Type 052C/052D Class Destroyers


Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
I don't think 058 will be a light destroyer, more like a medium DDG with more VLS cells (80+) and higher displacements (9000+ tons), but that debate is just semantics. No one knows what it will be.

Everything else you've said I agree with. A new dual phase array on top of the mast will really differentiate the 4th batch of 052D from the rest.

I think 80 VLS cells can be achieved with a ship the size of the 052D, i.e. 7500 tons full load. You have to eliminate the VHS array and add another 16 VLS in that position.

I think 9000+ tons is too close to a 055, and you might want to retain the 2 gas turbines instead of 4 to maintain your fuel economy.

My idea is still essentially a 052X sized vessel with a new set of prime movers, the 2 diesel engines replaced by 2 induction motors as prime movers and retaining the two gas turbines, albeit expect that the gas turbines are now 30,000 to 33,000 mw each. At best 8000 tons displacement and not over 9000. Due to the prime mover change, the Type number is changed.

My idea why a 052X sized vessel will be retained, is that PLAN appears satisfied with its configuration and when they are satisfied with something, they tend to go all the way with it. As much as they want technological advancement, the PLAN also seems very conservative in other measures.

To compensate for the removal of the Type 517 VHF array, the main arrays must be strong enough to detect stealth aircraft. This seems to be a tough PLAN requirement. The reason why the 055 isn't sporting an L-band, UHF or VHF array is probably because they are using the brute force method which however requires a lot of juice to the arrays, which contributes the ship's size and a high number of generators. So work will be done on this department.

With the X-band array to complete the dual band, the work will be easier. Removal of the Type 364 surface search radar, the Type 366 antiship radar (also used for OTH purposes), and the Type 344 gunnery fire control radar means we can use the power requirements of these three radars to feed a four panel X-band array that is serves the purpose of all three. The radar will be set high on an integrated mast for the best possible radar horizon. Complete with the removal of the VHF array, we will remove anything that needs to mechanically rotate or steer except for the small navigation radars.

Just above the X-band, we will put a four panel CEC array. The ECM will follow the new style introduced with the 055 which consists of a panel on the side of the superstructure. All this and more, we take the equipment introduced on the 055 and bring them here for a repeat.

The characteristics of the ship should be:

The ship must distinguish itself from the 055. You don't want it fully duplicating the 055's mission, though we can allow for some overlap, and it needs to offer a significant advantage of economy, both in its new building and in its running, than the 055.

The ship must also distinguish itself from the next generation frigate. Again, it must be significantly more capable than the smaller ship.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
The characteristics of the ship should be:

The ship must distinguish itself from the 055. You don't want it fully duplicating the 055's mission, though we can allow for some overlap, and it needs to offer a significant advantage of economy, both in its new building and in its running, than the 055.

The ship must also distinguish itself from the next generation frigate. Again, it must be significantly more capable than the smaller ship.

Build a next-generation large frigate and next-generation medium destroyer on the same (new) hull/propulsion platform.

The frigate variant has no aft VLS, a more basic radar suite, with no area AAW pretensions, reduced electrical power generation, but has a second helicopter and greater provision for "second line" roles and characteristics such as more RHIBs (maybe a stern boat ramp?) and rotary UAVs, greater stores capacity and crew accommodations for extended operations or detachments of Marines, etc. The destroyer variant is more aggressively optimised for the AAW role (at the expense of e.g. variable depth sonar presently fitted to 052D).
 
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Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Build a next-generation large frigate and next-generation medium destroyer on the same (new) hull/propulsion platform.

The frigate variant has no aft VLS, a more basic radar suite, with no area AAW pretensions, reduced electrical power generation, but has a second helicopter and greater provision for "second line" roles and characteristics such as more RHIBs (maybe a stern boat ramp?) and rotary UAVs, greater stores capacity and crew accommodations for extended operations or detachments of Marines, etc. The destroyer variant is more aggressively optimised for the AAW role (at the expense of e.g. variable depth sonar presently fitted to 052D).

That's probably how the Royal Navy would do their ships, the proposed Type 46 destroyer is really an AAW variant of their Type 26 frigate. But its not likely how the PLAN would do this as they appear bent on adopting a full multi-role concept on surface warships starting from a medium frigate and above at least with the current leadership. (Who knows with future PLAN leadership?) The variable depth sonar doesn't cost much or use space to install or use vast amounts of electricity so its not something that should be sacrificed unless you are in a severe cost cutting situation which applies to the RN. The variable depth sonar being used is the same from all ships from the 056A to the 052D, and quite possibly the 055 might have one too.

