The Type 051 (NATO code name: Luda class) is China’s first independently developed missile destroyer, with 17 hulls built between 1970 and 1991 for the PLA Navy. Decommission of the destroyer began in late 2007, with the last hull expected to be decommissioned by 2022.
Type: Missile destroyer (DDG). Designer: Wuhan Institute of Ship Design (701 Institute, now CSIC China Ship Design & Research Centre). Builders: Dalian Shipyard, Zhonghua Shipyard, Guangzhou Shipyard. IOC: 1971. Number: 17 built, 5 remaining in service
In the mid-1960s, the PLA Navy demanded a new class of destroyer which could serve as a multipurpose platform for a range of roles, including sizing sea control in offshore waters to eliminate the threat of enemy anti-submarine forces to PLA Navy submarines; obtaining sea dominance against the ROC Navy in the Taiwan Strait; protecting China’s interests in the South China Sea; and escorting survey ships to the target zone in the South Pacific for the DF-5 (CSS-4) ICBM full-range test.
At 3,000 t displacement, the Type 051 was substantially larger than earlier surface combatants in the PLA Navy, almost twice the displacement of the Soviet-made 1,600-t displacement Type 07 (Anshan class) destroyers. The vessel was powered by four boilers and two steam turbines, giving a maximum speed of 32 knots. It was equipped with a wide range of weapons and sensors for air defence, surface strike, and anti-submarine roles. The Type 051 was also the first Chinese-built surface vessel capable of receiving underway replenishment, allowing it to operate continuously at sea without having to return to its base.
The design of the Type 051 destroyer was carried out by Wuhan-based 701 Institute, partially based on the 1950s-era Soviet Kotlin class destroyer. The design was officially approved in June 1967, and the first hull Jinan (105) began construction at the Dalian Shipyard in 1968. The vessel was launched in July 1970 and commissioned by the PLA Navy in December 1971. The first test fire of the HY-1 anti-ship missile from the destroyer was carried out in September 1973, while the design team was still finalising the destroyer’s design.
In 1975, the Type 051 destroyer was certified for design finalisation. By then, construction of the destroyer was carried out at three locations simultaneously: Dalian Shipyard, Zhonghua Shipyard (Shanghai), and Guangzhou Shipyard. Later hulls were added with improved sensors. The last two hulls constructed in the late 1980s, Zhanjiang (165) and Zhuhai (166), featured a combat information centre, long-range 3D air/sea-search radar, and ECM suite. Some hulls later received modernisation overhaul, added with the YJ-8 AShM, HQ-7 SAM, Type 76A dual 37-mm AAA, Type 363 (TSR3004 Sea Tiger) air/surface search radar, 324 mm ASW torpedo launchers, etc. Jinan (105) was also fitted with a hanger and flight deck (in place of the stern main gun) to support a Harbin Z-9 ASW/SAR helicopter.
Despite its improvement over precious Chinese surface combatants in size, weapons, and sensors, Type 051 was still obsolete compared with the surface combatants introduced by Western and Soviet navies in the same age. The destroyer only had limited air defence against a very narrow range of air threats, making it highly vulnerable in modern sea warfare. It had very limited redundancy to damage in its hull design and poor living conditions onboard, making it unsuitable for long-endurance sea operations. Additionally, the destroyer’s radar and communication systems were very dated and there was no NBC protection. Some of these weaknesses were later addressed during the modernisation refit programmes.
Nevertheless, through the Type 051 programme, the Chinese shipbuilding industry obtained valuable knowledge and experience in designing and building a large surface combatant independently, and was able to apply these know-hows to design and build larger, more advanced destroyers later.
The Type 051 destroyers have been constructed in three batches and can be identified in seven variants:
Type 051 Luda class – First batch of seven hulls built between 1968 and 1975, including Jinan (105), Guangzhou (160), Xi’an (106), Changsha (161), Yinchuan (107), Nanning (162), and Nanjing (131).
Type 051 Luda-II class – In 1987, Jinan (105) received modification in 1987 to be added with a helicopter hangar and flight deck. The ship was identified by NATO as Luda-II class.
Type 051D (‘Dingxing’) Luda class – Second batch of eight hulls built between 1977 and 1990, with slightly different radar configuration. They include Xining (108), Hefei (132), Kaifeng (109), Nanchang (163), Dalian (110), Chongqing (133), Zunyi (134), and Guilin (164).
Type 051Z (‘Zhihui’) Luda class – Among the second batch, Dalian (110) and Hefei (132) were specially configured to serve as fleet command ships, equipped with enhanced communications equipment and a fleet command & control centre. In the mid-1980s, the two ships were added with the Type 381 3D air search radar and 637-II combat intelligence centre (CIC). In 1988, Hefei was also upgraded with the indigenous ZKJ-1 combat direction system.
