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China Commissions Second Advanced Destroyer

An undated photo of Type 52D Luyang III guided missile destroyer Changsha.

An undated photo of Type 52D Luyang III guided missile destroyer Changsha.

China has commissioned its second Luyang III guided missile destroyer as part of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) ongoing surface force expansion.

The Type 052D Luyang III class guided missile destroyer Changsha (173) commissioned in the last several weeks according to images that have emerged on the Chinese language Internet and reported by Jane’s Defence Weekly.

“Although launched only four months after first-of-class Kunming (172), it was commissioned 16 months later, suggesting an extensive program of trials,” wrote Jane’s.

The 7,500 ton surface combatant is part of a planned class of ten ships that reflect trends in U.S. and European guided missile combatant designs.

The first of the People's Army Liberation Navy Type 052D Luyang III destroyer. PLAN Photo

The first of the People’s Army Liberation Navy Type 052D Luyang III destroyer. PLAN Photo

The ships are centered around the Type 346 Dragon Eye radar active electronically scanned array (AESA) and a new vertical launch system (VLS) capable of fielding the new YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) and an improved version of the HHQ-9 surface-to-air warfare missile and a future land attack missilee.

In particular, the Dragon Eye will expand the ability of the PLAN to operate further afield.

“While some older platforms with little or no air defense capability remain in the PLA(N) inventory, the addition of these new units allows the PLA(N) surface force to operate with increased confidence outside of shore-based air defense systems, as one or two ships are equipped to provide air defense for the entire task group,” read an April assessment of the PLAN by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).
“These modern, high-end combatants will likely provide increased weapons stores and overall flexibility as surface action groups venture more frequently into blue water in the coming years.”

While the ships appear the equivalent of U.S. and Western combatants, the capabilities of the ship is still an open question.

“They are getting closer and closer to advanced naval weapon system in appearance,” Eric Wertheim, author of Naval Institute’s Guide to Combat Fleets of the World told USNI News last year.
“But are they really as good as they look? We really don’t know.”

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Categories: Budget Industry, Foreign Forces, News & Analysis, Surface Forces
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Fong Mij

    Made in china? I am not amaze.

    • Ctrot

      Designed in the US, stolen by China.

      • Just me, Banlas

        Designed in China, made in China.

        • dan

          No way. Why design it when you can steal it.

          • Business Cat

            Right down to the ‘Goalkeeper’ CIWS knockoff we can see on her deck

          • Secundius

            @ Business Cat.

            I never said the Equipment on the Ship ISN’T a Counterfeit Copy from Someone. Even the Version of the RAM Launcher is a copy. But Overall Design, Appears to be Their’s…

          • Secundius

            @ dan.

            According to IHS Jane’s 360 Defense, the PLAN Type 052D “Luyang III” most likely IS an Indigenous Design. Sorry. Sec…

          • dan

            I can eat crow.

          • Simon

            If China can steal everything, China don’t need to build her weaponry but just go to US to steal her missiles, fighter planes, warships and bring home. LOL.

        • Ctrot

          China hasn’t developed an original idea in centuries.

    • dan

      The way you typed your response, you even question it was made in China, you probably ment (built) right and also you probably ment amazed right?

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  • Curtis Conway

    The fact of the matter is the Chinese are cracking out Real Surface Combatants like hotcakes . . . and we are building LCS?! These two do not ever want to meat on the high seas in any circumstances other than congenial. The LCS will lose any contest of arms . . . and we have been PLANNING it this way for . . . how long?!

    • Ken N

      We are still cranking out Burke destroyers in numbers the Chinese will have a hard time matching. Flight 3 versions go into production next year I believe.

      • Ctrot

        Not so sure about that, China has plans to commission 12 Type 52D’s in the next 4 years.

        • Ken N

          We have about 70 DDG’s right now in service or building..not sure how many more are planned.

      • Curtis Conway

        Gotta have the Burkes, particularly the Flt-IIIs. I would like to see the force grow via sacrificing every other Burke for two Aegis Guided Missile Frigates based upon the NSC hull. The proposed A-Spec is on EagleSpeak.

  • Rob C.

    Carbon copy visually of a Burke Class DDG, Question is how good is it aside from it’s American look resemblance. I hope we don’t have find out the hard way. Wake up Congress, let the Navy build real ships.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    I do believe it’s the Arleigh Burke class ship Changsha!

  • Ed L

    The Burkes are a fine platform. but we need a fighing Frigate not the LCS and what about the TICO class Cruisers? Four of those 27 are in Layup. 7 were supposed to be retired during the last 2 years. But the Government is shifted the Ballistic Missle Defense onto the US Navy. Maybe we should be Hybrids like the Boston or Galveston Class Missile cruisers. But with 5 or 8 inch guns fore and aft. A and X full auto gun Then VLS behind each gun mount. and lace the sides with a mixer of 76MM CIWS, 25MM, 50 cal. etc.. Make them 700 feet by 100 ft. Yes, I like Guns on a ship, The more the better. Hey, what is the Air Force doing?

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