Type 052 (Luhu Class) Missile Destroyer
The Type 052 (NATO reporting name: Luhu class) is the multirole missile destroyer built by Hudong Shipyard (now Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard) in Shanghai for the PLA Navy. It is China’s first modern multirole surface combatant with comprehensive surface strike, air defence, and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. It is also the first Chinese-built warship to be fitted with sophisticated Western weapon and sensor technologies. Two hulls, Harbin (112) and Qingdao (113) were built in the early 1990s.
In the late 1980s, the PLA Navy began to build the new generation multirole missile destroyer as a successor to its obsolete Type 051 (Luda Class). The destroyer was designed by Shanghai-based China Ship Building Institute (701 Institute) and built by Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai. Construction of the first-of-class 112 Harbin began in 1986, and the ship was launched in 1991. System installation and sea trial lasted for three years before the ship could enter the service. The delay was mainly caused by the complexity of integrating various foreign-made contents. The second hull 113 Qingdao was commissioned in 1996.
The Type 052 is the first Chinese-built surface combatant that meets modern standards. Fitted with a mixture of Chinese indigenous and Western-made weapon systems and sensors, the ship represented a great leap forward in China’s shipbuilding and defence technologies. It is the first Chinese surface combatant to be fitted with sophisticated air defence, anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, and C3I systems. The advanced gas turbine powerplant enables the ship to operate in deep oceans far from its homeport.
Harbin (112) was first revealed to the public during the 1996 PLA exercise near the Taiwan Strait. The destroyer and two other Chinese warships made a historical visit to San Diego, CA on 21 March 1997 in the first-ever visit by People's Republic of China Navy ships to the mainland US. Between May and October 2002, a fleet comprising Qingdao (113) destroyer and Taicang (575) replenishment ship conducted the first global cruising in the PLA Navy’s history.
112 Harbin after the modernisation refit (Chinese Internet)
Despite its various improvements compared to previous Chinese-built surface combatants, the Type 052 was still behind Western- and Russian-built warships of the same age. The ship’s air defence firepower, consisting of a 13km-range Crotale/HongQi-7 air defence missile launcher and four twin-37mm AAA guns, is only capable of point defence against limited number of targets. The ship’s variable depth sonar (VDS) is still inferior to the latest Western designs. Additionally, the shipborne Z-9C naval helicopter only has very limited antisubmarine warfare capability.
Both hulls received mid-life modernisation upgrade in 2003/04. The original YJ-81 (C-801A) anti-ship missiles were replaced by more capable YJ-83 (C-803) variant. The PJ-33A twin-100mm main gun was also replaced by a new design with strong radar cross-section reduction features. Currently both destroyers are deployed by the PLA Navy North Sea Fleet based at Qingdao in Shandong Province.
The hull design of Type 052 features certain European influence. The ship has a higher beam-length ratio which increases the stability of the ship in bad weather conditions, but sacrifices the speed performance of the ship. With a full displacement of 4,800t, the destroyer was also the largest surface warship in service with the PLA Navy when it was commissioned.
Following the modernisation refit, the primary surface strike weapon system of the Type 052 is the YJ-83 sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile. Four quadruple launchers are installed at the mid-ship position. The missile uses active radar-homing to deliver a 165kg warhead to a range in excess of 180km.
The main air defence weapon is an 8-cell HongQi-7 (French Thales Crotale copy) short-range SAM system, designed to engage aircraft in all-weather, day/night conditions at a maximum range of 8~12km with line-of-sight guidance. The missile also has limited capability to intercept sea-skimming anti-ship missiles at a much closer range (4~6km).
Bow deck of Type 052 (Chinese Internet)
A Type 79A (PJ-33) dual-barrel 100mm/56-calibre gun is installed on the bow deck, in front of the SAM launcher. The gun is capable of firing 15kg shells at a rate of 18 rounds per minute to a range of 22km.
For air defence the frigate is equipped with four Type 76A dual-37mm anti-aircraft artillery guns, capable of firing 1.42kg shells at a rate of 180 rounds per minute to a range of 8.5km against airborne targets.
The ship is fitted with two triple-324mm torpedo launchers, which is used to launch the Yu-7 (copy of the U.S. Mk46 Mod1) anti-submarine torpedo. The Yu-7 carries a 45kg to engage underwater target at a speed of 43kt, and has a maximum range of 7.3km.
There are two Type 75 (RBU-1200) 12-tube anti-submarine rocket launchers installed on the bow deck, with 120 rockets (240mm calibre, 34kg warhead). The maximum range is 1,200m.
The ship has a Thomson-CSF TSR 3004 Sea Tiger (or its Chinese copy Type 360S/SR60) for air and surface search; a Type 518 (REL-2) Haiying for long-range surveillance and early warning; a Type 345 (also known as MR35, J-band) for HQ-7 SAM fire-control; a Type 344 (also known as MR34, I/J-band) for YJ-83 SSM and 100mm main gun fire-control; and two Type 347G (also known as EFR-1) Rice Bowl (I-band) for 37mm AAA fire-control. For navigation, the ship has two Racal Decca RM-1290 (I-band).
The destroyer is fitted with two types of sonar systems, including the DUBV-23 (SJD-8/9) medium-frequency hull-mounted sonar for active search and attack, and the DUBV-43 (ESS-1) towed medium-frequency variable depth sonar (VDS) for active attack. The Type 052 is the first Chinese destroyer to be fitted with VDS as a standard equipment.
The Type 052 has two Type 946 15-barrelled chaff/decoy launchers. Active ECM system include the Type 826C (BM-8610) intercept and jammer.
Command & Control
The Type 052 is the first Chinese surface combatant to have been equipped with an integrated combat data system. The ZJK-4 is a Chinese copy of the Italian Alenia Marconi Systems (now Selex Sistemi Integrati) IPN-10, which integrates the target acquisition, navigation, communications, signal processing and weapon control functions. The combat system central computer computes and evaluates the target data and allocates data to the weapon systems. The system carries out multiple target search and track, target prioritisation and automatic engagement of weapons.
Other systems include two Type 630 (GDG-775) optronic directors, British-made SNTI-240 satellite communications (SATCOM), and datalink.
112 Harbin before modernisation refit (Chinese Internet)
The helicopter deck at the stern has a single landing spot for a medium size helicopter such as Harbin Z-9C. The deck is fitted with the helicopter handling system. A fully equipped hangar accommodates two helicopter.
The propulsion system is a combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) arrangement. The two ships have different configurations in their powerplants. Harbin (112) has two GE LM2500 gas turbines rated at 55,000hp (41MW) sustained. Qingdao (113) has two Ukraine GT25000 gas turbines rated at 48,600hp (35.7MW).
Auxiliary propulsions include two Chinese license-built German MTU 12V 1163TB83 diesels rated at 8,840 hp (6.5 MW) sustained. 2 shafts, CP props. Max speed 31 knots.
Last update: 1 March 2009