Type 052 Luhu Class

The Type 052 (NATO code name: Luhu class) is a multirole missile destroyer introduced in the early 1990s for the PLA Navy, with two hulls constructed. The destroyers served as a platform to experiment with the various indigenous and Western-made weapon systems, sensors, and propulsion, the technology of which was applied on the follow-on classes of surface combatants introduced in the 2000s.

Type: Missile destroyer (DDG).
Designer: Wuhan Institute of Ship Design (701 Institute, now CSIC China Ship Design & Research Centre)
Builders: Hudong Shipyard
IOC: 1994
Number: 2

Programme

The PLA Navy acquired a variety of Western-made naval systems in the mid-1980s to modernise its fleet. These included the Crotale surface-to-air missile, TSR 3004 Sea Tiger air/surface search radar, and TAVITAC combat direction system (CDS), all produced by the French company Thomson-CSF (now Thales), as well as the General Electric LM2500 gas turbines from the United States, and the A244 Whitehead torpedo from Italy. These technologies were used to upgrade the existing Type 051 (Luda class) destroyers as well as to equip the new-generation destroyers.

The PLA Navy’s new-generation destroyer, designated Type 052, was designed by Wuhan-based 701 Institute and built by Hudong Shipyard (now CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding) in Shanghai. Construction of the first-of-class Harbin (112) began in 1986, and the ship was launched in 1991. System installation and sea trial lasted for three years before the ship finally entered the service in 1994. The delay was mainly caused by the complexity of integrating various foreign-made contents. The second hull Qingdao (113) was commissioned in 1996.

Harbin (112) was first unveiled in the joint PLA exercise during the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis. On 21 March 1997, the destroyer and two other Chinese warships made a historical visit to San Diego, California in the first-ever visit by PLA Navy ships to the mainland United States. Between May and October 2002, a fleet comprising Qingdao (113) and Taicang (575) replenishment ship conducted the first global cruise in the PLA Navy’s history.

The Type 052 is the first Chinese-built surface combatant that meets modern standards, representing a significant improvement in China’s shipbuilding and shipborne weapon technologies. The destroyer is fitted with air defence, anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, C3I systems, as well as a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion arrangement, enabling the ship to accelerate and get underway quickly.

The hull design of the Type 052 had also departed from the Soviet influence and has design features of Western warships. The higher beam-length ratio increased the ship’s stability in bad weather conditions and rough seas, at the cost of sacrificing its speed performance. With a full displacement of 4,800 t, the Type 052 destroyer was also the largest surface combatant in service with the PLA Navy at the time of its commission.

Despite the significant improvement over the previous Type 051 Luda class destroyer, the Type 052 was still as callable as the surface combatants introduced in the Western and Russian navies in the same age. The ship’s air defence weapon suite, consisting of only short-range SAM and 37 mm AAA guns, could only provide point defence against limited number of targets. Its sensors were also less capable compared with the warships in service with the ROC Navy, leaving it in a vulnerable position in the modern sea battlefield.

A key weakness of the Type 052 destroyer is its large amount of foreign-made systems, which were sourced from the U.S., France, and Italy respectively. These systems were not made to operate together or with Chinese-made systems, and as a result, they were not well integrated. In addition, the two hulls of the class also differed slightly in weapon system configuration. For these reasons, the two Type 052 hulls primarily served as technology demonstrators, with no follow-up hull built.

In 2003/04, both hulls of the Type 052 received midlife modernisation refit, including the replacement of the eight YJ-8 AShMs with sixteen YJ-83s; the replacement of the Crotale SAM with the indigenous HHQ-7; the replacement of the HP/J33A dual-100 mm main gun with the improved HP/J33B dual-100 mm gun; and the replacement of the Type 362/TSR 3004 Sea Tiger search radar with the more capable Type 364 search radar.

In 2011, a second modernisation refit of both hulls involved the replacement of the four Type 76A guns with two Type 730 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) installed on top of the helicopter hangar; and the replacement of the Type 581 Hai Ying (Sea Engle) radar with the Type 517M long-range air search radar.

Design

Weapons

SAM: 1x 8-cell HHQ-7, command to line-of-sight (CLOS) + electro-optical tracking, 12 km slant range

SSM: 2x 4-cell YJ-83, active radar homing, Mach 0.8 to 180 km range

Main gun: 1x H/PJ-33B (Type 79B) dual-100 mm, 22 km range

AAA: 2x H/PJ-12 7×30 mm (as part of the Type 730 CIWS), 4,200 rounds/minute to 2.5 km (against AShM) or 3.5 km (against aircraft) range

Torpedo: 2x 3-cell Type 7424 324 mm torpedo launcher. Yu-7 active/passive acoustic-homing, 45 kg warhead, 28 knots speed, 7.3 km range

ASW: 2x 12-cell Type 75 (RBU-1200) 240 mm anti-submarine rocket launcher, 1,200 m range

Sensors

1x H/LJP-345 SAM (Castor-II copy) targeting, J-band

1x H/LJP-344 main gun fire-control, I/J-band

1x TSR 3004 Sea Tiger or its Chinese copy H/LJQ-363 air/surface search, E/F-band

1x H/LJQ-517 long-range surveillance and early warning, A-band

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

DUBV-23 (H/SJD-8/9) hull-mounted medium-frequency, active/passive search and attack

DUBV-43 (ESS-1) towed medium-frequency variable depth sonar (VDS) for active attack

Countermeasures

2x H/RJZ-946 (ERC-1 / PJ46) 15-barrelled 122 mm decoy flare/chaff launcher (before modernisation refit)

2x H/RJZ-726-4A 24-barrelled 122 mm decoy flare/chaff launcher (after modernisation refit)

Type 826C (BM-8610) active ECM suite consisting of interceptor and jammer

Radar warning receiver and IFF

Command & Control

The Type 052 is the first Chinese surface combatant to have been equipped with an integrated combat data system. Harbin (112) was equipped with a Thomson-CSF TAVITAC system, which integrates the target acquisition, navigation, communications, signal processing and weapon control functions. The central computer calculates and evaluates the target data and allocates them to the weapon systems. The system is capable of multiple target search and tracking, target prioritisation and automatic engagement of weapons.

Aviation

The helicopter deck at the stern has a single landing spot for a medium size helicopter such as Harbin Z-9C. The deck is fitted with the helicopter handling system. A fully equipped hangar accommodates two helicopters.

Propulsion

The propulsion system is a combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) arrangement. The main propulsion consists of two GE LM2500 gas turbines rated at 55,000 hp (41 MW) sustained. Auxiliary propulsions include two Chinese license-built German MTU 12V 1163TB83 diesels rated at 8,840 hp (6.5 MW) sustained. The destroyer has 2 shafts with CP propellers, with a maximum speed of 31 knots.

Specifications

Displacement (t):......4,200 (standard); 4,800 (full load)
Length (m):............144
Beam (m):..............15.6
Draft (m):.............4.25
Speed (knots):.........31
Range (nm):............4,000 at 18 kt
Crew:..................270 (40 officers)

Ship List

Name No. Builder Fleet Launch Comm Decomm
Harbin 112 Hudong North 28 Aug 1991 8 May 1994
Qingdao 113 Hudong North 18 Oct 1993 28 May 1996

Image Gallery

References

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