Type 055 DDG Large Destroyer Thread


Pika

Junior Member
Registered Member
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.
Sounds like you are referring to an 15-19,000 tonnes Cruiser with 140-180 VLS cells. But building such large ships means:
1- It takes longer to build

2- Not many will be build (and if they build them, it means something else will not be build in more greater numbers; maybe a 052D/E or a 055A/B. Unless budget can support the expansion of both classes of ships.)

3- The cost/risk for this ship will be high since they will be high value target for the enemy. Will they need an escort of their own or will they dedicate 90% of VLS cells for SAMs. Then what will be the point of having such a large ship, unless to lead an SAG with 054s, 052s, and 055s. This will help allocate some VLS cells for offensive strike missions since AAW roles will be covered by others.

4- Purpose of having a large Cruiser--not serving as an escort to Carrier--roaming in coastal/regional waters (1st and 2nd Island chains) when that role can be fulfilled by 054 variants, 052 variants, & 055 variants. Plus these waters will be littered with unfriendly neighbors, all having land-based anti ship missiles. So again majority of VLS for SAMs and less for strikes on land or anti-ship missiles.

5-Might be a great platform for ASW roles but not a huge difference from 055 probably.

In the end I do believe PLAN will build a cruiser but not in huge numbers. Maybe half a dozen or a dozen to serve in SAG; Point #3. Dedicating more VLS for other things than AAW or simply to bring more VLS to the fight.
 

AndrewS

Major
Registered Member
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.
Given the ranges involved for antiship (300KM+), any arsenal ship or destroyer is going to have to rely on offboard targeting and datalinks anyway for antiship missiles. Land-attack is straightforward as it covers fixed targets.

As for EW aircraft jamming the datalinks, that means you've already lost control of the air.
That means you can't rely on offboard targeting for antiship missiles.
So it doesn't matter if you only have multi-role destroyers or a mix of multi-role destroyers and arsenal ships.
They all don't have a targeting solution against the opponent.
Plus it also means you are likely to come under attack shortly.

Also remember that an arsenal ship will stay in line of sight of a destroyer.
It's impossible to jam line-of-sight spread-spectrum directional comms links.
And all the arsenal ship actually needs is a set of targeting coordinates.
In other words, a single encrypted text message, which is barely any data at all.
Or even a voice call, say "40 missiles at 41N 13E".

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.
Those systems are actually cheap. It's long-range radars and electronics which make things really expensive.

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.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


This will even include a new VLS design.
If the Chinese Navy goes for a larger surface combatant, you're essentially talking about a Battle-Cruiser.
It's possible this might happen, given the increasing importance of missiles.

A Type-55 already has 112 VLS cells, so you would want at least 200 VLS cells.
Otherwise there isn't a significant enough cost-benefit over additional Type-55.

But if you compare (1x Battlecruiser) versus (1x Type-55 Arsenal Ship + 1x Type-55 multi-role)

a) The Battlecruiser likely costs more in total.
b) The Battlecruiser carries fewer VLS cells in total.
c) The Battlecruiser also concentrates the risk into a single hull.

The key point is that for antiship and land-attack missiles, you don't need any expensive radars or electronics.
Any platform will do, because they have to rely on offboard targeting anyway.

As for the USN large surface combatant, it looks to me like what the Type-55 is today.
Eg. command spaces, bigger VLS cells, more electricity, space for expansion etc


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.
It comes down to whether you want the Arsenal Ship to be a Capital Ship or Expendable.
When you have 200+ VLS cells in an arsenal ship, it accounts for a significant percentage of offensive missiles and cost, and becomes a capital ship.
And you don't want to operate capital ships in high risk environment, but that is what it will have to do.

In a contested environment, ships have to have some of the following characteristics:
a) Fast
b) Stealthy
c) Expendable
d) Be able to protect themselves.

