China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) intends to develop a new air-defence guided missile destroyer (DDG), it was announced in early September.
These new ships will carry a pair of 32-round vertical missile launch systems, capable of deploying the CPMIEC HQ-9 Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM). This medium/high altitude weapon uses active radar homing, has a ceiling of circa 98,400ft (30km), and a range in the region of 200km (124nm). These SAMs are already used on the PLAN’s ‘Type-52C’ class DDGs.
The new ‘Type-52D’ class vessels will be equipped with a Type-346 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) and Type-518 L-band air/sea surveillance radar.
The Type-346, which is already in service on China’s ‘Type-52C’ class ships, is believed to have a range of up to 160km (86nm). Meanwhile, the Type-518 system is capable of rapid frequency shifting, has low sidelobes and electronic counter-counter measure protection.
There is no word on when construction of the Type-52D DDGs could commence, or how many ships are likely to be included in the class.