-air missiles, not like the "sea sparrow". Therefore, from this perspective, although Haihongqi-16 was temporarily used as the medium-range ship-to-air missile of the Type 055 destroyer, the new ship-to-air missile used in the original design of the 055 must not be a certain modification of Haihongqi-16 type.

Among the existing missile families in China, two models are more suitable for being converted into "one pit and four bombs", one is the lightning-10A air-to-air missile, and the other is the FM-3000 surface-to-air missile. The Lightning-10A air-to-air missile is an export version of the J-12. When it is used as an air-to-air missile, it is slightly inferior to the ESSM in terms of maneuvering overload. The performance of the missile in other aspects can be said to be basically inferior, especially its active guidance. Mode, multi-target interception capability is higher than the US ESSM missile with semi-active radar guidance.

However, the problem with the Lightning-10A on the ship is that the cost of its deployment is too high. An important reason why the US Navy has installed ESSM is that its "standard" series of missiles bear important end-point anti-missile missions, so a large number of lower-cost ESSM missiles are needed to perform mid-range anti-missile missions. In contrast, China's navy does not currently have similar operational needs, which may be the reason why the Type 055 destroyer still took the medium-range air defense mission with Haihongqi-16 in the early stage.

The FM-3000 surface-to-air missile was developed from the domestic version of the Doyle-M1 Red Flag-17 ground-to-air missile. At the Zhuhai Air Show in 2014, the staff of the relevant booths pointed out that the FM-3000 anti-aircraft missile will develop a ship-borne type. It is reported that it may be a new medium-range ship-to-air missile on the 055-type guided missile destroyer. The FM-3000's body is quite lightweight. It can be seen from the related pictures that a FD-2000 (export version of the Red Flag-9 missile) can accommodate four FM-3000 missiles, which indirectly proves that the FM-3000 is The size of the "055 a bomb" required for the 055 destroyer.

However, in terms of specific performance, consider that the FM-3000 is only a "medium-range anti-aircraft missile" with a range of less than 30 kilometers. Compared with the Haihongqi-16, which is currently used by the Type 055 destroyer, its advantage is not obvious, but the range is not short. Obviously, he will not enter the Navy for service. Moreover, according to the online public information, the new medium-range ship-to-air missile has a rigid "double 5" indicator, that is, a range of 50 kilometers and a maximum flight speed of Mach 5, which is also far from the FM-3000. In contrast, the Lightning-10A may be even bigger on the ship.

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