If D (self-protection), then you might as well just buy an existing multi-role destroyer
If C (expendable), the ship itself may be cheap and expendable. But 200 missiles aren't.
If B (stealth), it's possible, but it is hard to hide a warship or small fleet when it is being hunted in the Western Pacific.
If A (speed), it needs to keep up with escort destroyers

If you do any sort of fleet mix calculation with moderately large SAG size, it's cheaper to have a few arsenal ships around.

Eg. Say a mission requires 500 antiship missiles, 600 SAMs and 10 AEGIS platforms.

You could have:

Option 1 - Destroyer only
10x Type-55 (48 Antiship missiles + 64 Long-range SAMs each)

Antiship missiles total: 480
Long-range SAMs totat: 640
Total AEGIS radars: 10
Total Platforms: 10

Option 2 - Destroyer + Arsenal Ship
2x Type-55 (36 Antiship missiles + 76 Long-range SAMs each)
8x Type-52D (64 Long-range SAMs each)
3x Type-55 Arsenal Ship (112 antiship missiles)

Antiship missiles total: 520
Long-range SAMs totat: 664
Total AEGIS radars: 10
Total Platforms: 13

So by adding a few arsenal ships, you get:

a) a more distributed fleet with more platforms for the opponent to target.
b) a lower cost fleet overall
c) which has more offensive/defensive missiles.
d) the offensive missiles are now concentrated in 5 ships in the protected centre of the formation, rather than in 10 ships spread throughout the formation. It forces an opponent to fight through the destroyers - in order to get through to the lower-cost (but bigger threat) arsenal ships in the centre.

Tell that to every modern frigate.



Not necessarily as modern frigates have shown. Look at the versatility of the 054A versus destroyers of the older generation, 051B, 052B, 051C, Sovs.
The older destroyers didn't have multi-purpose VLS cells, CEC nor helicopter facilities.
As long as these are available, you've got ASW capability and missile launch capability.

In peacetime, China has more than enough multi-role ships to cover its day-to-day needs. 30+ frigates and 50+ destroyers,
In wartime, a Type-54 Frigate would mostly be ASW and convoy

Just to be clear, I would see the primary mission of an "arsenal ship" as operating in a high-risk environment in the Western Pacific.
Remember my example was originally a stripped down Type-55 destroyer.
So it still retains many of the non long-range air-defence systems which are low-cost, and would still be operating as an ASW destroyer carrying 2 helicopters.


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.
80 VLS represents what I think is the low side of a cost-effective arsenal ship.
Of course, you can build a bigger ship, but it does concentrate more risk

Also look at the cost difference between:

1. a multi-role destroyer with 80 VLS (Approx $600M?)
versus
2. an arsenal ship based on a smaller destroyer hull with 80 VLS ($300m?), which would only be half the cost

As long as you operate a large enough fleet (which the Chinese Navy will), you can mix and match ship types, so that it works out cheaper overall.


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.
Yes, the trend was for ships to get larger, because the cost of electronics and weapons kept increasing.
In comparison, the hull and machinery costs remained comparatively cheap - so why not build a bigger hull to get the most use out of the electronics and weapons.

But what we don't see is any post-war Navy having a role for a battle-cruiser.
In the days of guns, ship size was directly proportional to defensive armour and naval gun size.
But missiles can be launched from any sized platform now.
During the cold war, the Kirov Battlecruisers were supposed to be lone wolves roaming distant oceans with little resupply, so they needed to carry a lot of missiles for repeat engagements.
But a Battlecruiser will always be inferior on the open seas to an aircraft carrier, which can detect and launch attacks at a much greater distance.

And we're moving to a world of battle networks, datalinks and distributed maritime operations.
So the different layers (sensor layer, C&C layer, weapons layer) don't have to be on the same platform anymore.
They can be on any mix of platforms, and this is pushing down the size of the platforms so they can be specialised.

For offensive sea power, this is determined by the size of the missiles, but it doesn't matter which platform launches.
So for offensive power, this pushes for cheaper specialised units just for launching offensive missiles.

But for defensive sea power, the expensive AEGIS long-range radar is a major cost, but is limited by the radar horizon for incoming antiship missiles.
And the Type-55 already has enough VLS cells to handle such an engagement.
Plus the Type-55 can be expected to resupply from nearby ports in China.

