Russian ships can be compared most closely to Israeli ships, which pack a huge amount of armament and weapons at the expense of range and time on station. The specific ship you posted was designated for green sea operations, operational parameters China doesn't necessarily share. The class is also designated specifically IIRC to be able to be capable of shore support (ie bombardment) missions.It depends on how large the 054B will be. If it's just around 5000t, I can see the point. For 6000+t, I still feel 130mm should be the better choice.
I don't believe the 054B will feature a railgun. I even doubt any surface combatant would have that in the next two decades.Russian ships can be compared most closely to Israeli ships, which pack a huge amount of armament and weapons at the expense of range and time on station. The specific ship you posted was designated for green sea operations, operational parameters China doesn't necessarily share. The class is also designated specifically IIRC to be able to be capable of shore support (ie bombardment) missions.
An 054B regardless of IEPS is unlikely to feature a railgun for a multitude of reasons..
A railgun is part of a system, component parts of which have only been tested across US and CN ships as I understand. A 130mm gun I don't think accomplishes much other than dick waving, the US "desire" to acquire one might simply be more to factors such the lack of an intermediate gun within the calibre range.. the warship picture you shared I think was intended to act as some form of offshore artillery in a bombardment role, akin to the Zumwalt class in an obviously smaller capacity.I don't believe the 054B will feature a railgun. I even doubt any surface combatant would have that in the next two decades.
However, the 130mm gun on the 052D should be perfectly suitable for a 6000+t frigate. I don't see why you think it's a green sea combination...
Yes, there's no way for the 054B to be more expensive than the 052D, at least when we look at the long term average (assuming the initial price could be higher due to the new technologies).
As for the VLS, if it'll really feature the U-VLS, does that mean it'll rely on the new "555"? So they'll have to trade some range for quantity.
Do we know that Type 054B is to be a AAW dedicated ship or is this just speculation? The extant 054s while being multipurpose, are arguably relatively more capable at ASW than AAW, and I would not expect that to change.I think its difficult for a frigate to have the long range radars that can pop a bomber before it launches its antiship missiles. Doing so, with ever larger radars, means the frigate will have to bump its weight category to a destroyer. The ever extending range of antiship missiles, along with the radar horizon, means it is also increasingly difficult to do so even with a destroyer. No surprise that many smaller destroyers or larger frigates, like the Akizuki class or the Constellation class, considers the ESSM as their main SAM. Frigates that are not hard core front line AAW type ships, or frigates still with ASW in mind, like the RN Type 26 and Type 31, are focusing on shorter ranged defenses that deal with saturation attacks, which is in the same line of thought as their predecessors.
It becomes more important to stop the swarm of missiles coming at you, rather than the bomber before launching. Rather than stop the sniper, you are there to deal with saturation attacks.
I won't be surprised that 555 will be the main SAM of the 054B.
How many VLS? The easy way out might be for 32 VLS. That's plenty of 555s, 128 of them, unless some of the VLS goes into ASROCs. Slanted mounted antiship missiles is the most convenient since you can just deck mount YJ-83/YJ-12/YU-11. If you want to go for elegance, mounting antiship missiles on VLS, you have to consider where to mount the taller, deeper VLS that can hold YJ-18s.
There is the question of what other missiles.
Will it still use HQ-16X? HQ-16s were born to be cold launched anyway, at least with their land based version. That's also adaptable to U-VLS. Is there going to be a longer ranged HQ-16C?
Will 054B use the new AESA target illuminators? Likely meant for a new version of HQ-16 (at the least, the seeker is modified to recognize the output of the new illuminators).
Will using 555 make these target illuminators moot? The lack of target illuminators on the 052D and 055 series means 555 needs to be actively guided. Personally, if 054B uses 555 as its main SAM, you don't have to bother with the AESA illuminators, which reduces the ship cost. It simplifies the ship design and its layout. Maybe its time to cut the cord with the HQ-16 and relegate that with the 054A.
Do we know that Type 054B is to be a AAW dedicated ship or is this just speculation? The extant 054s while being multipurpose, are arguably relatively more capable at ASW than AAW, and I would not expect that to change.
128 ARH SAMs will not come cheap. And we are talking about a cost-saving platform here. Take a look at the ESSM: the Block 2 which introduces a dual mode ARH/SARH seeker comes at twice the cost (almost $2M per unit) of Block 1 which have just a SARH seeker. A full loadout of 128 ESSM Blk II would come out close to $250M, a 1/3 of the Constellation class cost.
IMHO, the new ESA illuminators are an argument against organic ARH SAMs.
Then we are in agreement.I don't think 054B is an AAW dedicated ship, it should be multirole. If you want a dedicated AAW frigate you should expect much longer ranges. You already have the 052D for that.
Yes.The new AESA illuminators are an argument against ARH SAMs and a pro for the continuation of the HQ-16. That and a good potential that a future frigate will be equipped with a 24 missile HHQ-10 launcher, giving you a total of 56 missiles at your disposal.
Not necessarily on the 055, if the new X-band radar multifunctions as a target illuminator for SARH (possibly even TVM?) missiles.On the other hand, that quad pack missile on the VLS has a sign there that says "FM3000N". The original FM3000 missile is a land based short to medium range missile that happens to be active radar guided. That, and if the missile is supposed to equip 052D and 055, it would have to be active guided. So there are stars aligning here.
Then we are in agreement.
Not necessarily on the 055, if the new X-band radar multifunctions as a target illuminator for SARH (possibly even TVM?) missiles.