Type 052C/052D Class Destroyers


Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Can someone point out where the IFF antennas are located on both the Type 052C and on the Type 052D class ships?

For 052D its the bar you see above the bridge where the bridge is sandwiched between the IFF and the main radar. There are four, each above the four radars. For the 052C, its likely to be a bar underneath the panel on top of the array. The array on the 052C is sandwiched between two bars. Traditionally we see a bar in many SAM phase arrays on top of the face which should be the IFF, and that's true with the land based radar station used for the HQ-9. It helps explain why the Type 346 has a look that's a bit taller than wider. In the 346A, the panel has become a perfect square, so the array now has equal dimensions in height and width. This means no more space of the IFF and it has been externalized and moved elsewhere, which can explain the bar on top of the bridge. There are additional IFF equipment on the mast, including two that rotate, along with transponders that look like dipoles.

Should be the blue ones right here on the Shandong with the Type 364 radar (magenta) in between.
za6Q-hawmauc4375621 (1).jpg

052d-15.jpg
 

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
For 052D its the bar you see above the bridge where the bridge is sandwiched between the IFF and the main radar. There are four, each above the four radars. For the 052C, its likely to be a bar underneath the panel on top of the array. The array on the 052C is sandwiched between two bars. Traditionally we see a bar in many SAM phase arrays on top of the face which should be the IFF, and that's true with the land based radar station used for the HQ-9. It helps explain why the Type 346 has a look that's a bit taller than wider. In the 346A, the panel has become a perfect square, so the array now has equal dimensions in height and width. This means no more space of the IFF and it has been externalized and moved elsewhere, which can explain the bar on top of the bridge. There are additional IFF equipment on the mast, including two that rotate, along with transponders that look like dipoles.

Should be the blue ones right here on the Shandong with the Type 364 radar (magenta) in between.
View attachment 76705

View attachment 76706
Has this been confirmed? What is the source of that infographic that identifies the bars as IFF?

If you examine their dimensions, the ones on Type 052D are significantly narrower than the equivalent bars embedded in the Type 346 radar on the Type 052C destroyer. How do you explain that?

Furthermore, these alleged IFF bars underwent yet another revision on the Type 055, where they've more than doubled in surface compared to the units on Type 052D. They look at least a 1m tall and 4m wide. The comparable US naval IFF, the OE-120B/UPX is way smaller than that. That makes me doubt those are indeed IFF.

Why the need to change the IFF interrogator so severely 3 times in 15 years?
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Has this been confirmed? What is the source of that infographic that identifies the bars as IFF?

If you examine their dimensions, the ones on Type 052D are significantly narrower than the equivalent bars embedded in the Type 346 radar on the Type 052C destroyer. How do you explain that?

Furthermore, these alleged IFF bars underwent yet another revision on the Type 055, where they've more than doubled in surface compared to the units on Type 052D. They look at least a 1m tall and 4m wide. The comparable US naval IFF, the OE-120B/UPX is way smaller than that. That makes me doubt those are indeed IFF.

Why the need to change the IFF interrogator so severely 3 times in 15 years?

Chinese sources can stem, and often do, from inside sources aka loose lips. Much better than Western sources which is highly speculative and over time, repeatedly wrong, when it comes to predicting and assessing Chinese military development wherein the record for Chinese sources have proven themselves consistently over time.

As for the IFF bars, I have no explanation, you have to ask the designers for that. Why one is longer and the other is shorter, doesn't change that its still an IFF. You also have to note that the bars on the Shandong are also very long.

For that matter, there are similar bars also on the Type 075 and I have seen them marked as IFF.

On the Type 055, what you may see as the whole bar, but its likely the IFF array itself is only at the middle with two large book ends on each side. That's why on top, the design appears to have a shallow U.

How are these bars fundamentally different from the one used on the land based HQ-9 station which you can see on top of the array here?

hq-9_china-770x385@2x.jpg

Why do you think the US equivalent is the be all and end all of comparison? By the way, this is a BAE system. Do you think there is only one way to do things and not a number of others?
 
Last edited:

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
As for the IFF bars, I have no explanation, you have to ask the designers for that. Why one is longer and the other is shorter, doesn't change that its still an IFF. You also have to note that the bars on the Shandong are also very long.
The bars on the Shandong are indeed quite wide. I think they are comparable in size to the ones on Liaoning? Given their role as carrier, I would not be surprised if those are IFF interrogators.

They are surprisingly narrow on the Type 052D. There is certainly space on the front side for wider antennas. Hmm, maybe they ran into EM interference problems with all the other equipment on the bridge roof and had to use a truncated antenna?
On the Type 055, what you may see as the whole bar, but its likely the IFF array itself is only at the middle with two large book ends on each side. That's why on top, the design appears to have a shallow U.
The installation on the Type 055 is unusually tall and deep compared to all the other IFF antennas that you've enumerated. It's obviously an outlier. It may be that it is not IFF at all. Perhaps it performs the role of the two-way HQ-9 missile command antenna?That would signify a further departure from the Type 346 and Type 346A radars, which should have those antennas embedded.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
The bars on the Shandong are indeed quite wide. I think they are comparable in size to the ones on Liaoning? Given their role as carrier, I would not be surprised if those are IFF interrogators.

