Construction of China’s Type 055 destroyers forges ahead

Airbus Defence and Space imagery captured on 11 April 2017 showing two Type 055 DDG hulls under assembly within a dry dock at Dalian shipyard in China. Source: CNES 2017, Distribution Airbus DS/2017 IHS Markit

Andrew Tate, London and Sean O’Connor, Indianapolis – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

26 April 2017

Commercial satellite imagery taken on 11 April shows that significant progress has been made in the construction of the first four Type 055 destroyers for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

At the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard near Shanghai, where construction of the lead ship of the class commenced in late 2014, Hull 1 appears to have all the modules in place and most of the modules for Hull 2 are in position.

In late 2016, hull modules appeared on the side of a graving dock at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) yard and by 7 March keel blocks were being positioned in the dock to support the construction of two hulls side by side. By 11 April, modules for two Type 055 hulls had been lifted from the dockside onto the keel blocks and assembly was clearly underway.

Measurements from the images indicate that the Type 055 will be about 180 m long and 19 m wide, meaning that it will be significantly larger than the 7,500-tonne Luyang III-class (Type 052D) destroyers (157 m long and 17 m wide). This places the size of the Type 055 between the Republic of Korea Navy’s Sejong Daewang (KDX-3) class (166 m/10,500 tonnes) and the Russian Federation Navy’s Slava class (186 m/11,700 tonnes).

The images from Changxingdao show the module that will contain the forward vertical launch system (VLS) cells, with a second grid of cells set to be positioned forward of the hangar.

The forward grid appears to be divided into 16 sections, four across and four deep, with overall dimensions of 13 m in length and 10.5 m in width.

Comparison with the dimensions of the two 32-cell VLS grids fitted to the Type 052D suggests that the VLS in the Type 055 will have 64 cells in the forward grid.

Source: IHS Jane’s 360 “Construction of China’s Type 055 destroyers forges ahead”

Note: This is IHS Jane’s 360’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


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