Type 055 DDG Large Destroyer Thread


AndrewS

Major
Registered Member
If you expect the PLAN to follow a strategy that benefit the aggressor .

To close down the South Chinese sea to any airplane, including B-2, B-2.1, F-35 and so on it needs around 50-80 destroyer with VHF radar.


They have to follow a quasi random pattern, with 30-35% emitting VHF any given moment .

It would makes next to impossible to fly over the sea above 1000m, and very hard to survive even under that level.


Of course it is easy to dream up radiation patterns and strategies that make it easy to target the assets, but why the PLAN would follow that ?
I'm not saying they would follow that scenario.

In the South China Sea, it's a lot easier to have a single Divine Eagle cover the entire area in a single sweep.
But of course, you need air superiority to do this.
 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
@Tam

In antiship situation, it will be battle network versus battle network.

Long-range targeting systems (Satellites, OTH radars, airborne recon aircraft, submarines, etc) will be operating at ranges far in excess of a MOTH surface search radar.

Then feeding initial targets and mid-course guidance to the weapons, which have ranges like

LRASM: 600KM
Antiship Tomahawk: 1500KM

DF-21D ASBM: 1500? KM
DF-26 ASBM: 3000? KM
DF-17 HGV: 2000? KM
Type-55 launched CM-401 ASBM: 300+ KM

Again, this is beyond the range of a MOTH surface search radar.

So Type-55s would just be another launch platform for antiship weapons.
Given the importance of offboard targeting now, it doesn't really make sense to load up a Type-55 air defence destroyer with lots of antiship missiles.
Of course. The Type 055 isn't following the Russian philosophy which is to preempt ship based targets or the American philosophy which is to preempt land based targets. Its there to protect to protect carriers, other ships and the coast. However, it doesn't mean it would not have antiship missiles of its own. It has two helicopters to assist in the spotting, and also for ASW.

MOTH active based on Type 366 and Mineral ME specifications would give you 250km based on active mode, up to 450km based on passive mode. That is enough for the YJ-83, YJ-12, YJ-62 and YJ-18, which is why the 054A and 052C/D runs these radars. However unless Type 366 functionality are subsumed into the new radars, the Type 055 lacks the Type 366. It could have the capability or it could not have the capability, and there seems to be good reasons going either way. Compared to the radar equipment of the 052C/D, the 055 is far less transparent, leaving you to make more guesses and assumptions of its functionality.

It would be cheaper to use survivable land-based TELs with larger missiles or dedicated arsenal ships with CEC.
I already pointed out that 055 might have CEC. The likely suspects for it are four small rectangular shaped phase arrays at the top of the ship's four faced X-band radar and four panels of ESM on the integrated mast. Its matched to a similar set of panels you will see on the top mast of 002, these panels are underneath the Type 382 search radar. These panels are similar in shape and size to the USG-3 CEC the USN uses.

You could take a Type-55 hull but strip out all the expensive long-range radars and electronics.
That leaves 112 VLS cells for Antiship/Land-attack/ASW, plus short-range air defence, electrical generation for future lasers and the ASW suite/helicopters.
It might only cost half as much, and will also have lower operating costs.
You might as well strip out and modify Type 071 LPD instead. The hull seems way cheaper on this. A 20,000 to 25,000 ton ship would do more nicely than a 12,000 ton one.

China is going to have a lot of destroyers, so it can afford to build a specialised arsenal ship subclass.
And such ships are going to remain flexible over the course of their lives, because of the multi-purpose VLS cells and CEC.

Eg. In a high-intensity conflict, a SAG with 4 destroyers is primarily going to be loaded out with air-defense missiles, with limited VLS space for antiship missiles.
Given so much overlapping long-range SAM coverage, you can afford to have 1-2 (cheaper) arsenal ships to vastly increase the number of missiles for anti-ship or land-attack.
I am not comfortable with the idea of arsenal ships as they appear to be putting too many eggs in one basket. I like a much more distributed order of battle that consists of a large number of more dispensible and expendable multirole ships that can cover a wider area and engage a wider variety of missions. This is why I think ships ranging from the 054A to the 052D's size should be the bread and butter of the PLAN. Never mind the arsenal ships. The 055Xs either act as escorts to carriers or act as flotilla leaders to the 052X, 054X and 057X formations.
 

FriedRiceNSpice

Senior Member
Of course. The Type 055 isn't following the Russian philosophy which is to preempt ship based targets or the American philosophy which is to preempt land based targets. Its there to protect to protect carriers, other ships and the coast. However, it doesn't mean it would not have antiship missiles of its own. It has two helicopters to assist in the spotting, and also for ASW.

MOTH active based on Type 366 and Mineral ME specifications would give you 250km based on active mode, up to 450km based on passive mode. That is enough for the YJ-83, YJ-12, YJ-62 and YJ-18, which is why the 054A and 052C/D runs these radars. However unless Type 366 functionality are subsumed into the new radars, the Type 055 lacks the Type 366. It could have the capability or it could not have the capability, and there seems to be good reasons going either way. Compared to the radar equipment of the 052C/D, the 055 is far less transparent, leaving you to make more guesses and assumptions of its functionality.