Next frigate I think is going to be a brand new prime mover configuration, although its not gong to happen until the 50th Type 054A is done. It will probably be a single GT, 33 to 35mw successor variant to the QD280, lets call it QD330 or QD350 or GT33000 or GT35000, with two induction motors as prime movers. This will be for a heavy front line frigate that can keep up with a carrier. The target displacement is around 5000-5500 tons in contrast to the. light destroyer at 7500 to 8500 ton. 32 cell VLS for SAMs, plus an 8 cell deepened VLS specifically for antiship missiles starting with the YJ-18 for a total of 40 VLS, while the light destroyer will have 80. Its likely all the VLS will be set in the front in the heavy frigate.

For a light ASW frigate, there needs to be a followup to the 056A, a larger frigate but not as big as a 054A. This might call for a return of the Type 053 size, around 2500 tons. The main air defense is still close range, maybe this time a 24 missile HQ-10 launcher. An 8 cell AJK-16 VLS is provided, but its not for launching SAMs. Instead, there will be eight YU-8 ASROCs in it. There is a hanger with a chopper, the deck long enough for a Z-20. Then top it off with a search radar similar to the SR2410C. 8 antiship missile launchers, canted, meant to fire a missile the size and weight class of the YJ-83, and hopefully there is a successor within the YJ-83 size and weight class since then but can also use old existing stocks of YJ-83. The prime movers can be a four diesel CODAD and all induction motors IEPS.
 
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Philister

New Member
Registered Member
I think 80 VLS cells can be achieved with a ship the size of the 052D, i.e. 7500 tons full load. You have to eliminate the VHS array and add another 16 VLS in that position.

I think 9000+ tons is too close to a 055, and you might want to retain the 2 gas turbines instead of 4 to maintain your fuel economy.

My idea is still essentially a 052X sized vessel with a new set of prime movers, the 2 diesel engines replaced by 2 induction motors as prime movers and retaining the two gas turbines, albeit expect that the gas turbines are now 30,000 to 33,000 mw each. At best 8000 tons displacement and not over 9000. Due to the prime mover change, the Type number is changed.

My idea why a 052X sized vessel will be retained, is that PLAN appears satisfied with its configuration and when they are satisfied with something, they tend to go all the way with it. As much as they want technological advancement, the PLAN also seems very conservative in other measures.

To compensate for the removal of the Type 517 VHF array, the main arrays must be strong enough to detect stealth aircraft. This seems to be a tough PLAN requirement. The reason why the 055 isn't sporting an L-band, UHF or VHF array is probably because they are using the brute force method which however requires a lot of juice to the arrays, which contributes the ship's size and a high number of generators. So work will be done on this department.

With the X-band array to complete the dual band, the work will be easier. Removal of the Type 364 surface search radar, the Type 366 antiship radar (also used for OTH purposes), and the Type 344 gunnery fire control radar means we can use the power requirements of these three radars to feed a four panel X-band array that is serves the purpose of all three. The radar will be set high on an integrated mast for the best possible radar horizon. Complete with the removal of the VHF array, we will remove anything that needs to mechanically rotate or steer except for the small navigation radars.

Just above the X-band, we will put a four panel CEC array. The ECM will follow the new style introduced with the 055 which consists of a panel on the side of the superstructure. All this and more, we take the equipment introduced on the 055 and bring them here for a repeat.

The characteristics of the ship should be:

The ship must distinguish itself from the 055. You don't want it fully duplicating the 055's mission, though we can allow for some overlap, and it needs to offer a significant advantage of economy, both in its new building and in its running, than the 055.

The ship must also distinguish itself from the next generation frigate. Again, it must be significantly more capable than the smaller ship.
052D is much smaller than you thought, it’s between 6000-6500T, with 64VLS, it’s not a cozy place to live and actually gets complained a lot especially during the long range deployment . It would be beyond nice if the 052X is going to be around 7500T .
 

by78

Lieutenant General
YJ-18 launch:
51322980126_bd6caf92fa_k.jpg


HHQ-9 launch:
51322240782_a2d1e6c989_o.jpg


HHQ-10 launch:
51322979856_317aca071d_o.jpg
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
So at least the first picture confirms the other bank does fire YJ-18s, so both rear banks of the forward VLS are 9 meters deep for a total of 16 YJ-18 firing.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
That's probably how the Royal Navy would do their ships, the proposed Type 46 destroyer is really an AAW variant of their Type 26 frigate. But its not likely how the PLAN would do this as they appear bent on adopting a full multi-role concept on surface warships starting from a medium frigate and above at least with the current leadership. (Who knows with future PLAN leadership?) The variable depth sonar doesn't cost much or use space to install or use vast amounts of electricity so its not something that should be sacrificed unless you are in a severe cost cutting situation which applies to the RN. The variable depth sonar being used is the same from all ships from the 056A to the 052D, and quite possibly the 055 might have one too.

