China about to Launch the World’s Biggest Guided Missile Destroyer

by Arthur Dominic Villasanta / December 10, 2016 / Chinatopix

Taiwan media is reporting that construction China’s first Type 055 guided missile destroyer — the largest and most heavily armed destroyer in the world — is nearing completion.

Spy satellite photos indicate construction of the big 14,000 ton destroyer is in its final stages. This means the first Type 055 might be launched in January 2017. Other sources, however, claim the destroyer will be launched later this month.

The photos also show two Type 055 destroyers being built at the Jiangnan Changxing Shipyard in Shanghai. One of these warships, probably the lead ship, is now equipped with engines and radar.

Chinatopix in October reported China’s first Type 055 guided missile destroyer will enter service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) before 2020.

Displacing 14,000 tons, the Type 055 will become the heaviest destroyer afloat. It’s about 2,000 tons heavier than the new USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) stealth destroyer of the United States Navy that became operational in October.

And with 128 vertical launch system (VLS) cells loaded with a mix of missiles, the Type 055 will have missile firepower greater than the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, but will be at par with the Sejong the Great-class guided missile destroyers of the Republic of Korea Navy. The Zumwalt is armed with 80 VLS cells.

The lead ship of the Type 055-class began construction in 2015. When launched, the Type 055 will be the largest non-capital surface warship built in Asia since World War II.

The only warships heavier than the Type 055 were the heavy cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy that weighed over 10,000 tons.

The Type 055 will have four large AESA radars for defense against aerial and maritime threats. The radars will be linked to the ship’s 128 VLS that carry air-to-air and anti-ship missiles. Read more…

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