All current Type 055 large destroyers enter active PLA Navy service with commissioning of 8th hull Xianyang
By Liu Xuanzun
Published: Apr 21, 2023 10:18 PM
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy recently commissioned the Xianyang, the eighth Type 055 10,000 ton-class large destroyer. All eight warships in this class have now entered service with the PLA Navy.
Having just entered service, the Type 055 large destroyer Xianyang (Hull No. 108) recently embarked from a naval base of PLA Southern Theater Command for a combat training mission, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Friday.
The report came two days before the 74th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy, which falls on Sunday.
Since the commissioning of the first Type 055 large destroyer in January 2020, the PLA Navy now operates eight warships in this class, namely the Nanchang, the Lhasa, the Anshan, the Wuxi, the Dalian, the Yan'an, the Zunyi and the Xianyang.
It also means that all eight Type 055s China has currently built have entered active service, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Friday.
Four of the vessels are in service with the PLA North Sea Fleet, and the other four are in service with the PLA South Sea Fleet, the expert said.
They will play vital roles in safeguarding China's sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and development interests, the expert said.
Over the past three years, Type 055s have participated in distant sea training in regions like the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan, the Bering Sea, the Philippine Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea. They have also been parts of the PLA Navy's aircraft carrier groups, observers said.
The Type 055 large destroyer is a large platform that can carry significant amounts of equipment and stay at the sea for longer periods compared with the previous generation of destroyers. It can also sail faster thanks to its combined gas and gas propulsion system, said Liu Shenghai, head of the mechanical and electrical department on the Yan'an, CCTV reported.
The 130-millimeter-caliber naval gun, a large missile carrying capacity, the integrated radio frequency system and the anti-submarine weapons system of the Type 055 give the warship outstanding comprehensive combat capabilities, CCTV quoted sailors on the Type 055 as saying.
Observers said that a Type 055 has a displacement of more than 12,000 tons, is equipped with a 112-cell missile vertical launch system and is endowed with the capability to gain strong situational awareness.
Shi Hong, executive chief editor of the Shipborne Weapons magazine, told the Global Times that the Type 055 is the world's best destroyer in terms of comprehensive capabilities, and the continued commissioning of ships in this class will contribute to the PLA Navy's combat capabilities.
China could build more Type 055s in the future, with new technologies applied to improve overall capability, analysts said.