The last blog entry was deemed to be too negative toward Chinese social problems by some readers. So, I want to spend this entry to just catch up on the activities around the different Chinese shipyards. In many ways, this has been one of the most active years of naval shipbuilding in recent times. We are seeing heavy activity going on in most of the major shipyards around the country. Below are some of the recent photos we have seen of surface ships. There has been a continued submarine production, but I've somewhat lost track of the exact number of Yuan submarines that have been produced. I think they are still in the single digits. Work is also continuing on Varyag, but I don't have any news to report other than it is recently conducting another sea trial. First of all, the 056 project is really making some progress. They are building them in both HuDong and HuangPu shipyard alongside the 054A projects. I'm really curious of how the 056 will turn out in the end, but it's already turning out to be smaller than I had expected. If you get a full picture of 056 next to 054A at HP shipyard, you'd see how small 056 is. Interestingly enough, it does have an outsized looking bow mounted sonar. There are currently 2 056 in advanced stage of construction at HD shipyard. You can see them below with the first picture showing both of them and the second one just showing the one that's more advanced.
The pictures below shows the first 056 from HP shipyard that is building beside the 8th 054A from there. This appears to be the 056 that's the furthest along.
The pictures of 052C below are from a month ago. The first two pictures shows the third, fourth and fifth 052C from JN shipyard. The third one has since joined the East Sea Fleet as 150. The next 3 052C should be joining the same flotilla as 150. You can see that the fourth and fifth are both launched and in various stage of fitting out. I don't believe either has gone on sea trials yet.
The next two photos show the 6th and 7th 052C under construction and yet to be launched. It's still unknown at this point if these units will have any differences from the launched ones.
We have not seen much new action for 071 LPD. The third unit is still parked outside of HD shipyard.
The picture below shows the 2nd and 3rd Type 926 submarine tender that were getting fitted out at GuangZhou shipyard. I believe the second one may have gone on sea trials recently, because we have not seen any pictures coming out for it.
Of course, the 054A project is still ongoing. The picture below shows the 6th 054A from HD shipyard. The 5th one just joined service recently with North Sea Fleet. I haven't seen any recent photos of the 7th one, because HD shipyard has a lot of activity going around.
The next two are the 7th and 8th 054A from HP shipyard. I think the 6th one is close to joining service. The 8th one looks to not be that far away from launching.
And finally, we are seeing new AOR ships with PLAN. Unlike previous speculations, these look to have very few modifications from the existing Type 903 AORs (886, 887) currently in service with PLAN. One of them was launched a month ago in Guangzhou.
The other one is in advanced stage of construction of HD shipyard.
So, there is a lot of activities going on. I will I have more time to report on these things, but things are pretty busy, so I will try to report on them once in a while.