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Is China building a new type of frigate?.

| 2023

According to information published by Global Times on January 31, 2023, China is building a new type of advanced frigate, which is larger and more advanced than its current Type 054A class.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Chinese PLA Navy's Type 054A frigate Rizhao. (Picture source: Chinamil)

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.

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.

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.

About the Type 054A frigate

The Type 054A frigate is a 134-meter-long, 16-meter-wide warship used by the Chinese navy. With a displacement of 3,963 tons, she is powered by 4 SEMT Peilstick 16 PA 6V 280 STC diesel engines, providing a total power output of 20.7 MW and a maximum speed of 27 knots.

The frigate has an estimated range of 3,800 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots.

The ship's advanced sensor suite includes the Type 382 and Type 344 radars, MR-90 Front Dome SAM fire control radar, MR-36A surface search radar, Racal RM-1290 navigation radar, and the MGK-335 sonar.

She also has the H/SJG-206 towed array sonar, ZKJ-4B/6 combat data system, HN-900 data link, SNTI-240 SATCOM, and the AKD5000S Ku band SATCOM for communication and navigation.

The Type 054A is equipped with an electronic warfare suite that includes the Type 922-1 radar warning receiver, HZ-100 ECM & ELINT system, and the Kashtan-3 missile jamming system.

The armaments of the ship include a 32-cell vertical launch system, HQ-16 SAM, Yu-8 anti-submarine rocket launcher, YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, PJ26 76 mm dual purpose gun, 2 Type 730 CIWS, 324mm Yu-7 torpedo launchers, Type 87 anti-submarine rocket launcher, and the Type 726-4 decoy rocket launchers.

She can carry one Kamov Ka-28 'Helix' or Harbin Z-9C helicopter, and has a hangar for storage.

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