And in the future, defensive sea power may be defined by lasers and railguns.
This may argue for a nuclear powerplant, which may lead to a larger ship like a Battlecruiser.
But remember that a Type-55 has 30MW of electrical power available, which is already a lot of spare power.[/quote][/quote]
 
Last edited:

AndrewS

Major
Registered Member
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.
Agreed, that we won't see Type-56 ships in the future.
Yes, Frigates will always be useful for peacetime to show the flag. And also for ASW and convoy operations in wartime.

I think we need to clarify the definition of an Arsenal Ship.
To my mind, this defines the purpose of a ship (like Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser), not the number of VLS cells.
So this could be 500 VLS cells or even 50 VLS cells.
 
Last edited:

Tam

Major
Registered Member
Sounds like you are referring to an 15-19,000 tonnes Cruiser with 140-180 VLS cells. But building such large ships means:
1- It takes longer to build

2- Not many will be build (and if they build them, it means something else will not be build in more greater numbers; maybe a 052D/E or a 055A/B. Unless budget can support the expansion of both classes of ships.)

3- The cost/risk for this ship will be high since they will be high value target for the enemy. Will they need an escort of their own or will they dedicate 90% of VLS cells for SAMs. Then what will be the point of having such a large ship, unless to lead an SAG with 054s, 052s, and 055s. This will help allocate some VLS cells for offensive strike missions since AAW roles will be covered by others.
The reasoning of larger combatants is that they can also be more survivable than smaller ships. They can also sustain operation longer. They can also provide another layer of protective umbrella over the smaller ships that doesn't have radars as powerful or as many large SAMs. In other words, not only are they more survivable themselves, they can help make smaller ships survive better.

As for leading larger ships, this would be interesting to know if the 055 has a second bridge, an admiral's bridge as some would call it. The FREMM frigates for example, have them.

Now you don't make a ship bigger for the sake of bigger. The ships are shaped because of another factor underlying it. Now I think the 055 is as large as it gets, for the size and numbers of the radars it has. Assuming a larger ship has 055 level sensors, but weighs over 20,000 tons, the difference would be entirely be on weapons load but your cost of the number of missiles over the cost of your radars, sensors and combat management systems gets lower.

I do think a larger ship than the 055 may have a problem keeping with carriers unless it increased its power per turbine or increase the number of turbines, in which case it won't be a 055 no longer, since I believe the number designation is tied to power train layout. Currently its 28kn right now per GT25000 but I heard there was a development in crystal turbine blade technology that can boost this to 33kw or 34kw. Perhaps these are technologies that are related to the WS-1X engines for the J-20.

I suspect (my theory) that the 055 is limited to 112 missiles is because of its speed requirement. Remember the U-VLS is larger than the Mk.41, and each cell is likely to hold a minimum of an HQ-9 missile. That missile is alone is around 1300kg. A Mk. 41 cell holds the minimum of an SM-2MR, which is about 700kg, so its nearly 50% lighter and has less volume. In maximum, you get up to a 1200kg with the Tomahawk, and up to 1500kg for the SM-3 or SM-6, whereas the U-VLS is up to 2,300kg for the YJ-18. So the 055 maybe holding more missile volume and weight with 112 U-VLS than 128 cells of Mk. 41 VLS on another ship, and even when you consider the Sejong The Great class (80 Mk. 41 + 48 K-VLS, either mounting 820kg ASROC or 1500kg Hyunmoo III cruise missile.) But the 055 isn't exactly having more engine power than Burke or Burke like ships, as you are dealing 28kw per GT25000 turbine, whereas the turbines on the other side has gone from 25kw in the LM2500, to 30kw on the LM2500+ and 35kw on the LM2500+G4.


4- Purpose of having a large Cruiser--not serving as an escort to Carrier--roaming in coastal/regional waters (1st and 2nd Island chains) when that role can be fulfilled by 054 variants, 052 variants, & 055 variants. Plus these waters will be littered with unfriendly neighbors, all having land-based anti ship missiles. So again majority of VLS for SAMs and less for strikes on land or anti-ship missiles.

