055 Large Destroyer Thread II


BoraTas

Senior Member
Registered Member
IMHO, one cruiser per CV and LHD is enough. So, with 2(3) carriers and 3 LHDs, 7 or 8 is more than enough for now.
I mean, why make surface action groups when all these ships really do make the best synergy within a carrier battle group. They protect the carrier, carrier protects them.
That kind of planning wouldn't fit for China for decades to come. Japan is a neighbor of China and the Pacific has been de facto conquered by the USA for 100 years. This means China is always staring at very significant US force concentrations right next to it. It can not be projection oriented as long as it doesn't have enough power to overwhelm anything Japan and USA can bring to the table in West Pacific. Aircraft carriers are of little use for that. Land based aviation is more cost effective to an incomparable level. Surface ships can conduct ASW, AAW and ASuW, along with air power.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
The U.S are returning to frigates now which are about the same tonnage as a type 052d, so they are not going all in on one type like burkes.

I am not suggesting that USN was sensible to go in for all-Burke inventory, only that there were reasons they did so, and that those reasons are relevant to the question of a future "medium destroyer" as a complement to the 055 series.

The problem is precisely that 052D is affordable, and, when mixed, with 055 gives an equal opponent to the all-Burke force(for cheaper, and produceable ~twice faster than US hope to achieve, and ~3 times faster than they are actually doing).

As you suggest, we need to operate in "reality 2023" where PLAN is building more 052s and has yet to build more 055s. There is little to be gained by entertaining hypotheticals that are not happening. But we should not fall into the other extreme, whereby anything that is happening is therefore held to be the best of all possible worlds in terms of addressing PLAN's long-term requirements. We should always be cautious and acknowledge the limitations of our information and expertise (nonexistent in my case), but I certainly repudiate the extreme position that would leave us unable to question any extant program, whether from USN, RAN, PLAN, whomever. I would be very, very interested to read a detailed lifecycle cost analysis comparing 052D and 055.
 
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TK3600

Junior Member
Registered Member
Is it really fair to compare a primarily 055 fleet to American set up of all Burke? US has no frigates like 054A and that was the primary reason it is suboptimal. A 054A/B + 055 is a great set up.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
Is it really fair to compare a primarily 055 fleet to American set up of all Burke? US has no frigates like 054A and that was the primary reason it is suboptimal. A 054A/B + 055 is a great set up.

Just to clarify my own perspective: I agreed with @Cloud_Nine_'s post that 055 is "the new norm" for a large surface combatant, noting that I had argued something similar some years back, that 055 is "just" a 21st century Burke and is therefore suitable for mass production as replacement for 052x.

The inventory I envisioned back then was for 055 as the new destroyer, a larger (~6000 tonne) ASW-focused frigate with dual hangars, and then a small ship between current 056 and 054 (probably around the size of F-22P or C-28A) to take over littoral duties.

Since then, 052D construction has continued and will evidently do so for some time yet. Additionally there are rumours that work on further evolution of 052x or a "medium destroyer" program is continuing. Hence, my envisioned architecture needs to evolve to "acknowledge reality" and work with what is actually happening. So the question becomes, if there is going to be a new or ongoing medium destroyer, how does it fit? The challenge for a "medium destroyer" is to control costs while preserving the capabilities that justify its existence (as distinct from just going with a new frigate with lesser AAW potential). Hence my post here arguing that such a platform should dispense with capabilities outside the core role such as an organic helicopter. This would put a future medium destroyer in the same inventory relation as the Flight I Burkes (8300 tonne with no onboard helos) had in relation to Ticonderoga as the high-end AAW asset, and Spruance/Perry as the (dual hangar!) ASW-focused assets.

The elephant in the room is that there remains no larger dual-hangar ASW frigate to provide high-end blue water ASW capability at low cost (056 is fantastic in littoral capacity). This certainly strengthens the case for a medium general purpose combatant like 052D/E/X but strikes me as suboptimal in the face of a very high-end submarine threat. Even a cut-rate combatant like Perry had dual hangars for a reason.
 

Blitzo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Just to clarify my own perspective: I agreed with @Cloud_Nine_'s post that 055 is "the new norm" for a large surface combatant, noting that I had argued something similar some years back, that 055 is "just" a 21st century Burke and is therefore suitable for mass production as replacement for 052x.

