China building Type 052D guided missile destroyers

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) Shanghai Shipbuilding Co. will soon complete construction of three Type 052D destroyers, with sea trials expected to be carried out within months, according to Chinese military news websites.

The launch of the three new guided missile destroyers is seen as a warning amid rising tension between China and its neighbors over disputed islands in the East China Sea and South China Sea, China's reported.

The 052D destroyer uses a flat-array radar similar to the Aegis system, a new vertical launching system (VLS), is powered by combustion turbine engines and has angled surfaces for stealth anti-radar features.

The report said the vessel is a new multifunction guided missile destroyer developed based on its predecessor, the Type 052C. The 052D has been dubbed the "Chinese Aegis," as it is believed to have similar capabilities to the U.S. Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

In the West, the Aegis system is a distinct, brand-name phased-array system that allows multiple Aegis-capable warships to share tracking and targeting data.

The 052D is reportedly equipped with 64 new VLS for surface-to- air missiles, cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine missiles, as well as a new 130mm main gun and a new Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system.

Its layout is similar to that of the 052C, but the superstructure slopes inward at a greater angle, providing superior stealth capability.

Judged by its major features, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military analyst, suggested that the new vessels will serve as the backbone of the the People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s naval combat fleet.

(By Zep Hu and Y.L. Kao)


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