052D, China’s New ‘Aegis’ Destroyer for Its Aircraft Carrier Fleet

A set of six pictures of 052D are published at mil.huanqiu.com with the following detailed description:

People at home and abroad pay great attention to 052C type missile destroyers nicknamed “China’s Aegis” since they were commissioned. We have learnt that China’s new-type 052D destroyer is more advanced than all the existing ones in size, superior stealth and information technology.

According to a report by China Youth Daily, the development period from its experimental to successful construction is one fifth shorter than that for 052C. In addition to satisfying the requirements for seaworthiness and cruising radius in the design of the hull of the vessel, new stealth technology is adopted to further reduce the area of radar reflection to achieve superior stealth.

Moreover, the improved active phased array radar and vertical launching system enable it to discover and track more targets and deploy more missiles of greater varieties. It is armed with new-type air missiles, cruise missiles, anti-submarine missiles, anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, etc. and has more anti-submarine helicopters. As a result, its comprehensive combat strength has increased several times and is better suitable for blue sea battle.

According to US media reports not long ago, 052D destroyer with a tonnage of 6,000 tons marks a new stage in the PLA navy’s prolonged period of experimentation with different destroyers. According to the media, If China fielded 10-15 advanced destroyers like the Type 052D, it would, holding other numbers constant, become the second-largest surface combat force in the Asia-Pacific region after the U.S. Navy.

Captions of the six photos:

For all photos: Newest published photo of 052D destroyer. Foreign media guess that more than 10 of them will be built.

1.  Identical to the second paragraph above (Source of photo: HSH Forum)

2.     Identical to the third and fourth paragraphs above (Source of photo: HSH Forum)

3.     According to an article at Wall Street Journal website on October 8 entitled “New Destroyer a Significant Development for Chinese Sea Power”, Now that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has commissioned its first aircraft carrier and may be looking to assemble one or more carrier groups over time, what about the rest of the fleet?

One development that carries broad implications for the enhancement of Chinese sea power is the recent launch of the first editions of the new 6,000-ton Type 052D destroyer, which marks a new stage in the PLAN’s prolonged period of experimentation with different destroyers.

4.    The Type 052D represents an evolution of the existing Type 052C Luyang II-class destroyer. The latter are now in mass production, with 8 hulls in service, the first commissioned in 2004. At least six 052Cs have been launched since the end of 2010, according to Chinese media reports, of which two are reportedly in service at present. Beijing appears to have decided that the Type 052 series, a rough analog of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that form the backbone of the U.S. Navy, is the (Source of photo: HSH Forum)

5.    If China fielded 10-15 advanced destroyers like the Type 052D, it would, holding other numbers constant, become the second-largest surface combat force in the Asia-Pacific region after the U.S. Navy. Given the rapid ramp-up of Type 052C production in the past several years, we think the prospect of similar mass production of the Type 052D is quite possible. (Source of photo: HSH Forum)

6.     The Type 052D’s emergence suggests that China’s naval shipbuilding capability is maturing further, with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC)’s new shipyard in Shanghai becoming a capable facility for constructing modern surface combatants. It offers further evidence that China can produce warships quickly using modular construction techniques and perhaps other advantages such as lower cost labor than its competitors can access.

This shows that at least three different Chinese shipyards are now able to mass produce advanced surface combatants, which demonstrates that China’s military shipbuilding institutions are clearly becoming “learning organizations.”

The 052D differs significantly from its predecessor the Type 052C in several important ways. It has a completely different type of vertical launch system (“VLS”), with missile canisters instead of what look like revolvers; a different gun system; and what appear to be bigger phased-array radar faces. The VLS system is potentially the biggest development.

Meanwhile, China’s long-established cruise missile industry is producing a wide range of extremely capable anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs). China’s record to date of developing advanced ASCMs gives every reason to believe that new variants of even greater capability will continue to emerge and be outfitted on PLAN vessels like the Type 052D.

The Type 052D appears to be a very modern warship that, with continued improvements in China’s maritime surveillance and targeting infrastructure and more intensive training of crews, can help make the PLA Navy even more formidable throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Regional neighbors such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea are likely to respond by augmenting their own navies and reaffirming diplomatic and security ties with the U.S. (Writers: Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson) (Source of photo: HSH Forum)

The photos can be found at: