The Type 053H3, NATO codename Jiangwei-II, preceded by the Type 053H2G, and succeeded by the Type 054 frigates.

In the context of the US and its allies constantly deploying modern weapons to the Asia-Pacific region, China’s Type 053H3 frigates no longer meet the combat requirements. This forces the Beijing government to come up with options to improve, upgrade, or build new types of ships to increase deterrence. To save money and time, upgrading the Type 053 frigates is one of Beijing’s important options. According to the Global Times, the Type 053H3 frigate, which has undergone a mid-life modernization program, was first seen in early 2020 during an exercise.

The Type 053H3, NATO codename Jiangwei-II, preceded by the Type 053H2G, and succeeded by the Type 054 frigates. A total of 10 frigates have been built, commissioned for the People’s Liberation Army Surface Force in the 1990s and 2000s. According to reports, 2 of them were sold to the Bangladesh Navy. The Type 053 frigate is primarily intended for a coastal patrol role. It can be deployed in anti-air warfare and anti-submarine warfare missions.

Type 053H3 Frigate
Type 053H3 Frigate

Type 053H3 is the next evolution of Type 053H2G. The frigate is identical to its predecessor in size and arrangement, but fitted with advanced weapon systems and sensors. The frigate has a length of 114.5m, a beam of 12.4m and a draft of 3.6m. The full load displacement is 2,393t, and can complement a crew of 170.

The most obvious visual distinction between Jiangwei I & II are: The Jiangwei II’s have HQ-7 instead of HQ-61B SAMs, 8 C-802 anti-ship missiles instead of 6, and aft AAA mounts elevated compared to the Jiangwei I. The Type 053H3 class was briefly equipped with HQ-61B SAM system before being replaced by HQ-7 during upgrade, and some sources claim that the upgraded version is also called Type 057.

The Propulsion is a combined diesel and diesel arangement. Four 18E390VA diesel engines driving two controllable pitch propellers via two shafts provide a maximum speed of 27kt and range of 4,000nm at 18kt.

After a mid-life upgrade, the Type 053H3 had replaced its old HHQ-7 short-range surface-to-air missile with the more advanced HHQ-10 anti-aircraft missile system. It is also equipped with a new type of close-in weapon system, believed to be developed from the Russian AK-630 naval close-in weapon system based on a six-barreled 30 mm rotary cannon. After the midlife modernization program, the Type 053H3 has become significantly more powerful.


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