Since its first appearance in Shanghai shipyards 3 years ago, the new Chinese Type 055 heavy destroyer has fueled speculation. It must be said that the new Chinese class surprised many observers, with its size, its armament, and its concept of employment, breaking with the naval traditions of the PLA.
The first Type 055, the Nanchang, entered service two months ago, and participated in the naval parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Navy. 180m long, and weighing between 11,000 and 13,500 tonnes, according to estimates, the building represents a profound change for the Chinese Navy, with its 112 vertical silos, carrying a mix of long-range HHQ-9B and medium-range HQ-anti-aircraft missiles. 16B, YJ-18 anti-ship and cruise missiles. It also has a 130 mm cannon, an HHQ-10 anti-missile defense system of 24 missiles, and a CIWS[efn_note]Close Incoming Weapon System or close protection system[/efn_note], as well as as anti-submarine torpedoes, and a hangar that can accommodate two Z9C or Ka-28 helicopters and drones. Thus equipped, the Type 055 is second only to the Ticonderoga cruisers of the US Navy and the Russian Kirovs.
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