Type 054A Jiangkai-II Class

New-generation multirole missile frigate introduced in 2008, capable of air defence, anti-submarine, anti-surface, and general purpose operations.

PLA Designation: Type 054A. NATO code name: Jiangkai-II class. Type: Missile frigate (FFG). Designer: CSIC China Ship Design & Research Centre (701 Institute). Builders: CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., CSSC Guangzhou Huangpu Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. In commission: 2008. Number: 27 launched, 25 commissioned (as of June 2017)

Programme

After the launch of two Type 054 (Jianglai class) frigates, Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Guangzhou Huangpu Shipbuilding began to construct the improved Type 054A, which features improved weapon systems and sensors based on Russian technologies. The first-of-class Zhoushan (529) was launched at Guangzhou Huangpu in December 2006, followed by a further seven hulls in the Batch-1 standard over the next five years.

Construction of the improved Batch-2 variant with some minor modifications in hull design and system began in August 2010, with eight hulls delivered by December 2013, before the production was switched to the batch-3 variant. The first hull in the batch-3 standard was launched at Hudong-Zhonghua in April 2013, with another eight hulls delivered over the next four years. Production of additional hulls continued as of 2017.

Despite sharing the same hull design, the Type 054A represents a significant improvement over the previous Type 054, approaching or even exceeding some older generations destroyers in capability and firepower. Most of the Type 054A’s key systems were derived from Russian technologies, including the VLS-launched HHQ-16 air defence missile (SA-N-7/12), the Fregat-M2EM (‘Top Plate’) 3D air search radar, the MR90 ‘Front Dome’ SAM fire-control radar, the MR331 Mineral-ME (‘Band Stand’) AShM fire-control radar, and the MGK-335EM-03 (‘Bull Horn’ and ‘Whale Tongue’) hull-mounted medium-frequency sonar suite.

The Type 054A is fitted with a 32-cell vertical launch system (VLS), with four H/AKJ-16 8-cell modules installed on the bow deck behind the main gun. Developed by Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC), the VLS utilises a ‘Hot’ launch method similar to the U.S. Mark 41, with each 8-cell module (2 rows of 4 missile cells) a common exhaust system located between the two rows. The VLS is capable of firing both the 40 km-range HHQ-16 air defence missiles and the rocket-propelled Yu-8 anti-submarine torpedoes.

In addition to improvements in weapon and sensor, the Type 054A is also the first Chinese frigate class to be capable of operating in places far from home port. Type 054A frigates have been frequently spotted in the Chinese naval task forces deployed to the Gulf of Aden for counter-piracy operations. In February 2011, Type 054 frigate Xuzhou (530) was deployed to Libya as part of the operations to evacuate Chinese citizens caught in the civil war. In March 2015, two Type 054 frigates Linyi (547) and Weifang (550) and a replenishment ship called the Port of Aden to evacuate Chinese citizens from the war-torn Yemen.

Design

Air Defence

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. Using a semi-active radar-homing guidance, the missile has an operational range of about 40 km, though this has been extended to 70 km on an improved variant HQ-16B.

For short-range air defence, 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.

On the Batch-3 variant, the Type 730 CIWS has been replaced by the Type 1130 (H/PJ-11) 11×30 mm CIWS, with a maximum firing rate of 10,000 rounds per minute.

Anti-Surface

The Type 054A is armed with eight YJ-83 subsonic sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), with two 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-26 single-barrel 76 mm/59-calibre gun copied from the Russian AK-176. The fully automatic gun can be used against both air and surface targets, with a firing rate of 60—120 rounds/min and a range of 11.5—15.5 km.

Anti-Submarine Warfare

The Type 054’s VLS can launch the Yu-8 rocket-propelled anti-submarine torpedo. No technical detail on the torpedo is available but the weapon can significantly extend the range of the frigate’s anti-submarine firepower.1

The Type 054A 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.

There are two Type 003A/FQF-3200 six-barrel 240-mm antisubmarine rocket launchers, firing the Type 81G rocket-propelled depth charge (34 kg warhead) to a maximum range of 1,200 m, with 36 rounds.

Sensors

Air/surface search is provided by a H/LJQ-382 3D air search radar mounted on top of the main mask. The radar has been developed from the Russian Fregat-M2EM (‘Top Plate’). Operating in the E-band, the radar is said to be capable of tracking up to 100 targets and engaging with 10 of them simultaneously, with a maximum detection range of 150 km to aircraft and 50 km to sea-skimming missile.

An H/LJQ-366 (copy of the Russian MR331 Mineral-ME ‘Band Stand’) installed on top of the bridge working in the I-band is used for the YJ-83 AShM fire-control.

An H/LJQ-364 installed on the rear mast working in the G/H-band is used for air/surface search and surveillance.

Four Russian MR90 (‘Front Dome’) (or its Chinese copy) working in the F-band provide fire-control for the HHQ-16 SAM.

Two sets of the J-band H/LJP-349 radar and Type 4 electro-optical director (EOD) provide fire-control for the CIWS.

A third H/LJP-349A radar is installed on top of the bridge prior to the main mast to provide fire-control for the 76 mm main gun.

