China commissions another corvette, launches more frigates

IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
Yao Jianing

The latest Jiangdao-class (Type 056/056A) corvette to enter service with China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was commissioned into the South Sea Fleet on 31 March in a ceremony held at the naval base in Sanya, on Hainan Island.

The following day a Jiangkai II-class (Type 054A) frigate was launched at the Huangpu shipyard in Guangzhou, three days after another Type 054A entered the water at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.

The newly commissioned 1500-tonne corvette was named Liupanshui and given the pennant number 514. It is the tenth Type 056 to be built at the Huangpu shipyard as well as the tenth anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant (Type 056A) to enter service with the PLAN.

This variant is equipped with towed and variable depth sonars in addition to the standard fit of four anti-ship missile launchers, an H/PJ-26 single-barrelled 76 mm gun, two 30 mm H/PJ-17 mountings, an 8-cell HQ-10 short-range surface-to-air missile launcher, and two triple-barrelled torpedo launchers.

The launch of two more 4,000-tonne Type 054A frigates reflects the continuing build programme of these ships, which first entered service in 2008.

A class of 24 was previously anticipated but this number has been surpassed and up to 30 of these ships may be built before production switches to an enhanced version, the Type 054B.

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