The inventory I envisioned back then was for 055 as the new destroyer, a larger (~6000 tonne) ASW-focused frigate with dual hangars, and then a small ship between current 056 and 054 (probably around the size of F-22P or C-28A) to take over littoral duties.

Since then, 052D construction has continued and will evidently do so for some time yet. Additionally there are rumours that work on further evolution of 052x or a "medium destroyer" program is continuing. Hence, my envisioned architecture needs to evolve to "acknowledge reality" and work with what is actually happening. So the question becomes, if there is going to be a new or ongoing medium destroyer, how does it fit? The challenge for a "medium destroyer" is to control costs while preserving the capabilities that justify its existence (as distinct from just going with a new frigate with lesser AAW potential). Hence my post here arguing that such a platform should dispense with capabilities outside the core role such as an organic helicopter. This would put a future medium destroyer in the same inventory relation as the Flight I Burkes (8300 tonne with no onboard helos) had in relation to Ticonderoga as the high-end AAW asset, and Spruance/Perry as the (dual hangar!) ASW-focused assets.

The elephant in the room is that there remains no larger dual-hangar ASW frigate to provide high-end blue water ASW capability at low cost (056 is fantastic in littoral capacity). This certainly strengthens the case for a medium general purpose combatant like 052D/E/X but strikes me as suboptimal in the face of a very high-end submarine threat. Even a cut-rate combatant like Perry had dual hangars for a reason.

I think the dual hangar thing isn't necessarily too important.

Frigates like Constellation class only are intended to carry one medium weight helicopter, and frigates like the Type 26 family (including Hunter and CSC too) are only meant to ordinarily carry one medium weight helicopter in its primary hangar.


I do agree that two helicopters would be better, but aren't necessarily decisive especially if operating with friendly other ships.
 

TK3600

Junior Member
Registered Member
Just to clarify my own perspective: I agreed with @Cloud_Nine_'s post that 055 is "the new norm" for a large surface combatant, noting that I had argued something similar some years back, that 055 is "just" a 21st century Burke and is therefore suitable for mass production as replacement for 052x.

The inventory I envisioned back then was for 055 as the new destroyer, a larger (~6000 tonne) ASW-focused frigate with dual hangars, and then a small ship between current 056 and 054 (probably around the size of F-22P or C-28A) to take over littoral duties.

Since then, 052D construction has continued and will evidently do so for some time yet. Additionally there are rumours that work on further evolution of 052x or a "medium destroyer" program is continuing. Hence, my envisioned architecture needs to evolve to "acknowledge reality" and work with what is actually happening. So the question becomes, if there is going to be a new or ongoing medium destroyer, how does it fit? The challenge for a "medium destroyer" is to control costs while preserving the capabilities that justify its existence (as distinct from just going with a new frigate with lesser AAW potential). Hence my post here arguing that such a platform should dispense with capabilities outside the core role such as an organic helicopter. This would put a future medium destroyer in the same inventory relation as the Flight I Burkes (8300 tonne with no onboard helos) had in relation to Ticonderoga as the high-end AAW asset, and Spruance/Perry as the (dual hangar!) ASW-focused assets.

The elephant in the room is that there remains no larger dual-hangar ASW frigate to provide high-end blue water ASW capability at low cost (056 is fantastic in littoral capacity). This certainly strengthens the case for a medium general purpose combatant like 052D/E/X but strikes me as suboptimal in the face of a very high-end submarine threat. Even a cut-rate combatant like Perry had dual hangars for a reason.
I totally agree the helicopter deck is indispensible. I would go on a step further and say even 054 series can use larger heli decks. Once you add them up it becomes very close to 055 tonnage. Furthermore 055 is not that big. Compare it to Burkes it is more of an incremental dufference than class difference.

I am curious of your "acknowlede reality". When was there rumor of a new 052 like class being planned? If that is true it shoots down my future 055 being the primary combatant. Unless of course the ship class adjust its design philosophy entirely. So far the fact more 052D being built does not discredit the 055 future main combatant idea. Just normal innertia of a mature design and growing needs.
 

