Type 052C/052D Class Destroyers


Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
Cost of the two ships isn't primarily with the engines but on the other systems. 052D still uses two diesel engines and a more complex gearbox to deal with two different kinds of engines.
Procurement cost. And to be exact - powerplant still constitutes a significant part of the price(double digits).
But when we go to operation costs(and logistics load) - powerplant becomes of huge importance - the more active ship is, the costlier it gets.
But PLAN is willing to spend for it because it is claimed, a 055 is 3X to 4X more combat effective or has greater combat potential over a 052D. I would attribute these combat multipliers due to not just the 055's radar set up, but it has a more advanced CEC, IFF, and the next generation electronic warfare kit. Having this too, will give the hypothetical 052E a combat multiplier advantage over the 052D, especially when the CEC of the 052E and the 055 is networked together.
That's assuming 052D can't do the same networking(or there is no 055 in TG).
Given that 052Ds are very recent ships, and their radar/cooperative engagement/battle management system development schedule proceeded at least partially in parallel with 055 - why such an assumption?
 
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Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Procurement cost. And to be exact - powerplant still constitutes a significant part of the price(double digits).
But when we go to operation costs(and logistics load) - powerplant becomes of huge importance - the more active ship is, the costlier it gets.

That's assuming 052D can't do the same networking(or there is no 055 in TG).
Given that 052Ds are very recent ships, and their radar/cooperative engagement/battle management system development schedule proceeded at least partially in parallel with 055 - why such an assumption?

The 052D doesn't have the next generation CEC system the 055 has. This is easy to physically check --- it takes the form of four small phase arrays arranged to face all four sides and placed high in the ship. On the 055, these are mounted on near the top of the integrated mast, sandwiched between the X-band AESA and a set of four panels best guess is a new passive radar and ESM. These CEC panels might be working at 6Ghz to 18Ghz, like Wifi 6 or 5G.

These panels are nowhere to be found on the 052D or the 054A (I presume they will be on the 054B) but they are on the Shandong, and there are similarly shaped panels on the Liaoning (retrofitted after March 2019) and the Type 075. Oddly enough, they were field tested on a 054A, namely the 515 Binzhou, which carried the panels all the way to its Gulf of Aden mission, and spottable when the ship visited Greece and Turkey.

In the USN, the CEC took the form of circular arrays, possibly choke antennas, in its first and second generation. By the third generation, it takes the form of four flat panels, namely thin phase arrays.

Given that the flat tops have the CEC, they can exchange and unify their sensor data with the 055's, which is big given the great height of these ships which can cover an expanded radar horizon, couple the fact that the flat tops also have their own AESAs, and bringing other radars for the ride.

If CEC is present on the 052D and 054A, it would have to be through conventional datalinks. There are new circular domes retrofitted on the 052D and 054A along with other ships, presumably with gyroscopically stablized phase arrays to follow satellite, high flying UAV or aircraft for digital communication, but I am not sure if it does ship to ship communication, although these domes probably can allow the flat panel or phase array to go vertical enough to stare at another ship.

Also in terms of the EW, the 052D has the current PLAN "mainstream" standard with the Type 726 set, which consists of an ESM for signal and threat analysis, an ESM for directional finding, an ECM for active jamming and a DLS for passive jamming. While on the other hand, the 055 sports a brand new EW suite.

The main AESA on the 055 looks larger than the 052D, presumably rumored to be using Gallium Nitride. The ones on the 052D are presumably Gallium Arsenide, although presumably, these can be updated in the future. Another feature is that the 055 has a four panel X-band AESA for its fire control, undoubtedly multifunctional, while the 052D still relies on old school mechanical radars for its fire control, namely Type 364, 344 and 366. Even if the 052D has three radars, the X-band AESA on the 055 can track and engage multiple targets on its own, separately from the main AESAs, while on the 052D, a mechanical radar tends to track and engage a target singularly as it is limited by its mechanical shape and movement. Six turbo-generators on the 055, presumably QD50 (might be excessive??) are powering sensors, EW and communications on the 055. The main radars on the 055 seems powerful enough, that it doesn't need the VHF radars on the 052D.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
The 052D doesn't have the next generation CEC system the 055 has. This is easy to physically check --- it takes the form of four small phase arrays arranged to face all four sides and placed high in the ship. On the 055, these are mounted on near the top of the integrated mast, sandwiched between the X-band AESA and a set of four panels best guess is a new passive radar and ESM. These CEC panels might be working at 6Ghz to 18Ghz, like Wifi 6 or 5G.
Interesting, thanks.
Some thoughts out of the ether.
(1)Can we assume the new setup have backward compatibility with older(051-052-054-056 families) datalinks?
(2)Can full setup be employed only on ships intended to operate as integrated fire control/command nodes?
(3)For older combatants - volume/power/cooling constraints?
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Going to add.

