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New vessels taking part in exercises

By ZHAO LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-04-26 07:58
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FILE PHOTO: The PLA Navy conducts exercises. [Photo/Xinhua]

Missile destroyers, assault ship latest additions to growing PLA Navy fleet

The People's Liberation Army Navy has recently commissioned at least two Type 055-class guided-missile destroyers and a Type 075-class amphibious assault ship.

In videos published by the PLA Navy on Saturday, the fourth and fifth Type 055 destroyers-CNS Anshan and CNS Wuxi-and the second Type 075 vessel-CNS Guangxi-were unveiled with introductions that they have already taken part in combat exercises.

The videos were released to mark the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the Navy on April 23,1949, in Baimamiao township of Jiangsu province. In 1989, April 23 was designated as the Navy's foundation day.

Developed and built by China State Shipbuilding Corp, the Type 055 is the country's latest generation of guided-missile destroyer class. It has a displacement of more than 12,000 metric tons and is equipped with new types of air-defense, missile-defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.

The vessel has a total of 112 vertical launching cells capable of firing various kinds of missiles including the nation's long-range land-attack cruise missile. Its firepower is believed to be double that of the Type 052D class, the largest and most powerful surface combatant in the Navy before the Type 055.

The Type 055 is often deemed as its own class of cruiser outside China because of its large size and heavy displacement. Western analysts claim that it is around 180 meters long and 21 m wide, based on satellite images.

Li Jie, a senior researcher from the PLA Navy, said the vessel displaces about 13,000 tons of water-comparable to that of the United States' Ticonderoga-class cruiser.

The first in this class-CNS Nanchang-was delivered to the Navy in January 2020. The second and third-CNS Lhasa and CNS Dalian-were commissioned last year.

Observers said four out of the five Type 055s are operated by the North Sea Fleet, a fact that indicates the Qingdao-headquartered fleet has become the new center of the Navy's modernization drive. The addition of the four Type 055s has extensively improved the fleet's comprehensive combat capability and its operational range, they said.

The Guangxi, the second Type 075 amphibious assault ship, is taking part in intensive training and exercises, according to the Navy.

In one clip, it can be seen deploying hovercraft and amphibious vehicles in an undisclosed sea area.

The first in the class-CNS Hainan-was commissioned on April 23, 2021.

The Type 075 is the country's first class of amphibious assault ship. Chinese media have reported that each Type 075 is about 250 m long, around 30 m wide, and displaces nearly 40,000 tons. Such ships are tasked with transporting helicopters and amphibious vehicles to conduct amphibious operations.

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