Type 037 (Hainan Class) Submarine Chaser
Type 037 (NATO reporting name: Hainan class) is the anti-submarine patrol craft (also known as submarine chaser or sub-hunter) introduced in the 1960s. Originally designed for the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role, the versatile vessel has actually been used for a wide range of duties, including offshore patrol, escorting, surveillance, and mine laying. A total of over 126 examples were built between mid-1960s and mid-1980s, with 99 hulls commissioned by the PLA Navy. The vessel was also exported to Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Burma, and North Korea.
As the Type 6641 (Chinese copy of the Soviet Type 201 OS-1 class) patrol craft was incapable of supporting the PLA Navy’s ongoing conflicts with the Nationalist navy in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea in the late 1950s, a larger patrol craft with increased speed, seaworthiness and firepower was desperately required. In 1959, the PLA Navy organised its effort to replace the Type 6641 with an indigenously developed patrol craft of same class. 701 Institute finished the development of the Type 037 patrol craft in 1961, and the construction began in August 1962.
The first hull (pennant number 278) was built by Dalian Shipyard using Soviet-supplied components. The hull was then transported to Guangzhou-based Huangpu Shipyard in southern China by railway for system installation. No.278 boat was launched on 17 December 1963 and later transferred to Yulin naval base in Hainan Island for operational trial. The boast was officially commissioned by the South Sea Fleet on 16 November 1964. The second hull No.279 also built by Dalian Shipyard using Chinese-built components and Soviet-made diesel engines was launched in July 1965. From the third hull the construction was carried out by the Guangzhou-based Huangpu Shipyard independently.
In late 1966, Shanghai-based Qiuxin Shipyard also began to build the Type 037 patrol craft for the North Sea Fleet and East Sea Fleet. In 1972, Qingdao Shipyard in northern China became the third shipyard involved in the Type 037 production. The vessel was certified for design finalisation in February 1975. In its peak time, the Type 037 production was carried out at four shipyards (Chongqing, Qingdao, Qiuxin, and Huangpu) simultaneously. A total of 126 hulls were built, including 121 examples in the basic patrol craft variant, 2 in the rescuing boat variant, and 3 in the hospital boat variant. A total of 10 boast were donated and 12 exported to foreign navies. 99 boasts were commissioned by all three fleets of the PLA Navy. Some of these may have been scrapped or converted into transport boats.
The Type 037’s hull has a very basic all metal structure. The forward superstructure has three levels, with the ammunition store and crew quarters on the lower level; navigation, radar, and sonar rooms on the middle level, and an open-top bridge on the upper level. The lower level of the superstructure extends forwards beyond the two upper levels, providing space for a 25mm AAA gun located on its top. To achieve high-speed performance, the ship designers had to sacrifice the living conditions of the crew to give enough space for the engine room to accommodate four diesel engines.
The vessel is equipped with four RBU-1200 (or its Chinese copy Type 62) ASW rocket launchers, each with five 250mm launch tubes in two rows (3 on top, 2 at bottom). The manually-reloaded launcher has an effective range of 400~1,450m. Each rocket weights 71.5kg and is fitted with a 32kg warhead. The rocket is fitted with a KDV fuse which detonate on impact with the submarine hull or time-delay. The rocket is effective in 10~300m depth, and has a blast radius of 5m.
There are two BMB-2 (or its Chinese copy Type 64 ) 432mm depth charge (DC) projectors installed on the stern deck. The fixed projectors, which are angled at 45 degrees in elevation, can launch DCs to either 40m, 80m, or 120m range. The 165kg DC has a 135kg warhead, and is effective in the depth range of 10~330m. Additionally there are two DC racks on the ship stern, with 18 DCs. For mine warfare missions, the Type 037 is also fitted with two stern mine rails and can carry 8~12 mines.
In addition to its ASW armaments, the Type 037 is also equipped with a large number of artillery guns, consisting of two Type 61 twin-25mm/60-calibre AAA guns (270 rounds/min, 3km against airborne targets, shell 0.34kg) and two Type 66 twin-57mm/70-calibre AAA guns (70 rounds/min, 6km against surface targets and 5km against airborne targets, shell 2.80kg). These provide the vessel with intensive firepower against both surface and airborne targets.
The vessel is fitted with a Soviet Tamir II hull-mounted high-frequency sonar (or indigenous SJD-3 on later units). A 'Top Plate' surface search radar is fitted on the top of the mast.
The propulsion system consists of four diesels rated at 10,000hp. The vessel has four shafts which give a maximum speed of 29 knots.
Displacement: (standard load) 375t; (full load) 392t
Dimensions: Length 58.8 m; Beam 7.2m, Draft 2.2m
Propulsion: 4X Type 9-D-8 diesel, rated at 4,000hp sustained, four shafts
Speed: Maximum 30.5 knots; Economic: 15 knots
Range: 1,300nm @ 15 knots
Radar: (Surface search) 'Top Plate', or 'Port Head', or 'Skin Head', E/F-band
IFF: 'High Pole'
Sonar: Tamir II, hull-mounted high-frequency (Indigenous SJD-3 on later units); Thomson Sintra SS 12 VDS (some units)
Guns: 2 X Type 66 dual-57mm/70-calibre AAA gun (one front, one rear); firing 6.31kg shells at 70 rounds/min; effective range 5km against airborne targets and 6km against surface targets; 2 X Type 61 dual-25mm/60-calibre AAA guns, firing shells at a rate of 800~900 rounds/min to a range of 2,700m
ASW Rocket: 2 X Type 65 (RBU-1200) 5-tube ASW rocket launcher, range 400~1,450m; warhead 32kg
Depth charge: 2 X Type 64 (BMB-2) DC projector; 2 X DC racks
Mines: 2 X rail, 8~12 mines
Last update: 1 March 2009