The Sovremenny class, also known by the Soviet name Project 956 Sarych. The class was designed to complement the Udaloy-class destroyers

Sovremenny is a class of destroyer in the service of the Soviet Navy, and now the Russian Navy, with the main task of anti-surface ships, and capable of participating in close and long-range naval battles with superior capabilities. Currently, the Russian Navy has only 2 operating ships, Bystryy and Admiral Ushakov, while Nastoychivyy is undergoing overhaul. Sovremenny is also active in the Chinese Navy, with four ships.

For the Chinese Navy, in the 1990s, a total of four Sovremenny-class destroyers were purchased. These are their most powerful surface warships for a long time, dubbed the 4 diamonds of the East China Sea. However, before the rapid development of the Chinese Navy, these 4 ships quickly became obsolete, while the exploitation time was not long, so they planned to fully modernize them.

Sovremenny-class Destroyer
China Sovremenny-class Destroyer

Most recently, for the first time, the PLA Navy displayed the newly installed YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile launchers on Hangzhou, one of four destroyers. According to Chinese media, the YJ-12 is almost impossible to intercept because its fast speed only leaves the enemy with a mere 10 or so seconds to attempt an intercept.

As part of the modernization program to upgrade the warship delivered by Russia in 1999, eight YJ-12 anti-ship missiles replaced the original eight Russian-made Sunburn missiles, a 32-unit vertical launch missile system for the HQ-16 air defense missiles, that replaced the original two sets of Shtil air defense missile systems, and the ship’s electronic systems were also comprehensively upgraded, Chinese media reported.

China’s domestically developed advanced weapons and equipment significantly enhances the ship’s combat capability, as China’s related technologies nowadays have far surpassed that of Russia’s when the ships were delivered, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times.


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