Armed to the Teeth; China Adds Two 7,500 Ton Type 052D Class Destroyers to its Fleet


Two Type 052D Class destroyers built for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy were reportedly launched on May 10th at a shipyard in Dalian in the country’s northeast, the latest addition to the service’s fast growing surface fleet. The rate of growth of the PLA Navy’s fleet surpasses that of any navy in history, with the Type 052D representing the third largest vessel type constructed after the 70,000 ton Type 001A Class aircraft carrier and 13,000 ton Type 055 Class destroyer – a heavier counterpart to the 7,500 Type 052D of which three were constructed in 2018. The Type 052D first entered service in March 2014 representing the fourth indigenous destroyer type developed – ten years after the first Type 052 designed known as Type 052B was commissioned in 2004. The new destroyer class pioneered many of the technologies later integrated onto the Type 055, including canister type vertical launch system (VLS) and a flat panelled active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The radar system used is known as the H/LJG-346A ‘Dragon Eye,’ and provides a level of situational awareness with few rivals among warships of its size. Propulsion systems also demonstrated advances over previous warship designs, providing the Type 052D with a cruising speed range of 4,500 nautical miles. The destroyer’s VLS was the first in Chinese service to be compatible with anti ship and land attack missiles, making the Type 052D China’s first multirole ship of its kind. The warship was also the first to deploy the YJ-18 and YJ-100 anti ship cruise missiles, which have since been integrated onto the Type 055 Class, making it one of the best suited warships for ship to ship combat in the world.

Type 052D Class Destroyer. Military Watch Magazine photo

The Type 052D deploys 88 vertical launch cells, 24 of which are reserved exclusively for HHQ-10 surface to air missiles with the remaining 64 capable of deploying a variety of air defence, anti ship and anti submarine munitions. Complementing the capabilities of the HHQ-10, the HHQ-9 are HQ-16 and quad packed DK-10A surface to air missiles can all be deployed from the destroyer’s other cells providing a highly sophisticated multi layered air defence network. This is further supplemented by the H/PJ-12 close in weapons system. Perhaps the Type 052D’s most remarkable feature, however, is its access to highly sophisticated anti ship cruise missiles which allow it to neutralise enemy warships at extreme ranges. The YJ-18 in particular stands out among modern cruise missiles carried by destroyers for its combination of a long range and a high impact speed – with 540km range allowing it to neutralise most hostile destroyer types well beyond retaliation range. The American Arleigh Burke Class, for example, is currently restricted to using Mach 0.7 speed 124km range anti ship Harpoon missiles – with the new Harpoon Block III offered by Boeing but yet to be integrated retaining a 310 km range – 43% lower than that of the YJ-18. The missile is also over four times faster than the Harpoon upon impact, accelerating to Mach 3 in its terminal phase. This speed makes the missile extremely difficult to intercept, and is sufficient to tear most warships in half with a single direct hit. This damage is supplemented by a 300kg warhead. The Type 052D can theoretically carry up to 64 of these missiles, allowing a single destroyer to potentially destroy an entire fleet at standoff range.

For an even longer range the Type 052D can deploy the YJ-100 anti ship cruise missile, an enhanced navalised variant of the CJ-10 with an estimated engagement range of 1000km. While subsonic, the missile compromises with a trajectory specialised to evade interception and a heavier 500kg warhead. This provides the destroyer with an overwhelming range advantage. The PLA Navy is estimated to be planning to deploy up to 18 of the Type 052D destroyers, with a new elongated variant (161m rather than 157m) reportedly laid down in July 2018. The warships will serve as escorts for the Navy’s carrier strike groups currently forming, and given their high endurance they could potentially be used for power projection operations beyond the Western Pacific. How the deployment of the PLA Navy changes as the fleet grows larger and increasingly gains fully blue water capabilities comparable to the United States remains to be seen.

Source: Military Watch Magazine “Armed to the Teeth; China Adds Two 7,500 Ton Type 052D Class Destroyers to its Fleet”

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

Images show possible YJ-18 ASCM in Chinese Shang-class submarine

A video still showing Chinese President Xi Jinping (front) walking past what appears to be a canister for the submarine-launched version of China’s YJ-18 ASCM during an inspection held on 11 June. Source: CGTN

Richard D Fisher Jr, Washington DC – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

19 June 2018

Video footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inspection of a modified Type 093 (Shang-class) nuclear-powered attack submarine on 11 June shows what appears to be a canister for the submarine-launched version of China’s YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM).

The images, which were taken by state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) at the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) North Sea Fleet base of Qingdao, show a pale blue missile canister in the weapons compartment of the submarine visited the president.

The canister bears a close resemblance to that referred to as a YJ-18 canister by retired PLAN Rear Admiral Zhao Dengping during a university lecture given in September 2017.

According to Jane’s Weapons: Naval, the YJ-18 has been specifically designed to engage targets of destroyer size and bears a close resemblance to the Russian-made three-stage submarine-launched 3M-54 (SS-N-27A ‘Sizzler’) missile. The canister seen on the CCTV footage also resembles that used by the Russian submarine-launched missile.

