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China Naval Industry accelerates production of Type 055 destroyers.

According to information published by the Global Times on May 29, 2024, China is reportedly expanding its naval fleet with the construction of additional Type 055 large destroyers.
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Chinese Navy's Type 055 destroyer Nanchang. (Picture source: PLA Navy)

Recent commercial satellite imagery from Dalian Shipyard in Liaoning Province suggests that China has recently launched its 10th Type 055 destroyer. This marks the second recent launch of a Type 055 destroyer, with the first being launched from Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai in late 2023.

Between January 2020 and April 2023, the PLA Navy commissioned eight Type 055 destroyers from its initial production batch.

Other Chinese shipyards, such as Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai and Huangpu-Wenchong Shipyard in Guangzhou, continue to build Type 054A and Type 054B frigates and vessels for the China Coast Guard.

The Type 055 destroyers, also known as Renhai-class cruisers, are among the largest and most advanced surface combatants in the world. With a displacement of approximately 13,000 tons, these ships are equipped with 112 vertical launch system (VLS) cells capable of firing a variety of missiles, including surface-to-air, anti-ship, and land-attack cruise missiles. This armament allows the Type 055 to engage multiple types of threats effectively, from aircraft to submarines and surface ships​.

The Type 055 is designed for a wide range of missions, including area air defense, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare. The integration of advanced radar systems, such as the Type 346B active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, provides superior detection and tracking capabilities, enhancing the ship's ability to protect carrier strike groups and other naval assets. Additionally, the destroyers can serve as command ships for naval task forces​.

The deployment of Type 055 destroyers significantly enhances China's ability to project power, particularly in contested regions like the South China Sea​.

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