CHINA-PLA NAVY: NEW CORVETTES COMMMISSIONED

The PLA Navy (PLAN) inducted two Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvettes into service in November 2017. The two new warships, Guangyuan (hull number 552) and Suining (hull number 551), were commissioned on November 16 and 28 respectively at a naval base in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Both vessels will serve in the PLAN’s South Sea Fleet, the force responsible for Chinese naval operations in the South China Sea.
The Type 056 Jiangdao-class has been designated by the PLAN as light missile frigates. There are currently two types of Jiangdao-class ships in service with the Chinese Navy: a multi-purpose and a specialized anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant. The Guangyuan and Suining are of the latter kind and feature specialized equipment including towed and variable depth sonars in addition to the standard fit. The PLAN reportedly aims to build a fleet of up to 60 Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvettes with one new ship launched every six weeks. This year alone, the PLAN has commissioned seven Jiangdao-class corvettes (all of the Type 056 ASW variant) into service. Four more corvettes are expected to be commissioned in December 2017 and January 2018.

(Comment: The PLAN currectly operates a total of 37 Type 056/056A Jiangdao-class corvettes. ASW remains one of the top priorities of the PLAN and the service aims to rapidly improve its capabilities in the field.Next to four YJ-83 anti-ship missiles (two launchers with two missiles each) and a 76-millimeter main gun, the ASW variant is also equipped with two 324 millimeter triple torpedo launchers, as well as variable depth and towed sonars. The ship’s flight deck also allows operation of a Harbin Z-9 military helicopter, specifically equipped for ASW missions.)






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