China reportedly launched two new Type 052D guided missile destroyers in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning Province on Friday, a move analysts said will contribute to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s aim to become a blue-water navy.
The two warships, believed to be the 27th and the 28th Type 052Ds ordered by the PLA Navy overall, were launched from the Dalian Shipyard, with three additional hulls of the same type still under construction in the yard, news website Wenweipo.com reported.
This new batch of Type 052D destroyers could receive major upgrades to their radar systems, Wenweipo.com said.
In August 2022, foreign media reported that the Dalian Shipyard and the Shanghai-based Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard had restarted mass production of the Type 052D destroyer, after 25 vessels of the same class had entered service with the PLA Navy.
Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times that the Type 052D has proven to be a reliable destroyer with mature technologies, so it is a good choice for mass production.
According to publicly available reports, the Type 052D is equipped with an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system dubbed the “Chinese Aegis” and a 64-cell missile vertical launch system capable of firing munitions including surface-to-air missiles and anti-ship missiles.
It is normal that during the serialized production of a type of warship, newer hulls could receive upgrades due to technological advances and user requirements, another Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Sunday, requesting anonymity.
Some previous Type 052Ds were already built with new anti-stealth radars, extended helicopter flight decks and upgraded propulsion systems, among other changes, compared with the initial ships, media reports said.
The continued production of the Type 052D shows that the PLA Navy is satisfied with its performance and needs more of these ships to build up its far-sea capabilities and safeguard the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, analysts said.