Type 052D Luyang-III Class

First introduced into PLA Navy service in 2014, the Type 052D (NATO code name: Luyang-III class) is the latest variant of the Type 052 destroyer family, featuring a number of changes in weapon system and sensor over the previous Type 052C (Luyang-II class). A total of 13 hulls have been launched, with 6 commissioned as of June 2017.

Type: Multirole missile destroyer (DDG). Designer: CSIC China Ship Design & Research Centre (701 Institute). Builders: CSSC Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., CSIC Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. IOC: 2014. Number: 13 launched, 6 commissioned (as at June 2017).

Programme

Following the completion of six Type 052C destroyers, Shanghai-based Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. began to build two hulls of a new class of multirole missile destroyer. The new destroyer, designated Type 052D, has inherited the hull design of the previous Type 052C but features a range of improvements. The Type 052D employs an improved active phased array radar (APAR) system, with four larger flat radar arrays utilizing a liquid-cooling system, in contrast to the curved air/liquid-cooled arrays on the Type 052C.

The most significant change on Type 052D is its universal 64-cell (8×8) vertical launch system (VLS). Unlike the VLS on Type 052C, which can only launch the HHQ-9 air-defence missile, the new VLS allows missiles of different types and sizes to be carried and launched from the standard missile cells. As a result, the Type 052D can carry a variety of air-defence, anti-surface, and anti-submarine weapons according to its mission requirement, providing much greater flexibility and also a rapid-fire launch capability against the various hostile threats.

Other visible improvements on the Type 052D includes a new 130 mm main gun on the bow deck, a HHQ-10 short-range air defence missile system on the stern deck, and the Type 1130 11x30mm CIWS (on later hulls) replacing the original Type 730 CIWS. Compared with the Type 052C, the Type 052D’s superstructure is slightly higher and slopes inward at a greater angle to provide further reduced radar cross-section.

The Type 052D destroyers have been under construction at two locations: CSSC Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in Shanghai and CSIC Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. in Liaoning Province. Six hulls had already been commissioned into service as of January 2017, with another six either undergoing sea trial or under construction.

Design

Universal Vertical Launch System

There are two universal 32-cell (4×8) Dual Hot/Cold-launch VLS located on the bow deck and amidships respectively. They are the first Chinese VLS to have been developed to to GJB 5860-2006 National Military Standard, which allows launch of missiles using either ‘Cold’ or ‘Hot’ launch method. The rectangle-shaped VLS cell is similar to the Hot-launched VLS on the Type 054A (Jiangkai-II class) missile frigate, but without the shared exhaust vents between the rows of launching tubes. Instead, it utilises a more advanced concentric canister launch (CCL) method, which was first pioneered by US Navy in the mid-1990 for Mk 41 VLS upgrade.

Missiles that can be carried and launched from the universal VLS include:

– HHQ-9 long-range SAM
– HHQ-16 medium-range SAM
– HHQ-10 short-range SAM (four missiles in a single cell)
– YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM)

In addition, the VLS is rumoured to be also capable of launching the CJ-10 land-attack cruise missile (LACM) and CY-5/Yu-8 rocket-propelled torpedo, but this claim has not been confirmed.

Air Defence

The HHQ-9 is the naval variant of the land-based HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system developed in the 1990s. The missile may have adopted some Russian S-300 rocket motor and control technologies, with a “track via missile” (TVM) guidance system allegedly developed from the U.S. Patriot missile technology. The improved HQ-9A utilises a semi-active radar-homing, and on the HQ-9B variant this is complemented by a secondary infrared seeker. The missile has a stated maximum engagement range of 200 km, and is guided by the destroyer’s H/LJG-346A (Type 346A) active phased array radar.

The HHQ-16 is the naval variant of the land-based HQ-16 surface-to-air missile, jointly developed with Russia based on the 9M38 series of missiles that form part of the Russian Almaz-Antey Shtil system China purchased for use on its Sovremenny class (Project 956E/956EM) and the Type 052B (Luyang class) destroyers, with features of the improved 9M317 missile. The missile has an operational range of about 40 km, though this has been extended to 70 km on an improved variant HQ-16B.

The close-in air defence is provide by a combination of the HHQ-10 short-range air defence missile and the Type 730 (or Type 1130) close-in weapon system (CIWS). A single 24-cell HHQ-10 short-range SAM launcher is installed on the stern deck atop the helicopter hangar. The missile launcher is similar to the U.S. Navy RIM-116 in arrangement. Derived from the TY-90 short-range AAM, the HHQ-10 (or FL-3000N in its export name) is fitted with a dual passive radar-/infrared-homing seeker and has a maximum range of 9 km. An improved variant is reportedly fitted with an independent active infrared seeker, with a maximum range of 10 km.

A Type 730 CIWS is installed in front of the bridge. The weapon system 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. From the 10th hull, the Type 730 CIWS has been replaced by the 11-barrelled 30 mm Type 1130, which has a maximum firing rate of nearly 10,000 rounds/min.