In its 2017 report titled ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China’, the US Department of Defense (DoD) states that the YJ-18 has a range of 290 n miles (537 km), and “will be fielded on Song-class (Type 039/039G), Yuan-class (Type 039A/B/C), and Shang-class (Type 093/093A/093B) submarines”.

The missile is also being fielded by the PLAN Luyang III (Type 052D) and Renhai (Type 055) classes of destroyer.

Source: Jane’s 360 “Images show possible YJ-18 ASCM in Chinese Shang-class submarine”

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

China’s 5 Anti-ship Missiles US Has No Effective Defense for 10 Years

Lots of DF-21D erected for volley

Lots of DF-21D erected for volley

China's YJ-12 anti-ship missiles

China’s YJ-12 anti-ship missiles

China's YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile

China’s YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile

Launch of China's YJ-18 from a warship

Launch of China’s YJ-18 from a warship

China’s DF-21D and DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles have already been well-known. In my post “Volley of China’s DF-21D Missiles Kills US Aircraft Carrier at Very Low Cost” on June 6, I said China was able to launch a volley of at least 168 DF-21D missiles simultaneously from its six DF-21D rocket brigades to kill an entire US aircraft carrier battle group in no time.

In addition, the launch vehicles can be reloaded in hours for a second volley.

DF-26 is said to be more powerful, but there is no information about its number and the number of DF-26 China is able to launch in a volley.

According to Depth Column of, to ensure that no US warships can escape China’s annihilation counterattack, China has, in addition, developed three kinds of anti-ship cruise missiles that the US has no effective defense: YJ-12, YJ-18 and YJ-100.

YJ-12 weighs between 2-2.5 tons. It has a terminal speed of Mach 4.0 as it uses a scramjet engine. It has a range of 400 km. As it is carried by fighter jets, fighter/bombers and bombers such as Su-30MKK, J-16 and H-6G/K, the range of attack of YJ-18, including that of the warplane, can be 2,000 km and longer. Its high speed makes it difficult to intercept. One such heavy missile can kill one US Aegis destroyer while more than 2 can neutralize an aircraft carrier.

YJ-18 is another powerful anti-ship cruise missile that the US has no effective defense. It is but supersonic at its terminal stage but it flies with a zigzag trajectory difficult to intercept. It is mainly launched from the VSL of China’s Type 052D destroyers and 093A/B attack nuclear submarines.

According to, Britain’s Jane’s Defense Weekly says that the anti-radiation function of YJ-18 is so powerful that it destroys 60% of an Aegis warship’s electronic system even if it explodes 50 meters away from the warship.

Compared with YJ-12 and YJ-18, YJ-100 is not well-know as it is a new missile disclosed by foreign media not long ago. Its greatest advantage is its long range of 800 km for beyond visual range attack with a low trajectory. It is said to be used by China’s new large Type 055 destroyer.

According to, the simultaneous attack by two of the above five kinds of missile will be surely lethal.

Source: “Depth Column: The five Chinese Missiles that the West will have no effective defense for a decade” and “Foreign media regards YJ-18 as one of the best anti-ship cruise missiles, one of which can paralyze a US warship” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the reports in Chinese)

China’s Anti-aircraft, Ground Attack Missiles Have Anti-ship functions

Air defense missile launched to hit a warship

Air defense missile launched to hit a warship

An air defense missile explodes above a warship

An air defense missile explodes above a warship

An air defense missile hits a warship

An air defense missile hits a warship website quotes Russian Korolev Talk about Military Column First 267 as saying that in addition to Shangyou-2, YJ-62 long-range land-based, YJ-83 series of aircraft/ship-based, YJ-82 submarine-based, YJ-18 general-purpose two-speed, YJ-12 supersonic air-to-surface, YJ-9 light air-to-surface, and Russian-made KH-59 and submarine-launched Club anti-ship missiles in service, China has quite a few other missiles that have anti-ship functions.

According to a March 24 article on PLA Daily, in a live ammunition drill in 2015, the Shenyang, a 051C missile destroyer in North Sea Fleet hit a surface target with a Russian-made S-300MF surface-to-air missile.

The Shenyang has 6 vertical launch systems with 8 units each for its 48 48N6 missiles with 150 km range. Each missile is 7.5 meters long and 0.5 meter in diameter and weighs 1,800 kg. Its warhead weighs 150 kg and is guided by a semi-automatic TVM guide system.

Usually an anti-ship missile has a semi-armor piercing warhead but an anti-aircraft missile has no such warhead. It hits an aircraft with the shreds of its explosion. Can such warhead be effective in destroying a warship? The Forum says that the warhead will cause serious damage if it explodes close above the deck of a warship.

The S-300 missile is guided by the radar on the destroyer, which has only a range of 35 km due to the curving surface of the earth. That limits the range of S-300. However China’s sea-version HQ-9 long-range air defense missile finds and tracks its targets with its own radar and thus has an effective of range of 150 km in hitting a warship.

