China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned its latest Jiangdao-class (Type 056A) corvette on 28 November, according to a report published on the service’s navy81.cn website.
Named Suining (with pennant number 551), the 89 m-long vessel entered service at a ceremony held in southern Guangdong Province.
The move took place after Jane’s reported a week earlier that the PLAN appears to have quietly commissioned three corvettes of the same class. A local news report by the Weixin website about the commissioning of Guangyuan (with pennant number 552) was removed shortly after it was posted on 16 November, according to Henri Kenhmann, an experienced observer of Chinese military developments.
Other online sources suggested that a second Type 056 corvette – named Wuhai (with pennant number 540) – had been commissioned into the PLAN’s North Sea Fleet that same day. However, no photographs have yet to emerge of the ceremony, and the event has not been reported by state-owned Chinese media.
In October a number of online sources reported on the commissioning of Yichun (with pennant number 556) – another Type 056 corvette – although no official media sources covered the event and no photographs were released.
From previously openly available information, it had been established that the PLAN was commissioning these ships at an average rate of one every six weeks. In addition to the three ships referred to, a further six Type 056 corvettes have been commissioned this year, including Suining .
In this context, the reported commissionings of the three corvettes since October would sustain this rate and reinforce the likelihood that the ships have indeed entered service with the PLAN.
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