The guided-missile destroyer Nanchang of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy takes part in a naval parade staged to mark the 70th founding anniversary of the PLA Navy on the sea off Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, on April 23, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
China's latest 10,000 ton-class guided missile destroyer, the Type 055, is capable of launching long-range land-attack cruise missiles, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy revealed as experts said on Sunday the new weapon could let the destroyer launch more precise attacks against land targets at greater range.
Introducing the vast and complicated arsenal at its disposal, the PLA Navy said on China's Twitter-like social platform Sina Weibo that the service operates not only vessels, but also submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles with strategic missile submarines and long-range land-attack cruise missiles with 10,000 ton-class guided missile destroyer, despite them also being the main battle equipment of the PLA Rocket Force.
China displayed its first Type 055 destroyer, the Nanchang, in April at the fleet review of the PLA Navy's 70th anniversary celebration in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province.
As China's first type of 10,000 ton-class destroyer, the Type 055 has 112 vertical launch missile cells capable of launching a combination of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine missiles, according to media reports.
While military observers have been speculating the ship was capable of launching land-attack missiles, the Navy's Weibo post confirmed the speculation.
The Navy's post did not elaborate on the designation or specifications of the long-range land-attack cruise missile, and went on to introduce the Navy's J-10 and J-11 fighter jets that are also operated by the Air Force, as well as Z-8 and Z-9 helicopters, amphibious armored vehicles and howitzers that are also used by the Army.
The Chinese Navy has formed a complete system with submarine troops, surface vessel troops, aviation troops, marines and coastal defense troops, as the five sub-branches use a wide selection of different weapons to become as efficient as possible, an anonymous military expert told the Global Times on Sunday.
Long-range land-attack cruise missiles will allow destroyers to launch more powerful precision strikes on land targets compared to main guns, which have a lower range and are less accurate, the expert said.