China Unveils New Nanchang Destroyer – Is It Desperation?

  • China's military is undergoing a massive technological overhaul as part of Xi's military ambitions to mirror Russian President Vladimir Putin's agenda.
  • The construction of the Nanchang began in 2014 and commissioning took place in January 2020.
  • The ship is 590 feet long and 65 feet wide.

Weibo published the first ever images of the Chinese Nanchang Ship. Weibo is China’s version of twitter  Earlier this year, China announced that Nanchang would be joining the Chinese Navy fleet. China’s military is undergoing a massive technological overhaul as part of Xi’s military ambitions to mirror Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda.  The ship is designed for long-range air defense, anti-submarine defense, electronic warfare, destruction of surface and ground targets, escort, long-range patrol and surveillance.

An image released by China of the Nanchang ship.

The construction of Nanchang began in 2014 and commissioning took place in January. The destroyer was shown in China during the 70th anniversary naval parade.

Nanchang has a conventional “flared” hull with stealth features. The ship is 590 feet long and 65 feet wide. It has a total displacement of 12,000 tonnes. It is 9,000 tonnes bigger than the Luyang III destroyer.

Additionally, Nanchang can carry more weapons and equipment than any other Chinese destroyer. Future variants of the type 055 could carry a futuristic Chinese electromagnetic rail gun that can fire hypersonic projectiles at a speed of 7M. According to Chinese military sources, it can also be upgraded for use as a missile defense platform.

The power system is based on the latest gas turbine that is made in China. There are four QC-280 gas turbines with a capacity of 28 MW each, as well as additional QD-50 gas turbines of 5 MW (combined gas-gas system COGAG). The maximum speed of the ship is estimated at 30 knots.

The image of Nanchang.

According to the source, the Chinese Naval Industry Type 55 can also be equipped with medium-range missiles, developed on the basis of the missile PL-10. HT-9B is a naval version of the HQ-9 medium and long range, active radar homing, and HQ-16 SAM is a medium range.

The main gun of the destroyer appears to be an improved version of the 130 mm single-barrel AU H/PJ45A-130-1. The rate of fire of the gun is 40 rounds per minute, a normal projectile has a range of 30 kilometers, and an active-jet can shoot further and more accurately.

Nanchang can accommodate up to two Z-18 anti-submarine gunships. The helicopter is a new-generation military transport helicopter that was developed by Changhe Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) based on the civil Avicopter AC313 (Harbin Z-8), which itself is based on the French Aerospatiale SA321 Super Frelon developed in the 1960s. The naval version is designated as the Z-18F “Sea eagle” and will be capable of performing combat missions with both Yu-7K light torpedoes and YJ-9 anti-submarine missiles.

China has been showcasing its defense capabilities with renewed zest. Last week, a tweet by the Editor-In-Chief of The Global Times called for China to increase its number of nuclear warheads.

The timing of the ship images coincides with Hu Wenming being investigated for the alleged “corruption.” He is the former boss of one of China’s largest shipbuilding conglomerates, who was originally responsible for the Nanchang project at its inception.

It is clear China is trying hard to copycat Russia and even North Korea. It only shows desperation. However, China shouldn’t be completely underestimated. China is not capable of succeeding with any type of military operation against the West.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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