Saturday, November 17, 2007

Latest from PLAN

It looks like the first Luda (105) has recently been decommissioned. It's kind of interesting that this decommissioned destroyer is actually even smaller than 054A. Quite good to see that China's classification of vessel sizes has finally begun to match the international level. Anyhow, we saw some photos of HP shipyard recently, looks like the second 054A in HP is almost ready to join a fleet somewhere. The first 054A on both HD and HP are already serving in SSF as 569 and 570. Same with 071, which is recently named as the KunLunShan class.

Also, looks like the 3rd 054A at HP might be a bit away. They are building a new dock in HP shipyard. The next 054A might not start until the dock is finished. I guess they are saving money for the carrier project.
Speaking of which, there are some rumours recently that the carrier projects will start in both Dalian and Shanghai shipyards. I'm not surprised that two will be built, but I didn't think Dalian would get any work. Also, the cost was put at 30 billion RMB each, so around 4 billion USD. I'm not sure what this includes (ie: R&D cost or not). They are supposedly looking for something that is 60k+ in standard displacement, 317 m long, 70+ m wide and can carry 55+ aircrafts (of which 30+ J-11Cs, some number of helicopters and possibly Y-7 AEWs) I know 4 billion is cheaper US carriers, but this one is smaller than CVN-77 and uses older technology. Another thing is that Chinese ships are just cheaper to build. For example, each 054A only costs 1.58 billion RMB and each 022 only costs about 100 million RMB. At this point, I'd generally take the cost rumours with a grain of salt. However, the carrier dimensions is from a much better source and seems to be comparable to Varyag dimensions (although a little larger). I do expect to see catapults on the first generation of Chinese carriers. Otherwise, beginning Y-7 AEW development at this time frame simply does not make sense. So, hopefully we will start seeing some pictures coming out for carrier construction late next year.


timurelame said...

It would be interesting to see some larger destroyers in the 9,000 to 10,000 ton class. Also nuclear powered carriers.

Feng said...

they do have something like that planned. I wish I can get more information on that, but starting from next year, we will see new pictures of destroyers and maybe carriers too.