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Three Chinese PLA Navy warships arrived in Djibouti.

| 2022

According to a tweet published by Ryan Chan on December 5, 2022, three Chinese ships, the destroyer Huainan, the guided-missile frigate Rizhao and the Type 903A supply ship Kekexilihu arrived in Djibouti.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Chinese Navy's Type 903A replenishment ship (Picture source: Weibo)

The Type 903 (NATO reporting name: Fuchi) is a class of replenishment oiler (AOR) built for the People's Liberation Army Navy by the People's Republic of China.

Two Type 903s entered service in 2003. Construction of the Type 903A, a slightly modified design, began in 2010; the first Type 903As entered service in 2013.

China started development of a new AOR in 1988. Development was delayed due to cost, leading China to buy a Komandarm Fedko-class oiler, renamed Qinghaihu, from Ukraine in 1992. The new design was completed for Similan, which became the basis for the Type 903.

The ship is 178.5m in length, 24.8m in beam, and 8.7m in draught. It has a full displacement of 23,000 tonnes. The propulsion includes two diesels rated at 24,000hp, with two shafts. The maximum speed is 19 knots and the maximum range is 10,000nm at 14 knots speed. The crew includes 130 men.

There are two refuelling stations and two stores stations located amidships to enable the ship to replenish two warships with both fuel and stores simultaneously.

The ship is also fitted with an additional refuelling rig at the stern, enabling a third warship being refuelled while astern. Stern refuelling is not as efficient as beam refuelling, but it is safer in severe weather conditions.

She is armed four Type 76F dual-37mm/63-calibre anti-aircraft guns that fire shells at a rate of 360 rounds/min to a range of 8.5km for airborne targets. The gun can be operated by radar command or manually.

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