Type 052C will be lowest in priority. If the shelf life of the missiles is 3 decades, there will be plenty of missiles and spare parts around, especially if Type 052Ds get upgraded with newer missiles.Logistics. This is bad logistics.
Even for the 052C, if I have to store a peculiar and unique version of the HQ-9 with a different canister, this is bad logistics. This is why even for the 052C, the canister needs to be shared with the 052D and 055, and the missile has to be the same...eventually that is, until all your older batch of HQ-9 for that model runs out or has expired. Then you have to find a way to make the 052C work with the current production batch of HQ-9.
Do you have an example to corroborate your claim? The main additional expense will be in the radar transmitter. The addition of the radar transmitter, high power and processing electronics, plus the battery will significantly reduce the fuel payload. If the missile is to have the same range as a SARH one, it will need a more sophisticated rocket motor, again increasing the cost. I gave you the example of ESSM: the ARH variant is almost twice as expensive as the SARH.Difference of SARH and ARH missile is the presence of a radar transmitter and portable batteries, both things that Chinese industry produce heavily, especially battery. I don't think it makes that big a cost because the cost of the ARH missile lies in its expensive development when you transition SARH to ARH. But in the case of the HQ-9, it is already actively guided to begin with and the R&D cost has already been spent. To create a brand new SARH variant would in fact greatly increase the cost for no benefit.
I have to disagree here, because I don’t believe that the first HHQ-9s were ARH.This is more of an issue with the HQ-16, whose original state is SARH, to go to ARH. But not HQ-9 whose original state is already on ARH. This is the part that makes me think HQ-16 ARH, for future frigates may not be as cost viable unless China is willing to throw enormous sums at it. ARH missile for the 054B might be something new or the 054B will use the HQ-9.