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PLAN's second Type 055-class destroyer enters service

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has commissioned its second Type 055 (Renhai)-class guided-missile destroyer, according to reports by Chinese state-owned media published on 7 March.

Although the reports are clear that Lhasa – named after the capital city of the autonomous region of Tibet – is now in service, no precise details were given as to when and where the commissioning ceremony took place, nor have any photos or video footage been released. However, the media reports assert that the ship (with pennant number 102) has joined the North Sea Fleet.

The deputy mayor of the city of Lhasa visited the ship in Qingdao on 2 March. Reports of the visit were accompanied by a video clip that showed some of the ship’s internal spaces as well as its crest and name panel, the latter of which also confirmed the destroyer’s pennant number.

Lhasa , which was built at the Jiangnan Changxingdao shipyard, was launched on 28 April 2018. A further six destroyers of the class have since been launched and are currently either undergoing sea trials or fitting-out and setting-to-work. Four of these were built by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (DSIC), which is the second shipyard involved in their construction.

The full-load displacement of the Type 055 destroyers is estimated to be more than 12,000 tonnes, which is larger than the 10,000 tonne displacement of the cruisers of the US Navy’s Ticonderoga class. Furthermore, the Type 055 is equipped with 112 vertical missile silos that can be used to launch anti-air, anti-ship, and anti-submarine guided weapons, as well as land-attack cruise missiles, giving it the potential to be a very powerful warship.

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