Moreover, China’s ship-based Yu-8 anti-submarine missile and aircraft-based KH-31, KH-59, YJ-63 and YJ-88 air-to-ground missile also have anti-ship function.

Source: “In addition to S300, Chinese navy has a lot of concurrent anti-ship weapons” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

One More Chinese 052D Destroyer, One More Threat to US Aircraft Carrier

China's newly commissioned 052D destroyer the Hefei no. 174

China’s newly commissioned 052D destroyer the Hefei no. 174

China’s official military forum says in its report today that the website of Japanese media The Diplomat says in its recent article that China plans to build 12 world-class 052D destroyers and has built 7. Recently China commissioned its third 052D the Hefei no. 174 in Sanya, Hainan.

The Diplomat says that according to Pentagon naval intelligence, the supersonic YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile vertically launched from a 052D destroyer constitutes a potential threat to US aircraft carrier as that best missile is supported by the best radar.

According to the article, Dr. Andrew S. Erickson of the US Naval War College describes YJ-18 missile as a powerful new generation of supersonic anti-ship missile that may be unprecedented challenge to the air defense systems of the US and its allies.

Source: “Japanese media: 7 052Ds have been built, one weapon on the warship is a threat to US aircraft carrier” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

US Navy Finds China’s YJ-18 Anti-ship Cruise Missile Hard to Deal with

A YJ-18 launched from the vertical launch system of a Chinese warship

A YJ-18 launched from the vertical launch system of a Chinese warship

China’s gives a summary translation of Stars and Stripes website’s report “China’s supersonic ship killer is making US Navy’s job harder”. It quotes the website as saying, “A new report to Congress assessing a Chinese submarine-launched missile known as the YJ-18 highlights the danger, noting the missile accelerates to supersonic speed just before hitting its target, making it harder for a crew to defend their ship.”

“The YJ-18 missile can cruise at about 600 miles an hour, or just under the speed of sound, only a few meters above the surface of the sea and then, about 20 nautical miles from its target, accelerate to as much as three times the speed of sound, according to an Oct. 28 report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

“‘The supersonic speed makes it harder to hit with on-board guns,’ according to commission Chairman Larry Wortzel. ‘It also makes it a faster target for radars.’”

According to the report, YJ-18 has a range of 290 nautical miles, much longer than previous missiles.

Source: “China’s supersonic ship killer is making US Navy’s job harder”

Full text of the report can be viewed at

Source: “U.S. media: China’s ship killer makes the U.S. hard to defend: It can hinder the advance of an aircraft carrier” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

Pentagon: China’s YJ-18 Anti-ship Missile Has a Range of 290 Miles

Launch of YJ-18 anti-ship missile

Launch of YJ-18 anti-ship missile

In my post “China’s Newest Powerful Anti-ship Missiles” on August 15, I mentioned where China’s new anti-ship missile YJ-18 is better than Russian 3M-54 Klub missile, including longer range but fail to provide specific information about its range.

Now, US National Interest magazine’s website says in its report that according to Pentagon estimate, YJ-18 has a range of 290 miles (537 km) judging by its bigger size than China’s CJ-10 missile.

As YJ-18 missiles are mobile, they can easily hide to avoid attack by US air force. However, US warships are safe if they are 290 miles away from Chinese coast.

Chinese warships also carry such missiles, but they cannot operate far away from Chinese coast without air force protection. They are not much threat to US superior navy with aircraft carriers.

The problem is Chinese submarines. If they carry such missiles and are able to launch the missiles when submerged, China’s large number of quiet conventional submarines that are able to stay submerged for more than two weeks, may send entire US aircraft carrier group to sea bottom when US navy comes within their range.

Here, I have to quote again Chinese Sage Mencius’ much quoted words on war:

Favorable timing is not as good as geographical advantage; geographical advantage is not as good as popular support.

US strategy illiterate leaders have not yet learnt that in spite of their repeated strategic failures in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They shall be clearly aware that China has geographical advantage and popular support in a war with the US near its coast. US President’s transfer of 10% more of its navy to area near China is a stupid move that will allow China to send 60% of US navy to sea bottom by saturate ballistic and cruise missile attack.

US naval supremacy lies in the high sea. It can easily cut China’s vital trade lifelines. Sending 60% of US navy to be sunk by Chinese missiles will greatly reduce such supremacy.

Regarding to Obama’s stupid move, I would like to quote Chinese philosopher Laozi again:

Do nothing, everything is done.

If Obama had done nothing instead of pursuing its pivot to Asia to threaten China, US threat to China’s vital trade lifelines remains while China will continue to rely on US naval protection of its trade lifelines. China will never have the sense of insecurity it has now. As a result it will not step up its military buildup for the capabilities to wipe out US navy near its coast and protect its trade lifelines at high sea. Even less will China develop the capabilities to attack US homeland for retaliation of US attack of its homeland.

Source: “US media: YJ-18’s range is 4 times of China’s existing submarine-launched anti-ship missiles” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chines)