Two 10,000-tonne Type 055 destroyers were launched simultaneously by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) on 3 July in a move that reflects the rapid pace at which China is building this new class of warship. The latest ships are the third and fourth to be launched, with all four entering the water in a little over a year.
The first Type 055 was launched at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard near Shanghai in June 2017 and the second one in April 2018.
The Type 055 destroyers are the largest surface combatants built for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and are an upscaled development of the Type 052D (Luyang III)-class destroyers. The class features an integrated mast in which a number of newly designed planar sensor arrays are installed.
The ships are 180 m long, 20 m wide and will be equipped with 112 vertical launch missile cells. These universal launchers are expected to be outloaded with a mix of HHQ-9 area defence surface-to-air missiles; YJ-18 long-range, anti-ship cruise missiles; CJ-10 land-attack cruise missiles; and torpedo-carrying anti-submarine missiles.
Although Chinese media have previously quoted the displacement as being 10,000 tonnes, it is likely that full-load displacement will be greater – in the region of 12–13,000 tonnes. While this is smaller than that of the US Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers, it is significantly larger than that of the Ticonderoga class.
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