PLAN breaking news, pics, & videos


Tam

Colonel
Registered Member
The relative capability of the 054A's sensor suite is already known to me, there's no need to express it in such extensive detail.
Come on.


If you are saying that you think the new batch of 054As should field a more modern sensor suite, I don't have any disagreement with you inherently, and on balance I think it is plausible that the Sea Eagle might be replaced with a small sized AESA, perhaps the same one fitted to Pakistani 054APs.

But at the same time, the only reason I can see the PLA procuring 20 054As while 054B will be ongoing at the same time, is if they want the extra 054A hulls in service quickly and without hassle.
Whether that means they will tolerate a degree of modification to the sensor suite is not something I can say at this stage, but it depends on how the PLAN assesses the relative risk.


I will say that these ships are of course going to be in service for decades, but also there's no reason an MLU has to be that urgent such that they have to be introduced with these 20 ships in particular.
It would be nice if they were, but if it means taking more years to get these 20 ships in service, would the PLAN deem the timing of these improvements worth it?


Again, let me reiterate that I fully appreciate the technology where 054A's sensor suite sits relative to various global peers (or even other ships in the Chinese Navy). I also fully agree and expect that the PLAN's 054A fleet will get a sensor MLU in the not too distant future.
But I'm arguing whether it is important for these 20 ships in particular to be the ones to field these upgrades.

I don't know why you would think that a new sensor suite would delay the building of 054A. They are the last things that are fitted on the ship, and it is likely the trials for the Type 382 replacement has already been finished some time ago. Solid state, modular AESA radars are physically simpler, and they can be made lighter as you can eliminate the need of a heavy cavity based electron tube. As rotating AESA, its likely these are air cooled. We are not aiming for the best possible performance here, just good enough to allow for a light air cooled rotary radar. If the new radar is designed as a plug in replacement to the Type 382, it would be made to match the Type 382's sitting weight and power requirements as part of its required specification. Likewise for a radar that is meant as the Type 364 replacement. This means you don't need any changes on the 054A hull, frame and superstructure, as well as power systems and so on. Everything is as is, because the new sensors are designed to fit the ship, not the other way around.

The problem I see about installing the older Type 382 is that it may force you to upgrade the ship soon anyway, putting the ship out of service, and you add the cost of the new radar and installation of the new system. This sounds to me, a significant extra expanse that you don't have to make if you do it right the first time.

Even if you wish to retain the Type 382, at least the Type 364 should be changed, and with already two installations via the two 075, the Seagull-C replacement itself is already a low risk and bureaucratically certified tool. The current Type 364 radar is mainly a 2D radar, it only tracks and provide information via the horizontal axis, with its update rate mechanically tied to its rotational rate per minute. Changing this to a 3D dual side, not only doubles the rate of scan, the speed of electronic scanning means its also possible have an X number of scans while the target is within the arc of the face. This radar also overlaps into what the Type 382 does, so it can even mitigate the Sea Eagle's disadvantages since the ship at least has one potential LPI capable radar. In LPI mode, you don't have to use the Type 382, you only have to use this dual sided AESA.

As for using the radar that's on the PN 054A/P, also used on the BN's C13B, that's also a possibility. This SR2410C might even be used along with the Seagull-C replacement. And maybe, maybe, it can be used in future batches of the 056A. Maybe maybe used with the MLU of the 054 and the 052B, unless Type 382's have been ordered long ago and the MLU kits are already sitting in some warehouse out there.

The body language of having the 054A and 054B being built in parallel and overlap could suggest the 054B being a more radical design, and that could mean for me the possibility of having the 055's X-band AESAs is once again an increased likelihood on this ship.

Finally I would assume there is some institutional resistance to bring back a ship that is already four years out of production and on the edge of obsolete, and there must be something the designers and engineers must present to the PLA brass to convince them to build another 20 instead of let's say, build more 052DLs.
 
Last edited:

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
I don't know why you would think that a new sensor suite would delay the building of 054A. They are the last things that are fitted on the ship, and it is likely the trials for the Type 382 replacement has already been finished some time ago. Solid state, modular AESA radars are physically simpler, and they can be made lighter as you can eliminate the need of a heavy cavity based electron tube. As rotating AESA, its likely these are air cooled. We are not aiming for the best possible performance here, just good enough to allow for a light air cooled rotary radar. If the new radar is designed as a plug in replacement to the Type 382, it would be made to match the Type 382's sitting weight and power requirements as part of its required specification. Likewise for a radar that is meant as the Type 364 replacement. This means you don't need any changes on the 054A hull, frame and superstructure, as well as power systems and so on. Everything is as is, because the new sensors are designed to fit the ship, not the other way around.

