In the early 2000s, just twenty years ago, the Chinese Navy's most capable and powerfully armed surface combatant ships were the two Type 052 destroyers that entered service between 1994 and 1996.
These 4,600 ton and 144 meter ships, however, had limited capabilities, both in terms of sensors and armament, fielding only 8 to 16 YJ-83 anti-ship missiles and the only anti-aircraft capability, an unlicensed copy. of the French Naval Crotale designated HHQ-7.
At that time, the Chinese navy had no deep-sea engagement or distant power projection skills. Since then, things have evolved considerably.
This in fact aligns not only more than 25 Type 052D/DL anti-aircraft destroyers of 7000 tonnes, but also a vast fleet of Type 054A anti-submarine frigates, conventional and nuclear submarines, and now large power projection ships like the aircraft carriers Liaoning, Shandong and soon Fujian, as well as LPD Type 071 and LHD Type 075.
But the class of ships marking this change in category of the Chinese navy is none other than the Type 055 super destroyer, of which the 8th and last unit of the initial batch, the Xianyang (hull number 108) entered service there a few days .
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