China is building a new type of advanced frigate, which is larger and more advanced than its current Type 054A class, overseas media reported on Friday, citing commercial satellite images.

It is a natural development that China would seek to build new military vessels, but analysis based on commercial satellite images should be viewed as speculative, experts said on Saturday.

According to new satellite images of a shipyard located in Shanghai, China has made progress on building an advanced frigate, which is similar to the Type 054A frigate, but is longer and wider, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported on Friday.

The vessel, which seems to have a displacement of 5,000 to 6,000 tons, could be the long-rumored Type 054B, which is likely designed to accompany aircraft carriers and replace some aging vessels which remain in service, according to a report by Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post on Friday.

China has yet to announce the development of a new frigate, and analyses based on commercial satellite images are not accurate and might not reflex the facts, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Saturday.

With the modernization of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and China’s development in shipbuilding industry, it is a natural and normal development that new types of warships with new applications and technologies could be built, the expert said.

All current information that is not from an official source should be viewed as speculation, the expert said.

NOTE: graphic may be speculative in nature