Type 051DT Luda class – In 1991, Kaifeng (109) was added with a French Crotale SAM launcher and Castor-II radar, as well as the Thomson-CSF (now Thales) TAVITAC combat direction system. In the late 1990s, Kaifeng received a second modernisation refit including the YJ-83 anti-ship missile, Type 76A twin-37 mm AAA, Type 360 air/sea search radar, Type 342 and Type 344 fire-control radar. This configuration became the benchmark for other Type 051 modernisation projects, including Dalian (110) in 2002, and Zhanjiang (165) and Zhuhai (166) in 2003.
Type 051G1/G2 (“Gaijin”) Luda-III class – The third batch, designated Type 051G, began construction in the late 1980s. Zhanjiang (165) in the Type 051G1 confiuration featured improved radar and C3I system. Zhuhai (166) in the Type 051G2 configuration had further improvements in weapon and was identified by NATO as the Luda-III class.
Type 051S – There was plan to upgrade the Type 051 destroyer using British-made weapon systems and sensors, including the GWS30 Sea Dart surface-to-air missile, under the designation Type 051S. The project was subsequently abandoned.
The Type 051 destroyer employed the Type 76 dual-barrel 130 mm/58-calibre gun and the HY-1J (NATO code name: CSS-N-1 ‘Silkworm’) anti-ship missile. Each of the two Type 76 guns (one front, one rear) fires 33.4 kg shells at a rate of 17 rounds/minute to a range of 29 km against surface targets. They can also be used for air defence and shore bombardment. Six HY-1J liquid-propellant missiles are housed in two rotatable 3-cell launchers installed in the mid-ship position. The missile uses active radar homing to a maximum range of 70 km, flying at subsonic speed (Mach 0.95). The warhead is 513 kg.
The Type 051G2 (Luda-III class) was equipped with eight solid-propellant, 40 km-range YJ-8 (C-801, NATO code name: CSS-N-4 ‘Sardine’) anti-ship missiles. These were subsequently replaced by sixteen improved YJ-83 (NATO code name: CSS-N-8 ‘Saccade’) anti-ship missiles during modernisation refit.
The fire-control for the main guns and AShM was provided by the Type 343G (NATO code name: ‘Wasp Head’ and ‘Wok Won’) radar located on top of the bridge.
The strike weapon package for the modernisation refit package included the PJ33A dual-barrel 100-mm/56-calibre guns and the YJ-83 anti-ship missiles. The PJ33A gun was developed from the Type 79A dual-barrel 100-mm gun, but has a redesigned gun house with strong radar cross-section reduction features. Sixteen box-shape YJ-83 missile launchers are organised into four groups, each with four launchers. The YJ-83 employs active radar homing and a turbojet engine (with a solid rocket booster). The missile has a reported range of 120 km and approaches the target in sea skimming mode at a speed of Mach 0.9. The 165 kg shaped charge warhead has time delayed impact proximity fuses.
On Zhanjiang (165) and Zhuhai (166), the Type 343G radar was replaced by a more advanced Type 344 radar to provide targeting information for the dual 100-mm main guns and YJ-83 AShM.
Early variants of the Type 051 relied purely on AAA guns to provide limited air defence. Each destroyer has four Type 76 dual-37mm manual/automatic AAA guns and four Type 61 dual 25-mm manual AAA guns. On the Type 051G2 (Luda-III class), the four Type 76 guns were replaced by four improved Type 76A guns (fully automatic with concealed turret) and the 25-mm AAA guns were all removed. The Type 76A guns were directed by two Type 347G fire-control radars (one front, one rear).
The PLA Navy obtained some examples of the French Crotale short-range air-defence missile system in the 1980s and installed one system on Kaifeng (109) for trial and evaluation (Mod 2B). The system includes an 8-cell missile launcher and a Thompson-CSF Castor CTM fire-control radar. Later the missile system was produced in China as the HQ-7. The rear dual 37-mm AAA gun on the stern deck of the Type 051 has to be removed in order to provide space for the SAM system. The missile can only be reloaded manually as there is no enough space for the bulky automatic reloader.
The air defence package for the modernisation refit package included an HQ-7 SAM system and three Type 76A dual 37-mm automatic AAA guns. The 8-cell HQ-7 SAM launcher and the Type 345 (Castor copy) radar are installed on the stern deck, in front of the rear main gun. One Type 76A automatic AAA gun is installed on the bow deck in front of the bridge, and two are installed at the mid-ship position. They are directed by a single Type 347G radar on top of the bridge. DDG-109 Kaifeng also retained two Type 61 dual 25-mm manual AAA guns.
Early variants of the Type 051 featured a Type 354 (NATO code name: ‘Eye Shield’) radar mounted on top of the main mast for air and surface search. The radar has a maximum detection range of 100 km against aircraft-sized airborne targets. Long-range 2D air surveillance and early warning is provided by a Type 515 (NATO code name: ‘Bean Sticks’ or ‘Pea Sticks’) or Type 517 (NATO code name: ‘Knife Rest’) radar located behind the rear mast.