ACuriousPLAFan

Captain
Registered Member
I think it would be better for the PLAN to continue pursuing the three-tier system of surface combatants:
Tier 1 - Cruisers (CG) or large destroyers, i.e. 055
Tier 2 - Destroyers (DDG), i.e. 052D
Tier 3 - Frigates (FFG), i.e 054A and 054B

However, I would suggest that the 052D be upgraded onto a new hull i.e. new class of destroyer (or "medium destroyer" as some have called it). This new "medium destroyer" should/must have:
1. Around 8500 tons of displacement fully-loaded;
2. Slightly more VLS cells (80 compared to 64);
3. Spare spaces to fit larger VLS cells for future anti-ship missiles that are larger than what current VLS cells can fit;
4. Comparable radar + fire control sets and computer systems to the 055;
5. More powerful and efficient propulsion and onboard electrical systems;
6. Ability to command "mini-arsenal ship" USVs;
7. Ability to operate direct-energy weapons, i.e. laser CIWS;
8. Increased degree of automation; and
9. Significant ballistic and hypersonic missile defense capabilities than the 052D.

To sum it up, essentially you would have something akin to a Flight 3 Arleigh Burke, but being a much more capable platform that can be mass-fielded by the PLAN.

If China wants to abandon the current three-tier system in favor of two-tier system of surface combatants, i.e. destroyers and frigates only, then the newer Chinese destroyers must be able to shoulder the roles of the 055s - and project that across all the new destroyers that China would have to build. Plus that Chinese shipyards must be able to mass-produce them to have equal scales of firepower as the previous three-tier system, alongside the PLA having deep enough treasury pockets to do so.
 
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TK3600

Junior Member
Registered Member
I think it would be better for the PLAN to continue pursuing the three-tier system of surface combatants:
Tier 1 - Cruisers (CG) or large destroyers, i.e. 055
Tier 2 - Destroyers (DDG), i.e. 052D
Tier 3 - Frigates (FFG), i.e 054A and 054B

However, I would suggest that the 052D be upgraded onto a new hull i.e. new class of destroyer (or "medium destroyer" as some have called it). This new "medium destroyer" should/must have:
1. Around 8500 tons of displacement fully-loaded;
2. Slightly more VLS cells (80 compared to 64);
3. Spare spaces to fit larger VLS cells for future anti-ship missiles that are larger than what current VLS cells can fit;
4. Comparable radar + fire control sets and computer systems to the 055;
5. More powerful and efficient propulsion and onboard electrical systems;
6. Ability to command "mini-arsenal ship" USVs;
7. Ability to operate direct-energy weapons, i.e. laser CIWS;
8. Increased degree of automation; and
9. Significant ballistic and hypersonic missile defense capabilities than the 052D.

To sum it up, essentially you would have something akin to a Flight 3 Arleigh Burke, but being a much more capable platform that can be mass-fielded by the PLAN.

If China wants to abandon the current three-tier system in favor of two-tier system of surface combatants, i.e. destroyers and frigates only, then the newer Chinese destroyers must be able to shoulder the roles of the 055s - and project that across all the new destroyers that China would have to build. Plus that Chinese shipyards must be able to mass-produce them to have equal scales of firepower as the previous three-tier system, alongside the PLA having deep enough treasury pockets to do so.
Upping the tonnage on 052E is pointless. Keep the tonnage or go 055. What 052 needs is not more cells but deeper cells like 055.
 

Hitomi

New Member
Registered Member
It's IMO highly likely the PLAN will retain the current 3 tier surface combatant structure with minor weight increases in successive classes seeing that the type 055 production has completely stopped for now complemented with rumour of a successor class to the type 052D instead of a general successor.

Personally I agree with the current 3 tier system with the benefits of distribution of firepower, area coverage and increases to overall durability of a battlegroup that goes along, as I believe concentration of firepower is not the way forward. Rather I would like to see a higher heavy destroyer to medium destroyer ratio for the PLAN.

As for the near future, I predict there would be modest to minor weight increases for all 3 tiers at best, seeing the trend with other navies.(of course none of them are a direct comparison to the PLAN)
 

snake65

Junior Member
VIP Professional
I think it would be better for the PLAN to continue pursuing the three-tier system of surface combatants:
Tier 1 - Cruisers (CG) or large destroyers, i.e. 055
Tier 2 - Destroyers (DDG), i.e. 052D
Tier 3 - Frigates (FFG), i.e 054A and 054B
Tier 4 - light frigate/sub chaser 056A
 

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