054B/next generation frigate


Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
I wouldn't be so sure about the 052C.

As for 052D and 055: why not have both ARH and SARH variants? Then you can load-up the 055 with twice as many SARH missiles for the same cost.

Logistics. This is bad logistics.

Even for the 052C, if I have to store a peculiar and unique version of the HQ-9 with a different canister, this is bad logistics. This is why even for the 052C, the canister needs to be shared with the 052D and 055, and the missile has to be the same...eventually that is, until all your older batch of HQ-9 for that model runs out or has expired. Then you have to find a way to make the 052C work with the current production batch of HQ-9.

You are not going to produce HQ-9A, -9B and -9C. That will greatly raise your costs just to deliberate produce antiques. Imagine if you have to deal with components that are no longer being produced. If you are going to make a thousand missiles, it better be just -9C alone, and that will greatly reduce your cost per missile via volume amortization. Its not because of the better performance, but your current production model is the one that assuredly has all the parts for it being currently made.

Difference of SARH and ARH missile is the presence of a radar transmitter and portable batteries, both things that Chinese industry produce heavily, especially battery. I don't think it makes that big a cost because the cost of the ARH missile lies in its expensive development when you transition SARH to ARH. But in the case of the HQ-9, it is already actively guided to begin with and the R&D cost has already been spent. To create a brand new SARH variant would in fact greatly increase the cost for no benefit.

This is more of an issue with the HQ-16, whose original state is SARH, to go to ARH. But not HQ-9 whose original state is already on ARH. This is the part that makes me think HQ-16 ARH, for future frigates may not be as cost viable unless China is willing to throw enormous sums at it. ARH missile for the 054B might be something new or the 054B will use the HQ-9.

Even just having HQ-16 is already bad logistics, when you can "Standard"-ize your entire navy on one missile type. HQ-16 and HQ-9 comes from an inherited Soviet legacy of adapting land missile types to naval. That's something PLAN eventually needs to grow out of in the future.
 
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sndef888

Senior Member
Registered Member
Anybody knows how the size of the 054a's VLS compares with the UVLS?

If a new quadpacked missile came about we could have significantly increased firepower without increasing the size of the ship. Even just 24 UVLS could give 32x SAM, 8x Asroc and 8x ASM

Don't think they should fit HQ-9s onto it though, since that would require a costly upgrade in sensors
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Anybody knows how the size of the 054a's VLS compares with the UVLS?

If a new quadpacked missile came about we could have significantly increased firepower without increasing the size of the ship. Even just 24 UVLS could give 32x SAM, 8x Asroc and 8x ASM

Don't think they should fit HQ-9s onto it though, since that would require a costly upgrade in sensors

Hard to say without actual measurement.

Based on photos of ships being visited, giving you a reference with human sizes, I won't say the AJK-16 VLS is small. It reminds me a bit of the Mk. 41 in terms of surface area dimensions.

But even if U-VLS is bigger per cell, U-VLS does not have the center plenum used by hot launched VLS only that is used as the gas exhaust. So it is efficient when it comes to surface area, Note that its Russian counterpart, the UKSK VLS is used right down to the corvette level.

Back in 2016 in the IDEAS defense exhibit in Pakistan, CSSC showed off a number of proposed export frigate models. Although they did not disclose exactly what the VLS are, some of the frigates shown have a VLS with no center plenum.

I suspect, and its not hard to think that, since the original U-VLS was specified back in the mid 2000s, there could have been undocumented revisions since then. I would expect one to be a frigate level U-VLS.

While I do not expect an HQ-9 due to the sensor issue, I do expect at least a two level SAM system, a mid to long range SAM that will cover the range gap from 50 to at least 150km that's a replacement to the HQ-16, and a quadpacked short to mid range SAM up to 50km. Both to be active guided. I also expect both to be cold launched.

While we have suspects for the quad packed SAM, for the longer range HQ-16 successor, my speculation of a new midrange SAM is that it could be a variant using the same HQ-16 airframe with a new rocket motor and active seeker --- the original HQ-16 missile range could be limited by the range of its target emitters than the missile itself. Or it can be a shorter, lighter, "baby" HQ-9. Or it can be a brand new missile entirely. I would also speculate that the seeker might be derived from the PL-15.
 

sndef888

Senior Member
Registered Member
Hard to say without actual measurement.

Based on photos of ships being visited, giving you a reference with human sizes, I won't say the AJK-16 VLS is small. It reminds me a bit of the Mk. 41 in terms of surface area dimensions.

But even if U-VLS is bigger per cell, U-VLS does not have the center plenum used by hot launched VLS only that is used as the gas exhaust. So it is efficient when it comes to surface area, Note that its Russian counterpart, the UKSK VLS is used right down to the corvette level.

