By: Mike Yeo
MELBOURNE, Australia — China has launched the first of a new class of guided missile destroyer, the largest and most advanced of its type to be designed and built in the country.
In a news release, China’s Ministry of National Defense, or MND, said the ship, which it did not identify, although widely known as the Type 055, was launched at a ceremony held at Shanghai's Jiangnan-Changxing shipyard on Wednesday morning.
In addition, General Zhang Youxia, a member of China's Central Military Commission and head of its Equipment Development Department, attended the ceremony. He was joined by leaders of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, as well as those from the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense at the ceremony.
The MND release listed the ship’s displacement at 10,000 tons but did not provide further details, although satellite imagery of the ship being built suggests that it will be between 175 and 180 meters long with a beam of approximately 20 meters.
Photos of the ceremony released by the MND and Chinese state media also suggest the Type 055 will be fitted with a bow-mounted sonar and a 64-cell vertical launch system, or VLS, for surface to air, anti-ship and cruise missiles in the forward section of the ship behind the 130mm dual-purpose gun. This ship will also include a set of VLS aft that will likely bring the total number of VLS cells carried by the ship to between 112 and 128 cells.
Read the full story at DefenseNews