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China's 28th Type 054A Frigate Commissioned with PLAN South Sea Fleet.

| 2018

The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN or Chinese Navy) commissioned its 28th Type 054A Frigate (Jiangkai II-class) 'Xianning' (咸宁 with hull number 500). The Commissioning ceremony took place on August 28, 2018 at (what seems to be) Yulin Naval Base located in the Yalong Bay (city of Sanya) on Hainan island. The frigate joined the PLAN South Sea Fleet.

Chinas 28th Type 054A Frigate Commissioned with PLAN South Sea FleetPhoto via 咸宁日报

There are now five Type 054A Frigates in the 9th destroyer flottila of the PLAN South Sea Fleet. One more frigate and the unit will be considered "complete": The new organization calls for six frigates and six destroyers per destroyer flottila, which corresponds to an expansion of around 50% compared to the previous format.

Type 054A Frigate
Based on the Type 054 Frigates, the Type 054A incorporates a larger number of more-advanced indigenous systems. The first of class entered service with the PLAN in January 2008.

Type 054A Frigates are fitted with 32 VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells for HQ-16 surface to air missiles, 8x YJ-83 (export designation C-803) anti-ship missiles, a H/PJ-26 76mm main gun, two H/PJ12 seven-barreled 30mm CIWS guns (for frigates 1 to 16 in the series) or H/PJ11 eleven-barreled 30mm CIWS for new vessels starting with Huanggang (hull number 577) the seventeenth ship of the class. Two triple YU-7 torpedo launchers and YU-8 anti-submarine rocket launchers are fitted for ASW warfare.

Chinas 28th Type 054A Frigate Commissioned with PLAN South Sea Fleet 2Photo via 咸宁日报

Xianning was launched on September 22, 2017 at the Huangpu shipyard in Guangzhou. This first line surface combatant is the 13th frigate of the class built in this shipyard and the 28th to enter service with the Chinese Navy, which started introducing this new class of versatile frigate over 10 years ago in January 2008. 

The Xianning frigate is 134.1 meters long, 31 meters high and displaces 4,270 tons full load. The vessel has a range of over 4,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 18 knots.

The Type 054A is, pending the arrival of its successor Type 054B electric propulsion, the best anti-submarine warfare platform of the Chinese Navy. It is equipped with a complete suite dedicated to this function, including a hull sonar, a towed variable depth sonar, an acoustic control system, submarine communication and of course torpedoes. What is likely the last and final Type 054A frigate (30th in the series) was launched in June this year.

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