While the mechanical radars have a lower upfront cost and the AESAs have a higher upftont cost, in the long run, the AESAs are going to be cheaper in terms of maintenance.

Mechanical radars need to have a scheduled maintenance. Ship has to dock in port, techs have to check the radar, presumably remove it, and replace stressed parts with new bearings or motor. Mechanical radars are subjected to stress and wear; turning around something big and heavy as a metal array is bound in the long run, to have something wear out. On an AESA, the techs only have to run a diagnostic, where every module is checked electronically. If the module is bad, the techs can open up the back of the array and replace the individual module with a new one. The AESA can be recalibrated electronically. This presumes the AESA is fixed in an integrated mast and not a mechanical rotary table, which will be subjected to mechanical stress and wear. The mast should have enough room for an technician to go inside and access the rear hatch of the panels.

This set up gives the 055's X-band AESA fire control system a huge maintenance advantage over the 052D's traditional fire control radars, the Type 344 looks like it goes back to a Thompson design shared with the STIR, and the Type 366 being a derivative from the Russian Mineral radar.
 

Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Interesting, thanks.
Some thoughts out of the ether.
(1)Can we assume the new setup have backward compatibility with older(051-052-054-056 families) datalinks?
(2)Can full setup be employed only on ships intended to operate as integrated fire control/command nodes?
(3)For older combatants - volume/power/cooling constraints?

More like location constraints. There don't seem to be a place to put them. They need to be placed high and as with all equipment, there has to be some minimum space between one and the other to reduce interference. Communication equipment don't usually have power and cooling constraints like radar. This is more of a problem of the mast design of the older ships that wasn't designed for it. The best way I think it can be done is to hang the panels on the two ledges or arms that supports the top pair of ESM units.

I don't know if they are backward compatible but if they are not, its not an issue to have the older set of datalinks for backward compatibility. It should be noted that the USN would sometimes have both the older and the newer CEC units on the same ship, hoisted on different parts of the mast, presumably the older unit is for compability.

If operated, I can assume a ship like the Liaoning, Shandong or 003 can use the 055 as a firing platform and the carrier can use its radars to guide the 055's missiles towards the targets. Or the 055 can "see" through the carrier's sensors and guide the missiles to the targets using the carrier's sensors. This is an enormous height, because there are additional radars even on top of the carrier's AESAs. On both the Liaoning and Shandong, the AESAs are topped by two Type 364 radars, and a Type 382 "Top Plate" at the very top.

On 003, this carrier also has the same X-band AESAs on top of its main AESAs which are also 055 derived. Compared to the Liaoning and Shandong, which each has four panels of CEC, the 003 appears to have eight of them facing in all sides in a tall mast.
 

Gloire_bb

Senior Member
Registered Member
I don't know if they are backward compatible but if they are not, its not an issue to have the older set of datalinks for backward compatibility. It should be noted that the USN would sometimes have both the older and the newer CEC units on the same ship, hoisted on different parts of the mast, presumably the older unit is for compability.
Idea was that AESA comm arrays allow for simultaneous, two-way, directional high bandwidth connection with all units within LOS.
While ideally, all units shall have a similar set, if it isn't possible is to use ships with this new setup as data nodes (as well as master FCS ships for integrated fire control environment).
This is more vulnerable, but will do the same job.
If operated, I can assume a ship like the Liaoning, Shandong or 003 can use the 055 as a firing platform and the carrier can use its radars to guide the 055's missiles towards the targets. Or the 055 can "see" through the carrier's sensors and guide the missiles to the targets using the carrier's sensors. This is an enormous height, because there are additional radars even on top of the carrier's AESAs. On both the Liaoning and Shandong, the AESAs are topped by two Type 364 radars, and a Type 382 "Top Plate" at the very top.
For example like this.
But can, for example, target sighted by 052d be engaged by a passive 055?
Or, even more complex, can 052d engage target seen by, say, 054a, when both have LOS with 055 but not with each other?
Those are rhetoric questions probably - having tea at home is good enough.
 
