Type 055 Anshan Declared Operational

Another Type 055 large destroyer of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, Anshan, has achieved operational capability after having recently passed an acceptance test, marking that the 10,000 ton-class warship is ready for voyages to distant waters, experts said on Saturday.

The Anshan, joined by Type 052D destroyers the Baotou and the Qiqihar, recently had the three-day full-course training acceptance test in the Yellow Sea, in which other vessels, submarines, fighter jets, early warning aircraft and helicopters acted as mock opponents, posing multiple threats simultaneously from the sea surface, underwater and in the air, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

It required the sailors to deal with all kinds of emergencies in realistic combat scenarios, and tested their comprehensive air defense, sea attack and anti-submarine capabilities under complex electromagnetic environments while navigating around the clock, CCTV reported.

All three vessels passed the test, meaning that the Anshan has achieved operational capability, the report said.

This means not only that Anshan is well prepared for missions as a newly built ship, but also that the sailors on board the vessel are ready for combat, a Beijing-based military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Saturday.

The active service status of the Anshan was announced on April 23 this year, when the PLA Navy celebrated its 73rd anniversary of its founding.

The Anshan’s sister ships like the Nanchang and the Lhasa have already achieved operational capability and carried out far sea missions to places like the Sea of Japan, the West Pacific and the Bering Sea, according to previous reports. The Nanchang was also a part of the Liaoning aircraft carrier group in several far sea trainings.

It is expected that the Anshan, also in service with the PLA Northern Theater Command Navy, will take part in similar voyages to distant waters, the expert said.

The PLA Navy has announced the commissioning of six Type 055 large destroyers, namely the Nanchang, the Lhasa, the Dalian, the Anshan, the Yan’an and the Wuxi. Two more have also been reportedly launched, bringing the total number of this ship class to eight.

The ship class 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, making it one of the most powerful warships in the world, analysts said.