The problem I see about installing the older Type 382 is that it may force you to upgrade the ship soon anyway, putting the ship out of service, and you add the cost of the new radar and installation of the new system. This sounds to me, a significant extra expanse that you don't have to make if you do it right the first time.

Even if you wish to retain the Type 382, at least the Type 364 should be changed, and with already two installations via the two 075, the Seagull-C replacement itself is already a low risk and bureaucracy certified tool. The current Type 364 radar is mainly a 2D radar, it only tracks and provide information via the horizontal axis, with its update rate mechanically tied to its rotational rate per minute. Changing this to a 3D dual side, not only doubles the rate of scan, the speed of electronic scanning means its also possible have an X number of scans while the target is within the arc of the face. This radar also overlaps into what the Type 382 does, so it can even mitigate the Sea Eagle's disadvantages since the ship at least has one potential LPI capable radar.

As for using the radar that's on the PN 054A/P, also used on the BN's C13B, that's also a possibility. This SR2410C might even be used along with the Seagull-C replacement. And maybe, maybe, it can be used in future batches of the 056A. Maybe maybe used with the MLU of the 054 and the 052B, unless Type 382's have been ordered long ago and the MLU kit is already sitting in some warehouse out there.

The body language of having the 054A and 054B being built in parallel and overlap could suggest the 054B being a more radical design, and that could mean for me the possibility of having the 055's X-band AESAs is once again an increased likelihood on this ship.

Procuring a ship is more than just building a ship.

Procurement is the entire process of writing up the contract, the payments, and the design and development work, the construction, the fitting out, and the sea trials and training your personnel and writing or rewriting the book for how to operate your ship and be combat ready.


If the development work, the sea trial and verification of the upgraded subsystems, and the change in the training of the relevant personnel can all be done with minimal additional time, then I can certainly see these extra 20 ships having MLU-d sensors and other features.

But my point has been that there is no reason for us to be confident to believe that these 20 extra 054As are definitely going to have these hypothetical upgrades.
If we agree on the assumption that the PLAN bought these 20 extra 054As for the major reason that they appreciate how fast it will able to procure them and get them combat ready, then we have to respect that hypothetical modifications/upgrades for these 20 054As must operate within the context of minimally affecting the PLAN's desire to have new ships enter service combat ready quickly.


That is why I am uncomfortable with this idea that these 20 054As will see MLUs/improvements as if it is a foregone conclusion.
It's definitely possible, but it's not obvious enough to speak of it as if it is an inevitable or logical choice.

One alternative idea, is perhaps that the last 2-4 ships of this 20 ship production run might see them introduce MLU/improvements onto them, because at that point the bulk of the ships would've entered service already anyway (and the first 054B or two would've likely entered service too) and they'd have more leeway to play around a little bit more.
 

Tam

Colonel
Registered Member
Procuring a ship is more than just building a ship.

Procurement is the entire process of writing up the contract, the payments, and the design and development work, the construction, the fitting out, and the sea trials and training your personnel and writing or rewriting the book for how to operate your ship and be combat ready.


If the development work, the sea trial and verification of the upgraded subsystems, and the change in the training of the relevant personnel can all be done with minimal additional time, then I can certainly see these extra 20 ships having MLU-d sensors and other features.

But my point has been that there is no reason for us to be confident to believe that these 20 extra 054As are definitely going to have these hypothetical upgrades.
If we agree on the assumption that the PLAN bought these 20 extra 054As for the major reason that they appreciate how fast it will able to procure them and get them combat ready, then we have to respect that hypothetical modifications/upgrades for these 20 054As must operate within the context of minimally affecting the PLAN's desire to have new ships enter service combat ready quickly.


That is why I am uncomfortable with this idea that these 20 054As will see MLUs/improvements as if it is a foregone conclusion.
It's definitely possible, but it's not obvious enough to speak of it as if it is an inevitable or logical choice.

One alternative idea, is perhaps that the last 2-4 ships of this 20 ship production run might see them introduce MLU/improvements onto them, because at that point the bulk of the ships would've entered service already anyway (and the first 054B or two would've likely entered service too) and they'd have more leeway to play around a little bit more.

There should be because historically, and consistently, ships are made in batches. There is no historical precedent that a ship is made the same way by around 20 ships.

Do you think the 054A was the same ship from the first ship to the last? No its not. There was already a change after the first four ships, possibly the sonar change after the first four ships, and then a third batch that switched to the Type 1130. The last four features changes in the EW. Let me add that the 054A itself is an evolved upgrade to the 054, and throughout its service career, the 054A keeps getting back fitted with new datalinks and SATCOMs which are also hints of changes in the computing department and the software of the ship. On the 056 we see it going to the 056A, which in turn is followed by a modified batch of 056A with changes on EW, datalinks, and SATCOM.

