Type 054 or Jiangkai I, is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates that were commissioned in the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2005, to replace the Type 053H3 frigates.
The Type 054 guided missile frigate was built only two before being succeeded by the Type 054A with more power. At the end of 2019, Chinese media published pictures of the Type 054 frigate number 525 Ma’anshan as it was brought to the Hudong Shipyard for modernization. It is expected that after completion, the Type 054s will be no different from the Type 054A.
The Type 054 resembled the French La Fayette-class frigates in shape and displacement. The vessel has a stealthy hull design with sloped surfaces, radar absorbent materials, and a reduced superstructure clutter.
Type 054 has a full load displacement of 3,900 tons, a length of 134m, a beam of 16m and a draft of 5m. The Chinese used French, or French-derived, electronics and weapons. The French exported these systems to China in the 1980s, and later granted production licences. These systems were similar to those used on the La Fayettes in the 1980s. The succeeding Type 054A frigates incorporated a larger proportion of more-advanced indigenous systems.
The two ships of the Type 054 class are powered by a Combined diesel and diesel Propulsion systems, consisting of 4× SEMT Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesels, with 7,600 hp each. Type 054 can reach a maximum speed of 27 knots, with an estimated range of 8,025 nautical miles.
Compared to the upgraded Type 054A, it is easy to see that the equipment of the Type 054 is much inferior. The Type 054’s air search radar is a Type 363S 2D, only detects targets with a maximum range of 112 km, and the accuracy is not entirely reliable. Compared to the 3D Fregat M2EM on the Type 054A with a reconnaissance range of 300 km, it is clear that the capacity of the Type 054 cannot be compared.