The Type 051Z variant was fitted with a Type 381A (NATO code name: ‘Rice Screen’) long-range 3D air surveillance radar mounted on the rear mast and a 637-II CIC, which enabled the destroyers to provide air defence intelligence for a whole task force. Following the modernisation upgradses, the Type 381A radar on these hulls has been removed and replaced by a Type 362 (copy of the Thompson-CSF TSR-3004 Sea Tiger).
All hulls were fitted with two Type 75 (FQF-2500) twelve-barrel 240 mm antisubmarine rocket launchers on the bow deck. The rocket is armed with a 34 kg warhead and has a maximum range of 1,200 m. The destroyer also carried four BMB projectors and four racks for depth charges at the stern. Alternatively, the destroyer could carry 38 mines.
The destroyer was fitted with an SJD-II medium-frequency bow-mounted sonar for long-range search, and an SJD-IV medium-frequency hull-mounted sonar for active search and attack. Zhuhai (166) also had a DUBV-43 (ESS-1) towed medium-frequency variable depth sonar (VDS) for active attack.
The Type 051DT, G1 and G2 variants were fitted with two Alenia B515S (or its Chinese copy) triple-324 mm torpedo launchers, which is used to launch the Yu-7 (copy of the U.S. Mk46 Mod1) anti-submarine torpedo. The Yu-7 carried a 45 kg warhead to engage underwater target at a speed of 43 knots, and has a maximum range of 7.3 km.
The Type 051 employed the Recal Decca series navigation radar co-produced locally under license. These include the Decca 707 (“Fin Curve”) and the more advanced Decca RM-1290.
The destroyer was equipped with the ‘High Pole’ IFF and the RW-23-1 (NATO reporting name: ‘Jug Pair’) radar warning receivers. The Type 051G2 was fitted with a Type 825 electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite consisting of interceptors and jammers, but it was removed during the modernisation refit.
The modernisation package also included two Type 946 15-barrelled chaff/decoy launchers.
Command & Control
The Type 051/051D variants lacked the integrated command and control system. Radio and telephone were provided for intra-ship, inter-ship, and ship-to-land communications. The Type 051Z variant was added with a CIC for fleet air defence. The Type 051DT and the modernisation package included a ZJK-4 CDS developed from the French TAVITAC. Later hulls were all equipped with satellite navigations, satellite communications (SATCOM), and No.11 datalink.
Jinan (105) was the only hull that was fitted a helicopter hangar and flight deck, in place of the stern 130-mm gun and AAA gun. The refit was completed in 1987. The helicopter hangar was 17 m x 10.5 m x 5.5 m in size, and the flight deck was 25 m x 12.8 m in size. The vessel was also added with helicopter landing assistance/handling system and aviation fuel storage to support two Harbin Z-9 helicopters.
The propulsion system of Type 051 destroyer is steam turbines with 4 boilers and 2 turbines rated at 72,000 hp (53 MW), and 2 shafts, giving a max speed of 32 knots.
Displacement (t):......3,250 (standard); 3,670 (full load) Length (m):............132 Beam (m):..............12.8 Draft (m):.............4.6 Speed (knots)..........32 Range (nm):............2,970 (at 18 kt) Crew:..................280 (45 officers)
|Jinan||105||Dalian||North||30 Jul 1970||31 Dec 1971||Nov 2007|
|Xi’an||106||Dalian||North||Sep 1970||26 Nov 1974||29 Sep 2007|
|Yinchuan||107||Dalian||North||May 1972||28 Jun 1976||18 Oct 2012|
|Xining||108||Dalian||North||16 Oct 1978||29 Feb 1980||25 Sep 2013|
|Kaifeng||109||Dalian||North||3 Nov 1979||25 Dec 1982||8 Sep 2016|
|Dalian||110||Zhonghua||North||20 Aug 1981||26 Dec 1984||–|
|Nanjing||131||Zhonghua||East||11 Dec 1973||6 Jan 1977||26 Sep 2012|
|Hefei||132||Zhonghua||East||Nov 1978||Mar 1980||20 Oct 2012|
|Chongqing||133||Zhonghua||East||31 Oct 1980||30 Dec 1983||26 Sep 2014|
|25 Nov 1983||28 Dec 1984||–|
|Guangzhou||160||Guangzhou||South||6 Jan 1977||–||9 Mar 1978|
|Changsha||161||Guangzhou||South||28 Jun 1973||31 Dec 1975||28 Aug 2008|
|Naning||162||Guangzhou||South||27 Oct 1976||23 Mar 1979||Sep 2012|
|22 Dec 1979||15 Nov 1982||8 Sep 2016|
|20 Jun 1984||10 July 1987||–|
|Zhanjiang||165||Dalian||South||1 Aug 1988||30 Dec 1989||–|
|Zhuhai||166||Dalian||South||18 Oct 1990||21 Nov 1991||–|
百度百科. 2017. 051型驱逐舰. [ONLINE] Available at: https://baike.baidu.com/item/051型驱逐舰/2562303?fromtitle=051型导弹驱逐舰&fromid=10788864. [Accessed 25 August 2017].