China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned its latest Jiangkai II (Type 054A)-class guided-missile frigate on 12 January, according to a report published on the PLA-sponsored China Military Online website.
Named Rizhao (with pennant number 598), the 134 m long vessel was commissioned into the PLAN’s North Sea Fleet during a ceremony held at a naval port in the city of Dalian in China’s northeastern Liaoning Province.
The 3,500-tonne platform, which is understood to be the 26th frigate of the class to have entered service with the PLAN, was built at the Huangpu shipyard in Guangzhou and launched in April 2017, according to the report.
The announcement came after the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai launched on 16 December the 29th frigate of the class on order for the PLAN.
Each Type 054A vessel is powered by four SEMT Pielstick diesel engines driving two propeller shafts, and has a top speed of 27 kt with a standard range of 3,800 n miles (7,037 km) at 18 kt, according to Jane’s Fighting Ships .
The anti-surface capabilities of these frigates are provided by one 76 mm naval gun, and two quadruple launchers that can launch C-802 anti-ship missiles.
Defence against aerial threats is provided by two Type 730A 30 mm close-in weapon systems (CIWSs) and a foredeck-sited 32-cell vertical launching system (VLS) that can deploy the HHQ-16 medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM).
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