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Jeff Head

Registered Member
This thread is predominantly for new, inexperienced posters on SD. There will be one in each forum and the questions should relate to the overall topic of the forum in which it is located..

It is for true nubie or greenie questions that we do not want to clutter up our main threads with.

It is also for "off the wall," questions or suggestions, even from more experienced users on SD.

Our forum is very broad ranging and everyone cannot be experts on in one of the forums, if you have a legitimate question you have been afraid or embarrassed to ask...this is where you can do it.

As moderators see questions that may fit into these categories on other threads...they may well move them here to try and keep our more serious threads as professional as possible.

Be patient. Longer time members will watch these threads as will moderators...but it may take us a whole to get to some of these questions.

So...with that...carryon!


I am curious if China has entertained the idea of a heavy cruiser-type vessel in future, in the general vein of Russia's Kirovs, or potentially as a kind of amalgam of the US DDG-1000 and CG(X) programs.

The vessel I am envisioning would displace roughly 30,000 tons, probably nuclear-powered, possibly with supplementary gas turbines, max speed at least 30 knots. The vessel would house an air defense radar of unique size and capability, but the bulk of its own ~256 VLS cells would be dedicated to land-attack or anti-ship missiles, with the aim to bring at least triple the offensive punch of an 055. Aviation capacity would likely be limited to two Z-8-class helicopters, same as 055. The vessel would also have a naval gunnery capability at least in the class of Zumwalt, but preferably superior. The potential inclusion of railgun technology for improved fire support capability is one of the major unknowns of the system, potentially influencing the VLS count/distribution. And of course ample helpings of CIWS/PDMS.

Doctrinally, this type of vessel would rarely operate in isolation, but rather would accompany (or lead xD) future amphibious and or carrier battle groups to provide powerful air defence and fire support capabilities. As such I would anticipate no more than a half-dozen such vessels being constructed, the first no earlier than 2025.
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Personally I do not see it happening but we shall see. Just like most things there are diminishing returns once you go above certain size. Same with carriers etc. Unlike cargo carriers or super tankers about 100k tons is about as big you want to go. Anything pass that will probably add exponential cost w/o much added capabilities.
My guess is you can probably do everything you can on a 12-15k ton hull that you can with 25 or 30 except you can have 2 or 3 of those instead of just one.
Kirov class I think was more ego driven than anything. A couple of Slavas is much more capable and flexible than a single Kirov.


One thing you can do with a 25-30k ton ship that you can't do with a pair of 12-15k ships is house the same super-radar.

Note that in my conception such a heavy cruiser would fulfil a different role from the 055s. Instead of being oriented to AAW (or at best jack-of-all-trades) like 055 and similar workhorses, the cruiser brings the big radar to be employed by the entire battle fleet, whilst its own munitions are focused on delivering an offensive punch through a heavy load of land-attack missiles and naval gunfire support.

And if railguns turn out to be at all practical, they will be easiest to field (and have the greatest potential) when fitted to a large hull with power to spare.


Such a vessel might fit in the defensive concept of the next World hegemon. It is the contention of China, and many other countries, that there shouldn't be a next hegemon.

Jeff Head

Registered Member
I do not see it happening.

The only things like this that have been built since WWII are the Kirovs...and only one of them is operational after decades...and perhaps a second will be made operational at great cost.

China's Type 055, which will be basically their Ticonderoga equivalent, will be plenty enough and provide them with the fire power and the flexibility they need.

Only three Zumwalts are to be built at this point, and they are no where near that displacement...they will be 14-15k and really will be fire support and technology demonstrator ships.

yes, they will serve actively and provide some capability...but three simply is not enough for them to make any huge impact materially.

The Burke IIIs will be the US Navy's next big surface combatant deal and perhaps some day the actual Tico replacement, the long spoken of CGX...but at this point, it is probably 20 years distant.

The US may build the Defense ship built on the San Antonio Hull...but that is simply a proposal now by the manufacturer and there is no substantive plan or budget for a few of them.

So again, I doubt seriously that China will sink as much money as would be necessary into a 30K battlecruiser. They would build very few of them, and for the cost, would probably get twice as many (and more if they go nuclear) Type 055s for their money.


For nations that can afford them and have otherwise developed their other capabilities to the level that such a project makes sense, I don't think a 30,000 ton cruiser is as far out of the ordinary as others seem to.

Zumwalt was meant to be a larger ship than it ended up as. And as noted, there are also the CG(X) and San Antonio BMD proposals. To take a wider view, everything is getting bigger. Precise configuration and mission set aside, I would put good money on someone fielding such a super-combatant in the next couple of decades.
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Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
It was mentioned over on CDF a while back that 055 was originally proposed as a 20,000 ton "class" ship and that the current projected "10,000 ton class" ship is a result of cutting down.

I use speech marks to emphasise that the original description of 055 being "10k ton class" is likely not reflective of its true full displacement (given the current consensus is that full displacement of 055 will be more like 13k tons), so the original 20,000 ton ship proposal may have been somewhat smaller than its actual full projected size.

In any case, while I think such large surface combatants are the dreams of naval planners, realistic budgets will preclude the cost effective deployment of these kind of ships for the forseeable few decades imo
... fielding such a super-combatant in the next couple of decades.

I've seen (in a Russian source I'll try to look up today) the layout of re-armed "the remaining Kirovs" with several VLS to launch "Klubs" and several "Redut" VLS for AAMs (don't worry, I know the names I used are not terribly precise)

for now, using google I found this (by navyreco :)
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