The Type 051C class, also known as the Luzhou class, was built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company between 2003–2007.
Thirty years ago, the Chinese navy was a coastal defense force with little ability to challenge the US navy, but now the story is different. In the early 2000s, China started building its own designed warships, but many early classes, such as the Type 051C destroyer, still rely heavily on foreign technology, most specifically Russian weapons technology.
The Type 051C class, also known as the Luzhou class, was built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company between 2003–2007. Two ships have been built: Shenyang 115 and Shijiazhuang 116. They are among the first long-range air defense guided missile destroyers built by China in its ongoing effort to create a true blue water navy.
The ships used the hull design of the older Type 051B (Luhai class), but is equipped with the advanced Russian S-300FM air defence missiles systems. Currently, two ships of this class have been launched and deployed by People’s Liberation Army Navy North Sea Fleet.
Type 051C has a displacement of about 7,100 tons, a length of 155 m, a beam of 17.1 m, and a draft of 6 m. Based on Type 051B, 051C lacks the stealth radar cross-section found on modern Chinese warships, but features the latest Russian-built air defence missiles systems.
The Type 051C is a stop gap measure to provide long range area air defense to the fleet by mating the mature hull design with proven SAM system that is more capable than that of the Type 052B destroyer. The ship is armed with the Russian S-300FM air defence missile system. Six vertical launching systems, two below the bow deck and four inside the aft deckhouse, house 48 ready-to-launch 48N6 missiles. The missiles are guided by a Tombstone 3D phased-array target tracking radar. The radar can guide 12 missiles to hit six targets simultaneously. The system can strike airborne targets within a range of 5km-150km.
There are eight YJ-83 anti-ship missiles mounted on the vessel. Using active radar homing, the missile engages surface targets within a 120km range at a speed of Mach 0.9 in sea skimming mode. The missile is powered by a turbojet engine and carries a 165kg time-delayed, semi-armour-piercing, high-explosive warhead. The YJ-83 can also be launched against land based targets.
The ship uses two Type 730 CIWS guns for air defence, which can fire 4,600-5,800 rounds a minute for a maximum range of 3km. The main gun fitted forward is a single-barrel 100mm gun. The gun can fire 90 rounds a minute against surface targets and air targets such as aircraft and low speed incoming missiles.