The pace of construction of Chinese ships remains very strong

Since March 2018, Chinese authorities have banned local manufacturers from communicating about work related to its navy. In fact, information that had until now been just in time regarding the launches and entry into service of PLA ships has become much rarer.

Fortunately, China also has a community of military equipment enthusiasts, who report what they can see from shipyards and air bases. This is how the EastPendulum blog, specializing in Chinese Defense news, was able to report the launch of 3 new Type 056 corvettes since April, for a total of 5 corvettes since the start of the year. In addition, two Type 055 heavy destroyers and a Type 052D anti-aircraft destroyer would also be very close to their launch.

The Chinese naval defense industry therefore continues to maintain a very high production rate, with 12 new ships launched since the start of the year, excluding the submarine fleet. 

The Type 056 corvettes, and their specialized version in anti-submarine warfare Type 056A, are coastal defense units intended to ensure the protection of the Chinese EEZ, this having particularly extended since the capture of the Spartleys and the Paracels. These 1350 ton ships are remarkably well equipped, with a 76 mm cannon, 2×2 YJ-83 supersonic anti-ship missiles reaching 250 km, an FL-3000 anti-aircraft self-defense system equipped with 8 TY infrared guided missiles -90, 2 remotely operated 30 mm cannons, and 2 triple torpedo launchers. It can use a medium Z9 helicopter (Chinese dolphin model) but does not have a hangar. In addition, the ASM Type 056A version has a hull sonar and a variable depth towed sonar.

The Chinese Navy has placed an order for 60 Type 056 and 56A corvettes, of which 39 have already been delivered in 5 years. It is more than likely that Chinese design offices have already started the design of a new class of corvette, production of which should begin in 2020, concomitantly with the new frigate which will take over from the 26 Type 054 frigates built between 2003 and today, out of the 30 ordered.

With 4 Type 052D destroyers to be delivered this year, and probably 4 heavy destroyers delivered next year, the growth of Chinese naval power continues to grow, and shows no sign of slowing. This is why all of its neighbors have also undertaken to increase and modernize their military fleets.

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