5-Might be a great platform for ASW roles but not a huge difference from 055 probably.

In the end I do believe PLAN will build a cruiser but not in huge numbers. Maybe half a dozen or a dozen to serve in SAG; Point #3. Dedicating more VLS for other things than AAW or simply to bring more VLS to the fight.
Given that a 20,000 to 25,000 ton LPD like the Type 071 is allowed to roam all the way to the coast of Africa, I don't see a 15,000 to 20,000 ton cruiser having the same problem.
 
Last edited:

Tam

Major
Registered Member
Given the ranges involved for antiship (300KM+), any arsenal ship or destroyer is going to have to rely on offboard targeting and datalinks anyway for antiship missiles. Land-attack is straightforward as it covers fixed targets.
Those systems are actually cheap. It's long-range radars and electronics which make things really expensive.

If the Chinese Navy goes for a larger surface combatant, you're essentially talking about a Battle-Cruiser.
It's possible this might happen, given the increasing importance of missiles.

A Type-55 already has 112 VLS cells, so you would want at least 200 VLS cells.
Otherwise there isn't a significant enough cost-benefit over additional Type-55.
The long range radars and electronics are what makes things really expensive. Thus you want this cost of firing each missile to be spread out more over a larger number of missiles. Cost of radars+electronics/number of missiles.


But if you compare (1x Battlecruiser) versus (1x Type-55 Arsenal Ship + 1x Type-55 multi-role)

a) The Battlecruiser likely costs more in total.
b) The Battlecruiser carries fewer VLS cells in total.
I am not really so sure. You have to make two ships at the cost of one. You will require more engines in total, and more crews in total, more salaries to pay, more mouths to feed.

c) The Battlecruiser also concentrates the risk into a single hull.
On the other hand, a large hull can be made to be more survivable.

The key point is that for antiship and land-attack missiles, you don't need any expensive radars or electronics.
Any platform will do, because they have to rely on offboard targeting anyway.
That was the idea for the Arsenal Ship. Yet despite this, cash and resource strapped Russia, which has weighed much of its doctrine in anti-shipping and offensive strike, isn't considering the Arsenal Ship when they could be the ones that would most benefit from it.

Do remember that their Lider class destroyers are shooting for 17,000 tons now, making them larger than the Zumwalt?

As for the USN large surface combatant, it looks to me like what the Type-55 is today.
Eg. command spaces, bigger VLS cells, more electricity, space for expansion etc




It comes down to whether you want the Arsenal Ship to be a Capital Ship or Expendable.
When you have 200+ VLS cells in an arsenal ship, it accounts for a significant percentage of offensive missiles and cost, and becomes a capital ship.
And you don't want to operate capital ships in high risk environment, but that is what it will have to do.

In a contested environment, ships have to have some of the following characteristics:
a) Fast
b) Stealthy
c) Expendable
d) Be able to protect themselves.

If D (self-protection), then you might as well just buy an existing multi-role destroyer
If C (expendable), the ship itself may be cheap and expendable. But 200 missiles aren't.
If B (stealth), it's possible, but it is hard to hide a warship or small fleet when it is being hunted in the Western Pacific.
If A (speed), it needs to keep up with escort destroyers

If you do any sort of fleet mix calculation with moderately large SAG size, it's cheaper to have a few arsenal ships around.

Eg. Say a mission requires 500 antiship missiles, 600 SAMs and 10 AEGIS platforms.

