Sunday, September 14, 2008

The new 054 in HP

So, we finally got some more clear photos of the 054 series frigate under construction in HP. You can see the photos below.

If we compare it to 525 and 529, we'd see that the lines leading to the bow on this specific ship actually looks more like 525. Obviously, it's not a 054, because it does not have the platform for HH-7 and seems to be keeping that for HH-16 like on 054A. The bridge looks like 529, except that the windows are much smaller and round (for RCS purpose?). The surfaces seem to be more stealthy than 529. They seem to be setting up the area where Sea Soul radar will go. We still need to see where the front mast is going to be with respect to the little platform on the bridge. So, the question is what is this boat? It's clearly not a 054 nor the first batch of 054A. The theory has generally been 054B or 054A+. Either way, the more important part is what kind of fit this ship will see. That will have to wait. One of the guys that post a lot of photos from HP mentioned that 054C and even D are being planned. So, we will just need to wait a few months and observe all the photos. As you may remember, it took months to confirm the number of VLS cells on 054A and that they are hot launched.

1 comment:

duskylim said...

Great Web page Feng,

I salute your dedication.

Question, the holes in the bridge of the new 054x seem to be cut out by a welding torch, they have burn and scorch marks typical of a cutting torch. Are they the final form (which I very much doubt) or rather just relief holes or precursors to the final form?

In the picture where the 054A is pasted alongside the new one, we can see one clear difference. Whereas in the old 054A the bows curve in a graceful arc towards the forecastle and superstructure, on this new vessel the upper portion of the bows seem to have been sloped inwards (a radar-signature reduction feature?).

You are definitely right about the platform on the bridge, it is lower than the previous 054A. It also seems that the bow sonar dome is approximately the same size... another medium frequency sonar?

What is clear is that as more shipyard resources become available, the Chinese Navy's plans for its surface fleet are becoming clearer - they are not getting any more new destroyers - YET! But they are steadily developing a very capable (and much cheaper) general purpose frigate design.

Lastly, have you seen the post about this new frigate in Sinodefence? Well there is speculation as to the role of a cylindrical blue object being installed when it just seems to me to be the mounting of the forward AK-176 gun.