Type 052C/052D Class Destroyers


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
 

Tam

Brigadier
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

Quite unlikely. Both are aging platforms. Those stealthy lines might belie the fact that their hull foundation goes back to 30 years for the 052X, going back to the first pair of 052 Harbin and Qingdao, and the 054X goes to back about 20 years now from the first pair of Maanshan and Wenzhou. The simplest way to get more VLS is to mass produce 055s. This might sound big, complex and expensive but that sounds like the first Type 052C when it was first built, people are saying China won't build any more than two or four of these. Well, they did build six eventually and 25 of its immediate successor.

As time goes on, China's GDP rises, and you have the warship inflation trends, the 055 won't seem as big or as expensive or as unique in the future. As more units ar built, its cost per unit is also expected to go down.

Now with frigates, if you want more VLS, you build more frigates.
 

sndef888

Junior Member
Registered Member
Quite unlikely. Both are aging platforms. Those stealthy lines might belie the fact that their hull foundation goes back to 30 years for the 052X, going back to the first pair of 052 Harbin and Qingdao, and the 054X goes to back about 20 years now from the first pair of Maanshan and Wenzhou. The simplest way to get more VLS is to mass produce 055s. This might sound big, complex and expensive but that sounds like the first Type 052C when it was first built, people are saying China won't build any more than two or four of these. Well, they did build six eventually and 25 of its immediate successor.

As time goes on, China's GDP rises, and you have the warship inflation trends, the 055 won't seem as big or as expensive or as unique in the future. As more units ar built, its cost per unit is also expected to go down.

Now with frigates, if you want more VLS, you build more frigates.
Crap that was a typo. I meant to type 052E not 054E

I agree the 052D is showing it's age. It is quite thin with a beam of just 17m compared to AB/Type 26/Type 45 which are all over 20 meters


055 really feels like it would be too big to mass produce unlike the US's 80+ Arleigh Burkes
 

Totoro

Captain
VIP Professional
So far only 8 cell modules have been observed. Which is actually a pity, as since the VLS can be made self contained per single cell, development of smaller modules should be fairly trivial. A 4 cell module with 4 cells in a single row would be quite beneficial in the future. Both for better using small spaces on larger ships and for enabling smaller ships to use VLS at all. Of course, not the big, long cells, but the short one.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Crap that was a typo. I meant to type 052E not 054E

I agree the 052D is showing it's age. It is quite thin with a beam of just 17m compared to AB/Type 26/Type 45 which are all over 20 meters


055 really feels like it would be too big to mass produce unlike the US's 80+ Arleigh Burkes

I recall a study which compared the Japanese Aegis destroyers versus the Burke in terms of complexity versus hull volume. The result comes as a ratio, but I don't remember the actual name of the ratio anymore.

It came to the conclusion that the Burke was inefficient as it was too complex given the hull volume. And that the larger Japanese hulls were more efficient.

So it's the Type-055 hull really too big?

Also, the Type-055 comes in at $900M which is half the cost of an Arleigh Burke.

And if you expect Chinese military spending to exceed US levels in the next 5-10 years, the conclusion is that mass production of the Type-055 is feasible.

Of course, whether that happens is more a choice on what the PLAN has decided is the optimum fleet mix.
 

blindsight

Junior Member
Registered Member
I recall a study which compared the Japanese Aegis destroyers versus the Burke in terms of complexity versus hull volume. The result comes as a ratio, but I don't remember the actual name of the ratio anymore.

It came to the conclusion that the Burke was inefficient as it was too complex given the hull volume. And that the larger Japanese hulls were more efficient.

So it's the Type-055 hull really too big?

Also, the Type-055 comes in at $900M which is half the cost of an Arleigh Burke.

And if you expect Chinese military spending to exceed US levels in the next 5-10 years, the conclusion is that mass production of the Type-055 is feasible.

Of course, whether that happens is more a choice on what the PLAN has decided is the optimum fleet mix.
I support the idea that PLAN should focus on the 055X series instead of developing a new 052X iteration. The more suitable complement would be a multirole frigate, and it'd better be an all-new design.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
I support the idea that PLAN should focus on the 055X series instead of developing a new 052X iteration. The more suitable complement would be a multirole frigate, and it'd better be an all-new design.

If you believe that, what do you think is the cost differential between a Type-055 and a notional Type-052E?

Remember the Type-055 is 6 billion RMB and a Type-052D is 3.5 billion RMB
 

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