03 March 2021
by Andrew Tate
Video footage released by Chinese state-owned media on 2 March indicates that another Type 052D (Luyang III)-class destroyer has entered service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
A screengrab from video footage released by CNR on 2 March showing stretched Type 052D (Luyang III)-class destroyer Huainan during recently conducted exercises in the Yellow Sea. Huainan ’s participation, along with seven other warships, confirms that the vessel is now service with the PLAN. (Via CRN/China Central Television)
The video, which was posted on the China National Radio (CNR) website, shows the vessel – believed to have been named Huainan – along with seven other relatively new vessels from the PLAN’s North Sea Fleet taking part in what the media outlet said was a five-day training exercise in the Yellow Sea.
The other ships included at least three Type 052D destroyers and several Type 056/056A (Jiangdao)-class corvettes. CNR said the training was designed to improve the combat preparedness of the crew.
The latest Type 052D destroyer to enter PLAN service bears pennant number 123 and is the fourth of the ‘stretched’ variant, which is commonly referred to as the Type 052DL. These ships are 4 m longer than the original variant and consequently have a larger flight deck. It is likely that this is required to operate the naval variant of the Z-20 helicopter, which is undergoing development trials, although there has been no indication to date that the helicopter has completed the first deck landing at sea.
A report on Huainan’s entry into service on the sina.com website also noted that another stretched Type 052D – Suzhou
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Video footage released by Chinese state-owned media on 2 March indicates that another Type 052D (Luy...