China Launches Two More Type 052DL Destroyers in Dalian

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Two Type 052DL class destroyers were launched at Dalian Shipyard, according to images shared on social media. The new ships will be the Chinese Navy’s 27th and 28th Type 052D destroyers.

The launched destroyers are two of five hulls spotted at the same dock, indicating that five destroyers are being built at the same time. Three additional destroyers are reportedly expected to be launched in the following months.

About Type 052D Destroyer

Type 052D Destroyer of the PLAN conducting ASW operations with its variable depth sonar.

The Type 052D Kunming-class (Nato designation: Luyang III) is one of the latest generation of guided-missile destroyer (DDG) of the Chinese Navy. It is based on its predecessor, the Type 052C DDG and likely shares the same hull. However the Type 052D incorporates many improvements in terms of design as well as sensors and weapons fit. This modern class of vessel is considered as the Chinese equivalent to the American AEGIS destroyers.

The vessels are still being built for the PLAN by two shipyards: Jiangnan-Changxing shipyard and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company. The first vessel of of the class, Kunming (hull number 172), was commissioned in March 2014.

Displacing 7,500 tons (full load), the class has a length of 157 meters, a beam of 17.2 meters, a draft of 6.2 meters and a crew complement of 280 sailors.

The Type 052D is intended for the high seas. It shares almost the same platform as its predecessor, the Type 052C, but has more advanced combat systems and illustrates perfectly the Chinese military’s “Run fast with small steps” approach in their weapons development.

The ships are equipped with a total of 64 vertical launch system (VLS) cells for:

  • HHQ-9 surface to air missiles
  • Yu-8 rocket propelled ASW torpedo
  • YJ-18 tactical cruise missiles

Four modules are located forward of the ship in front of the superstructure, four others aft, in front of the helicopter hangar. These destroyers are also armed with a H/PJ-45A 130mm main gun, a H/PJ-12 30mm CIWS (first 8 ships in class are fitted with the older variant: H/PJ11), HQ-10 short range SAM and two triple torpedo launchers

The powerful sensor suite consists in Type 346A, Type 364, Type 366, Type 517B and Type 760 radars, a SJD-9 hull mounted sonar and a SJG-311 variable depth sonar.

According to a presentation by a Vice Admiral of the PLAN in August 2017, the combat capability of a Type 052D is “1.6 times greater” than that of a Type 052C, knowing that the leading ships of these two classes of Chinese destroyer were launched with an interval of only 9 years.

Type 052DL

Type 052D Type 052DL compared
Type 052D (top) compared to Type 052DL (bottom). Note the stretched hangar and helicopter deck as well as different air search radar (aft).

The “DL” variant was introduced from the 14th ship in the class, Zibo (淄博) with pennant 156: The hull of the destroyer is longer by about 4 meters. This extra length involves primarily its hangar and helicopter deck at the stern of the ship. The modifications were introduced in order to accommodate the new Z-20 helicopter.

Displacing 7,700 tons (full load), the class has a length of 162 meters, a beam of 17.2 meters, a draft of 6.2 meters and a crew complement of 280 sailors.

Source: Naval News