The seventh improved Dongdiao-class (Type 815A) intelligence collection ship (AGI) on order for China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was launched on 8 September at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai.
The ship is the sixth of the class to be launched since March 2014, with the previous hull entering the water in February 2017. All the ships of the improved Dongdiao class – as well as the original Type 815 – have been built at Hudong-Zhonghua, and it is anticipated that more will be constructed.
The 6,000 tonne (6,614 ton) ships are 130 m (426.5 ft) long with a beam of 16 m and are fitted with three or four very large and highly distinctive radomes that enclose the antennas.
The appearance of the fifth Type 815A hull differs from that of the previous ships of the class due to the installation of a cylindrical ‘Top Hat’ radome on the bridge roof.
Satellite imagery suggests that hull six is configured similarly. No antenna or radome has yet been installed on top of the bridge of the most recently launched ship.
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