You should have checked the PLAN breaking news thread. 20 more 054As, 5 more 075s, 4-8 more 055s and more below.Anyone know when they are gonna start pumping out the next batch of frigates and destroyers? Work seems to have stopped for a couple of months now.
054B明年启动; (054B to start construction next year)
054A后续再上20艘，黄埔12艘、沪东8艘; (20 more 054A, 12 by Huangpu, 8 by Hudong)
055现在已知16艘; (total 16 055's known currently)
052D、071、075都会上批量，如075目前总数8艘。 (052D, 071, 075 will continue with batch production, e.g., total 8 075's known now)
076现在尚未走完程序，后续不祥。(076 still in the process, don't know what's next exactly)
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Other than 054A, all others are largely expected and, indeed, consistent with what I had projected repeatedly in different threads before:
I don't quite understand the 20 more 054A's while starting 054B at the same time. There are enough 054A now; they should concentrate on 054B instead. Also, 054B or 057 should be at least over 5k tons, preferably over 6k tons. One explanation would be 054B will be an incremental upgrade from 054A, with slight increase in displacement, sensor upgrades, even IEPS. Who knows.
- Additional 4-8 055's by 2025
- 12 071's and 6 075's by 2025
- Additional 11 052D's
As usual, pop3 doesn't talk about submarines.
There used to be a 2025 target date for PLAN to become blue water capable based on some insider's accounts. I think the new target date is 2027 now, per CCP's recently closed 5th Plenum. Of course the build plan will be adjusted accordingly.
No info on the carrier build plan. Last time, pop3 claimed that PLAN had the ambition of building 10, although no dates were given. I would project two conventional CATOBAR carriers commissioned by 2027, with a least one nuclear-powered carrier under construction by 2027.
It will be very exciting to watch PLAN to evolve into a true, complete blue water navy over the next seven years.
Thanks for the translation as always.
- Amphib expansion is reasonable and expected. I wonder if any of the 075 production will feature improvements. Total of 8 075s would easily be the world's 2nd largest LHD fleet by a long shot and within spitting range of the USN.
- Continued production of 055, 052D is reasonable, not unexpected, but I wonder how far he is projecting forwards. Specifically, we are all expecting at least an 055A to emerge around 2025 and potentially an 052E depending on what 054B looks like... so I'm not sure how many years forwards he's thinking here.
- Concurrent production of a bunch of new build 054As as well as 054Bs at the same time does make me wonder if 054B is a meaningfully larger ship than 054A (>5k or even >6k tons). After all, simultaneously building two ship classes of similar weight class wouldn't make that much sense imo. OTOH, it might mean that 054B is expected to field so much new additional technology they want a sufficient frigate backup just in case there are delays with 054B. Or both. If 054A production is meant to continue at HP and HD I also wonder where 054B will be done.
- The new build 054As are also interesting, and an additional 20 (!!) 054As is quite a significant development, increasing the current in service fleet by a whopping 2/3rds. I think the 054A really does strike a balance between being blue water capable but also being sufficiently small and cheap to be also very suitable for robust near-waters/regional missions. After all, an 054A is basically as capable as the most capable surface combatant from any navy in southeast asia in service today. But building another 20 054As (that will likely extend production to 2025 at least) also makes me feel like it should feature at least some upgrades from current ships. It's probably too much to expect 054A to be equipped with the UVLS or the new radar intended for 054B, but I feel like the Sea Eagle radar and the overall HHQ-16 SARH fire control system could be upgraded -- if they're really going to commit to a fleet of 50 054As overall then upgrades to the entire class's weapons systems and sensors and FCS should be inevitable, and the PLAN of the early 2020s should have a much more mature MIC to draw upon for the weapons and sensors suite than the PLAN of the mid 2000s when 054A was first produced.
Some sensible improvements might be replacement of Sea Eagle with a new small/medium size AESA (maybe the one intended for the Pakistani 054A/Ps, or similar?), the pursuit of an ARH guided HHQ-16 (they almost definitely won't be quad packing the new 3-5 missile in the 054A's VLS and the HHQ-16 is a large enough missile that with upgrades can become a SAM with 100+ km range, perhaps a worthwhile upgrade for a 50 strong ship fleet which the 054A/Ps will benefit from as well).... and at the very least extension/redesign of the helipad and hangar to accommodate Z-20F.
- The distinct lack of mention of carriers is noted, and seems deliberate. Fair and understandable.
- The mention of 076 is of course useful because, further confirming/entrenching that it is a real project. I don't think we had any lingering doubts, but reconfirmation is always useful given the sort of ship 076 is meant to be and how fast the information about it first came out.