These are the 27th and 28th Type 052D ships built to order from the Chinese Navy, launched at the Dalian Shipyard.

According to the Global Times, two more Type 052D guided-missile destroyers were launched on March 10. These are the 27th and 28th ships built to order from the Chinese Navy, launched at the Dalian Shipyard. In addition, this plant is also building three other Type 052D destroyers. According to Chinese media, this new batch of destroyers will have a significantly upgraded radar system compared to the previous ships.

During its operation, the Type 052D destroyer proved to be a reliable warship with mature technology, suitable for mass production. According to Global Times, the Type 052D destroyer is equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar system (AESA) and a vertical missile launcher system (with 64 cells) capable of launching anti-ship missiles and anti-aircraft missiles.

According to some other sources, some Type 052D destroyers have been equipped with stealthy target detection radar, a larger helipad and an improved propulsion system compared to the first generation. Many analysts believe that China’s continued construction of Type 052D destroyers shows that the Chinese Navy is satisfied with the ship’s performance and needs more ships to improve its ability to operate in remote waters.

The Type 052D destroyer is also known as the Luyang III-class destroyer. The class is actually a larger variant of the Type 052C, with more powerful weapon improvements. Chinese warships are built as multi-purpose destroyers that can deal with air, surface, and underwater threats. The first destroyer, the Kunming, was commissioned in 2014.

The Type 052D class has a length of 154m, a beam of 17m, a draft of 6m and a full load displacement of 7,500 tons. To operate, the ship needs a crew of 280. Its layout is slightly different from the previous Type 052C class, its superstructure is inclined in a larger angle to reduce the radar cross section. The Type 052D is designed with a hangar and a helicopter deck at the stern, serving for a single Kamov Ka-28 or Harbin Z-9C helicopter. On either side of the helicopter hangar is an enclosed boat launching system.

The center of the Type 052D is a combination of the Type 346 Dragon Eye active electronic scan array radar system and the Type 518 L-band radars. Functionally, it is similar to the US SPY-1 Aegis radar, which is also installed on the Type 052C destroyers, Type 055 destroyers and Type 001A aircraft carriers. It can detect aerial targets at significant ranges and track multiple targets at the same time. There are reports that Dragon Eye is capable of detecting stealth aircraft such as the F-35, but there’s no firm evidence of that at this point.

In terms of weapons, the Type 052D is the first Chinese surface combatant to use silo-based universal vertical launching system. The silos on the 052D destroyer can be loaded with HQ-9B surface-to-air missiles, CY-5 anti-submarine missiles, and YJ-18 anti-ship missiles, China’s version of the Russian Klub. It may also be equipped with a land attack cruise missile, possibly a naval version of the DF-10. In addition to the silo-based surface-to-air missiles, it also reportedly has a quad pack of DK-10A medium range surface-to-air missiles. It even has a 24 shot anti-submarine decoy system.

The Type 052D has a single 130 mm main gun. For self-defense against missiles, small boats and fast attack craft the Chinese destroyer has two 30 mm 7-barrelled Type 730 close-in weapon system. This was replaced in later units by the larger 11-barrelled Type 1130 close-in weapon system. It can fire at a rate of 10,000 rounds per minute. It is claimed that it can intercept incoming anti-ship missiles up to a speed of Mach 4 with a 96% success rate.

The Type 052D ships are equipped with a combined diesel or gas propulsion system integrating two QC-280 gas turbines and two MTU 20V 956TB92 diesel engines. Each gas turbine generates a power output of 28 megawatt, while each diesel engine develops a maximum power of 6 megawatt. The ship can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots, a range of 7,400 km at 15 knots.

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