They are surprisingly narrow on the Type 052D. There is certainly space on the front side for wider antennas. Hmm, maybe they ran into EM interference problems with all the other equipment on the bridge roof and had to use a truncated antenna?

The installation on the Type 055 is unusually tall and deep compared to all the other IFF antennas that you've enumerated. It's obviously an outlier. It may be that it is not IFF at all. Perhaps it performs the role of the two-way HQ-9 missile command antenna?That would signify a further departure from the Type 346 and Type 346A radars, which should have those antennas embedded.

The ones on the Liaoning are also wide but not as wide as the Shandong's. The width of the Liaoning's IFF appears the same as the width of the Type 346 radar. The ones on the Shandong seems to just slightly exceed the width of the Type 346A radar. The Type 346A radar looks more square and bigger than the 346 so the Shandong ones should be slightly longer. Factoid: The Admiral Kuznetsov also has a similar IFF bar above its Mars Passat radar.

I don't know why its narrow if it can be considered narrow on the 052D. Perhaps it doesn't need to interrogate as many aircraft as the Shandong, and there are power, weight, electrical infrastructure, EM interference constraints that you do not need the device to be more than the intended mission.

On the 055, those things look too big just for HQ-9 communication. My speculation is that the book ends of the system are for HQ-9 communication, with the bridge between the bookends being the IFF interrogator. There are actually eight bars around the top of the superstructure, the four above the radars are the thick ones, and you got another four in the between. The between ones however are too thin when compared to the Type 346A IFF bars, and furthermore they feature a back end structure whereas the other IFF bars doesn't. The 4th bar is visible from the back of the superstructure. You have the thin set about 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock of the ship, and the big thick ones about 45 degrees of each diagonal from the ship's axis. Could this be another radar set or another IFF set?

There's also another set of four panels on the bridge wing of the 055, each again facing from the ship's axis diagonally. Hmm.

The Type 075 also features these bar shaped IFF. You can see three on top of the bridge and the fourth bar behind the dual sided AESA on the second mast.
 
Last edited:

by78

Lieutenant General
Just a nice image.

51435248594_522f8163fd_o.jpg
 

plawolf

Brigadier
It would make sense if you wish to retain the older VLS and simply use the canisters from the land based missile. But I don't see the sense and effort of putting tube canisters into the square canisters as that lengthens the process, and this is likely done at the factory. Which means you still have two separate stock keeping units instead of one.

Even if a round based inner canister is used inside the square canister, it does not assure that this inner tube canister is the same as that used for the land based missile.

The reason why I like to get rid of the circular VLS is that its mechanically complicated, with each VLS requiring its own mini crane to help load the missile. But this disadvantage might still be livable.

An update to the main radars is necessary. Its not an issue of technological obsolescence, even if an AESA design of 20 years old like needs to have some update, but its necessary for parts attrition and wear. In an MLU a lot of things are replaced for new, even if they are identical parts. The older parts are due to expire, simply because wear and tear and electronics do have an expiration.

For an older radar you would have to stockpile all the T/R modules originally used with the radar at the time of its launching. Or you can do is replace the old T/R modules with that of a much more recent radar that's currently in production, as each of the older modules burn out and ran out of supply. So a radar refresh is absolutely necessary from a logistical viewpoint and with the collateral benefit of a big boost from the tactical standpoint, making the refreshed radars much more closer to the performance of the radars used in the latest Type 052D iteration.

So logistically and from a servicing standpoint, it would make sense replacing the modules used on the Type 346 to the modules used in the latest Type 346A subvariant. The replacement operation would take place within the ship itself and no need for dry docking. You can also update the back end electronics. If the newer generation modules perform better than the old one, you have the bonus of the refitted radar to perform superior to the original. Part of an MLU is to bring the ship as close as possible to the same maintenance standard as the other ships (hence why I still think the VLS change needs to happen). This isn't being done for the cost or the tactical viewpoint but from a logistical standpoint. This is why the Project 956E refit is mostly a sidegrade rather than an upgrade and the same goes to the 052B refit.
The circular inner tube is needed for cold launch SAMs to create a tight seal around the missile to maximise lift from the gas charge and minimise the size of charge needed. It also doubles up as a guide tube to ensure the missile stays properly aligned when launched so suddenly. Without that inner tube, there is every chance the missile would tumble even before it fully exists the VLS.

All cold launch VLS uses the circular inner tubes. The UVLS gives the PLAN the added option to use hot launched missiles as well, which don’t need the inner tube.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
The circular inner tube is needed for cold launch SAMs to create a tight seal around the missile to maximise lift from the gas charge and minimise the size of charge needed. It also doubles up as a guide tube to ensure the missile stays properly aligned when launched so suddenly. Without that inner tube, there is every chance the missile would tumble even before it fully exists the VLS.

All cold launch VLS uses the circular inner tubes. The UVLS gives the PLAN the added option to use hot launched missiles as well, which don’t need the inner tube.

Hot launch uses a circular tube within a circular tube, with rounded bottomed end, like a test tube's. YJ-12 canisters for U-VLS all use rounded tubes, but the HQ-9 canisters for U-VLS uses squared canisters with circular inner tubes, even if the HQ-9 canisters for the land use and on the 052C are all circular.
 

sndef888

Junior Member
Registered Member
How likely are we to see an extended 052D or a 054E with additional 16 VLS?

That would make it basically a Burke equivalent
 

Top