Type 054B/next generation FFG thread


Bltizo

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The dual sided radar you see works as the main search radar. This is #1

But you also need a fire control radar (GFCS and Antiship). This can be one or two sets. This is #2

PLAN's policy with radars is more complicated because it requires a third --- a dedicated surface search sea skimmer spotter that directs GFCS, HQ-10s, and CIWS. This is #3. Navies don't pursue #3 in an ubiquitous scale as the PLAN did, because they assume that #1 should take care of this. But the PLAN's planners seem to differ.

You can probably argue that #2 and #3 can be integrated into a single set like the Type 055. But the Type 075 choosing not to use this layout suggests there might be something with its new dual band here.

As long as there is something that does #2 and #3. It could be separate radars, or it can be one radar set that does both. The Type 055's X-band radars gave us the first real world option; the Type 075's dual band gives us a second real world option. The 054B/057 may still hatch a surprise and still present an entirely new option, who knows.

The Type 055's X-band radars has a high certainty of getting its second PLAN customer on the 003 carrier, as cutouts in the island mockup seem intended for it.
Well yes, my point is that at this stage I don't think we can call whether 054B will feature that new radar on 075 or 055's X band or perhaps some other kind of radar...

The only thing that is very likely/confirmed is that this new dual face rotating radar will be present
 

Totoro

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This new radar is twin face, and likely AESA, so the closest peer to this radar set up is the SAMPSON.


Needless to say, such a configuration would easily be able to guide ARH SAMs.

Herakles is a single face rotating PESA on french FREMMS.
Kronos is a single face rotating AESA on Italian FREMMs.

SAMPSON is a twin face rotating AESA on Type 45.
I am aware of all those things and i agree with all, really. My comment was about aesthetics of the radar solution, which is closest to the French FREMM.

While I do think it's logical PLAN would go for actively self guided SAMs, that remains to be confirmed. Will we be looking at a whole new missile or a variant of HQ16 - who knows.

Perhaps there will also be a new VLS module variant, something in between of 3.3 and 7 m module lengths. Perhaps also a differently configured module for the VLS, other than the current 2by4 module. Those are all "minor" details that 057 could benefit from.
 

Tam

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Well yes, my point is that at this stage I don't think we can call whether 054B will feature that new radar on 075 or 055's X band or perhaps some other kind of radar...
What you're sure is that they're is going to be a second or third radars to provide fire control, medium and short range surface search. That's a checklist, no buts, they have to go through. Quite possibly an LPI navigation radar too. FREMM illustration here is an example of a checklist.


Bergamini GP FREMM.jpg

If the ship goes for the dual band you see on the Type 075, I might wager it may retain the Type 344 GFCS with optronic. 344 can also do antiship fire control if enemy ship is within radar horizon and line of sight. Right now, I am calling this low end approach. Some of the rumors suggest the 344 might be retained for cost reasons.

The high end approach would be to use the X-band radars on the 055, replacing both Type 344 and 364 functionality with a single set.

If you are going to have SARH guidance using HQ-16s, it complicates things further, but I would wager you would be using the high end approach on this one, as you can integrate CWI functionality into the 055 style X-band radars.

If you are going with the low end approach, you either have to use MR90s, or rely on a set of flat paneled AESA illuminators that would have to be embedded in the mast like the way the CEAMOUNT has on the Aussie ships. Given that land based HQ-16 is transitioning to a new mobile AESA radar, the new illuminators on that set gives us a clue, but then again, they never did navalized the PESA illuminator from the old set anyway

The only thing that is very likely/confirmed is that this new dual face rotating radar will be present
That's not a completely a 100% either, even if my wishful thinking leans to it strongly. The last radar that was tested on ship 892, sitting on the exact same place, didn't see PLAN service. This radar was supposed to be a Type 364 replacement.

images (4).jpeg
 
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Bltizo

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I am aware of all those things and i agree with all, really. My comment was about aesthetics of the radar solution, which is closest to the French FREMM.

While I do think it's logical PLAN would go for actively self guided SAMs, that remains to be confirmed. Will we be looking at a whole new missile or a variant of HQ16 - who knows.

Perhaps there will also be a new VLS module variant, something in between of 3.3 and 7 m module lengths. Perhaps also a differently configured module for the VLS, other than the current 2by4 module. Those are all "minor" details that 057 could benefit from.
Sure, though the aesthetics of a radar can be quite variable; after all you can leave it without an obvious cover, or give it a flat cover like Herakles, or give it a spherical cover like SAMPSON or Kronos.
In terms of the specific configuration of the radar array and emplacement, SAMPSON is definitely the most obvious comparison.


As for the weapons loadout for 054B... who knows.
At this stage I think the rumoured 5-3 quad packable SAM is considered a real project and would of course have utility for any surface combatant with VLS capable of carrying it, including a frigate. I would doubt the H/AKJ-16 VLS will be capable of quad packing it, and it would be rather logical to standardize all of their major modern surface combatant classes with the UVLS (which of course definitely will be able to quad pack a MR SAM while also of course having the benefit of accommodating other LR SAMs that fit the 7m UVLS length like various HHQ-9 variants).

Question is whether 054B will adopt the UVLS or not, and what kind of hull it may have which will determine the lengths and number of UVLS it can accommodate (as well as the overall sensor and weapons suite etc).


