A few years ago there were leaks that the one of the 054B design proposals was 300t too heavy, and that they opted for a different and lighter design variant. The "heavy variant" was never conclusively linked to electric drive, right? Although, given context and evidence that electric drives are typically heavier than clutch and geared drives there was justification to suspect the weight increase to be connected to electric drive. What's your take on that?It's difficult to reverse engineer out causes without knowing what their original plans for the ship were, and how or if their evolution of the vision for what they wanted 054B to be (size, new subsystems, new technology) and role to be.
For all we know what 054B will end up being was very different to what their original requirements for 054B was say, 5 or 10 years ago. Of course, it can't be ruled out that there may have been technical challenges with various subsystems -- if 054B does end up with IEPS as we expect I think there's a good chance the challenge may have been making it viable and reliable, for example -- but at the same time it also depends on how quickly they churn out these extra 20 054As.
Huangpu Shipbuilding Co., a new 054a(#31) is under construction. And behind the type 22 missile boat, Liuzhou(penant no. 573, 054A #12) is returning to shipyard for maintenance.
Unofficial source said the new batch would be 20 ships.
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Next picture shows the other ship next to it. That looks like an existing frigate, pennant 573, getting maintenance and overhaul. I suppose not all the frigates go to HDZ to get their maintenance.
Assuming that image indeed shows what people think it shows - well that was quick. 054 ship being at that stage of completion means that the order for new vessels must've been made at least 2 to, possibly, 3 years ago. But we've learned of the additional 054 ships being ordered/planned only weeks ago.
Weapon-systems-level upgrade of a ship won't give it a new type name, but attached an unofficially announced batch number.They really are building 20 more.
It feels waste especially if they are not significant improvements from the original 30 batch. They might be stuck with 50 inferior vessels in the end when compared to their 054B/057