Kaiyangxing is believed to be the latest hull of the Type 815 (NATO code name: Dongdiao class) seagoing naval surveillance ship, which is capable of operating in all-weather, day/night conditions to gather electronic and signal intelligence (ELINT and SIGNINT) of surface targets. The ship’s large radome near the stern is believed to be used for ballistic missile tracking.
The Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard began to construct the Type 815 seagoing naval surveillance ship for the PLA Navy in the late 1990s, with a single hull Beijixing (851) constructed. This was followed by the improved Type 815A, with four hulls launched between 2009 and 2014: Tianwangxing (853), Tianlangxing (854), 855, and Haiwangxing (852).
In June last year, PLA Navy surveillance ship 855, a sister ship of the latest hull, briefly entered Japanese territorial waters.