New Chinese destroyers sail in South China Sea amid wave of shipbuilding

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  • The new 052D Nanning guided missile destroyer is the third in its class to enter service this year.
  • The expansion of the Chinese navy is so rapid that it lacks large cities to give the name of some warships.

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.

Chinese Navy Yinchuan Type 052D Destroyer

Chinese Navy Type 052D Destroyer No. 175 Yinchuan enters Hong Kong waters on July 17, 2017.

Roy Issa / South China Morning Post via Getty Images


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 radar 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 the upgraded 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 the Type 052D, the PLA Navy has also planned at least eight Type 055 destroyers – two in service and six under construction. This year he 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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