Type 051C Luzhou Class

The Type 051C (NATO code name: Luzhou class) is an air-defence guided missile destroyer, utilising the Russian S-300FM air defence missile system controlled by the ‘Tomb Stone’ 3D phased-array radar. Only two hulls have been built to demonstrate the regional air defence capability and provide a stopgap before the similar indigenous system becomes available.

Type: Multirole missile destroyer (DDG). Designer: CSIC China Ship Design & Research Centre (701 Institute). Builders: CSIC Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. IOC: 2006. Number: 2

Programme

Air defence had long been a major deficiency of PLA Navy surface fleets. The introduction of the Russian Shtil air defence missile on the Sovremenny class and Type 052B Luyang class destroyers in the early 2000s was a major improvement over the earlier point-defence HHQ-7 (Crotale). However, the Shtil system was only able to provide a medium-range (30 to 45 km) air defence cover, which leaves the surface ships vulnerable to enemy’s standoff anti-ship weapons launched beyond its firing range.

To address this, the PLA Navy sought to incorporate its surface fleets with a regional air defence capability, with two programmes running in parallel. The indigenous development programme aimed to introduce a shipborne version of the HQ-9 air defence missile system and an indigenously developed Aegis-type phased array radar, while a second programme was to incorporate the Russian-made S-300FM air-defence missile system and its associated 3D fire-control radar. China ordered two sets of the S-300FM (Rif-M) air-defence system from Russia in 2002, and installed these on the two Type 051C destroyers for evaluation.

The first-of-class, Shenyang (115) was launched at the Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning Province in December 2004, followed by system installation over the next 12 months. Sea trials of the vessel began in early 2006 and the ship was commissioned into PLA Navy service in October 2006. The second hull Shijiazhuang (116) was launched in 2005 and commissioned in March 2007. Both hulls have been deployed by the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet from its Qingdao Naval Base.

The Type 051C was designed primarily for fleet air defence role, but it also retains reasonable anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities. The destroyer was based on the same hull design as the Type 051B (Luhai class) destroyer, and also inherited its steam turbine propulsion. The destroyer is fitted with six 8-cell revolver vertical launching systems (VLS), with two located on the bow deck and four inside the aft deckhouse on the stern. The ship has a stern helicopter flight deck but with no hangar in order to make space for the aft missile VLS and the target acquisition radar.

Design

Air Defence

The primary weapon for anti-aircraft warfare is the Rif-M air-defence missile system, which consists of six large-size rotatory vertical launching systems (VLS), each housing eight ready-to-launch missiles below decks. The Rif-M is the export variant of the S-300FM Fort-M (SA-N-20 ‘Gargoyle’) ship-based air defence missile system, which was developed from the S-300F Fort (SA-N-6 ’Grumble’), which was found on all Soviet/Russian cruisers built after 1980. As shown in its land-based equivalence, the S-300 family was proven to be highly effective against airborne targets. The S-300FM utilises the new 48N6 missile, which employs a track-via-missile (TVM) guidance method offering both anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile capabilities at a range of 5—150 km and an altitude between 10 m and 27 km. The missile is also believed to include a secondary infrared terminal seeker, which allows it to engage targets over the radar horizon. Fire-control of the missile is provided by the 30N6E1 (‘Tomb Stone’) phased array radar mounted on top of the aft deckhouse.

There are two indigenous Type 730 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) installed at the mid-ship position on either side of the bridge. Each CIWS consists of the H/PJ-12 7×30 mm gun, H/LJP-349 fire-control radar, Type 4 electro-optical director (EOD), all incorporated in a single turret complex. Target acquisition is provided by the H/LJQ-364 radar installed on top of the bridge. The seven-barrelled H/PJ-12 gun has a firing rate of 4,200 rounds/min, and is fed from a 640-round box inside the turret. It has a maximum firing range of 3,500 m against aircraft and 2,500 m against anti-ship missile.

Anti-Surface

The destroyer is armed with sixteen YJ-83 subsonic sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), with four quadruple launchers installed at the mid-ship position. The missile uses active radar-homing to deliver a 165 kg warhead to a range in excess of 180 km.

The main gun on the bow deck is an indigenous H/PJ-87 single-barrel 100 mm gun developed by 713 Institute, based on the French Creusot-Loire T100C. The gun can be used against surface targets as well as air targets such as aircraft and low speed missile, with a firing rate of 90 rounds/min and a maximum range of 17.5 km. The gun can be operated in fully automatic mode from the radar control system, from the shipborne optical sighting system, or laid manually.

Anti-Submarine Warfare

The Type 052B has two Type 7424 triple-barrel 324 mm torpedo launchers (B.515S copy) for the Yu-7 (Mk-46 Mod 1) active/passive acoustic-homing anti-submarine torpedoes. The Yu-7 carries a 45 kg warhead and has a maximum range of 7.3 km and a maximum speed of 28 knots. The depth of search/attack is 6—400 m.

Sensors

1x Russian MR331 Mineral-ME (‘Band Stand’) AShM fire-control, I-band

1x H/LJQ-364 CIWS target acquisition and air/sea search, G/H-band

1x Russian Fregat-M2EM (‘Top Plate’) 3D air search, E-band

1x Russian 30N6E1 (‘Tomb Stone’) 3D phase-array radar, SAM fire-control, X-band

2x H/LJP-349 CIWS fire-control, J-band (as part of the Type 730 CIWS)

2x Type 4 electro-optical director (EOD) CIWS fire-control (as part of the Type 730 CIWS)

2x Racal-Decca RM-1290 navigation, I-band

H/SJD-9 hull-mounted medium-frequency for active/passive search and attack

Countermeasures

H/RJZ-726 active/passive ECM suite consisting of interceptor and jammer

2x H/RJZ-726-4 18-barrelled 122 mm decoy flare/chaff launcher

2x H/RJZ-947 10-barrelled decoy flare/chaff launcher

Aviation

The Type 051C destroyer has a stern helicopter flight deck to receive resupply, but with no helicopter hangar.

Specifications

Displacement (t):......6,500 (standard); 7,100 (full load)
Length (m):............155
Beam (m):..............17
Draft (m):.............6
Speed (knots):.........29
Range (nm):............6,500 @ 15 knots
Crew:..................N/A

Ship List

Name          No.     Builder   Fleet   Launched     Commissioned
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Shenyang      115     Dl        NSF     2004-12-28   2006-10
Shijiazhuang  116     Dl        NSF     2005         2007-03

Dl.....Dalian Shipyard
NSF....North Sea Fleet

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