Recently, a bunch of new photos have been released from the HuDong shipyard. There have been a lot of activities for Pakistani Navy, because F-22P hulls are making great process. 252 looks like it will be ready for sea trial soon. 253 have been launched. You can see them below:
First, 252 and the closed-up look to sensors + weapons on it.
Second, pictures of the newly launched 253.
We also saw new photos of the 3rd 054A from HD Shipyard. Not much to say, probably has a while to go until sea trials.
On a side note, we've seen a video of a CCTV's broadcast on 054A (since it's on the Somalia mission right now). It was actually pretty extensive. They showed the ship under construction, photos taken from top and also inside the ship. They interviewed the person in charge of the Huangpu shipyard. It was quite obvious that they spent a lot of money buying the tools and machinery needed to ensure quality of 054A.
The other thing that was interesting from today is when I read the securities report of the Xi'an AeroEngine PLC (You can find a copy of it here). In case you don't know, XAE is in charge of producing WS-9 for JH-7A and also developing the new generation WS-15 engine. The interesting part is that the report discussed the WS-10A and QC-280 projects (not something we really expected out of XAE). In an interview with XAE, we find that about 1/3 of the parts for WS-10A are produced in XAE (even though the assembly is done at Shenyang Liming). It was interesting to find that the parts produced by XAE for the WS-10A is said to be doubling this year (so maybe WS-10A production is doubling?). The report also said that this is done to allow engine conversion on front line fighter jets (like J-10/11), which was a little unexpected.
I'm guessing nobody has ever heard of the QC/D-280 project before. Well, it is supposed to the fully localized version of UGT-25000 (aka DN-80). Back when 8 UGT-25000 was first exported to China in 1990s, China also got the license for manufacturing. Now, it appears that China has fully mastered the technology for it and can build gas turbine without Ukrainian help. It was already tested on 169. Now, it seems that QC-280 has successfully passed the tests, so it is declared ready for mass production. The report says that 20 QC/D-280 will be produced every year. That does not mean China will be building 5 destroyers or 10 (depending on the propulsion configuration). In fact, I'd think QD-280 (the electricity generator version) will take up the bulk of that. However, it is clear that QC-280 will be the gas turbine used for future Chinese destroyers.