You could have:

Option 1 - Destroyer only
10x Type-55 (48 Antiship missiles + 64 Long-range SAMs each)

Antiship missiles total: 480
Long-range SAMs totat: 640
Total AEGIS radars: 10
Total Platforms: 10

Option 2 - Destroyer + Arsenal Ship
2x Type-55 (36 Antiship missiles + 76 Long-range SAMs each)
8x Type-52D (64 Long-range SAMs each)
3x Type-55 Arsenal Ship (112 antiship missiles)

Antiship missiles total: 520
Long-range SAMs totat: 664
Total AEGIS radars: 10
Total Platforms: 13

So by adding a few arsenal ships, you get:

a) a more distributed fleet with more platforms for the opponent to target.
b) a lower cost fleet overall
c) which has more offensive/defensive missiles.
d) the offensive missiles are now concentrated in 5 ships in the protected centre of the formation, rather than in 10 ships spread throughout the formation. It forces an opponent to fight through the destroyers - in order to get through to the lower-cost (but bigger threat) arsenal ships in the centre.
Given that the "Red AEGIS" on the 055 is likely to be much better than the one on the 052D, Option 1 would have much more superior sensor power over Option 2. It is also likely Option 1 will have superior networking power over Option 2, even if the 052D has CEC. That's better icing over better cake.

(I pointed out previously in other posts that some 052D has small circular antennas on top of the bridge they might be using for CEC --- these are retrofits so not all ships have them yet. The ones of the 055 might be a set of four small phase arrays on top of the mast. However the ones for the 055 might be a generation ahead, not to mention they are built into the ship on the get go. The ones on the 055 are also set higher than on the 052C/D, so they have more of an extended horizon and range.)

Another disadvantage for Option 2 is that Option 1 is far stealthier per ship, both actively and passively. 055 appears stealthier than 052D, not much explanation needed given their appearance, but I would also add that the 055 going all AESA even in its secondary radars means these radars can go LPI (Low Probability of Intercept) unlike the 052D, whose secondary radars are still mechanical and use parabolic designs (Type 344, 364, 366.) These means that the secondary AESA radars on the 055 are less likely to be picked up by ESM, and are more resistant to ECM measures.

80 VLS represents what I think is the low side of a cost-effective arsenal ship.
Of course, you can build a bigger ship, but it does concentrate more risk

Also look at the cost difference between:

1. a multi-role destroyer with 80 VLS (Approx $600M?)
versus
2. an arsenal ship based on a smaller destroyer hull with 80 VLS ($300m?), which would only be half the cost

As long as you operate a large enough fleet (which the Chinese Navy will), you can mix and match ship types, so that it works out cheaper overall.
I am not sure which is cheaper, a Type 05X Large Surface Combatant, or a 055X + 055 arsenal ship. I am not sure but I don't think the two ships are cheaper to operate than one. Nor am I sure that building two ships will cost less, and will be faster to construct overall, than a single large ship. Nor does it matter with China Speed, pounding it a 40,000 ton LHD like a hamburger. Add to the time for trials for each ship, add the cost of the crews per ship, wages, keeping them alive, and so on.

Yes, the trend was for ships to get larger, because the cost of electronics and weapons kept increasing.
In comparison, the hull and machinery costs remained comparatively cheap - so why not build a bigger hull to get the most use out of the electronics and weapons.

But what we don't see is any post-war Navy having a role for a battle-cruiser.
In the days of guns, ship size was directly proportional to defensive armour and naval gun size.
But missiles can be launched from any sized platform now.
During the cold war, the Kirov Battlecruisers were supposed to be lone wolves roaming distant oceans with little resupply, so they needed to carry a lot of missiles for repeat engagements.
But a Battlecruiser will always be inferior on the open seas to an aircraft carrier, which can detect and launch attacks at a much greater distance.
These battlecruisers are not meant to replace aircraft carriers, but to escort them in air defense. As much as the large antiship missiles on the Slava and Kirov class tend to eclipse everything else about these ships, don't forget that the Slava class has 64 VLS for the RIF-M (S-300 missiles) and the Kirov has over 150 VLS for the same. On top of that, the Slavas has another 40 VLS for short range SAMs, while the Kirov class has about 168 total short range and point defense SAMs. RIF-M also equips the Type 051C, which is the smallest ship to use that complex, and which has 48.

