The PLA Navy received two Type 052B (NATO reporting name: Luyang class) multirole missile destroyers in 2004. Built by the Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Corporation, Type 052B is equipped with a combination of indigenous and Russian-made weapon systems and sensors. The destroyers are primarily tasked with anti-surface and anti-submarine roles, but they could also play a fleet air defence role.
In 1991, the PLA Navy began to develop the concept of the Type 052B air defence missile destroyer as a successor to Type 052. The new-generation destroyer was to be equipped with a shipborne version of the indigenous HQ-9 SAM and a phased array radar (PAR) system with over 200 km detection range. However, delays in the development of the HQ-9 and PAR system led to the decision to import the Russian MR-710 Fregat (NATO reporting name: ‘Top Plate’) radar and Shtil (SA-N-12 ‘Grizzly’) SAM to equip Type 052B, while the indigenous systems were to be incorporated on the later Type 052C.
Construction of the first-of-class, DDG-168 Guangzhou, began in early 2000 and the vessel was launched on 23 May 2002. It was then stationed at Jiangnan Shipyard since then for system installations. The sea trial began in May 2003, and the vessel was officially commissioned by the PLA Navy on 15 July 2004. The second hull DDG-169 Wuhan was launched in January 2003 and commissioned in late 2004. Both vessels are being deployed by the 9th Destroyer Flotilla of the PLA Navy South Sea Fleet (SSF).
Type 052B differs significantly to the European-influenced surface combatants commissioned previously by the PLA Navy. The destroyer is comparable in size and capabilities to the Russian Project 956 Sovremenny class, with similar weapon systems and sensors. Russian contributions to Type 052B include the 9M317 Shtil (NATO reporting name: SA-N-12 ‘Grizzly’) medium-range SAM, MR90 (‘Front Dome’) SAM fire-control radar, Fregat-MAE-5 (‘Top Plate’) 3D air/surface search radar, and Mineral-ME (‘Band Stand’) ASCM supporting datalink. Additionally, the vessel is powered by two Ukraine-made DA80/DN80 gas turbines.
In August 2005, DDG-168 Guangzhou took part in the Sino-Russia joint exercise in its debut deployment. In 2007, DDG-168 Guangzhou and AO-887 Weishanhu visited Russia, United Kingdom, Spain, and France. In December 2008, DDG-169 Wuhan was among the first task force of three Chinese warships to be deployed to the Gulf of Aden for counter-piracy operations. In March 2010, DDG-168 Guangzhou was also deployed to the Gulf of Aden for counter-piracy operations.
Type 052B has a standard displacement of 5,850 t. The vessel’s hull design incorporates strong radar signature reduction features such as the sloped sides and reduced external features. The hull surface is coated in radar-absorbent paint. The funnel also has cooling devices to reduce the ship’s infrared feature. There is a stern flight deck and a helicopter hanger to accommodate one Ka-28 ASW helicopter.
Type 052B is equipped with two Russian-made SAM launchers, one located on the bow deck behind the 100-mm main gun, and one on top of the helicopter hanger. The launchers can fire the 9M317 (other sources suggested 9M38M2) Shtil / SA-N-12 ‘Grizzly’ semi-active radar-homing, medium-range air-defence missile, with 48 missiles carried onboard. The missile’s maximum range is 38 km against aircraft and 20 km against anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM).
The destroyer is armed with sixteen YJ-83 subsonic sea-skimming ASCM. Four quadruple launchers are 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-87 single-barrel 100-mm gun developed by 713 Institute. Resembling the French Creusot-Loire T100C in design, the gun can be used against surface targets and air targets such as aircraft and low speed missile, with a maximum rate of fire of 90 rounds/min. The gun can be operated in fully automatic mode from the radar control system, from the shipborne optical sighting system, or laid manually.
There are two indigenous Type 730 CIWS installed at the mid-ship position on either side of the bridge. The seven barrels of the Type 730 provide a firing rate of 4,600—5,800 rounds/minute and a maximum firing range of 3,000 m. Each CIWS has its own independent power-supply and a Type 347G (EFR-1) fire-control radar and an electro-optic director.
Type 052B has two triple 324-mm torpedo launchers (B.515S copy) for the Yu-7 (Mk-46 Mod 1) 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 FQF-3200 six-barrel 240-mm antisubmarine rocket launchers, with 36 rounds. The Type 81G rocket-propelled depth charge has a maximum range of 1,200 m and is armed with a 34 kg warhead.
The Russian-made Fregat-MAE-5 (‘Top Plate’) 3D air search radar, operating at E-band, is mounted at the top of the forward mast. The radar has a maximum detect range of 230 km to aircraft and 50 km to sea-skimming missile, and possesses the capability of tracking 40 targets simultaneously.
There is also a large round radome mounted at the top of the rear mast, housing the indigenous Type 364 (SR64) surface search radar.
Four Russian MR90 (NATO reporting name: ‘Front Dome’) F-band radars (two at the top of the bridge, two on the roof of the helicopter hanger) developed by the Russian Altair Marine Radio-Electronics Research Institute JSC provide guidance for the Shtil / SA-N-12 SAM. Each radar can provide two channels to guide two missiles simultaneously.
An indigenous Type 344 (MR34) fire-control radar operating at I/J-band is mounted at the top of bridge immediately in front of the forward mast to provide fire-control for the 100-mm main gun.
A large round radome installed on top of the bridge houses the Russian Mineral-ME (NATO reporting name: ‘Band Stand’) radar that provides the YJ-83 ASCM control and over-the-horizon radar acquisition and target designation of surface ships.
Each Type 730 CIWS is fitted with an indigenous Type 347G (EFR-1) fire-control radar (6 km detection range against airborne targets of RCS 0.1m2) and an electro-optic director (5—6 km tracking range).
Type 052B is also fitted with a hull-mounted medium-frequency sonar for active/passive search and attack.
The destroyer’s countermeasures suite includes active/passive jamming ECM systems and four Type 726-4 18-barrelled 122mm decoy launchers for chaffs and infrared flares.
Combat Data System
The ZJK-5 combat system onboard Type 052B is thought to be an improved variant of that onboard Type 051B. The ZJK-5 is based on the MIL-1553B military data bus and the 100Mbps Ethernet technology. The multi-channel defence suite is capable of engaging several targets simultaneously. The vessel also has satellite communications (SATCOM) and Link 11 secure tactical data link.
The destroyer’s stern hanger accommodates one Kamov Ka-28 (NATO codename: Helix) antisubmarine warfare (ASW) helicopter. Carrying various weapons including torpedoes and deep charges, the helicopter can operate in all weather conditions up to 200 km from the host ship. Alternatively, the destroyer can carry an indigenous Z-9C helicopter.
The destroyer’s propulsion is in the form of CODOG, consisting of two Ukraine Zorya-Mashproekt DN80 gas turbines rated at 48,600 hp and two Shaanxi diesels (Chinese copy of the MTU 20V956TB92) rated at 8,840 hp (6.5 MW), giving a maximum speed of 29 knots.
Displacement:......5,850 t (standard); 6,500 t (full load) Length:............154 m Beam:..............17 m Draft:.............6 m Speed..............30 knots Range:.............N/A Crew:..............280
|Guangzhou||168||Jiangnan||South Sea||23 May 2002||15 July 2004||–|
|Wuhan||169||Jiangnan||South Sea||Oct 2002||Dec 2004||–|