Type 054B/next generation FFG thread


Bltizo

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I think a larger displacement and new propulsion have been on the cards for a while now, the question is whether adapting the 054A hull into a larger ship and different propulsion arrangement is viable.

The designation for this thing has oscillated between 054B and 057 for a few years now, but over the last year or so it seems like it's shifted significantly into 054B's favour almost overwhelmingly.

054b tender.jpeg
 

dankris

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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.
I think the separate slanted launcher in the model would be for YJ-12 or lesser AShMs, mainly due to cost concerns (and for YJ-12, size concern. Never heard about VLS-launched YJ-12 variant.). That is unless PLAN decided to go higher-end for their future FFG. I'm also pretty sure the main VLS-launched AShM in PLAN service is YJ-18, which is quite a long missile with the booster attached. I'm uncertain if they'll be able to fit such a large VLS onto this projected new class. Anyway, this is all still speculation, so we shall see.
 

Tam

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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.
Gun CIWS in front and HQ-10 launcher at the rear seems to be some kind of required PLAN format for their larger warships. This was probably decided after the Type 054A went into production. If the ship doesn't have a CIWS, like the 056, you still put the HQ-10 in the rear.

Me thinks that PLAN decided on this format after their own studies, exercises and simulations, or lets simply say their collective homework, that this is an optimal configuration superior to say, putting two CIWS amidships on each side. How they come to this conclusion, what you may think of it, what I think of it, isn't as relevant as what they think of it.

As for the slanted AshM launchers, the FFG(X) also features slanted launchers.

If the ship is going to use YJ-18, its going to need the 9m version of U-VLS. Note that even on the 052D, the YJ-18 is fired on the front VLS, not the middle ones. I have not seen the 052D fire a YJ-18 from the middle VLS, granted we are only seeing a very small photographs, and we are not in a position to know the entire story, but I am going to wager that the 052D doesn't fire the YJ-18 from the middle aft VLS because the VLS there don't protrude down as deep as 9m. The engines, the machinery section of the ship is right below the VLS. The VLS on the aft section is only up to 7m. In the front however, in the area between the superstructure to the bow, there might not be much underneath, allowing the VLS to reach deeper for a full 9 meters. If you are going to put full length 9 meter VLS in the rear, the VLS will have to protrude upwards from the deck. The question is here is what will it do to the ship's center of gravity.

It's still possible to put a large deep 9 meter VLS on a smaller warship but not in the rear. You have to put it ahead of the machinery section, and that means ahead of the bridge at the bow. You have to concentrate all your U-VLS in front of the bridge, with the deepest ones closest to the bridge that will fire the AshMs, while the front VLS might not be as deep and fires SAMs. Overall, that's going to be putting 40 to 48 VLS right in the front, and set back your main superstructure a bit.

The Admiral Gorshkov illustrates this. There are two sets of VLS, different from each other. The ones behind the gun is a VLS specific to the Redut missiles. Behind it on a raised deck is the UKSK VLS, which is about comparative size to the U-VLS to slightly bigger. The ship is capable of firing Kalibr missiles, the antiship variant of which is likely what the YJ-18 was inspired from.

If the ship is only going to be fitted with all with a U-VLS variant with 5 to 5.5 meters deep, enough for HQ-16 and wide enough to quadpack the so called 3-5 missile, no space for a vertical launched antiship missile here. It would be simple enough to use YJ-12 on a slanted launcher, and it has worked before.
 

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Tetrach

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Keeping H/AJK16 VLS would be a great thing. If the mission of the class, anti-submarine warfare, doesn't change from 54A to "54B", then there is no point in having bigger cells. H/AJK16 is sufficient with the Y-8 and HQ-16 missiles for the needs of the mission, and the fact that each cell has a smaller "footprint" than in the UVLS means that you would have more cells AKA missiles per sqm than with using the UVLS, the later giving non necessary capabilities for the class. It's not like the VLS dimensions can't give anything better for its gabarit: HQ-16, is relatively similar in size to an Aster 30 yet has nearly half its range. Its capabilities can still be improved with the introduction of new missiles *if there is a need for better capabilities.

That been said as TAM said there is also the question of the so called 3x5 quadpack missile. Such missile is for self protection so it's not depending on the ship's mission. Would H/AJK16 be able to quadpack it ? We don't know the full dimensions of the VLS and if its similar to Mk-41 (probably somewhat smaller) but it would be a great addition in any cases, quadpacked or not. Developping the canister for H/AJK16 would always make the missile compatible with the bigger UVLS, just need a new canister.

Integrated mast with the new radar, better towed and VDS sonars to be more competitive against those new submarines, better aviation facilities to take two helicopters.. those are just as if not more important IMO.
 