I already pointed out that 055 might have CEC. The likely suspects for it are four small rectangular shaped phase arrays at the top of the ship's four faced X-band radar and four panels of ESM on the integrated mast. Its matched to a similar set of panels you will see on the top mast of 002, these panels are underneath the Type 382 search radar. These panels are similar in shape and size to the USG-3 CEC the USN uses.



You might as well strip out and modify Type 071 LPD instead. The hull seems way cheaper on this. A 20,000 to 25,000 ton ship would do more nicely than a 12,000 ton one.



I am not comfortable with the idea of arsenal ships as they appear to be putting too many eggs in one basket. I like a much more distributed order of battle that consists of a large number of more dispensible and expendable multirole ships that can cover a wider area and engage a wider variety of missions. This is why I think ships ranging from the 054A to the 052D's size should be the bread and butter of the PLAN. Never mind the arsenal ships. The 055Xs either act as escorts to carriers or act as flotilla leaders to the 052X, 054X and 057X formations.
Arsenal ships would be much cheaper than destroyers and carriers. Wouldn't filling out a fleet with some arsenal ships actually be in line with the distributed lethality doctrine? A 15,000-20,000 ton arsenal ship shouldnt cost that much more than a 054A or Type 71.
 

AndrewS

Major
Registered Member
Of course. The Type 055 isn't following the Russian philosophy which is to preempt ship based targets or the American philosophy which is to preempt land based targets. Its there to protect to protect carriers, other ships and the coast. However, it doesn't mean it would not have antiship missiles of its own. It has two helicopters to assist in the spotting, and also for ASW.

MOTH active based on Type 366 and Mineral ME specifications would give you 250km based on active mode, up to 450km based on passive mode. That is enough for the YJ-83, YJ-12, YJ-62 and YJ-18, which is why the 054A and 052C/D runs these radars. However unless Type 366 functionality are subsumed into the new radars, the Type 055 lacks the Type 366. It could have the capability or it could not have the capability, and there seems to be good reasons going either way. Compared to the radar equipment of the 052C/D, the 055 is far less transparent, leaving you to make more guesses and assumptions of its functionality.



I already pointed out that 055 might have CEC. The likely suspects for it are four small rectangular shaped phase arrays at the top of the ship's four faced X-band radar and four panels of ESM on the integrated mast. Its matched to a similar set of panels you will see on the top mast of 002, these panels are underneath the Type 382 search radar. These panels are similar in shape and size to the USG-3 CEC the USN uses.



You might as well strip out and modify Type 071 LPD instead. The hull seems way cheaper on this. A 20,000 to 25,000 ton ship would do more nicely than a 12,000 ton one.



I am not comfortable with the idea of arsenal ships as they appear to be putting too many eggs in one basket. I like a much more distributed order of battle that consists of a large number of more dispensible and expendable multirole ships that can cover a wider area and engage a wider variety of missions. This is why I think ships ranging from the 054A to the 052D's size should be the bread and butter of the PLAN. Never mind the arsenal ships. The 055Xs either act as escorts to carriers or act as flotilla leaders to the 052X, 054X and 057X formations.
Just a few points

I'd say CEC for a destroyer is a must-have these days.
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It goes back to why would you want an arsenal ship.

For the 1st Island Chain, shore-based missiles work out better for cost and survivability.
But for the 2nd Island Chain, the distances are too far from mainland China (1500+ KM), so missile cost and flight times go up dramatically.
So it makes sense to sortie missile carrying platforms closer to the targets in the 2nd Island China.

But a Chinese SAG approaching the 2nd Island Chain (which is beyond the range of most air/missile support from mainland China) is a risky proposition.
So most of the Chinese destroyer VLS cells would be loaded out with SAMs for defence, with only a few VLS cells available for antiship or land-attack.
So a SAG would be be dashing in to deliver a missile strike, then rapidly withdrawing.

That argues for a fairly powerful surface group with at least 4 destroyers for air defence.
And for arsenal ships able to keep with such a SAG.

---
China can be expected to build a fleet of 50+ multi-role destroyers (Type-52D and Type-55)
That is enough to cover the entire wartime mission set with at least a few destroyers in every surface group.

So building a subclass of say 6 arsenal ships is justified, because those ships will always have a role in complementing the destroyers.
Primarily by carrying lots of missiles, but also offering additional ASW helicopter support like a frigate.
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A Type-71 is cheaper than a destroyer yes.
But is it fast enough to keep up with Destroyers on a dash to the 2nd Island Chain?
Nor is a Type-71 built to the same standards as a Destroyer. Remember that it is facing the same threat level as the other ships.
Plus a Type-71 could have 250+ VLS cells, which does seem like too much risk and cost in a single ship.

---

Also the words "expendable and multi-role" don't go really go together in warship.
Multi-role means more capabilities and higher cost, along with fewer numbers.
Expendable means fewer capabilities and lower cost.

An expendable arsenal ship would look like a faster version of a Makassar LPD with say 80 VLS cells, costing say $150M?
 