Deleting some of the ASW capabilities that are currently present on 052D would create a clearer conceptual distinction between the medium destroyer and both the large frigate and Type 055/A. Essentially, both the medium destroyer/larger frigate would offer a subset of the capabilities of 055. Or to put it another way, 055/A offers the capabilities of both new types in a single, significantly larger and more expensive ship. So that is the conceptual case, but whether or not a greater level of specialisation between types is actually sensible depends on the finer details. The savings from building each unit of each type would have to outweigh both any degradation in capability and flexibility from 055. I grant that it is not clear that it would. Although on the subject of VDS as an example of something that could hypothetically be cut from a future medium AAW destroyer, it is not merely about how much the system costs and how much volume it occupies, but the crew required to operate and maintain the system and their accommodation, dietary, exercise requirements.

I'm not convinced there needs to be a future medium destroyer rather than just running off 055s and large frigates. But if there is to be such a destroyer, the burden is on adequately distinguishing it from 055 while simultaneously generating significant cost savings and therefore greater numbers. Honestly, I would even consider eliminating the helo from such a vessel entirely, akin to Flight I Burke as a cheaper complement to Tico and alongside Spruance as the large ASW frigate with two helos.

Next frigate I think is going to be a brand new prime mover configuration, although its not gong to happen until the 50th Type 054A is done. It will probably be a single GT, 33 to 35mw successor variant to the QD280, lets call it QD330 or QD350 or GT33000 or GT35000, with two induction motors as prime movers. This will be for a heavy front line frigate that can keep up with a carrier. The target displacement is around 5000-5500 tons in contrast to the. light destroyer at 7500 to 8500 ton. 32 cell VLS for SAMs, plus an 8 cell deepened VLS specifically for antiship missiles starting with the YJ-18 for a total of 40 VLS, while the light destroyer will have 80. Its likely all the VLS will be set in the front in the heavy frigate.

For a light ASW frigate, there needs to be a followup to the 056A, a larger frigate but not as big as a 054A. This might call for a return of the Type 053 size, around 2500 tons. The main air defense is still close range, maybe this time a 24 missile HQ-10 launcher. An 8 cell AJK-16 VLS is provided, but its not for launching SAMs. Instead, there will be eight YU-8 ASROCs in it. There is a hanger with a chopper, the deck long enough for a Z-20. Then top it off with a search radar similar to the SR2410C. 8 antiship missile launchers, canted, meant to fire a missile the size and weight class of the YJ-83, and hopefully there is a successor within the YJ-83 size and weight class since then but can also use old existing stocks of YJ-83. The prime movers can be a four diesel CODAD and all induction motors IEPS.

That all sounds very sensible and I have previously advocated for a vessel of this nature to succeed 056. Though I would consider using UVLS instead and allocating a few cells for the quad-pack 5-5-5 SAM.

052D is much smaller than you thought, it’s between 6000-6500T, with 64VLS, it’s not a cozy place to live and actually gets complained a lot especially during the long range deployment . It would be beyond nice if the 052X is going to be around 7500T .

There is no doubt that 052D offers more "bang per ton" than most vessels of similar size and that has to come from somewhere. I would not be at all surprised if it comes out of both endurance and accommodations. And that's one of the reasons I don't see increasing the magazine size as a significant priority: the design is already densely packed as is, and if you make it much larger you undermine the rationale for its existence as a smaller/more affordable complement to 055.
 
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Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Deleting some of the ASW capabilities that are currently present on 052D would create a clearer conceptual distinction between the medium destroyer and both the large frigate and Type 055/A. Essentially, both the medium destroyer/larger frigate would offer a subset of the capabilities of 055. Or to put it another way, 055/A offers the capabilities of both new types in a single, significantly larger and more expensive ship. So that is the conceptual case, but whether or not a greater level of specialisation between types is actually sensible depends on the finer details. The savings from building each unit of each type would have to outweigh both any degradation in capability and flexibility from 055. I grant that it is not clear that it would. Although on the subject of VDS as an example of something that could hypothetically be cut from a future medium AAW destroyer, it is not merely about how much the system costs and how much volume it occupies, but the crew required to operate and maintain the system and their accommodation, dietary, exercise requirements.

I'm not convinced there needs to be a future medium destroyer rather than just running off 055s and large frigates. But if there is to be such a destroyer, the burden is on adequately distinguishing it from 055 while simultaneously generating significant cost savings and therefore greater numbers. Honestly, I would even consider eliminating the helo from such a vessel entirely, akin to Flight I Burke as a cheaper complement to Tico and alongside Spruance as the large ASW frigate with two helos.



