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China launches two more Type 052D destroyers, another Type 056 corvette

13 May 2019
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The two most recently launched Type 052Ds are seen here in the dry dock closest to the water a few days prior to launch at Dalian. Also visible, but afloat, are a Type 055 and 052D destroyer launched a few months ago, while at the rear of the dry dock are a Type 055 and 052D that are currently under construction. Source: Via haohanfw

Two Type 052D (Luyang III)-class destroyers were launched at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (DSIC) yard in northeastern China on 10 May. The ships are the fourth and fifth of the class to be built in Dalian and are assessed to be the 19th and 20th overall, with most vessels of the class having been built at the Jiangnan shipyard in Changxingdao.

Photographs recently published on Chinese online forums confirmed that the launches had taken place, in contrast to the most recent launch at Changxingdao, which online forums reported as having taken place on 15 April, but of which no images or any official confirmation have emerged.

The two Dalian-built Type 052Ds were launched by flooding the graving dock in which they had been constructed. This is the same dock from which two of the larger Type 055 destroyers were simultaneously launched in July 2018. This dock can accommodate the construction of four destroyers concurrently, and when the Type 055s were floated out, the latest two Type 052D destroyers were in the rear section of the dock, separated by removable caissons. They were subsequently moved to the front section of the dock.

The rear portion of the dock is currently occupied by another Type 052D and a Type 055, both of which are under construction. It is expected that these two ships will now be moved forward and will subsequently be launched simultaneously, probably in 2020. Modules of another Type 055 are already on the dockside, and it is likely that construction of the Type 055, with another Type 052D alongside it, will commence in the rear section of the dock as soon as the current hulls are moved forward.

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