Chinese Navy Sails New Destroyers in South China Sea Amid Military Shipbuilding Frenzy

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Sailors stand on the deck of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy 052D Taiyuan type guided missile destroyer as it participates in a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Navy PLA in the sea near Qingdao, eastern China’s Shandong Province on April 23, 2019. China celebrated the 70th anniversary of its navy by showing off its growing fleet during a sea parade highlighting featured a brand new guided missile destroyer. Mark Schiefelbein, AFP pool / dossier

The Chinese navy is sailing its new destroyers in the South China Sea as its shipbuilding frenzy continues, state media reported.

The Nanning, a new type of 052D guided missile destroyer, made its public debut in a full-blown four-day combat training exercise in the South China Sea after entering service with the People’s Army Navy release (PLAN), the official website of the PLA said.

The Nanning, with hull number 162, was pictured joining the Type 901 Full Supply Ship Chaganhu and Type 071 Amphibious Landing Ship Qilianshan from PLA South Theater Command to conduct an exercise in disputed waters which are also claimed by five other nations.

“After acquiring combat capabilities, Nanning, based in the South China Sea, will play an important role in safeguarding China’s territorial integrity, national sovereignty and development interests,” the newspaper said. ‘State Global Times.

The Nanning was reportedly commissioned in April at the port of Zhanjiang in Guangdong province and is the third in its class to enter service in 2021, after the Suzhou and the Huainan, bringing the number of 052D type vessels to 18. service.

Meanwhile, two more ships have been pictured completing their sea trials, suggesting they will soon be delivered to the Chinese Navy.

Type 052D – or Luyang III class as NATO calls it – was designed to match the Arleigh-Burke class destroyers of the US Navy. It is equipped with radars and advanced electronics comparable to the American Aegis system, as well as vertical missile launchers with 64 cells. The first ship of its class entered service in 2014 and in August 2020 the 25th Type 052D was launched.

Nanning is part of the improved version of the 7,500-ton guided missile destroyer, the second-largest destroyer in PLAN after the Type 055.

Sometimes also referred to as Type 052DL, the variant features an extended rear helicopter cockpit and new radar to enhance its anti-submarine and anti-stealth capabilities.

In addition to Type 052D, the PLA Navy has also planned at least eight Type 055 destroyers – two in service and six under construction. This year it should have at least three more delivered.

The expansion of the Chinese navy is so rapid that it lacks names for its new warships. According to PLAN’s ship naming rules, type 052D and 055 ships should be named after major cities, such as provincial capitals.

However, Nanning, the capital of Guangxi province, was the last name available. Future ships will have to be named after smaller towns.

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ANC, Chinese Navy, South China Sea, SCMP, South China Morning Post, Chinese Navy Expansion, Chinese Warships, Military Shipbuilding, Nanning Missile Destroyer


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