For navigation, the frigate has two Racal Decca RM-1290 navigation radars located on the foremast yardarms.

The frigate is equipped with an H/SJD-307 (Russian MGK-335EM-03 copy) hull-mounted medium-frequency sonar suite, integrating the MGK-355 ‘Bullhorn’ active and ‘Whale Tongue’ passive sonar. There is also a H/SJD-206 towed array sonar system (TASS) for passive search. From the 17th hull (Batch-3), this was replaced by an H/SJD-311 variable depth sonar (VDS) for active search and attack.

Electronic Countermeasures

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

2x H/RJZ-726-4A 24-barrelled (4 rolls of 6 cells) 122 mm decoy flare/chaff launcher

Type 562 towed acoustic torpedo decoy

Command & Control

The Type 054A frigate is fitted with an indigenous combat data system, capable of supporting operations such as air defence, anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, navigation, and communications.

Aviation

The frigate has a helicopter hangar and deck at the stern capable of operating a medium-sized helicopter, such as the Eurocopter AS 365 Panther or its Chinese copy Harbin Z-9C. The flight deck is fitted with the helicopter handling system. The Z-9C can be armed with a low-frequency dipping sonar system and Yu-7 anti-submarine torpedoes.

Propulsion

The propulsion is a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) arrangement. The system is based on four SEMT Pielstick (now MAN Diesel SA) 16 PA6V-280 STC diesel engines, one of the most advanced diesel engine designs in Europe. A similar 12 PA6V-280 STC engine with less power is also used by the French La Fayette class frigate. China imported the 16 PA6V-280 STC diesel technology in the late 1990s and has been producing the diesel locally under license at Shaanxi Diesel Factory. Each 16 PA6V-280 engine can produce a sustained power of 4,720 kW (6,330 hp), giving a total power of 18,880 kW (25,320 hp). The propulsion provides a maximum speed of 27 kt and range of more than 8,000 nm.

Specifications

Displacement (t):......3,647 (standard), 4,053 (full load)
Length (m):............134.1
Beam (m):..............15.2
Draft (m):.............4.05
Speed (knots):.........27
Range (nm):............8,000 at 15 knots
Crew:..................180—190

Ship List

Batch-1

#  Name         No.   Builder   Fleet   Launched     Commissioned
----------------------------------------------------------------
1  Zhoushan     529   HdZh      ESF     2006-12-21   2008-01-03
2  Xuzhou       530   Hp        ESF     2006-09-30   2008-01-27
3  Huangshan    570   Hp        SSF     2007-03-19   2008-05-13
4  Hengyang*    568   HdZh      SSF     2007-05-23   2008-06-30
5  Yuncheng     571   Hp        SSF     2009-02-08   2010-01-27
6  Yulin        569   HdZh      SSF     2009-04-28   2010-02-01
7  Yiyang       548   Hp        SSF     2009-11-17   2010-10-26
8  Changzhou    549   HdZh      ESF     2010-05-21   2011-05-30

*ex-Chaohu, renamed in Feb 2012

Batch-2

#  Name         No.   Builder   Fleet   Launched     Commissioned
----------------------------------------------------------------
9  Yantai       538   Hp        NSF     2010-08-24   2011-07-30
10 Yancheng     546   HdZh      NSF     2011-04-27   2012-06-05
11 Hengshui     572   Hp        SSF     2011-05-21   2012-07-09
12 Liuzhou      573   HdZh      SSF     2011-12-10   2012-12-26
13 Linyi        547   Hp        NSF     2011-12-13   2012-12-22
14 Yueyang      575   Hp        SSF     2012-05-09   2013-05-03
15 Weifang      550   HdZh      NSF     2012-07-09   2013-06-22
16 Sanya        574   HdZh      SSF     2012-11-30   2013-12-13

Batch-3

#  Name         No.   Builder   Fleet   Launched     Commissioned
----------------------------------------------------------------
17 Huanggang    577   HdZh      ESF     2013-04-28   2015-01-16
18 Daqing       576   Hp        NSF     2013-10-08   2015-01-16
19 Handan       579   Hp        NSF     2014-07-26   2015-08-16
20 Yangzhou     578   HdZh      ESF     2013-09-30   2015-09-21
21 Jingzhou     532   HdZh      ESF     2015-01-22   2016-01-05
22 Xiangtan     531   Hp        ESF     2015-03-19   2016-02-24
23 Binzhou      515   HdZh      ESF     2015-12-13   2016-12-29
24 Xuchang      536   Hp        SSF     2016-05-30   2017-06-23
25 Wuhu         539   HdZh      NSF     2016-06-08   2017-06-29
26 Anyang       ?     HdZh      ESF?    2017-03-28   -
27 Rizhao       598   Hp        ?       2017-04-01   -

HdZh...Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard
Hp.....Huangpu Shipyard

NSF....North Sea Fleet
ESF....East Sea Fleet
SSF....South Sea Fleet

Image Gallery

References

  1. 凤凰军事. 2012. 防务短评:054A型护卫舰性能一直被严重低估. [ONLINE] Available at: http://news.ifeng.com/mil/4/detail_2012_05/07/14366089_0.shtml. [Accessed 11 September 2017]. []

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