Wednesday, July 11, 2012

An updates from Chinese shipyards

It's been a while since I've last updated on the activities of the Chinese shipyards. I've last updated in April and we have seen quite a lot of activities since that time. Just to give an update on progress from different shipyards before showing some pictures.

The 3rd 052C looks to have entered service as 150. We haven't seen too many photos from JN shipyard, so I'm not sure what exactly are the status of the 4th and 5th 052C. Although, I expect the 4th 052C to be on sea trials right now. 054A construction continues to be at a brisk pace. The 5th 054A from HD shipyard joined the North Sea Fleet as 546. The 6th 054A from HP shipyard joined the South Sea Fleet as 572. We have seen the launching of the 8th 054A from HP shipyard and the 7th 054A from HD shipyard. I think there will eventually be 18 054A joining service. Combining that with the 2 054 FFG, they will form 5 flotillas (2 in SSF, 2 in ESF and 1 in NSF). The other interesting part is that the newer 054As are all getting sent to Gulf of Adens. Having additional 054As in rotation for 3 months deployments (longer when we factor the time to go there and back) would reduce the stress level for the sailors of the earlier 054As. It provides for a long extended sea trials for the new 054As and a great training opportunity for their crew. We have to remember that most PLAN crews have neither operated on a modern ship nor been on long deployments before getting assigned to their new ships.

We also have seen the launching of the first 056 class patrol ship from both HD and HP shipyards. It remains to be seen how large of a production run 056 will see, but the speculation is that 056 will be replacing 037 class. That would put the production number somewhere between the 054A class and the 022 class. Among the larger ships, we have seen both Type 903 AORs from GSI and HD shipyard launched. PLAN's existing fleet of AORs have been severely over-worked on Gulf of Aden deployments, so they would really welcome the additional Type 903s. Also, it appears that the second Type 926 submarine tender have joined the service.

Here are some recent photos from around Chinese shipyards. The first 3 are from HD shipyard. They show the recently launched 7th 054A and the first 056 from HD shipyard.

The pictures below shows the yet to be launched second 056 class and the newly launched Type 903 AOR.

Now, we have photos from HP shipyard showing the 8th 054A and the first 056 ships. The one below shows the second 056 which appears ready to be launched soon.

Finally, we have a picture from GSI (Guangzhou Shipyard International) showing the third type 926 submarine tender and the other Type 903 AOR.


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