The Type 054A (NATO designation Jiangkai II) frigate is said to be the 34th ship-in-class for the PLAN. The Type 054AP (Tughril-class) is the fourth and final ship of the class ordered by Pakistan from China. The Type 071E LPD is the first and so far only ship of the class for the Royal Thai Navy. All three vessels were built in the same dry dock, hence their simultaneous launch.
About Type 054A Frigate
The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the PLAN fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission. They have a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. They have a crew complement of 165 sailors and are fitted with:
- a H/PJ-26 76mm main gun
- 2×4 CM302 anti-ship missiles
- 32x VLS cells for HQ-16 surface to air missiles
- 2x Type 730 30mm CIWS
- 2x Triple Torpedo launchers
The main sensor system of those frigates is the Type 382 radar which shares a close resemblance with the Russian MR-710 Fregat radar.
About Type 054AP / Tughril-class Frigate
Pakistan signed an initial contract for the delivery two Type 054 A/P frigates in 2017. An additional contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018. The first-in-class frigate was launched in August 2020 and started sea trials in late May 2021. The second was floated in January 2021. As for the third one, the keel laying took place on May 1st 2021 and the launch in August 2021. All four units were built in China. The first ship of the class, PNS Tughril, was commissioned in November 2021.
Type 054AP frigates feature a SR2410C 3D multifunction ESA (electronically scanned array) radar and a long range / metric wave radar.
About Type 071E LPD
Thailand signed a contract with China for the procurement of a Type 071E landing platform dock (LPD) on September 9, 2019. The amphibious vessel is based on the Type 071. The deal was reported to cost only Bt6.1 billion (200 million USD).
The PLAN currently has six vessels of the Type 071-class (NATO designation Yuzhao) commissioned in its fleet, with two more on the way. All were built at the same Hudong Zhonghua shipyard. Thailand becomes the first export customer of the type.
Originally designed after the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, the Type 071 is 210 meters long and 28 meters wide with a full load displacement of 25,000 tons. It is capable of carrying an 800 marines (1 battalion) and some 20 amphibious vehicles.
The ship nameplate visible at the stern confirms that the Type 071E name is “HTMS Chang (III)” ‘ช้าง’ means ‘elephant’ but it is also the name of an island in Thailand where a major Royal Thai Navy battle took place. The Battle of Ko Chang took place on 17 January 1941. Thai Navy Landing ships and auxiliary ships are named after Islands of Thailand and Type 071E “HTMS Chang (III)” is the third ship to bear this name.
Many thanks to Twitter used @aag_th for the information.