Quantitatively, the Chinese Navy - or People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) - is the second largest ocean-going force in the world, second only to North Korea and ahead of both Russia and the United States. As can be expected, the service is modeled more after the latter two, fielding a broad collection of surface and undersea combatants to counter or neutralize any threat to Chinese interests, particuarly in the South China Sea region of the world. With each passing decade, the branch has been extending its capabilities to the point of surprise to observers, introducing indigenously-developed and constructed aircraft carriers as well as nuclear-powered attack submarines - threatening the stability of the East China Sea and beyond in the eyes of the West.
The Type 052D destroyer class, known to NATO as the Luyang III-class), succeeded the Type 052C (Luyang-II) series ships on paper and currently (2020) numbers thirteen warships in active service with another vessel undertaking requisite sea trials and six more being fitted out as of this writing. The class has been in commissioned service since 2014 beginning with CNS Kunming (172) and operate with the North Sea Fleet, South Sea Fleet, and East Sea Fleet.
As completed, the ships of the class have a running length of 515 to 528 feet depending on production batch with a beam measuring 56 feet and a draught down to 20 feet. The propulsion scheme is a COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas (CODOG) arrangement as a fuel-efficient measure (one set of turbines is used for quick dashing actions while the another is reserved for general cruising service).
The external structure exhibits typical stealth measures including a blended hull-body approach, minimizing protrusions and the like. The main gun is seated over the forecastle and free of obstructions, given excellent firing arcs forward and to the sides. The hull superstructure is then stepped towards the bridge superstructure which, itself, is integrated with the enclosed main mast. The bridge superstructure has a cut-down rear to which the low-profile, fully-enclosed smoke stacks are then featured near midships. The aft-mast then follows and the helicopter hangar/deck is featured at the extreme rear of the vessel.
All of the ships are built to a 7,500 ton standard and are reported (at least locally)to be on par (in capabilities, role, and armament) with the AEGIS-equipped warships of the United States Navy (USN) . Sensors and systems include the Type 346A Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) and Type 518 L-Band radar fits as well as variable depth sonar and towed-sonar arrays.
Armament includes a single 130mm turreted deck gun over the forecastle but the bread the butter of the warship is its 32-/32-cell (64 total) Vertical Launch System (VLS) housing HHQ-9 or CY-5 Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) or YJ-18 Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSMs). The fully-modern digital system makes up the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) fit. All this provides the warship with a solution against inbound aerial targets, inland land targets, on-water targets, and undersea threats.
In addition to installed weaponry, the vessel has a combination hangar-helipad arrangement over the stern to service/operate a submarine/ship-hunting helicopter or replenishment VTOL aircraft. up to two helicopters can be supported with one stored in the hangar.
CNS Yinchuan (175) currently retains an active service status with the South Sea Fleet and actively participates in Chinese Navy drills and exercises with the regional fleet.
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