I would also say, no one predicted the VHF radar change on the 052DL until it was photographed, and no one anticipated the new radar changes on the 075, which also has improvements on its ESM. No one thought there would be new radar changes to the 054A/P until the model reveal. This goes back to the 055 where no one, not even the most fervent fan imaginations, imagined the actual sensor layout of the ship. None of the changes on the 093 submarine were also imagined until they were photographed. After the first five ships of the 052D, we see a visible change in the main radar that could hint of more changes underneath; the gunnery CIWS is changed, and there are changes in the ESM, and then we have the extended form that also suddenly introduced a new VHF radar that no one has foreseen.

This leaves us that the only thing that is predictable is that change is constant. There is going to be changes; we just don't know exactly what it is.

I am uncomfortable with the idea that the new 054A will still be the vanilla variety. There has to be some changes that will make the PLAN brass to sign off on it. The last four ships already shows changes in the EW and that tells you the PLAN has a great priority in this department. One of the changes should be the 054A should switch completely to the Type 726 EW suite like everyone has done and even every refit of old ships like the 053H3 and the Type 052. But eventually you would need to change the radars. The Sea Eagle's vertical scan only arrangement belongs to a different era, and frequency scanning planars like this don't give much in a leeway for things like frequency agility and pulse compression that are essential in modern sets.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Frequency Scanning Array
The frequency scanning array is a special case of the phased array antenna, in which the beam steering is controlled by the transmitter's frequency without use of any phase shifter. The beam steering is a simple function of the frequency. This type of phased array antenna was often used in older radar sets.

A vertical antenna array is fed serially. At the main frequency F1, all radiators get a part of the power of the same phase through structurally identical detours, which cause a phase shift of n · 360°. All radiators therefore radiate with the same phase. The resulting beam is thus perpendicular to the antenna's plane.

If the transmitter's frequency is increased by a few percents, however, the constructively defined length of the detour lines is no longer correct. At a higher frequency, the wavelength decreases and the detour line is now a bit too long. There appears a phase shift from one radiator to the next radiator. The first radiator radiates this few percent earlier than the next neighboring radiator, etc. The resulting beam for the F2 frequency is thus steered upwards by the angle Θs.

Although this type of beam steering is very simple, it is limited to a few permanently installed frequencies. In addition to the susceptibility to interference, there are even more limitations to be accepted, e.g. this radar set cannot use
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
because its bandwidth is too low.
 

W20

New Member
Registered Member
The new 054A ... is a magnificent Concept and if i let myself be carried away for a moment by the enthusiasm ... i would dare to say that the new 054A would be the best escort-bodyguard in the world ... and in any case an original Concept

if we look at the past ... se see Type 517 Radar (Destroyer 052) ... but we have actually seen the new radar on the 052DL Destroyer

the new 054A Frigate is IMHO exactly what the PLAN need
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
There should be because historically, and consistently, ships are made in batches. There is no historical precedent that a ship is made the same way by around 20 ships.

Do you think the 054A was the same ship from the first ship to the last? No its not. There was already a change after the first four ships, possibly the sonar change after the first four ships, and then a third batch that switched to the Type 1130. The last four features changes in the EW. Let me add that the 054A itself is an evolved upgrade to the 054, and throughout its service career, the 054A keeps getting back fitted with new datalinks and SATCOMs which are also hints of changes in the computing department and the software of the ship. On the 056 we see it going to the 056A, which in turn is followed by a modified batch of 056A with changes on EW, datalinks, and SATCOM.

I would also say, no one predicted the VHF radar change on the 052DL until it was photographed, and no one anticipated the new radar changes on the 075, which also has improvements on its ESM. No one thought there would be new radar changes to the 054A/P until the model reveal. This goes back to the 055 where no one, not even the most fervent fan imaginations, imagined the actual sensor layout of the ship. None of the changes on the 093 submarine were also imagined until they were photographed. After the first five ships of the 052D, we see a visible change in the main radar that could hint of more changes underneath; the gunnery CIWS is changed, and there are changes in the ESM, and then we have the extended form that also suddenly introduced a new VHF radar that no one has foreseen.

This leaves us that the only thing that is predictable is that change is constant. There is going to be changes; we just don't know exactly what it is.