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Tam

Brigadier
Registered Member
Idea was that AESA comm arrays allow for simultaneous, two-way, directional high bandwidth connection with all units within LOS.
While ideally, all units shall have a similar set, if it isn't possible is to use ships with this new setup as data nodes (as well as master FCS ships for integrated fire control environment).
This is more vulnerable, but will do the same job.

For example like this.
But can, for example, target sighted by 052d be engaged by a passive 055?
Or, even more complex, can 052d engage target seen by, say, 054a, when both have LOS with 055 but not with each other?
Those are rhetoric questions probably - having tea at home is good enough.

If other ships have similar sets then yes. Yes to all the questions.

If all ships have the same set and most are within LOS of each other, they can all communicate with each other simultaneously, sharing sensor data to create a unified map even if some ships in the network are not LOS of each other.

USN first, second and third generation CEC arrays.
2-Figure1-1 (1).png

Array spotted on 515 Binzhou.
IMG_0164.jpg
 

Godzilla

New Member
Registered Member
Procurement cost. And to be exact - powerplant still constitutes a significant part of the price(double digits).
But when we go to operation costs(and logistics load) - powerplant becomes of huge importance - the more active ship is, the costlier it gets.

That's assuming 052D can't do the same networking(or there is no 055 in TG).
Given that 052Ds are very recent ships, and their radar/cooperative engagement/battle management system development schedule proceeded at least partially in parallel with 055 - why such an assumption?
GT powerplants aren't that expensive to buy or operate. LM2500 are around $10-12mil US a pop so for 2 of them on a 052D that is only $24mil US. I am putting 5 of them and a LM3200 unit in right now so my prices should be current. The Chinese equivalent should be cheaper. $24mil on a $500mil to $1bil US ship is a drop in the ocean, no puns intended.
If your design is sound and it is installed properly without too many field modifications, and don't cut corners on the maintenance then it isn't that costly to run..... These are aero derivatives so they are supposed to be cheaper to operate and more reliable....
 

lcloo

Senior Member
GT powerplants aren't that expensive to buy or operate. LM2500 are around $10-12mil US a pop so for 2 of them on a 052D that is only $24mil US. I am putting 5 of them and a LM3200 unit in right now so my prices should be current. The Chinese equivalent should be cheaper. $24mil on a $500mil to $1bil US ship is a drop in the ocean, no puns intended.
If your design is sound and it is installed properly without too many field modifications, and don't cut corners on the maintenance then it isn't that costly to run..... These are aero derivatives so they are supposed to be cheaper to operate and more reliable....
After China bought LM2500 for PLAN's DDG 112 and 113 in late 1980s, US banned export of these engines to China as part of their arms embargo.

And China now is making their own marine gas turbine engines.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
If CEC is present on the 052D and 054A, it would have to be through conventional datalinks. There are new circular domes retrofitted on the 052D and 054A along with other ships, presumably with gyroscopically stablized phase arrays to follow satellite, high flying UAV or aircraft for digital communication, but I am not sure if it does ship to ship communication, although these domes probably can allow the flat panel or phase array to go vertical enough to stare at another ship.

If they can communicate with satellites, high flying UAV or aircraft - they can almost certainly communicate with other ships.
That is the only logical conclusion

The main AESA on the 055 looks larger than the 052D, presumably rumored to be using Gallium Nitride. The ones on the 052D are presumably Gallium Arsenide, although presumably, these can be updated in the future.

Given that the Gallium AESAs are amongst the most expensive part of the Type-052D, and will still be useful for the rest of their lifetimes - I doubt we will see them upgraded. It would be better to build new ships with Gallium Nitride AESAs instead

There are only 39 modern AEGIS destroyers so far, and I expect the Chinese Navy to be aiming for a fleet of 90 AEGIS destroyers in total.
 
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