Thursday 29 May 2008

Naval Vessels

The PLA Navy (PLAN) has a fleet that includes 75 principal surface combatants, 55 submarines, some 50 large and medium landing ships, and about 50~60 coastal missile patrol vessels. Estimates of auxiliary and smaller patrol vessels range from 500 to 750. Two thirds of those assets are located in the East and South Sea Fleet.

Major Surface Combatants. The most capable surface combatants in the PLAN service include 11 destroyers (four Sovremenny class, two Type 052C Luyang-II class, two Type 052B Luyang class, one Type 051B Luhai class, and two Type 052 Luhu class); and 16 frigates (two Type 054 Jiangkai class, ten Type 053H3 Jiangwei-II class, four Type 053H2G Jiangwei class). Two Type 051C Luyang class destroyers and at least one Type 054A Jiangkai-II class frigate are due to be delivered by 2007~08, which bring the total figure to 30. There are also 18 older Type 051 Luda class destroyers and around 30 Type 053 Jianghu class frigates, some of which may no longer be in active service. A second-hand aircraft carrier purchased from Ukraine is currently under refit at Dalian.

Submarine. The second-generation nuclear-powered attack submarine Type 093 Shang class and ballistic missile submarine Type 094 Jin class have already entered service, each class with two boats launched. The PLAN also operates 3~4 Type 091 Han class nuclear-powered attack submarines and a single Type 092 Xia class nuclear-powered missile submarine. The new generation nuclear submarines are already under sea trial. The PLA Navy also operates 57 diesel-electric submarines, including 12 Russian-made Kilo class, and indigenous Type 039 Song class (16), Type 035 Ming class (17), and Type 033 Romeo class (8). Construction of the latest Type 039A Yuan class has already begun, with two boats launched so far.

Amphibious Warfare Ships. The PLAN operates around 50 large and medium landing ships, and a large amount of smaller utility and mechanised landing craft. A Type 071 landing platform dock (LPD) ship entered service in late 2007.

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