Type 053HT-H (Jianghu-IV Class) Missile Frigate
The fifth hull of the Type 053H1, Siping (544), was built with special modifications aimed to improve its anti-submarine warfare capability. The frigate was fitted with a helicopter hanger/flight deck to support a Z-9-sized ASW helicopter. Some indigenous and Western-made systems were also installed on the vessel for trial and evaluation. The frigate was designated Type 053HT-H by the PLA Navy, and was referred to by NATO as Jianghu-IV class.
Construction of Siping began in November 1984 at Hudong Shipyard. The vessel was launched in September 1985 and commissioned in December the same year. A further modernisation refit was carried out in 1987. After 20 years of service with the PLA navy North Sea Fleet, the vessel was withdrawn from operational service in late 2006 and handed over to the PLA Navy Dalian Naval Academy for training role.
At the time of its launch, the Type 054HT-H frigate was the PLA Navy’s most capable warship in ASW capability. Its ASW suite included an SJD-5 hull-mounted medium-frequency sonar, an SJD-7 variable depth sonar (VDS), and Type 7826B/C torpedo/depth charge digital directors. The frigate was equipped with long-, medium-, and short-range ASW weapon systems. The long-range system includes the Z-9C naval helicopter, carrying 1~2 324mm anti-submarine torpedoes and dipping sonar. The medium-range ASW weapon consisted of two Alenia B515S triple-tube torpedo launchers, with 24 Italian A.244S Whitehead anti-submarine torpedoes (speed: 45kt, range: 10km). The short-range ASW weapon consisted of two Type 62 five-tube 250mm ASW rocket launchers installed on the bow deck.
The original Type 79 dual-100mm main gun on the bow deck was replaced by a French Creusot-Loire T100C single-100mm gun, which fires 13.5kg shell at a rate of 80 rounds/min to a range of 8km. Air defence is provided by two indigenous Type 76 manual/automatic dual-37mm AAA gun with a maximum range of 8.5km. For surface strike role, the frigate was equipped with three SY-1 anti-ship missiles (active radar homing; warhead: 513kg; speed: Mach 0.8; range: 40km).
The frigate had its second SY-1 missile launcher and stern guns removed to provide room for a helicopter flight deck and hanger. The helicopter hanger was 15.2m in length, 8.5m in width, and 5.6m in height. The flight deck was 21.6m X 10.8m, capable of supporting a Z-9-sized helicopter. The flight deck was also fitted with a French-made helicopter landing assistance and handling system, which has been copied and installed on virtually all newly-built indigenous surface combatants since then.
The frigate was installed with a French-made NAJA optronic director, replacing the Type 352 ‘Square Tie’ targeting radar. Other electronic systems included a Type 348S air-search radar, a Type 343 main gun fire-control radar, an electronic warfare suite, and Type 348C ELINT processing system.
Last update: 9 October 2007