Type 054B/next generation FFG thread


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For what it's worth, a schematic drawing of the 'lantern' radome seen at Wuhan. I doubt this is intended for 054B.



I have to think twice before sharing anything next time. Things spread so quickly on the Internet...


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The primary threat to the PLAN is the USN submarine force and the next gen frigate would, before anything else, be designed as an anti-submarine frigate. However, the LRASM and F-35 are also a serious threat to PLAN's surface assets, as will the USMC be after reorganizing itself as a sea-denial force and introducing new missiles that can be deployed by small teams in the first and second island chains and all around the Pacific in very large numbers.

This means the PLAN requires not just an advanced ASW frigate, but also a ship similar to the Japanese Akizuki class frigates, which is optimized for defence against mass attacks by extremely stealthy, low flying cruise missiles at medium to close ranges. The 052D is not quite suited for such a role. They need a ship which is cheaper and can carry quad-packable missiles and has tall, mast-mounted fire-control radars.

It is possible for the 054A successor to fulfil both roles. It is also possible for the ship, using CEC, to act as the shooter of long range SAMs which are then guided by other assets like 055s, 052Ds, naval AEW planes and even carrier borne fighters. This requires it to have the same VLS as the 055 and the 052D.

I mean isn't it exactly the role of the 052D and its eventual successors? Its a small DDG that works together with big ones to provide overlapping cover, while also being able to lead small task forces.


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Before we begin the conversation about what the next PLAN Frigate/Destroyer will be, we need to understand what role this vessel will play in an ocean-going fleet? Will it be a general purpose vessel, or will it focus on ASW? ASW is an identified area for development by the PLAN. We should expect the PLAN to be focused on addressing this area. If they do, we should expect that the next fleet-capable ship to have a focus on ASW, rather than being a very useful but broad spectrum support vessel. If it does, we should expect it to be able to hangar two Z-20s, and have the full suite of ASW weapons and sensors. While vessels around 4000 tonnes can hangar 2 x medium sized helicopters (such as the old FFG7 Oliver Hazzard Perry Frigates at c. 4200 tonnes), they do not have the full ASW capability. At a minimum we should expect the next major surface combatant to be at c.5000 tonnes or greater. Remembering the adage that "steel is cheap and air is free", additional tonnage is not really a cost imperative, dependant upon sensor fit.