I am uncomfortable with the idea that the new 054A will still be the vanilla variety. There has to be some changes that will make the PLAN brass to sign off on it. The last four ships already shows changes in the EW and that tells you the PLAN has a great priority in this department. One of the changes should be the 054A should switch completely to the Type 726 EW suite like everyone has done and even every refit of old ships like the 053H3 and the Type 052. But eventually you would need to change the radars. The Sea Eagle's vertical scan only arrangement belongs to a different era, and frequency scanning planars like this don't give much in a leeway for things like frequency agility and pulse compression that are essential in modern sets.


I do think certain modifications on the new batch of 20 054As will definitely occur.
One of these modifications I personally expect is lengthening the flight deck and altering the hangar to accommodate Z-20F.


But despite all you've written, I just do not agree that we should assume or speak of an upgraded/MLU'd sensor suite for these 20 054As as if it is a given or an inevitable/forgone conclusion at this stage.

It's certainly possible, but I don't see why you are so insistent that you think it is such an inevitable expectation as if it is definite.
And for the record, I think it would be a very worthwhile and logical upgrade as well, I am just not so optimistic that it is something we should expect as a given, when we consider the likely rationale for why the PLAN are buying additional 20 054As.
 

W20

New Member
Registered Member
Yes, perhaps my (our) enthusiasm about the electronic of the new Frigate 054A is excessive

And just yesterday i thought that as an enthusiast of this frigate maybe i should prepare to receive a bucket of cold water, i do not know
 

Tam

Colonel
Registered Member
The new 054A ... is a magnificent Concept and if i let myself be carried away for a moment by the enthusiasm ... i would dare to say that the new 054A would be the best escort-bodyguard in the world ... and in any case an original Concept

if we look at the past ... se see Type 517 Radar (Destroyer 052) ... but we have actually seen the new radar on the 052DL Destroyer

the new 054A Frigate is IMHO exactly what the PLAN need

Speaking of which...

Type 517 was not actually installed on the original fit of the Type 052. It was installed as part of the MLU upgrade. On the other hand, Type 051B has the Type 517 as part of her original fit, but in her upgrade, it was removed. Go figure.

PN 054AP might get a VHF or UHF radar, as there is a protruding platform on top of the hanger, which none of the regular 054A have. This platform is evident in pictures that were taken. Here it is on the back between the decoy systems covered by orange tarp.

frigate.jpg

getInterUrl.jpg

F22P has a VHF array, a modified Type 517.

pic_1545322663.jpg
 
Last edited:

Tam

Colonel
Registered Member
I do think certain modifications on the new batch of 20 054As will definitely occur.
One of these modifications I personally expect is lengthening the flight deck and altering the hangar to accommodate Z-20F.


But despite all you've written, I just do not agree that we should assume or speak of an upgraded/MLU'd sensor suite for these 20 054As as if it is a given or an inevitable/forgone conclusion at this stage.

It's certainly possible, but I don't see why you are so insistent that you think it is such an inevitable expectation as if it is definite.
And for the record, I think it would be a very worthwhile and logical upgrade as well, I am just not so optimistic that it is something we should expect as a given, when we consider the likely rationale for why the PLAN are buying additional 20 054As.

Let me be clear what you said.

Also, while the Sea Eagle radar of course isn't an AESA, it is a quite capable PESA and perfectly fine for its time and still capable now although obviously far from cutting edge.

That isn't correct, and I already explained twice. I will explain again. This is not a traditional PESA, this is a frequency scanning planar array. These things have a narrow bandwidth, no frequency agility, and can't do pulse compression, things that are necessary to work through a heavy ECM environment. The first examples came into service in the '60s, and its already obsolete by 2005, but China isn't going to war then. It is not capable, it is not perfectly fine for its time, and it is not capable in the battle space of the future.
 

W20

New Member
Registered Member
I imagine ...

+ meter-wave active phased array radar

I think it's a good way to keep watch without turning on many lights, because a radar is a beacon

In the recent past, these types of radars were not very good, but Chinese technology has just advanced along this interesting path

+ a radar to illuminate the target

+ a SARH missile with 30 km range
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Let me be clear what you said.



That isn't correct, and I already explained twice. I will explain again. This is not a traditional PESA, this is a frequency scanning planar array. These things have a narrow bandwidth, no frequency agility, and can't do pulse compression, things that are necessary to work through a heavy ECM environment. The first examples came into service in the '60s, and its already obsolete by 2005, but China isn't going to war then. It is not capable, it is not perfectly fine for its time, and it is not capable in the battle space of the future.

In that case we just have to agree to disagree.

The radar system and associated weapons system is capable of providing medium range area air defense and is survivable in low intensity and medium intensity conflicts and when supported by destroyers can also contribute to a high intensity battlespace.


Against a high technology enemy operating unsupported the ship is of course completely screwed and non survivable but that is part of the package that I was under the impression everyone already was aware of.
 

Top