Anti-Ship

The Type 052D is the first Chinese surface combatant to have not been installed with fixed anti-ship missile launchers. Instead, the destroyer can fire the YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile from its VLS. The YJ-18 has been developed from the Russian 3M-54E Club-S, an export variant of the 3M-54 Kalibr (SS-N-27 ‘Sizzler’) anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) used by the Russian Navy. The PLA Navy obtained 150 examples of the 3M-54E missile along with the Project 636M (Kilo class) submarines it received from Russia in 2004/05, and possibly produced the Chinese copy through reverse-engineering. Detailed information on the missile is not available but the 3M-54E missile can deliver a 200 kg warhead to a maximum range of 220 km (or 300 km on the 3M-54E1) at a speed of Mach 2.9 in the terminal stage of an engagement. The missile is powered by a turbojet engine and employs an inertial guidance plus terminal active radar-homing.

The main gun on the bow deck is an indigenous H/PJ-45A single-barrel 130 mm/70-calibre naval gun developed by Zhengzhou Institute of Machinery and Electronics (713 Institute) and built by the Second Inner Mongolia Machinery Plant (447 Factory). The H/PJ-45A is modelled after (but not a direct copy of) the Russian AK-130 automatic naval gun, and can be operated in fully automatic mode from the radar control system, from the shipborne optical sighting system, or laid manually. The gun can fire 86.2 kg projectiles at a maximum rate of 40 rounds/min to a maximum range of 30 km.

Anti-Submarine Warfare

The Type 052D has two Type 7424 triple-barrel 324 mm torpedo launchers (B.515S copy) for the Yu-7 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.

The four H/RJZ-726-4 18-barrel (3×6 arrangement) chaff/decoy launchers on the aft deck can also be used to fire ASW rockets if necessary.

Sensors

The Type 052D is fitted with the improved H/LJG346A (‘Dragon Eye’) multifunctional active phased array radar (APAR) system developed by Nanjing Research Institute of Electronic Technology (CETC 14 Institute). Each rectangle-shaped radar array consists of several thousands of S-band transceiver modules for long-range air search and a C-band module for HHQ-9 SAM targeting.

Compared with the H/LJG346 APAR on the Type 052C, the new radar features four larger radar arrays, presumably housing more radar transceivers. The curving radar arrays resulted by the need for air circulation on the earlier APAR on Type 052C have been replaced by flat arrays, suggesting the adoption of a liquid cooling system instead of the mixed air and liquid cooling system on earlier APAR on board Type 052C.

Other sensors onboard the Type 052D include:

1x H/LJQ-366 (copy of the Russian MR331 Mineral-ME ‘Band Stand’) AShM fire-control, I-band

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

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

1x Type 517H-1 (‘Knife Rest’) long-range 2D air search, A-band

2x H/LJP-349 CIWS fire-control, J-band (as part of the Type 730/1130 CIWS)

2x Type 4 electro-optical director (EOD) CIWS fire-control (as part of the Type 730/1130 CIWS)

2x Racal-Decca RM1290 navigation, I-band

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

Countermeasures

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

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

Command and Control

No information is available on the combat data system (CDS) of the Type 052D, but it is thought to be similar to that onboard the Type 052C.

Aviation

The Type 052D has a flight deck and hangar to support the operations of a single antisubmarine warfare (ASW) helicopter, either a Kamov Ka-28 (‘Helix’) or a Harbin Z-9C. The Ka-28 is armed with torpedoes or deep charges and capable of operating in all-weather conditions up to 200 km from the host ship. The smaller Z-9C can be armed with a low-frequency dipping sonar system and Yu-7 anti-submarine torpedoes.

Propulsion

The destroyer’s propulsion is in the form of CODOG, consisting of two Ukraine Zorya-Mashproekt DA80/DN80 gas turbines each rated at 32,600 hp (24 MW) and two Shaanxi diesels (Chinese copy of the MTU 20 V956 TB92) rated at 8,840 hp (6.5 MW), giving a maximum speed of 29 knots.

Specifications

Displacement (t):......7,500 (full load)
Length (m):............157
Beam (m):..............17
Draft (m):.............6
Speed (kt):............29
Range (nm):............4,500 at 15 kt
Crew:..................280

Ship List

Name        No.     Builder   Fleet   Launched     Commissioned
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kunming     172     Jn        SSF     2012-08-30   2014-03-21
Changsha    173     Jn        SSF     2012-12-19   2015-08-12
Hefei       174     Jn        SSF     2013-07-01   2015-12-12
Yinchuan    175     Jn        SSF     2014-03-28   2016-07-12
Xining      117     Jn        NSF     2014-08-26   2017-01-22
Xiamen      154     Jn        ESF     2014-12-30   2017-06-08
Urumqi      118     Jn        NSF     2015-07-07   2017?
Guiyang     119     Dl        NSF     2015-11-28   2018?
Nanjing     155     Jn        ESF     2015-12-28   2018?
Nanning     156     Jn        ESF     2016-07-28   2018?
Chengdu     120     Dl        NSF     2016-08-03   2019?
Taiyuan     157     Jn        ESF     2016-12-26   2019?
Qiqihar     121     Dl        NSF     2017-06-26   2020?

Jn.....Jiangnan Shipyard
Dl.....Dalian Shipyard
NSF....North Sea Fleet
ESF....East Sea Fleet
SSF....South Sea Fleet

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