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lcloo

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IMO, having built up large number of type 054A and type 056 replacing almost all of the obsolete type 053 frigates, the urgency in immediate building advance 054B is less pressing. Thus the next generation frigate is unlikely to be an evolutionary design based on 054A.

This would mean the new hull would likely be very different from 054A, so would the weapon and sensor configuration. A bigger new design, IMO, might have a twin helicopter hangar with longer landing deck for Z20 helicopters and advance anti-submarine warfare equipment.
 

Bltizo

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Keeping H/AJK16 VLS would be a great thing. If the mission of the class, anti-submarine warfare, doesn't change from 54A to "54B", then there is no point in having bigger cells. H/AJK16 is sufficient with the Y-8 and HQ-16 missiles for the needs of the mission, and the fact that each cell has a smaller "footprint" than in the UVLS means that you would have more cells AKA missiles per sqm than with using the UVLS, the later giving non necessary capabilities for the class. It's not like the VLS dimensions can't give anything better for its gabarit: HQ-16, is relatively similar in size to an Aster 30 yet has nearly half its range. Its capabilities can still be improved with the introduction of new missiles *if there is a need for better capabilities.

That been said as TAM said there is also the question of the so called 3x5 quadpack missile. Such missile is for self protection so it's not depending on the ship's mission. Would H/AJK16 be able to quadpack it ? We don't know the full dimensions of the VLS and if its similar to Mk-41 (probably somewhat smaller) but it would be a great addition in any cases, quadpacked or not. Developping the canister for H/AJK16 would always make the missile compatible with the bigger UVLS, just need a new canister.

Integrated mast with the new radar, better towed and VDS sonars to be more competitive against those new submarines, better aviation facilities to take two helicopters.. those are just as if not more important IMO.
If you are changing and improving the ship's AAW sensors and it's overall combat management system, retaining the H/AJK16 VLS would be a rather strange decision unless it were also capable of carrying the quad packed 3-5.


So I agree obviously that the UVLS isn't the end all in terms of advancements that 054B should enjoy. But if 054B is likely the see the major advancements in propulsion, ASW capabilities, and AAW sensors (likely all requiring an increase in overall displacement too), then not including the UVLS will be a bit weird imo.
 

Arienai

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I think a larger displacement and new propulsion have been on the cards for a while now, the question is whether adapting the 054A hull into a larger ship and different propulsion arrangement is viable.

The designation for this thing has oscillated between 054B and 057 for a few years now, but over the last year or so it seems like it's shifted significantly into 054B's favour almost overwhelmingly.

View attachment 60021
The rumor about 054B was around for very long but I think around the end of 2018 (or earlier 2019? Can't remember) A bunch of people said the program's been cancelled. I believe the new frigate we'll see is no longer the XX4B labeled in this picture.

The new ship will be larger, but most importantly, faster, and it's impossible to do that with all diesel power. The new ship is going to use a new engine system, and accidentally or not, PLAN's warships under the same class all use the same power solution (steam for 051/051B/051C, CODOG for 052/B/C/D, 2+2 diesel (different types) for 053 variants, 4 * 16PA6 diesel for 054/A, COGAG for 055, 2 PA6 diesel for 056/A). Thus I think the new frigate will be called 057...

But personally I don't really care what it's called, as long as it gets the job done...
 

Arienai

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Screenshot_2020-05-18-15-38-11.png
Screenshot_2020-05-18-15-39-05.png

This guy writes for the 现代舰船 (one of the official naval magazines). He got 2 hints about the new frigates before writing this article: 叫什么不重要 (what it's called doesn't matter) and 低配 (Low-configuration).

So don't expect it to be almost as large as a 052D, it's still going to be fairly cheap and will get mass produced. In this article he predict it's going to be a bit over 5k tons and will have 1 gas turbine & 2 diesels, with max speed over 30 knots. He didn't hear anything about whether the new frigate will use the H/AJK16 VLS or the universal one though.

Personally I think it's quite possible it will be equipped with the UVLS... As the guy he was replying to said, the 054A VLS are already 6.3 meters long, since the new frigate is very likely to be bigger, it's reasonable to put the 7 meters long UVLS on it, although can it have the 9 meters variant is questionable... But almost certainly the future missiles will be designed around the size of the UVLS, it'll be surprising if they decide to develop any new ones based on H/AJK16...
 

Totoro

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Both plan and planaf could use a new missile anyway. Something more compact than a yj12 or yj18, something that a jh7 could carry and that could fit in the 7m long uvls. Remains to be seen whether such a missile is indeed in development.
 

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