China Launches First Type 054B Frigate: Reports

  • Bureau
  • 10:53 AM, August 29, 2023
  • 990
China Launches First Type 054B Frigate: Reports
Launching of Chinese Navy's Type 054B frigate @via open sources

The Chinese Navy reportedly launched the first Type 054B frigate in Shanghai, on August 26.

The Type 054B is likely equipped to carry land-attack cruise missiles, granting it the ability to strike ground targets, a feature not found in previous Chinese frigates.

Chinese analysts say the new Type 054B frigate could be mass produced just like the Type 054A frigate and the Type 052D destroyer, as they are expected to accompany aircraft carriers, amphibious ships and destroyers in far sea voyages.

Images shared on social media reveal the inaugural launch of the first Type 054B vessel at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai.

According to available reports, the Type 054B is estimated to have a displacement of approximately 6,000 tons at maximum capacity, making it roughly 50% larger than its predecessor, the Type 054A. Its dimensions measure around 147 meters in length and 18.5 meters in width. The primary role of this warship is anticipated to be focused on anti-submarine warfare, while also encompassing secondary duties in anti-air and anti-surface warfare, serving as a multi-purpose vessel.

The newly developed Type 054B frigate is outfitted with a 32-cell vertical launch missile system (VLS) located at the bow. The specific VLS type remains somewhat uncertain; however, one possibility is the adoption of the same system found on the Type 054A, capable of deploying the HQ-16 medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) and Yu-8 anti-submarine missiles. Alternatively, there is the potential utilization of the "Universal VLS" present on the Type 055 and Type 052D vessels, enabling the launch of SAMs, anti-ship missiles (AShMs), and likely other types in the future.

Contrary to the Type 054A, which is equipped with two 1130 close-in weapon systems, the Type 054B incorporates a single close-in weapon system, supplemented by an HQ-10 short-range air defense missile system, according to reports.

A significant alteration is observed in the armament, as the Type 054B showcases an updated 100mm main gun, replacing the previous 76mm variant seen on the Type 054A. This transition results in an extended range and enhanced firepower, empowering the Type 054B to engage in naval and coastal bombardments.

It is anticipated that the frigate will serve as the platform for the shipborne version of the Z-20 helicopter. Additionally, the Type 054B incorporates a dual-face active phased array radar system and an integrated radio frequency mast akin to that found on the Type 055 destroyer.

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