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China Launched the 30th (and last ?) Type 054A Frigate for the PLAN

Our colleagues from East Pendulum are reporting that the Huangpu Wenchong Shipyard of the Chinese naval group CSSC launched a Type 054A frigate for People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) on June 30, 2018. This is the 15th frigate of this class (designated Jiangkai II-class by NATO) built in this shipyard, located in Guangzhou in Southern China, and the 30th overall in the series. This is the 13th vessel launched for the PLAN in 2018 (close to 100,000 tons for the first haf of the year) showing once again the fast pace of China's naval shipbuilding industry.

Since September 30, 2006, the two shipyards in charge of building this frigate (CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua and CSSC Huangpu Wenchong) launched a Type 054A hull every four months and ten days on average. Twenty-six of them have have already been commissioned, making the class the backbone of the PLAN surface fleet. Type 054A Frigate are regularly deployed on all PLAN patrol areas: Chinese coast, Mediterranean, African coasts, South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

The 4,000-ton Type 054A Frigate may not feature the latest naval defense technologies when compared to its European and Japanese counterparts (built in smaller series in both cases) but it was primarily designed to find the best compromise between cost, capabilities and maintainability in order to meet the growing blue water needs of the PLAN.

While the initial order was for twenty-four ships, then revised to twenty-eight, it is thirty Type 054A frigates that have finally been built. According to rumors, the program will now give way to its successor: The Type 054B featuring a full electric propulsion systems. However, according to East Pendulum, nothing indicated that additional will not be added to "fill the gap" for the PLAN, in addition to the four export variants that have been ordered by the Pakistani navy.


Type 054A Frigate ::

The Type 054A is 140 meters long with a displacement of 4,000 tonnes full load. The ship has a range of over 4,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots.

Based on the Type 054 Frigates, the Type 054A incorporates a larger number of more-advanced indigenous systems. The first of class entered service with the PLAN in January 2008.

Type 054A Frigates are fitted with 32 VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells for HQ-16 surface to air missiles, 8x YJ-83 (export designation C-803) anti-ship missiles, a H/PJ-26 76mm main gun, two H/PJ12 seven-barreled 30mm CIWS guns (for frigates 1 to 16 in the series) or H/PJ11 eleven-barreled 30mm CIWS for new vessels starting with Huanggang (hull number 577) the seventeenth ship of the class. Two triple YU-7 torpedo launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers are fitted for ASW warfare.

For the time being, it is the best anti-submarine anti-submarine platform for the Chinese Navy, with a full ASW suite including a hull sonar, a variable depth towed sonar, a sound control system and submarine communications, as well as torpedoes, ASROC Yu-8 and anti-submarine rockets.

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