Back in 2016 in the IDEAS defense exhibit in Pakistan, CSSC showed off a number of proposed export frigate models. Although they did not disclose exactly what the VLS are, some of the frigates shown have a VLS with no center plenum.

I suspect, and its not hard to think that, since the original U-VLS was specified back in the mid 2000s, there could have been undocumented revisions since then. I would expect one to be a frigate level U-VLS.

While I do not expect an HQ-9 due to the sensor issue, I do expect at least a two level SAM system, a mid to long range SAM that will cover the range gap from 50 to at least 150km that's a replacement to the HQ-16, and a quadpacked short to mid range SAM up to 50km. Both to be active guided. I also expect both to be cold launched.

While we have suspects for the quad packed SAM, for the longer range HQ-16 successor, my speculation of a new midrange SAM is that it could be a variant using the same HQ-16 airframe with a new rocket motor and active seeker --- the original HQ-16 missile range could be limited by the range of its target emitters than the missile itself. Or it can be a shorter, lighter, "baby" HQ-9. Or it can be a brand new missile entirely. I would also speculate that the seeker might be derived from the PL-15.
Interesting. Why do you feel they will be active radar guided and cold launched? Isn't that expensive and usually limited to only long range missiles?

Are the possible quadpacked sams we've seen so far (SD50 / FM3000) active radar guided?
 

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
Logistics. This is bad logistics.

Even for the 052C, if I have to store a peculiar and unique version of the HQ-9 with a different canister, this is bad logistics. This is why even for the 052C, the canister needs to be shared with the 052D and 055, and the missile has to be the same...eventually that is, until all your older batch of HQ-9 for that model runs out or has expired. Then you have to find a way to make the 052C work with the current production batch of HQ-9.
Type 052C will be lowest in priority. If the shelf life of the missiles is 3 decades, there will be plenty of missiles and spare parts around, especially if Type 052Ds get upgraded with newer missiles.

t
Difference of SARH and ARH missile is the presence of a radar transmitter and portable batteries, both things that Chinese industry produce heavily, especially battery. I don't think it makes that big a cost because the cost of the ARH missile lies in its expensive development when you transition SARH to ARH. But in the case of the HQ-9, it is already actively guided to begin with and the R&D cost has already been spent. To create a brand new SARH variant would in fact greatly increase the cost for no benefit.
Do you have an example to corroborate your claim? The main additional expense will be in the radar transmitter. The addition of the radar transmitter, high power and processing electronics, plus the battery will significantly reduce the fuel payload. If the missile is to have the same range as a SARH one, it will need a more sophisticated rocket motor, again increasing the cost. I gave you the example of ESSM: the ARH variant is almost twice as expensive as the SARH.
This is more of an issue with the HQ-16, whose original state is SARH, to go to ARH. But not HQ-9 whose original state is already on ARH. This is the part that makes me think HQ-16 ARH, for future frigates may not be as cost viable unless China is willing to throw enormous sums at it. ARH missile for the 054B might be something new or the 054B will use the HQ-9.
I have to disagree here, because I don’t believe that the first HHQ-9s were ARH.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Type 052C will be lowest in priority. If the shelf life of the missiles is 3 decades, there will be plenty of missiles and spare parts around, especially if Type 052Ds get upgraded with newer missiles.

t

Do you have an example to corroborate your claim? The main additional expense will be in the radar transmitter. The addition of the radar transmitter, high power and processing electronics, plus the battery will significantly reduce the fuel payload. If the missile is to have the same range as a SARH one, it will need a more sophisticated rocket motor, again increasing the cost. I gave you the example of ESSM: the ARH variant is almost twice as expensive as the SARH.

I have to disagree here, because I don’t believe that the first HHQ-9s were ARH.

Rocket propellant life is shorter than that. From what I know of the Russians', its about 10 years. You could already see PLAN phasing out Shtil missiles that were bought in the 2000s, which is a good reason why they are changing the Sovremennys to HHQ-16. You can also see the gradual phase out of the Moskits, even if that uses jet fuel (supplied from Russia and stored somewhere? Not using Chinese fuels?)

The earliest batches of HHQ-9 would have been built around the time the first 052C's came into service, and the last batch of HHQ-9 specific to the 052C would have been built around the time the first 052Ds began launching. As I would expect the missile to not be perfect, there would have been many test firings of the early batch to obtain data, but as a result can cause the earlier batches to be expended faster.

Do you have a breakdown of the cost of a missile to say that it is the radio transmitter that is responsible for the cost? Radio transmitters are relatively simple.

