Two new Type 055 large destroyers, a new Type 052D destroyer confirmed in PLA Navy service
By Liu Xuanzun Published: Apr 20, 2022 07:08 PM
Two Type 055 large destroyers, the <em>Nanchang</em> and the <em>Lhasa</em>, are moored at a naval port in 2021. File photo: Courtesy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy
Two Type 055 large destroyers, the Nanchang and the Lhasa, are moored at a naval port in 2021. File photo: Courtesy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy displayed three of its latest warships that have recently entered service - two Type 055 10,000 ton-class large destroyers and a Type 052D destroyer - prior to its 73rd founding anniversary on Saturday.
More new vessels commissioned into the PLA Navy are expected to be revealed soon, and the rapidly growing fleet reflects the Navy's fast growing capabilities to safeguard China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests, analysts said on Wednesday.
The PLA Navy recently released a video introducing its arsenal to celebrate the upcoming anniversary, and a Type 055 large destroyer with the hull number 104 was shown in the video sailing at sea, Shanghai-based news website thepaper.cn reported on Wednesday.
This marks the official debut of the fourth Type 055 large destroyer, following the commissioning of the Nanchang (Hull 101) in January 2020, the Lhasa (Hull 102) in March 2021 and the Dalian (Hull 105) in April 2021, thepaper.cn said.
While the video did not reveal the name of the new Type 055, unconfirmed foreign media reports said it is called the Wuxi.
The 10,000 ton-class large destroyer Yan'an recently conducted exercises in the South China Sea, the Legal Daily reported on Wednesday.
The Yan'an would become the fifth Type 055 revealed by an official report. Foreign media speculated it has the hull number 106.
Another report by China Central Television (CCTV) on Tuesday made coverage on a series of realistic combat drills by a destroyer detachment attached to the PLA Eastern Theater Command Navy, and the exercises reportedly featured warships including the Ningbo, the Shaoxing and the Taiyuan.
This is also the first time the Shaoxing has been featured in an official report as participating in an exercise, and the CCTV report shows that it is a Type 052D destroyer with the hull number 134.
The drills practiced anti-ship, air defense, maritime replenishment and coordinated maneuvering, the report said.
China has built many advanced warships like the Type 052D destroyer, the Type 055 large destroyer and the Type 075 amphibious assault ships over the past few years. And based on the general pattern of ship construction, it is likely for a number of them to now join the PLA naval service, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Wednesday.
With more main battle vessels entering service, the PLA Navy's capabilities to safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests are growing as well, the expert said, noting that China is aiming to build a blue-water navy capable of not only coastal defense but also far sea escort.
The PLA Navy could give a glimpse on more newly commissioned vessels as it celebrates its 73rd founding anniversary on Saturday, the Global Times learned.
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