The People’s Liberation Army Navy recently introduced two domestically designed and built guided missile destroyers that include Aegis-type radars
and related technologies. Known as Project 052C guided missile destroyers (DDGs), the ships feature Aegis-type phased array panels, vertical launch
systems, long-range missiles and considerable command and control. These capabilities were not found on any previous Chinese-built DDGs.
China is building only two 052C ships, and the next ship under construction will have a different Aegis and VLS suite. Even so, the mere existence of
People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships with long-range phased array radar, communications to other naval assets and over-the-horizon
ship-to-ship missiles (SSMs) complicates planning by other naval powers for the Taiwan Straits or other disputed Pacific Ocean waters.
China’s first 6,600-ton missile destroyer with an Aegis-type four-plate phased array antenna is the Lanzhou DDG 170 launched in Jiangnan Shipyard in
April 2003. The DDG 171 followed six months later. Their undesignated Chinese radar is different from the Aegis or Sky Watch phased array radars. This
radar is C-band instead of L- or F-band, and it has convex curved arrays instead of flat panels. The four arrays are 4.6 meters high x 3.9 meters
wide, and they face out from the forward deckhouse as on the U.S. DDG 51. China reportedly has purchased two advanced Russian phased array radars for
a follow-on larger air defense DDG 103 ship that is under construction at the Dalien shipyard. The short one- or two-ship production runs are a
trademark of post-Luda DDG designs.
When the U.S. Navy installed its first MK 41 VLS on the Ticonderoga-class Aegis cruiser CG-52 in 1989, it featured 64 missile cells forward and 32
cells aft. The MK 41 VLS cells launch multiwarfare missiles. The first Russian VLS trials were with SAN-6 missiles on the fourth Kara cruiser in 1977,
and the 8,000-ton Udaloy DDG had eight SAN-9 VLS hatches. Both SAN-6 and SAN-9 VLS systems featured round modules with eight cells each and had a
large unique Top Dome or Cross Sword acquisition and guidance fire control director and radar/datalink.
The PLAN DDG 170 and 171 feature six HHQ-9 VLS launcher modules forward of the bridge and two aft by the helicopter hanger. At first glance the
Chinese VLS launcher looks like the Russian VLS, but there are major differences. The Chinese VLS modules each have two fewer cells than the original
Soviet VLS, and the Russian VLS has only one hatch, as eight cells with blow-out patches rotate under it to launch. The rationale that the Russian
eight-cell modules were too large for the smaller Chinese DDG hull does not seem valid because the diameter of the Russian module is only 1.5 feet
larger than the Chinese module. Possibly, China used S-300 missiles, and Russia provided no naval SAN-6 equipment
The Chinese Aegis DDGs have their own Ka-25 helicopters that can have distant reconnaissance or targeting capabilities and possibly can even carry
missiles, although the Aegis concept is to pass target data to the control ship that would launch its weapons. Long-range shore-based fighter aircraft
such as the Su-30MKK with its M400 over-the-horizon multispectral reconnaissance pod can pass target data back or can even be vectored to attack with
its own long-range 3M80 Moskit missiles by the control ship. The early Su-27SK had an analog voice-encoding link, but the newer Su-30MKK has a TKS-22
datalink. China is negotiating with Russia to equip future Su-30 MK2 aircraft to include the next-generation TSIMSS-1 digital datalink. The DDG 107
would need the appropriate Sukhoi-variant link.
Source : www.afcea.org...
Cool, China now has a destroyer with Aegis capabilites, in a smaller size (6600 tons compared to the tiniest American Aegis, the Arleigh Burke at 8400
tons), featuring phased array radars and antennas and with other advanced electronic functions.
This improves China's blue water capability by a lot, but China is still not a true blue water power yet. With the introduction of more 052Cs, China
will be able to project power much more efficently over Taiwan if needed.
Pics of 052C:
Phased array radar
171 and 170 at shipyard