China since the early 1990s has built five new classes of destroyers, one of which is a variation of another. Compared to China’s 14 remaining older Luda (Type 051) class destroyers, which entered service between 1971 and 1991, these five new destroyer classes are substantially more modern in terms of their hull designs, propulsion systems, sensors, weapons, and electronics. One author states that “the new Chinese missile destroyers were apparently designed, at least on the basic level, at the Russian Northern Design Bureau....” A key area of improvement in the new destroyer designs is their anti-air warfare (AAW) technology, which has been a significant PLA Navy shortcoming. Like the older Luda-class destroyers, these new destroyer classes are armed with ASCMs.
The Luhu-class ships Destroyers reportedly were ordered in 1985 but had their construction delayed by a decision to give priority to the construction of six frigates that were ordered by Thailand. The Luhai-class ship Destroyer is believed to have served as the basis for the Luyang 1-class destroyer designs. Compared to the Luhai, the Luyang ships destroyer appear stealthier. DOD stated in 2008 that the Luyang I design is equipped with the Russian-made SA-N-7B Grizzly SAM and the Chinese-made YJ-83 ASCM.
China since the early 1990s has purchased four Sovremenny-class destroyers from Russia and deployed nine new classes of indigenously built destroyers and frigates (some of which are variations of one another) that demonstrate a significant modernization of PLA Navy surface combatant technology. China has also deployed a new kind of missile-armed fast attack craft that uses a stealthy catamaran hull design. The August 2009 ONI report states that “the PLA(N) surface force is one of the largest in the world, and its capabilities are growing at a remarkable rate.” The report also states that “as newer and more capable platforms replace aging platforms, the PLA(N)’s total order of battle may remain relatively steady, particularly in regard to the
Luyang-1 Class Destroyers
|Luyang-1 Class Destroyers|
|Luyang II Class Destroyers|
DOD stated in 2007 the Luzhou-class Destryores design “is designed for anti-air warfare. It will be equipped with the Russian SA-N-20 SAM system controlled by the TOMBSTONE phased-array radar. The SA-N-20 more than doubles the range of current PLA Navy air defense systems marking a significant improvement in China’s ship-borne air defense capability.” If one or more of these destroyer designs (or a successor design) are put into larger-scale production, it would accelerate the modernization of China’s surface combatant force.