AndrewS

Major
Registered Member
Arsenal ships would be much cheaper than destroyers and carriers. Wouldn't filling out a fleet with some arsenal ships actually be in line with the distributed lethality doctrine? A 15,000-20,000 ton arsenal ship shouldnt cost that much more than a 054A or Type 71.
Yes, a 15K-20K tonne ship should cost $300M-$500M, but it's the missiles which account for the bulk of risk/cost.

Do you really want a single ship carrying 200 missiles, which might be 5-10% of all antiship missiles?

Anyway, I think it's time to go back to the Type-55
 

Tam

Major
Registered Member
Just a few points

I'd say CEC for a destroyer is a must-have these days.
---
It goes back to why would you want an arsenal ship.

CEC itself should not be taken as a silver bullet for everything. What happens if you have EW aircraft involved trying to jam or interfere with your links? It becomes useless. So does you arsenal ship. You go back to the reason why its better to have self contained fire control systems.

In addition to this, the Arsenal ship will need its own close range defenses. CIWS, short ranged missiles like HQ-10 and the like. Your costs go up along with sensor systems that need to support them. You will need at least a Type 364 radar or equivalent.

For the 1st Island Chain, shore-based missiles work out better for cost and survivability.
But for the 2nd Island Chain, the distances are too far from mainland China (1500+ KM), so missile cost and flight times go up dramatically.
So it makes sense to sortie missile carrying platforms closer to the targets in the 2nd Island China.

But a Chinese SAG approaching the 2nd Island Chain (which is beyond the range of most air/missile support from mainland China) is a risky proposition.
So most of the Chinese destroyer VLS cells would be loaded out with SAMs for defence, with only a few VLS cells available for antiship or land-attack.
So a SAG would be be dashing in to deliver a missile strike, then rapidly withdrawing.

That argues for a fairly powerful surface group with at least 4 destroyers for air defence.
And for arsenal ships able to keep with such a SAG.

---
China can be expected to build a fleet of 50+ multi-role destroyers (Type-52D and Type-55)
That is enough to cover the entire wartime mission set with at least a few destroyers in every surface group.

So building a subclass of say 6 arsenal ships is justified, because those ships will always have a role in complementing the destroyers.
Primarily by carrying lots of missiles, but also offering additional ASW helicopter support like a frigate.
---
I see a better need for an even larger surface combatant, but not an arsenal ship. There is a difference between the two. Maybe something more akin to what the USN is proposing as the LSC or Large Surface Combatant.

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This will even include a new VLS design.


A Type-71 is cheaper than a destroyer yes.
But is it fast enough to keep up with Destroyers on a dash to the 2nd Island Chain?
Nor is a Type-71 built to the same standards as a Destroyer. Remember that it is facing the same threat level as the other ships.
Plus a Type-71 could have 250+ VLS cells, which does seem like too much risk and cost in a single ship.
Why does the Arsenal Ship need to keep up with the destroyer? Its more the other way around. Some arsenal ship concepts are centered around converting existing commercial ships.

Indeed that is why an arsenal ship comes with hidden costs. Among which is deploying frigates and destroyers dedicated to protect it.

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Also the words "expendable and multi-role" don't go really go together in warship.
Tell that to every modern frigate.

Multi-role means more capabilities and higher cost, along with fewer numbers.
Expendable means fewer capabilities and lower cost.
Not necessarily as modern frigates have shown. Look at the versatility of the 054A versus destroyers of the older generation, 051B, 052B, 051C, Sovs.

An expendable arsenal ship would look like a faster version of a Makassar LPD with say 80 VLS cells, costing say $150M?
Why would an arsenal ship have only 80 VLS? That's not an arsenal ship. If you want a ship with only 80 VLS you might as well make a destroyer.

What I see is larger combatants are becoming the trend. Frigates are now the size of cruisers in WW2, destroyers are becoming cruiser sized. After some years, the 055 may not look so big after all, and there maybe bigger surface combatants as part of this trend.

I don't see building more 056 like ships in the future, unless the PLAN goes to the Russian route of building corvettes with a few large anti ship missiles.

Setting the bar is like working on a sliding bar scale. You have to know where exactly you want to slide the bar in the middle between the two extreme ends.

I still see the need for a frigate, which can be defined as the smaller size that you can make and cost, and still be regarded as fully ocean going, blue water, capable of carrier escort, is capable of ASW, ASuW and AAW operations. It may not be the best in AAW operations versus a destroyer or a dedicated AAW vessel, but it should still have a respectable and potent capability of it, even if diminished compared to larger ships.

This is followed by an upper tier where you can have dedicated AAW ships, or ships that can contain enough VLS for everything else.

Naval history lesson has shown you do not neglect the importance of the Escort. They do most of the fighting and dying like they did in WW2. Of course, our idea of the Escort keeps going bigger and bigger, and in fact the 055 can be considered an escort. If mega ship trends continue, we will see larger and larger surface combatants. But not necessarily arsenal ships.
 

AndrewS

Major
Registered Member
another Andy's construct:
eighty-tubes "arsenal"
Yes. Remember the ship might only cost $150M

Build 3 of them, then you get 240 VLS for $450M - which is still really cheap, but you don't concentrate as much risk in a single ship.
 

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