Type 055 Renhai Class

The Type 055 is a new class of multirole missile destroyer (DDG) currently under construction for the PLA Navy. The U.S. DoD has referred to the vessel as ‘Renhai’ class and classified it as a missile cruiser (CG) rather than destroyer. With an estimated displacement of 10,000 t, the Type 055 is the largest surface combatant ever introduced by the PLA Navy. At least four hulls are currently under construction in Dalian and Shanghai, with the first-of-class launched at the Jiangnan Shipyard on 28 June 2017.

Type: Multirole missile destroyer (DDG) / Missile cruiser (CG). Designer: CSIC China Ship Design & Research Centre (701 Institute). Builders: CSSC Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., CSIC Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd. IOC: Expected 2019. Number: 4+ planned, 1 launched

Programme

Speculations began in late 2014 that the PLA Navy was constructing a new class of destroyer, unofficially referred to as the “large destroyer” (大驱), with a displacement of over 10,000 t. The 2015 U.S. DoD report on the PRC military development also confirmed that the new destroyer, designated Type 055, was under construction. Satellite images confirmed that by 2017 at least four hulls of the Type 055 were under construction at two locations, the Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning Province and Jiangnan-Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai.

The first-of-class was launched at Jiangnan-Changxing on 28 June 2017. A report by the military-run China Military Online described the ship as “a new type of 10,000 t-class destroyer that was wholly indigenously developed, featuring breakthroughs in a range of key technologies including large surface vessel design, information integration, and construction methodology; equipped with new anti-aircraft, anti-missile, anti-ship, and anti-submarine weapons; with strong information and situational awareness, air/missile defence, and surface strike capabilities”. The report also attributed the new destroyer as “a symbol in the PLA Navy’s strategic transformation and development, marking a new phase in China’s destroyer development, with significance in optimising the navy’s equipment systems, developing a strong modern naval force, and achieving the China Dream and Strong Military Dream”.1

TV images of the Type 055 first-of-class launch ceremony showed the vessel to feature a ‘clean’ superstructure similar to that of Type 052C/D. The hull and superstructure are sloped to reduce its radar cross section (RCS). Weapon arrangement on the bow deck is almost identical to that of Type 052C/D, with an H/PJ-45A single-barrel 130 mm/70-calibre naval gun at front, a vertical launching system (VLS) in the middle, and a Type 1130 11-barrelled close-in weapon system (CIWS) just forward of the bridge. An integrated mast incorporates the various sensors, electronic intelligence (ELINT), and electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment.

The Type 055 is equipped with a 128-cell (some sources suggested 112-cell) VLS, with two VLS grids are installed on the bow deck in front of the bridge and amidships forward of the helicopter hangar respectively. The VLS is capable of firing a range of missiles from its universal rectangle-shaped missile cells, using either a ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ launch method. Missiles that can be carried by the destroyer include the HHQ-9 long-range SAM, HHQ-16 medium-range SAM, HHQ-10 short-range SAM, YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM), and possibly the DF-10 land-attack cruise missile (LACM).

Design

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 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 1130 close-in weapon system (CIWS). The HHQ-10 utilises a 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.

The Type 1130 CIWS consists of the H/PJ-11 11×30 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 11-barrelled H/PJ-11 gun has a firing rate of nearly 10,000 rounds/min, with a maximum firing range of 3,500 m against aircraft and 2,500 m against anti-ship missile.

Anti-Ship

The Type 055 will be able to fire the YJ-18 ASCM 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.

Sensors

The Type 055 is equipped with a new active phased array radar (APAR) system, consisting of four larger flat arrays working in the S/C-band, and four smaller arrays working in the X-band. The dual-band radar system incorporates a variety of functionalities including air/sea surveillance, target acquisition, and fire-control previously performed by different radar systems, avoiding electromagnetic interferences and allowing an integrated intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability. The radar system is also believed to be capable of detecting ballistic missile targets and guiding missile interceptors, providing the Type 055 destroyer with the ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability.

Propulsion

The destroyer’s propulsion is said to be in the form of COGOG, consisting of four indigenous gas turbines each rated at 40,230 hp (30 MW).

Ship List

Name        No.     Builder   Fleet   Launched     Commissioned
-----------------------------------------------------------------
?           ?       Jn        ?       2017-06-28   -
Jn.....Jiangnan Shipyard
Dl.....Dalian Shipyard
NSF....North Sea Fleet
ESF....East Sea Fleet
SSF....South Sea Fleet

Image Gallery

References

  1. China Military Online. 2017. 我国新型万吨级驱逐舰首舰下水. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.81.cn/jmywyl/2017-06/28/content_7655453.htm. [Accessed 4 September 2017]. []

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