That all sounds very sensible and I have previously advocated for a vessel of this nature to succeed 056. Though I would consider using UVLS instead and allocating a few cells for the quad-pack 5-5-5 SAM.



There is no doubt that 052D offers more "bang per ton" than most vessels of similar size and that has to come from somewhere. I would not be at all surprised if it comes out of both endurance and accommodations. And that's one of the reasons I don't see increasing the magazine size as a significant priority: the design is already densely packed as is, and if you make it much larger you undermine the rationale for its existence as a smaller/more affordable complement to 055.

I would think that the PLAN is freaked about enemy submarine capabilities that they would throw a large effort on it in the last decade. At the time when the 052D was introduced, there aren't a lot of warships in the world that has a VDS. They made an effort to switch the 054A production line to VDS, and did the same on the 056. In fact one of the primary changes between the 054A and 056A blocks have been the VDS. The VDS itself isn't something that's expensive, huge and inconvenient to add on --- all it needs is a port on the back with a long reel. Comparative to the previous world standard of hull sonar and TAS, VDS allows you to penetrate and listen through different thermal layers. Hull sonar and TAS can be beaten by a submarine who knows how to use thermal and salinity layers which can deflect sound. Helicopters with dipping sonars have a disadvantage because of their limited endurance. TAS is dependent on how quiet and noisy a submarine as TAS are passive sonars. But a ship with a VDS can probe any depth any layer for any length of time, and because its active -- ping ping ping --- it does not matter how quiet you are --- the sub is going to echo back those pings. Kudos for the PLAN for decisively quick fitting its ships with VDS, when other navies are dragging their feet on this issue for budgetary and bureaucratic reasons.

With regards to the 056A followup - 2500 ton ASW light frigate, I can choose a U-VLS as long as U-VLS has an ASROC option. I am not referring to the YU-8 fitting on the U-VLS, the YU-8 is well undersized for it and its quite a waste of space. The U-VLS should have an ASROC that makes better use of its space, and that means a missile-torpedo that's going to be larger than the YU-8, which means greater range or so on, like a YU-7 torpedo attached to the YJ-18's cruise body.

Given the size of the vessel, an 8 cell U-VLS is the option with 8 ASROCs. Using the 3-5 missile with it would likely mean a change in missile configuration, reducing the ASROCs for the air defense, but most importantly a change in the vessel's radar setup which in turn raises the cost of the vessel. At the minimum, the 3-5 missile, which I expect to be active guided, would need supplementary midphase updates from the radar and needs a radar capable of accurate updates. The HQ-10 on the other hand is a passive/IR missile ---- it locks to the target's heat and is a heat seeking missile. Against other aircraft, it would have to be protected by another vessel like the heavy frigate or light destroyer but at least it should be able to protect itself at close ranges.

Going back to the short list of ASW specialized modern warships, like the Type 22, Type 23 frigates and the Udaloy class destroyers, they are equipped with mainly short range missiles. The Udaloy is equipped with Kinzhals in rotary VLS, which amounts to a naval Tor-M1 or HQ-17. The primary weapon of the Udaloy is a huge ASROC that's code named Silex, which is like a cruise missile with a torpedo attached to it, and that's what fills up those large missile canisters the type is visually known for.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
I would think that the PLAN is freaked about enemy submarine capabilities that they would throw a large effort on it in the last decade. At the time when the 052D was introduced, there aren't a lot of warships in the world that has a VDS. They made an effort to switch the 054A production line to VDS, and did the same on the 056. In fact one of the primary changes between the 054A and 056A blocks have been the VDS. The VDS itself isn't something that's expensive, huge and inconvenient to add on --- all it needs is a port on the back with a long reel. Comparative to the previous world standard of hull sonar and TAS, VDS allows you to penetrate and listen through different thermal layers. Hull sonar and TAS can be beaten by a submarine who knows how to use thermal and salinity layers which can deflect sound. Helicopters with dipping sonars have a disadvantage because of their limited endurance. TAS is dependent on how quiet and noisy a submarine as TAS are passive sonars. But a ship with a VDS can probe any depth any layer for any length of time, and because its active -- ping ping ping --- it does not matter how quiet you are --- the sub is going to echo back those pings. Kudos for the PLAN for decisively

If you do not narrow the mission set and instead simply produce a scaled-down 055 then I doubt such a design can be made cost-effective as a complement to 055. You are likely to end up with a ship that costs almost as much as 055 to build and run but offers significantly less capability, and that case you would simply build more 055s.
 

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