Anshan (pennant number 103) is the fourth destroyer of the Type 055 class and the third one commissioned this year. Yet a fifth vessel, Yan’an (pennant number 106), is expected to join the PLAN fleet by year-end.
First ship of the class, Nanchang (101) was launched on June 28, 2017 at the Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai. The second one, Lhasa (102) was launched in April 2018 at the same shipyard. Two more Type 055 were launched in 2018 (Dalian 105 and Yan’an 106), two more in 2019 (Anshan 103 and Zunyi 107) and an additional two in 2020 (104 and 108) bringing the total number of Type 055 hulls currently in the water to eight.
Construction of these large destroyers is split between two local shipyards: Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company in Dalian. Anshan was built in Shanghai.
About Type 055 Destroyers
The Type 055 destroyers are the largest surface combatant currently being built in the world. They have 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. In comparison, the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruiser and the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer displace 9,800 tons. The Royal Navy Type 45 is lighter at about 8,500 tons. Their official PLAN designation is “10,000-ton class destroyer”. The US Department of Defense have been calling them “cruisers” since 2017.
Type 055 weapons
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 areas: 64x cells forward and 48x cells aft, just in front of the ship’s double hangar. They are of the same model as those fitted aboard Type 052D destroyers, 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.