The first stretched variant of China’s Luyang III (Type 052D) destroyer class was launched in early July at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard near Shanghai. The ship, which is the 14th Type 052D to be built overall, is 4 m longer than its predecessors, resulting in a 4 m larger flight deck. The size of the hangar remains unchanged.
Satellite imagery captured on 16 July shows the ship afloat in the fitting-out basin, together with a Type 055 destroyer that was launched in April, three other Type 052D destroyers, and 10 Yuyi (Type 726)-class air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC).
The Type 052D’s increase in size is likely to be in preparation for a navalised version of the Harbin Z-20 helicopter being introduced into service.
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