Google Earth / Maxar Technologies satellite imagery from 27 January 2021 shows the vessel with its pennant ‘102’ painted on the flight deck. The vessel is berthed in a degaussing facility at Yulin naval base on Hainan Island.
Then Tibetan newspaper Lhasa Daily reported on 2 March 2021 that Vice Manor of Lhasa travelled to a naval base in Qingdao to visit the officers and sailors of Lhasa. Local TV station Lhasa TV also published a report and was able to film the interior of the destroyer. However the exact commissioning date was not reported.
Like for the first ship-in-class, Lhasa (the PLAN spells it Lasa) was built by Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai and joined the 1st Destroyer Detachment of the PLAN’s North Sea Fleet.
About Type 055 Destroyer
The Type 055 destroyers are the largest surface combatant currently being built in the world with a length of 180 meters, a beam of 20 meters and a draft of 6.6 meters for a full load displacement of about 13,000t (compared to the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruiser and the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer both at 9,800 tons or the Royal Navy Type 45 at about 8,500 tons). Their official PLAN designation is “10,000-ton class destroyer.” while the US Department of Defense have been calling them “cruisers” since 2017.
First ship of the class, ‘Nanchang’ was launched on June 28, 2017 at the Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai and the second one was launched in April 2018 at the same shipyard. Two more Type 055 were launched in 2018, two more in 2019 and and additional two in 2020 bringing the total of hulls currently in the water to eight. The first ship-in-class, Nanchang (101) was commissioned on 12 January 2020.
The current Type 055’s weapons fit includes:
- A 130 mm H/PJ-38 main gun
- 112 VLS silos
- A H/PJ-11 CIWS with a fire rate of 10,000 rd/min
- A HQ-10 short-range missiles
- Decoy launchers
The silos are split in two ares: 64x cells forward and 48x cessls aft, just in front of the ship’s double hangar. They are of the same model as those used on Type 052D, compatible with both hot and cold launch missiles thanks to the Concentric Canister Launcher (CCL) concept.
According to our colleague East Pendulum, all Chinese missiles which size does not exceed 9 meters in length and 0.85 meters in diameter can be launched from those VLS cells, provided that the combat system is compatible.
The PLAN is set to fit its first few Type 055 with HQ-9B anti-aircraft missiles with a range of 200 km, YJ-18A anti-ship missiles, a new type of medium range anti-aircraft missile and land attack cruise missiles based on the YJ-18 family, ie, practically the same as those already found on Type 052D destroyers. It is also likely that the new anti-submarine missile Yu-8A is among the ship’s weapons fit.