And we're moving to a world of battle networks, datalinks and distributed maritime operations.
So the different layers (sensor layer, C&C layer, weapons layer) don't have to be on the same platform anymore.
They can be on any mix of platforms, and this is pushing down the size of the platforms so they can be specialised.

For offensive sea power, this is determined by the size of the missiles, but it doesn't matter which platform launches.
So for offensive power, this pushes for cheaper specialised units just for launching offensive missiles.

But for defensive sea power, the expensive AEGIS long-range radar is a major cost, but is limited by the radar horizon for incoming antiship missiles.
I always mentioned that the Type 052C/D, the Type 055, the Ticos and the Burkes, all have secondary radars are placed on top of a mast for spotting antiship missiles. Respectively, the Type 364 on the 052C/D, the four sided X-band radar unnamed on the 055, the SPQ-9A or SPQ-9B on the Tico and the SPS-67 on the Burkes (Flight III gets SPQ-9B.)
 
Last edited:

AndrewS

Major
Registered Member
The reasoning of larger combatants is that they can also be more survivable than smaller ships. They can also sustain operation longer. They can also provide another layer of protective umbrella over the smaller ships that doesn't have radars as powerful or as many large SAMs. In other words, not only are they more survivable themselves, they can help make smaller ships survive better.

As for leading larger ships, this would be interesting to know if the 055 has a second bridge, an admiral's bridge as some would call it. The FREMM frigates for example, have them.

Now you don't make a ship bigger for the sake of bigger. The ships are shaped because of another factor underlying it. Now I think the 055 is as large as it gets, for the size and numbers of the radars it has. Assuming a larger ship has 055 level sensors, but weighs over 20,000 tons, the difference would be entirely be on weapons load but your cost of the number of missiles over the cost of your radars, sensors and combat management systems gets lower.
Yes, I would define the key metric as "cost per missile launch"

I do think a larger ship than the 055 may have a problem keeping with carriers unless it increased its power per turbine or increase the number of turbines, in which case it won't be a 055 no longer, since I believe the number designation is tied to power train layout. Currently its 28kn right now per GT25000 but I heard there was a development in crystal turbine blade technology that can boost this to 33kw or 34kw. Perhaps these are technologies that are related to the WS-1X engines for the J-20.

I suspect (my theory) that the 055 is limited to 112 missiles is because of its speed requirement. Remember the U-VLS is larger than the Mk.41, and each cell is likely to hold a minimum of an HQ-9 missile. That missile is alone is around 1300kg. A Mk. 41 cell holds the minimum of an SM-2MR, which is about 700kg, so its nearly 50% lighter and has less volume. In maximum, you get up to a 1200kg with the Tomahawk, and up to 1500kg for the SM-3 or SM-6, whereas the U-VLS is up to 2,300kg for the YJ-18. So the 055 maybe holding more missile volume and weight with 112 U-VLS than 128 cells of Mk. 41 VLS on another ship, and even when you consider the Sejong The Great class (80 Mk. 41 + 48 K-VLS, either mounting 820kg ASROC or 1500kg Hyunmoo III cruise missile.) But the 055 isn't exactly having more engine power than Burke or Burke like ships, as you are dealing 28kw per GT25000 turbine, whereas the turbines on the other side has gone from 25kw in the LM2500, to 30kw on the LM2500+ and 35kw on the LM2500+G4.
A Type-55 keeping up with a conventional carrier should be fine. A nuclear carrier is another story however.

As for there only being 112 VLS cells, I think it is due to:

1. the number of defensive missiles you can launch in 1 minute, which is the time a subsonic missile takes to cross half the radar horizon before the short-range air defence systems engage.
2. the sheer cost of the missiles, and how many you can afford to buy for the entire inventory.

So I don't think VLS weight is the issue.
Let's say a maximum of 2000 KG per VLS cell.
That is only 224 tonnes, which is <2% of the total ship weight.

Given that a 20,000 to 25,000 ton LPD like the Type 071 is allowed to roam all the way to the coast of Africa, I don't see a 15,000 to 20,000 ton cruiser having the same problem.
 

Top