The Type 056 corvette is a vital part of the modern People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China. The warships are in the 1,500-ton displacement range, making them ideal for close-to-shore / offshore support operations with limited ocean-going capabilities in regards to shoring up Blue Water fleet strength. The Chinese Navy classifies the warship officially as a (guided-missile) "frigate" while Western sources note its qualities are more akin to a "corvette".
The "Type 056A" is the enhanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) variant of the class.
The class numbers seventy-two total ships in all, including both Type 056 and Type 056A ships, as of August 2021) and were used to succeed an aging line of Type 037 vessels built during the Cold War period (1947-1991). Their design incorporates stealth features as well as all-modern communications, sensors, and weaponry - making them true multi-mission warships. The Type 056 (exported under the designation of "P18") is operated by two other navies in the world, the Bangladesh Navy (four units as the 1,300 ton "C13B") and the Nigerian Navy (two units as the 1,800 ton "P18N"). NATO designates the entire class as the "Jiangdao-class".
One of their number is CNS Shangrao (583), commissioned in 2013 and currently (2021) serving as an active component of the East Sea Fleet and built to the Type 056 standard.
The warship is given a running length of 300 feet with a beam measuring 36.5 feet and a draught down to 13 feet. The shallow nature of the hull is what gives this entry its close-to-shore capability. Power is through a pair of SEMT-Pielstick PA6-STC series marine diesels driving power to 2 x Shafts astern. Maximum speed in ideal conditions can reach 25 knots while ranging out to 3,500 nautical miles (4,000 miles) when cruising at 16 knots.
Aboard is a complement of 78. An air wing is also carried which services / operates the single medium-lift helicopter from the stern-based helipad. Support facilities are included in the design while the typically operated rotorcraft is the French-based Harbin "Z-9" (Airbus Helicopters AS365 "Dauphin").
The warship is outfitted with the Type 360 air-surface-search radar, the Type 347G fire control radar, and twin sonar types; a bow-mounted installation and a towed, variable-depth system.
Armament centers on a broad range of weapons to meet in-the-field threats from the air, on the water, or under the sea. This includes a single 76mm AK-176 turreted deck gun (over the forecastle), 2 x 30mm automatic cannons, 2 x Twin-cell YJ-83 anti-ship missile launchers (seated amidships), 1 x 8-cell FL-3000N Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher, and 2 x 324mm triple torpedo tubes. The onboard helicopter can also fulfill over-the-horizon hunting and rescue roles.
The warship's profile is consistent with the class as well as modern Western offerings. Protrusions are kept to a minimum to reduce the craft's radar profile; this is notable at the forecastle and through the slab-sided hull superstructure joined seamlessly to the hull proper. The bridge section takes its usual place above and behind the deck gun with the enclosed main mast integrated to the section's arrangement. The smoke funnels are fully-enclosed and of low-profile while being seated amidships aft of the crisscrossed ASM missile launchers. The aft superstructure is home to the FL-3000N SAM launcher on a trainable mounting and steps down to reveal the single-helicopter helipad.
CNS Shangrao (583) is a regular, active participant of Chinese military operations in the region, which includes fairly regular exercises with a focus on amphibious assaults, giving credence to the prominent position the ship will take a possible invasion of neighboring Taiwan.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Activities conducted near shorelines in support of allied activities.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
✓Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
Vessel's hull design is such that it can operate in close-to-shore / shallow water environments.
Onboard systems alert and protect the vessel from airborne, low-flying airborne threats through ballistic and / or missile weaponry.
An Over-the-Horizon operational capability is granted to the vessel, typically through launched fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft.
Onboard facilities provide for the launching of air and/or land elements for shore attack and infiltration.
Ability to launch torpedoes against ocean-going targets.
300.0 ft 91.44 m
36.5 ft 11.13 m
13.0 ft 3.96 m
2 x SEMT-Pielstick PA6-STC marine diesel engines driving power to 2 x Shafts astern.
25.0 kts (28.8 mph)
3,476 nm (4,000 mi | 6,437 km)
kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers
1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
1 x 76mm AK-176 turreted deck gun.
1 x 8-cell FL-3000N Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher.
2 x 2-cell YJ-83 Anti-Ship Missile (ASM) launchers.
2 x 30mm automatic cannons.
2 x 324mm Triple torpedo tubes.
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
1 x Medium-lift helicopter operated from stern helipad (Harbin Z-9 type).
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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