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Type 055 Cruiser

Military expert Gu Huoping pointed out that the number of 055 type destroyer construction may reach 16, of which the first 8 are conventional powered, after that the next 8 are nuclear powered. The future Chinese Navy aircraft carrier formation may consist of 1 aircraft carriers, 2 Type 055, 4 Type 052D, 4 Type 054A and other vessels. The launch of the 052D missile destroyer shows that the development of large and medium sized destroyers in China has become more confident and has the ability and conditions to develop large destroyers.

The Type 055 guided missile destroyer [cruiser] must be one of the most anticipated platforms in the Chinese Navy, apart from the aircraft carrier. By 2014 photographs of a radar test installation apparently associated with this programs had finally surfaced on the Chinese internet. It remained unclear whether the Type 055 would prove to be a 160-meter long DDG-57 counterpart or a 180-meter DDG-1000 counterpart, but as it turned out, the design is closer to the later than the former.

The launching ceremony of the first new guided-missile destroyer of the Chinese PLA Navy was held at Shanghai's Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) on the morning of June 28, 2017. It is a milestone in the PLA Navy's strategic transformation and development. Gen. Zhang Youxia, member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and head of the CMC Equipment Development Department, attended the ceremony and delivered a speech. The ceremony was kicked off at 9:00 and a bottle of champagne was broken on the bow deck as a customary way of blessing the new ship. Then, the destroyer was dragged onto the pontoon and entered water.

This new guided-missile destroyer is independently developed and manufactured by China. A series of technical breakthroughs in overall vessel design, information integration and assembly has been made during the shipbuilding process. Equipped with new types of air defense, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapon systems, the new destroyer has strong capabilities of information detection, air and missile defense, and maritime target attacking.

Next, it is learned that the new guided-missile destroyer will carry out equipment debugging and sea trial as planned. Leaders from the PLA Navy, State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, Shanghai municipal government and China State Shipbuilding Corporation, as well as other military representatives and local officials, attended the ceremony.

Since the Type 055 by its nature is the latest and best, why should China continue to build a large number of Type 052D? Some people do not understood building the 052D and 055 at the same time, causing people to talk about whether there is 052D and 055 dispute. someone from the perspective of efficiency would argue that the 055 is too expensive, and it would be better to continue more 052D. Others claim that the 052D out of date, and that China should immediately stop construction. The 052D performance does have a gap with 055, but it is mature mass production. All the equipment is proven, the main technical problems have been resolved, and now the factory worked pipeline-style, for a lot of construction. By 2016 the construction of the platform did not exceed 18 months, which has been greatly improved, and definitely the 055 cannot be compared.

The Type 055 is immature, with many pieces of equipment and technology that need to be verified. To immediately put into high-volume construction seemed improbable. The PLAN must take a small step, the first small amount of construction, until the main technology is resolved, into a lot of construction. For the new model of the ship, the duration of the pause is a normal phenomenon, in the face of major technical problems. The need to modify the design is common, as the result of service time is almost impossible to avoid. In the case of the US Navy, the construction of a new generation of DDG1000 destroyers, did not stop the construction of Burke-class. The situation is that the Type 055 cannot immediately be put into mass production, before it was fully mature.

According to one source, by 2030, there will be a mix of 30+ Type 055, Type 055A, Type 055B destroyers as planned. Chinese sources claim the Type 055B will become the benchmark for the future naval warfare.

PLA REALTALK noted in July 2017 that "What was not expected, was for two different shipyards to both produce 055s, and each to build two 055s concurrently. By October 2016, modules for the second 055 at JNCX were sighted. And by late November 2016, modules for two 055s were sighted and the latest photos going into 2017 confirmed that two 055s are being simultaneously assembled in the same drydock alongside one another. In other words, four 055s were under various states of assembly and construction at the same time before the first 055 had even been launched... The pace of this construction for a new and large warship is a significant departure from the 2000s...

" ... some quite reliable sources in the past have suggested the first batch of 055s will be at least 8 in number. The natural implication of this of course, is that there will likely be subsequent batches of 055s in coming years, to follow the first batch of at least 8 ships. Considering the fast rate of production for the 055 class thus far, it would not be unexpected for the number of 055s to reach in the double digits by the mid 2020s. Whether that means 10+ or perhaps 20+ is a tenuous matter which naval analysts all around the world will likely nervously deliberate..."

On 03 July 2018 China launched two Type 055 guided-missile destroyers, widely considered Asia's biggest and mightiest such combat ship, according to witnesses outside a shipyard in Dalian, Liaoning province. When ships are moved into the water, their construction is basically finished. It is regarded as the most important step before sea trials. Water started to be pumped into dry docks where the vessels were built around 7 am, before the docks' gates were opened, witnesses said. Photos showed that there was a small launch ceremony at the shipyard with hundreds of workers standing in formation in front of the two Type 055s, each decorated with a huge national flag and ceremonial banners.

Then the ships were pushed into open waters by several tugboats, the photos showed. The next steps usually are for engineers to test and fine-tune equipment already mounted on the ships and continue installing other devices. Then they will conduct mooring tests and sea trials before the ships are commissioned in the People's Liberation Army Navy.

According to the media, there is an analysis that the superstructure of the 055 ships of the Dalian shipyard will be found to be different from the completion of the first ship of the 055 ship of the Jiangnan Shipyard last year. When the first ship of Jiangnan 055 ship was launched, the superstructure was completely shaped. Among them, integrated mast, 4 phase active phased array radome, and several weapons systems at the top of two hangar have been installed. The integrated mast of the 055 ships of Dalian plant is only about 2/3. In addition, there are two multi-function rocket launchers on both sides of the top of the hangar. At present, only the installation holes are left. As for the installation of four phase phased array radar, it may not even have been opened.

The Chinese military and China's shipbuilding institutions did not respond to or release information on the "two 055 - day launching" by the foreign media and the army fans. However, there is an analysis that the construction of Chinese warships has entered a period of rapid development, the new ship or the list has become a "normal", so it is not necessary to launch information every time the warships are launched.

By July 2018 four Type 055s had been launched, but none were yet commissioned. The first of the class was launched in late June 2017 at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, the second in late April at the same shipyard.




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