Type 054/A FFG Thread II


sndef888

New Member
Registered Member
Why did Pakistan buy the 054A when the 054B is right around the corner?

I feel like the 054A is starting to show its age just a little bit, and the biggest problem is that its VLS is not standard
 

lcloo

Junior Member
Why did Pakistan buy the 054A when the 054B is right around the corner?

I feel like the 054A is starting to show its age just a little bit, and the biggest problem is that its VLS is not standard
War ship procurement is a lengthy process. First you spend one or two years looking for a frigate that suit your requirement. Then you spend from 2 to 5 years negotiating a contract involving thousands of things, but mainly on construction time, price, specs on weapons, electronics etc. Other items in your contract would involve items down right to kitchen equipment and bath room fittings, chairs, color of paint etc. etc. The amount of contract papers can easily be filled a room or two.

Then the shipyard would take 3 to 5 years to design or modify original designs, sourcing sub-components, cutting steel etc. before the ship is launched.

So the whole process would take at least 6 years before you see the ship launched, which is 2014. There is no type 054B in 2014 and not even in 2020.
 

P5678

New Member
Registered Member
Why did Pakistan buy the 054A when the 054B is right around the corner?

I feel like the 054A is starting to show its age just a little bit, and the biggest problem is that its VLS is not standard
What is your definition of 'around the corner'? Like construction will be started in 2020 or 2021 or something else? Also, do you have a source to provide evidence that it is around the corner by your definition?
 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
Why did Pakistan buy the 054A when the 054B is right around the corner?

I feel like the 054A is starting to show its age just a little bit, and the biggest problem is that its VLS is not standard
Pakistan's version of the 054A is quite different from the PLAN version.

1. The 'Top Plate' Type 382 search radar is replaced by the AESA SR2410C radar. The Type 382 electronically scans by vertical only, and it needs to be mechanically rotated on the horizon in order to get X and Y coordinate. This radar is heavily inspired from the Fregat MAE or Top Plate from the Russians, that is also used with the Indian Navy including Talwar and P17 frigates. The SR2410C AESA is a full X and Y axis electronic scanning, mechanically rotated for a full 360 degree view and this is more closer to the Thales SMART-S Mark II used by the French Navy or the Type 997 Artisan radar used by the Royal Navy.
2. Different EW suite.
3. Possible use of CM302, which is the export YJ-12.
4. Addition not seen in the 054A, which is the addition of VHF radar, namely the export version of the Type 517. The Type 517 is used on the Type 052C and 052D destroyers along with the Jiangwei frigates, but a modified export version is also used on the Pakistan F22P frigates, so the PN is familiar with it.
 

Lethe

Senior Member
Why did Pakistan buy the 054A when the 054B is right around the corner?

I feel like the 054A is starting to show its age just a little bit, and the biggest problem is that its VLS is not standard
Export customers generally want equipment that has a proven record of performance and reliability, an established logistics chain, and domestic service buy-in as a guarantee of long-term support.

I don't think there is any real issue using the older VLS. 054A doesn't have the radar for and is clearly not intended as a long-range "shield type" AAW platform, so it doesn't need to fire HQ-9 or successor missiles. Anti-ship or land-attack missiles can be mounted in box launchers. The only real issue is a probable lack of compatibility with the future 5-5-5 quad-pack missile. But even on that score, HQ-16 is likely to outperform it on a per-missile basis. Even if 054B and all future PLAN warships are equipped with the universal VLS system, PLAN will still be using the older system for at least the next 25 years, and HQ-16 itself has considerable future development potential, being almost as large as SM-2.
 
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Tam

Major
Registered Member
Export customers generally want equipment that has a proven record of performance and reliability, an established logistics chain, and domestic service buy-in as a guarantee of long-term support.

I don't think there is any real issue using the older VLS. 054A doesn't have the radar for and is clearly not intended as a long-range "shield type" AAW platform, so it doesn't need to fire HQ-9 or successor missiles. Anti-ship or land-attack missiles can be mounted in box launchers. The only real issue is a probable lack of compatibility with the future 5-5-5 quad-pack missile. But even on that score, HQ-16 is likely to outperform it on a per-missile basis. Even if 054B and all future PLAN warships are equipped with the universal VLS system, PLAN will still be using the older system for at least the next 25 years, and HQ-16 itself has considerable future development potential, being almost as large as SM-2.
Not to mention that Pakistan is already a customer and user of land based HQ-16/LY-60 missiles. So they have experience using and maintaining that stuff.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
Still, I could not help but think Pakistan missed a golden opportunity to jump onto the next big thing rather than settling for off the shelf.

If they wanted to get the new UVLS, it is possible they could have worked out some sort of deal where the PLAN paid for the redesign either in part or in full, as it would have then provided an off-the-shelf option for the PLAN’s own 054A MLU upgrade.

The UVLS can take HQ16s and ASROCs that the legacy 054A VLS could take, so it’s not like switching to the UVLS would mean scrapping a shed load of munitions.

Having the UVLS would vastly add to the utility of the PN 054As, as it means all future PLAN toys would automatically be compatible. The most useful would be a multi-pack medium range SAM, especially when we consider both the limited VLS cell numbers per ship, and the relatively small number of ships the PN would have.

UVLS would have also unlocked a whole range of LACM and AShM options for the PN.

This is very much like the JF17 deal, whereby Pakistan wanted something bespoke, but that comes at the cost of future upgrade potential, because all future weapons and systems upgrades will also need to be bespoke, whereas had they just gone with what the PLA was developing, it would have a far bigger selection of new generation weapons and systems available off-the-shelf.
 

Gloire_bb

Junior Member
Registered Member
Still, I could not help but think Pakistan missed a golden opportunity to jump onto the next big thing rather than settling for off the shelf.
Being the first customer of something highly complex and advanced (frigate is a good example) has its own unimaginable adventures.
054A ain't that old, it's perfectly adequate and, above all, it will 100% work.
 

BoggedDown

New Member
Registered Member
Pakistan Navy wanted a FREMM or at least La Fayette type fittings and armaments as well as local production with 054A order. They had a wish of making it like JF17s. But China had told them to stay with default fittings and chinese shipyard construction to get it quickly and cheaply as all sunk cost have been recovered with it long running productions with established procedures. So Pakistan went for cheaper offer to get them quickly with minimal customization as possible. I would hope Pakistan Navy order another batch 4 of these to meet its base frigate requirements + 3-4 052D destroyers for fleet air defense.
 

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