Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A visit around the HD shipyard

Recently, I found some new pictures from the HD shipyard showing F-22P's 2nd unit, 3rd unit and also the 3rd unit of 054A. It's rather interesting, It's kind of interesting looking at these ships. F-22P is basically an improved version of Jiangwei-II class using export versions of certain systems from 054A. It looks like China will be trying to export 054 series in the future (we've already seen F-16U as one such model). The 053 series achieved a couple of nice export contracts with the current F-22P contract and the Thai contract in the late 90s. In many ways, China learnt a lot about ship design from the F-25T. Many of the flaws in Chinese naval ship design was broadcast to the world. In fact, I still read such reservations today from numerous posters who examined F-22P to look for similar issues. The question is whether or not 054A can compete in the very crowded market of surface ship of 3000 to 5000 tonne weight class. 054A has in fact been compared to variants of La Fayette class like the Formidable class. In the future, it would have to also compete against export versions of LCS, FREMM, Project 22350 and MEKO series. In most cases, I can imagine that it has quite an advantage in terms of prices, although there is still a general reservation out there regarding Chinese shipbuilding and weaponry. It also doesn't help that China tends to put export versions of sensors/weapons on these ships. It really is hard to say at this point who would buy 054 series ships from China, but PN is the first name that comes out of my head. Maybe in 5 years, we will see something like this again, but F-22P will be replaced by 054A, whereas 054A gets replaced by a later variant.

Anyway, the pictures are shown below. The first 3 are 054A and the ones after that are the 2nd and 3rd units of F-22P. The first one is already doing sea trials and the second one might be ready soon.

1 comment:

visionary said...

sooo,, NO one is interested in commenting how the landscape in Asia is going to change. Taiwan?, Shinkeku islands? All this military build up? any guesses? 2030?