I've thought for a while that a 5,500 ton full displacement ship that is a lengthened 054A hull with enclosed/raised bow could potentially accommodate 32 UVLS of the 7m category on the bow, among other various features. But I digress the details.
 

Bltizo

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What you're sure is that they're is going to be a second or third radars to provide fire control, medium and short range surface search. That's a checklist, no buts, they have to go through.


View attachment 60012

If the ship goes for the dual band you see on the Type 075, I might wager it may retain the Type 344 GFCS with optronic. 344 can also do antiship fire control if enemy ship is within radar horizon and line of sight. Right now, I am calling this low end approach. Some of the rumors suggest the 344 might be retained for cost reasons.

The high end approach would be to use the X-band radars on the 055, replacing both Type 344 and 364 functionality with a single set.

If you are going to have SARH guidance using HQ-16s, it complicates things further, but I would wager you would be using the high end approach on this one, as you can integrate CWI functionality into the 055 style X-band radars.

If you are going with the low end approach, you either have to use MR90s, or rely on a set of flat paneled AESA illuminators that would have to be embedded in the mast like the way the CEAMOUNT has on the Aussie ships. Given that land based HQ-16 is transitioning to a new mobile AESA radar, the new illuminators on that set gives us a clue, but then again, they never did use the PESA illuminator from the old set anyway.

... This is a very long way of saying exactly what I wrote in my previous post that you quoted.
We know that they're going to have at least one radar set in addition to the primary S band MFR, we just don't know what the most likely solution to that "at least one radar set" will be. They have a lot of options to choose from.



That's not a completely a 100% either, even if my wishful thinking leans to it strongly. The last radar that was tested on ship 892, sitting on the exact same place, didn't see PLAN service. This radar was supposed to be a Type 364 replacement.

View attachment 60011
I think the noise surrounding this new twin face AESA in relation to 054B is somewhat different, though of course we will have to continue to wait..
 

Bltizo

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Not bad pictures, (which I will insert below as attachments so we don't lose them) and a not unrealistic depiction.
Some cues are obviously taken from the 055's configuration particularly at its amidships area and smoke stack.
Not sure why the slant launch AShM configuration the author chooses to go for 2x2 slant AShM, even though it clearly can do 2x4.

Radar arrangement is grossly fine, not necessary to get into too much of an analysis of granular details.

Lacks details at stern for towed sonars, but again that's fine, it's just artwork anyway.


054B speculation 1.jpg054B speculation 2.jpg
 

Tam

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I am aware of all those things and i agree with all, really. My comment was about aesthetics of the radar solution, which is closest to the French FREMM.

While I do think it's logical PLAN would go for actively self guided SAMs, that remains to be confirmed. Will we be looking at a whole new missile or a variant of HQ16 - who knows.

Perhaps there will also be a new VLS module variant, something in between of 3.3 and 7 m module lengths. Perhaps also a differently configured module for the VLS, other than the current 2by4 module. Those are all "minor" details that 057 could benefit from.
They can do something about 5.3 to 5.5 meters length. This would accommodate the HQ-16. Or lets just say about the length of the AJK-16. The original Mk. 41 is 5.3 meters, and this is now referred to as the "Self Defense" package. The 3.3m length U-VLS sounds like something you want to use for OSA style SRSAMs, like if you navalized the HQ-17 for example. Did they actually had that missile in mind when they conceived the 3.3 meter length specification? I don't know why they would omit such a useful 5 to 5.5m length for frigate use.

If they hot launch the HQ-16, I am not sure if they require a new heat resistant canister. The alternative is to cold launch the HQ-16, which from the beginning, what land based HQ-16s are doing. That would require a different set of HQ-16 for stock keeping from the hot launched one.
 

Tam

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Not bad pictures, (which I will insert below as attachments so we don't lose them) and a not unrealistic depiction.
Some cues are obviously taken from the 055's configuration particularly at its amidships area and smoke stack.
Not sure why the slant launch AShM configuration the author chooses to go for 2x2 slant AShM, even though it clearly can do 2x4.

Radar arrangement is grossly fine, not necessary to get into too much of an analysis of granular details.

Lacks details at stern for towed sonars, but again that's fine, it's just artwork anyway.


View attachment 60013View attachment 60014

That's what I have closely in mind, although the smaller dual sided radars on the back should be a bit more like the Type 075's.

I would envision the ship should use the new ECM panels on the 055, so there should be two big panels under the bridge wings.

Sides of the mast should have some ESM cylindrical arrays, and there should be small panels on the mast for high speed datalink or CEC support. Or he can put the CEC panels on the second mast under the second radar.
 
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Totoro

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I somehow don't think they'd go for separate slanted launchers if they go for UVLS system as well. It's either just UVLS or the AJK16 VLS and slanted launchers. Though, I somehow don't believe AJK16 will be used either. Universal vls won't be that universal if not configured to be useful on different ships of different sizes.

Also, I don't expect a gun CIWS in front of the command bridge at all. And I expect either the ship to be noticeably wider and have two hangars, or to stay close to 054a size and have a single hangar. Really depends on whether it's gonna be a 4000 ton ship (054b?) or a 5000+ ton ship (057?) total UVLS cell count for the ship might be in the 32-40 cell range. If it's a larger ship then a new propulsion solution is likely. If similar to 054 then chances of a modified old solution rise.

We'll see how much of these predictions of mine will come true.
 

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