Type 054/A FFG Thread II


Tam

Major
Registered Member
Would be interesting to see what the Type 054A fleet will be MLU'ed in the future.

Will the HQ-16 get active radar homing?
Will they get an AESA search radar like the SR2410C?
Will they get YJ-12 antiship missiles instead of YJ-83?

The last two questions are already expressed with the 054A/P.

Ship based HQ-16 systems have fallen behind their land counterparts.

Would be interesting to note that the land based HQ-16 systems got their guidance vehicles upgraded from a dual band spaced PESA setup to a dual band AESA.
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Tam

Major
Registered Member
Variations in the 054A satcom. From pictures I have seen at least three.

The first is one grey bulb. Most common, especially among earlier ships.

The second is the grey bulb with one white bulb. I am not sure what the white bulb is for, just speculations.

img-f57aaddc89e44dc0855a1c8a9b96b3ae.jpg

The third features a satcom radome with a new design. This appears in the last batch of 054A. The white bulb is gone this time, which for me suggest this unit is taking the job of the two units.

115352pnww3lm3ffe3lkw0 - Edited.jpg

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This last picture is most interesting. A new detail is hard to notice. This ship has the two bulb configuration but it added something else.

img-1ca2223a1c865947227a2801cfc6003b.jpg


Near the satcoms and possible datalink is a series of squares. I have not seen this with other 054As before. I believe this to be a new communication array, possibly a new CEC unit.


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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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I really have grave doubts on this. You can check around for sources and the HQ-9, base version, comes already to around 6.8 meters (some say 7 meters.) This does not leave you much room for a cold launched system, but we are absolutely sure these missiles are launched via cold launched method and there are plenty of photographs of this already. The difference of 6.8 meters to 7 meters is just too small for a gas bottle to deal with the weight of an HQ-9, which is around 1300kg.

For a cold launch, you would need a large compressed gas bottle underneath the missile, which is used to pop the missile out of the tube. On a dedicated cold launch system ala RIF-M or the revolver style on the 052C, the gas bottle can be underneath the VLS tube.

But on a CCL, this cold launched system has to be packed within and below the canister itself. Remember the tube has the option for hot launched missile and in which case, the hot launched missile would not have a gas battle within the canister and would be left open on the bottom to channel the exhaust gases out.
This is going back a little while, however this photo was brought to my attention just today, which was probably the basis for why I believed the 7m UVLS was capable of accommodating HHQ-9 back during this discussion.

In this image HQ-9 has a length of some 6.5m at most, which I believed would've been sufficient to accommodate a cold launch mechanism. The 6.8m count was likely from old brochures of FT-2000.

 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
This is going back a little while, however this photo was brought to my attention just today, which was probably the basis for why I believed the 7m UVLS was capable of accommodating HHQ-9 back during this discussion.

In this image HQ-9 has a length of some 6.5m at most, which I believed would've been sufficient to accommodate a cold launch mechanism. The 6.8m count was likely from old brochures of FT-2000.


Two problems. The cold launch bottle of the S-300, in which the HQ-9 system maybe copied from, is at least a meter. The ship VLS might possibly have a higher clear requirement than the land based VLS in case of a launch failure but who knows? Partly because it is already a proven system, the naval VLS may still be using the exact part used for the land based HQ-9 which in turn may just be a direct copy of the system used on the S-300 which is also like the one you see here on the bottom. Look at the 9M96 missiles here and despite the missiles are much smaller, they still use the same bottle from the S-300 because well, its already available and proven with countless firings, with no need for reinvention.

5P85SE-9M96E2-Quad-Launcher-MAKS-MiroslavGyurosi-1S.jpg


The second is that the VLS must have substantial growth overhead for future missiles, and that includes SAMs. The above may just be the base version of the HQ-9, but what about HQ-9B and future variants? There is a size growth between the 5V55 and the 48N6E missiles for the S-300. The most common way for a missile to extend its range is length growth. See the various members of the 9M96 missile family from the shorter ranged 9M96 to the long range 9M96E2.

Even with hot launched missiles, you still need significant clearance. The Strike version of the MK. 41 was intended to launch the Tomahawk missile. The length of the VLS is 6.8 meters long. The length of the Tomahawk, including booster, is 6.25m. The Tactical version of the Mk. 41 was created to launch the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles. The length of the Tactical version is 7.7m. The SM-6 is 6.6 meters long and the SM-3 is 6.55 meters long. And these are for hot launched missiles. The SCALP naval missile for the A70 Sylver is 6.5 meters long, and the A70 is 7 meters. That's about right for a .5 meters clearance but this is also a hot launch system.

My theory for the supposed "length" of the U-VLS is that 3.3m, 7m, and 9m quoted is not the physical length of the VLS themselves, but the maximum length allowed for the missiles for each tier of U-VLS, with their actual physical length exceeding the specificied maximum length of the missiles. Note that 3.3 meters makes absolutely no sense of a VLS length, given that a PL-12, without the booster needed for a surface variant, would already be at least 3.7 meters in length. The only missile that I can think that could fit this is the CAMM at 3.2 meters, and that's British. If the VLS is 3.3 meters long, then even CAMM would not fit, as it is cold launched.
 
