Chinese Navy Commissions Sub Killer Stealth Warship for Service in South China Sea

Chinese new Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvette. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/樱井千一

The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s latest surface warship entered service on March 31.

By Franz-Stefan Gady

April 06, 2017

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has commissioned a new Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvette at Yulin naval base in the port city of Sanya on Hainan Island on March 31, China Military Online reports.

The new warship, named Liupanshui (pennant number 514), will serve in the PLAN’s South Sea Fleet, the force responsible for conducting Chinese naval operations in the South China Sea, and is specifically designed to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.

The 1,500-ton ASW variant of the corvette (designated Type 056A) is equipped with towed and variable depth sonars in addition to the standard fit that I outlined previously:

Next to four YJ-83 anti-ship missiles (two launchers with two missiles each) and a 76-millimeter main gun, the ASW variant is also equipped with two 324 millimeter triple torpedo launchers, as well as variable depth and towed sonars. The ship’s flight deck also allows operation of a Harbin Z-9 military helicopter, specifically equipped for ASW missions.

Yet, “the corvette does not feature a helicopter hangar suggesting that it will be difficult to permanently station a helicopter with airborne dipping sonar aboard a Type 056A corvette,” I observed. ASW has emerged as one of the top priorities of the PLAN and the service aims to rapidly improve its capabilities in the field.

The PLAN reportedly aims for a fleet of up to 60 Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvettes — designated light missile frigates by the PLAN — with one new ship launched ever six weeks. According a The Diplomat estimate, the PLAN currently operates a fleet of 30 Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvettes, with approximately half of force consisting of Type 056A ASW vessels.

On April 1, the PLAN also launched yet another 4,000-ton Type 054A Jiangkai II-class guided-missile frigate. An estimated 23 to 25 Type 054A Jiangkai II-class frigates are currently in service with the PLAN with at least five additional ships of the class under construction. As I explained elsewhere, the frigate also boasts ASW capabilities, next to its capacity for air defense and surface warfare operations:

The stealth frigate is armed with HQ-16 medium range air defense missiles and boosts a 32-cell vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward section, capable of firing anti-ship and air defense missiles as well as anti-submarine torpedoes. It also features a Russian-made AK-630 fully automatic naval close in weapon system and a Chinese variant of the AK-176 76 millimeter naval gun.

Some frigates of the class are also known to have been equipped with variable depth sonar and towed array sonar systems. In addition, the ship is equipped with a Type 382 phased-array radar system and Type 344 and Type 345 multifunctional fire control radar systems, capable of over the horizon targeting.

Type 054A frigates also feature a hangar capable of accommodation Kamov K-27 and Harbin Z-9 helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). (…) The ship has a standard range of about 3,800 nautical miles—7,037 kilometers–at a speed of 18 knots, and a maximum un-refueled radius is 12,000 kilometers or 8,000 miles.

Type 054A frigates are the PLAN’s mainstay for escort and patrol missions in the South China Sea. Ships of the class have also been deployed for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden since 2009 and participated in a number of bilateral naval exercises over the least years.

Source: The Diplomat “Chinese Navy Commissions Sub Killer Stealth Warship for Service in South China Sea”

Note: This is The Diplomat’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


4 Comments on “Chinese Navy Commissions Sub Killer Stealth Warship for Service in South China Sea”

  1. Fugu says:

    Yes, Beijing can even use underwater earthquake detection buoys as Japan and Amerika does surreptitiously, under its NOAA program to detect submarines all over the world.

    Amerikans have been using civilian programs to disguise their military programs, such as that of the Amerikan space station, embedded or evesdropping, reading, and location detection chip implants in cellphones and smart LED televisions, and what have you.

    Beijing has much to catch up and should not slow down even one iota to catch with the Amerikans’ nefarious spying and espionage activities.


  2. Fugu says:

    To be even more effective in throwing up a wall or curtain of defense in the South China Sea against Amerikan, Japan, Australian and European submarines, Beijing should install hundreds if not thousands of just-below-surface sonar buoys and monitor them around the clock. Use robots or smart programs to monitor them real time.

    Once a detection is made and confirmed, their GPS location co-ordinates is immediately sent to underwater “crab” torpedos or Chinese submarines or underwater bases, and torpedoes with sonar detection homing devices can be launched immediately to take out these dastardly foreign aggressors and intruders. Let the South China and East Seas be Amerikan, Japanese, Australian, British, and European NATO’s graveyard if they should start a war.


  3. Fre Okin says:

    China should quickly deploy her ASW frigates and corvettes to the far end of the South China Sea and East Philippines Sea, South eastern Taiwan sea off Kaoshiung (200 NM EEZ hiding place, Bashi Channel area) to neutralize US subs hiding there. USN should be humbled and chased out from the seas around China. USN dare not risk hiding her subs closer to the Chinese islands. I had commented how China could kill off/disable swarms of Tomahawks with HEMP.

    “If there should be war, Blair is confident the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force are capable of rapidly “neutralizing” China’s outposts in the South China Sea, which are practically defenseless from a determined attack being isolated and strung out over hundreds of kilometers of sea.
    These offensive operations by the Navy and Air Force will only take “probably 10 or 15 minutes’ worth of worth of work for U.S. forces.”



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