ESSM Block 2 may not have any relevance to the cost of the HHQ-9, as there are a ton of factors, such as corporate profit. PLAAF has no cost issues mass producing PL-12s in the 2000s and China has only a fraction of the GDP it has today.

I won't compare a missile that weighs only 280kg to a missile that weighs 1300kg. The HHQ-9 weighs more than a Tomahawk. The warhead alone for the HHQ-9 is an incredible 180kg while the entire ESSM is 280kg. That's more than plenty of space there for a radio transmitter, batteries and electronics, never mind that in the years to come, those things are going to be subject to miniaturization. I don't think it uses the PL-12 seeker, even if the PL-12 also appeared in the early to mid 2000s, and given this early a date, the two projects would have been in parallel.

Active radar seekers is something China and the Soviet Union already produces with the first antiship missiles, such as the Silkworm. So the technology isn't as foreign. Its the task of miniaturization of the components for ever smaller missiles that is monumental. Developing an ARH seeker for the HQ-9 would not be as challenging as the PL-12's due to the sheer size of the HQ-9 and the margins size would allow. The missile is nearly twice as big and heavy than even a YJ-83 antiship missile.



FD2000c.jpg


The first model with the original range of 125km already mentions it has active radar homing.


FD2000b.jpeg
 
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nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
Do you have a breakdown of the cost of a missile to say that it is the radio transmitter that is responsible for the cost? Radio transmitters are relatively simple.

ESSM Block 2 may not have any relevance to the cost of the HHQ-9, as there are a ton of factors, such as corporate profit. PLAAF has no cost issues mass producing PL-12s in the 2000s and China has only a fraction of the GDP it has today.

I won't compare a missile that weighs only 280kg to a missile that weighs 1300kg. The HHQ-9 weighs more than a Tomahawk. The warhead alone for the HHQ-9 is an incredible 180kg while the entire ESSM is 280kg. That's more than plenty of space there for a radio transmitter, batteries and electronics, never mind that in the years to come, those things are going to be subject to miniaturization. I don't think it uses the PL-12 seeker, even if the PL-12 also appeared in the early to mid 2000s, and given this early a date, the two projects would have been in parallel.
We are discussing the missiles for Type 054B, which is why I picked the ESSM for comparison. I don't have a breakdown per component, sorry.
Active radar seekers is something China and the Soviet Union already produces with the first antiship missiles, such as the Silkworm. So the technology isn't as foreign. Its the task of miniaturization of the components for ever smaller missiles that is monumental. Developing an ARH seeker for the HQ-9 would not be as challenging as the PL-12's due to the sheer size of the HQ-9 and the margins size would allow. The missile is nearly twice as big and heavy than even a YJ-83 antiship missile.



View attachment 77753


The first model with the original range of 125km already mentions it has active radar homing.


View attachment 77754
This is off topic. But in brief, my belief is not based on the assumption that an ARH seeker would've been to challenging. Rather, on the observation that the missile complex on the Type 052C was based on HQ-9, which in the early 2000s when the ship was in its final design stage was understood to be a TVM system. As far as I know, FD-2000 was first unveiled in 2009. I am not aware of a naval export version from that time, therefore the implication that HHQ-9 must also be ARH is not bullet-proof.

I was looking at the photos of the export version of HQ-9BE at Zhuhai that were posted this week, and I couldn't find mention of an active radar seeking. Or did I miss it?
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
We are discussing the missiles for Type 054B, which is why I picked the ESSM for comparison. I don't have a breakdown per component, sorry.

This is off topic. But in brief, my belief is not based on the assumption that an ARH seeker would've been to challenging. Rather, on the observation that the missile complex on the Type 052C was based on HQ-9, which in the early 2000s when the ship was in its final design stage was understood to be a TVM system. As far as I know, FD-2000 was first unveiled in 2009. I am not aware of a naval export version from that time, therefore the implication that HHQ-9 must also be ARH is not bullet-proof.

I was looking at the photos of the export version of HQ-9BE at Zhuhai that were posted this week, and I couldn't find mention of an active radar seeking. Or did I miss it?

FD2000 is unveiled in the early 2000s, along with FT2000 which is a passive homing version. There is absolutely no ever official CASIC reference of the system ever being TVM; everything subscribed to the HQ-9 is speculation based on Western analogy.

While they did not mention that HQ-9BE having active, it is not necessary for placards to mention every feature of the missile. Lack of mention in the placard does not mean lack of the feature especially when said feature has become ubiquitous. Does not make sense to dial back a seeker system from ARH back to SARH especially for a missile with longer and longer ranges. The longer the missile range is, the more apparent is the advantage of using ARH.
 

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