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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
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Two problems. The cold launch bottle of the S-300, in which the HQ-9 system maybe copied from, is at least a meter. The ship VLS might possibly have a higher clear requirement than the land based VLS in case of a launch failure but who knows? Partly because it is already a proven system, the naval VLS may still be using the exact part used for the land based HQ-9 which in turn may just be a direct copy of the system used on the S-300 which is also like the one you see here on the bottom. Look at the 9M96 missiles here and despite the missiles are much smaller, they still use the same bottle from the S-300 because well, its already available and proven with countless firings, with no need for reinvention.

View attachment 53106


The second is that the VLS must have substantial growth overhead for future missiles, and that includes SAMs. The above may just be the base version of the HQ-9, but what about HQ-9B and future variants? There is a size growth between the 5V55 and the 48N6E missiles for the S-300. The most common way for a missile to extend its range is length growth. See the various members of the 9M96 missile family from the shorter ranged 9M96 to the long range 9M96E2.
I absolutely expect longer range HQ-9 variants to be developed, through two major directions:
1: enhancement of propellant, guidance, and materials using the existing form factor
2: the above + lengthening of the missile either by physically increasing the length of the existing missile or adding a booster to it.

Option 1 would be for the 7m VLS (continuing the LR SAM pathway) while option 2 would be for the 9m VLS (and introduce a VLR SAM capability to the Navy).

Remember, my previous suggestion was that 054A should be able to fire HHQ-9 sized LR SAMs in its VLS.



Even with hot launched missiles, you still need significant clearance. The Strike version of the MK. 41 was intended to launch the Tomahawk missile. The length of the VLS is 6.8 meters long. The length of the Tomahawk, including booster, is 6.25m. The Tactical version of the Mk. 41 was created to launch the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles. The length of the Tactical version is 7.7m. The SM-6 is 6.6 meters long and the SM-3 is 6.55 meters long. And these are for hot launched missiles. The SCALP naval missile for the A70 Sylver is 6.5 meters long, and the A70 is 7 meters. That's about right for a .5 meters clearance but this is also a hot launch system.
I'm not sure if those numbers are relevant unless we know if the missile dimensions those VLS cells accommodate is a reflection of the maximum length of the missile they are able to hold or not.
 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
I absolutely expect longer range HQ-9 variants to be developed, through two major directions:
1: enhancement of propellant, guidance, and materials using the existing form factor
2: the above + lengthening of the missile either by physically increasing the length of the existing missile or adding a booster to it.

Option 1 would be for the 7m VLS (continuing the LR SAM pathway) while option 2 would be for the 9m VLS (and introduce a VLR SAM capability to the Navy).

Remember, my previous suggestion was that 054A should be able to fire HHQ-9 sized LR SAMs in its VLS.
I lean towards the idea that 7 meter U-VLS is the maximum length of the missile specified and not the actual physical length of the VLS.

In any case, future SAM growth is mostly about length first, see SM-2 to SM-2ER, SM-3 and SM-6, 5V55 to 48N6E2 and 40NE6, the 9M96 to the 9M96E2, Aster 15 to Aster 30. Note how much longer the PLAAF's VLRAAM to the PL-12.

Another thing is that if you developed a hot launched HQ-9, at 6.5 meters, a physical length of 7 meters would suffice.


I'm not sure if those numbers are relevant unless we know if the missile dimensions those VLS cells accommodate is a reflection of the maximum length of the missile they are able to hold or not.
Strike and Tactical Mk. 41 were intended for the missiles mentioned, and the only exclusive missile for A70 Sylver right now is naval SCALP.

We have seen this drawn on speculative 054B drawings. While the radar on top in the lantern might be an S-band, I suspect the longer rectangles on the bottom suggest IFF and datalink arrays similar to the bars that appear on top of Type 346A/B arrays, which serve as a com datalink to the HQ-9 missile. The middle smaller array could be CEC. The appearance of this tower in those 054B sketches hints as the strongest possible pointer to using HHQ-9 in the next frigates.


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Tam

Major
Registered Member
Left is an S-400 battery.

Middle is likely the HQ-9 battery.

Right is likely an HQ-16 battery.
 
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zaphd

New Member
Registered Member
Left is an S-400 battery.

Middle is likely the HQ-9 battery.

Right is likely an HQ-16 battery.
I recently skimmed through the vid of the PLA 90th anniversary parade, and the SAM with small circular launch tubes was called HQ-22.
 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
I recently skimmed through the vid of the PLA 90th anniversary parade, and the SAM with small circular launch tubes was called HQ-22.
My understanding is that HQ-22 is slanted like this.

CwpUnFGXgAAmEzK.jpg

And HQ-16 has frames around the tubes like this.

hq16.jpg
 

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