Some twenty-five vessels currently make up the Type 054A frigate warship class of the modern Chinese Navy ("People's Liberation Army Navy"). The vessel class is known to NATO as the "Jiangkai II" and entered service during 2008. The group, succeeding the pair of Type 054 frigates introduced in 2005, also includes the Type 054A+ and Type 054B subclasses.
The Type 054A is an improvement of the preceding Type 054 ships in that air defense capabilities have been broadened and more potent armament and processing systems installed. The Chinese are advancing their warships as they learn and bringing their capabilities more in line with those of the West. These particular warships are considered "multi-mission" platforms with no single designated role in the Chinese Navy - they can operate independently or as part of larger, farther-reaching fleet actions as necessary and can counter most any at-sea threat thanks to their large stable of systems and weaponry.
The related Type 054A+ is considered an improvement on the Type 054A design and these ships are represented from the 17th Type 054A warship onward and include a new CIWS and improved sonar capabilities. An even more advanced version is planned with the pending arrival of the Type 054B subclass.
The Type 054A ships displace 4,465 tons and feature an overall length of 440 feet with a beam measuring 52 feet. Aboard is a crew of 165 men. A single Kamov Ka-28 "Helix" or Harbin Z-9C navy helicopter can be launched and retrieved from the stern-based flight deck. A full-service hangar facility is also included in the ship's design scheme.
Outwardly, the warship makes use of proven stealth qualities in that deck protrusions are kept to a minimum and radar absorbent materials are used in its construction. The main mast is enclosed in a pyramidal-style structure and the smoke funnels are of a low-profile appearance. The deck-line running along the sides of the hull are fused as part of the superstructure which is a modern physical quality of stealthy warships in the West. The bridge superstructure is set in its usual place overlooking the bow and a single turreted deck gun emplacement. The superstructure bristles with command-and-control hardware, including radar and sensors, as well as point-defense systems.
The class carries the powerful Type 382 3D Air / Surface search 3D radar suite and Type 344 radar. 4 x Type 345 radars serve in the Fire Control (FC) role. 2 x Racal RM-1290 units are used in the navigation role. There is an integrated active/passive sonar system by way of the MGK-335 installation as well as a towed array in the H/SJG-206 unit - common features to modern frigates. Several systems are also installed as part of the Electronic Warfare (EW) component of the ship.
The armament suite consists of a 32-cell Vertical Launching System (VLS) housing the HQ-16 Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM). There are 2 x C-803 anti-ship / land-attack cruise missile quadruple launchers fitted as well as 2 x 240mm Type 87 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers. The vessel carries 2 x 324mm Yu-7 triple torpedo tubes and 2 x Type 726-4 18-shot decoy launchers. More conventional weaponry includes the 76mm PJ26 series deck gun and 2 x 30mm (7-barreled) Type 730 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs). Also notable is that the onboard helicopter adds an Over-the-Horizon (OtH) capability to the warship as well, broadening its reach and these systems are able to carry anti-ship / anti-submarine armament all their own. These rotary-wing elements can also serve in maritime reconnaissance and Search and Rescue (SAR) roles when needed.
The Type 054A class is in active service across three major Chinese Navy fleets: the East Sea Fleet, the North Sea Fleet and the South Sea Fleet and has already seen useful deployment in anti-piracy actions in and around the Gulf of Aden region. Its export value is currently being considered with a commitment by Malaysia to purchase the type and some interest had from the Russian Navy. South Korea beat out the Chinese design in a sale to Thailand.
Pennant Numbers 515, 530, 536, 538, 539, 546, CNS Linyi (547), 548, 549, 550, 568, CNS Yulin (569), 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, CNS Yueyang (575), 576, 577, 578 and 579. Type 054A, Type 054A+ and Type 054B are part of the same class.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
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.
440.0 ft 134.11 m
52.0 ft 15.85 m
4 x Shaanxi 16 PA6 STC marine diesel engines arranged in COmbined Diesel And Diesel (CODAD) arrangement developing 7,600 horsepower each.
27.0 kts (31.1 mph)
8,025 nm (9,235 mi | 14,862 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 PJ26 Dual-Purpose (DP) turreted deck gun.
1 x 32-cell Vertical Launching System (VLS) supporting HQ-16 Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and Yu-8 Anti-Submarine ROCkets (ASROCs).
2 x C-803 Anti-Ship / Land-Attack cruise quadruple missile launchers.
2 x 30mm Type 730 / Type 1130 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
2 x 324mm Yu-7 triple torpedo tubes.
2 x 6 240mm Type 87 Antii-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers (36 reloads).
2 x 18-shot Type 726-4 devoy rocket launchers.
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
1 x Kamov Ka-28 "Helix" OR Harbin Z-9C "Haitun" navy helicopter.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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Image from the Russian Ministry of Defence; Yancheng 546 pictured.
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Image from the Russian Ministry of Defence; Public Release.
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