Type 055 DDG Large Destroyer Thread


nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
Okay, so first of all, your original argument should never have been about the funnels to begin with, but the prime movers or MERs.
I'm not sure why you were so focused on the funnels in post #419, when the actual point of your argument is about the position of the prime movers. Why bother using the funnels as a proxy.
My concern was really about the funnel spacing in my initial post. It was only after @ougoah insisted that missiles don't aim at smokestacks that I pointed out that funnel spacing is a proxy for MER spacing. I find it very difficult to discuss the original question when all the follow up arguments were essentially that it's a pointless concern because missiles don't aim at smoke stacks. Sorry, but I would really like to settle the funnel question first.
As for the positioning of the prime movers themselves, it's not quite so simple as you describe.

The ideal ship to maximize survivability of its prime movers and immediate adjacent gear boxes would ideally have them spaced far away from each other, duplicating redundancy as well.
But that adds complexity, weight, and is limited by the geometry of your ship.
It also limits the kind of gearing that your ship can accommodate.
So you agree that larger separation of prime movers in general means better survivability? How about the smoke stacks? Does it matter or not?
In the case of 055, it is basically confirmed that it adopts a combined connector gear COGAG system, which basically allows one single gas turbine to run at full efficiency to propel both shafts -- or up to all four to propel both shafts.
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If true, and the CCGs are the equipment in the in-between MERs compartment as shown in the CCTV illustrations, doesn't that make damage to that compartment potentially catastrophic as all 4 prime movers are tightly coupled there?
..... All this is to say, it isn't quite a simple as "bad design because prime movers all located close together" -- but it was likely a deliberate and informed choice to balance the requirements of survivability and the output, efficiency and reliability of their propulsion configuration, as well as in relation to the overall kind of damage they assess to be likely, and the other tradeoffs in terms of placement of weapons, sensors etc.
Yes, of course, there are design trade-offs. But that wasn't my concern/question. I pointed out that for its size, the Type 055 has main engine funnels unusually close to each other. I enumerated and measured 6 other combatants to demonstrate my point.

If I can rephrase: is the small spacing of funnels a liability or not when hit in that location? If it is, than it's a weak point. There could be other weak points (like the CCG compartment), I am not denying that. It might make more sense to aim at those other weak points. I am not denying that either. But one item at a time, please.
 

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
NSM is a minor minimal threat and very low presence in USN. The major threats need to be addressed before minor near non-existant threats. Major threat = F-35.
The main anti-ship weapon of the F-35 will be the JSM, a missile derived from the NSM. So by your own admission, NSM like weapons are a major threat. Over 150nm range in a 400kg missile with a 125kg warhead.

SImilar to the NSM/JSM, LRASM too uses optical guidance and has been in service since 2018. Counter action against LRASM should also work against the NSM/JSM and I have no doubt PLAN is taking the threat very seriously.

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But please let's first settle the funnel question, before shifting the discussion towards ASBMs and hypersonic glide warheads and various other weapons and platforms.
 
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ougoah

Major
Registered Member
The main anti-ship weapon of the F-35 will be the JSM, a missile derived from the NSM. So by your own admission, NSM like weapons are a major threat. Over 150nm range in a 400kg missile with a 125kg warhead.

SImilar to the NSM/JSM, LRASM too uses optical guidance and has been in service since 2018. Counter action against LRASM should also work against the NSM/JSM and I have no doubt PLAN is taking the threat very seriously.

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But please let's first settle the funnel question, before shifting the discussion towards ASBMs and hypersonic glide warheads and various other weapons and platforms.

The main threat there is the F-35. Countering the threat of JSM from F-35 is different to countering the threat of NSM launched from a ship or land. The NSM is a ship or land based missile. You quoted NSM. I addressed the former threat type as F-35. Did you suppose I meant F-35 used as a kamikaze vehicle? Of course not. The implication was the weapons package available to the F-35. So no, the NSM is still a nil threat in Malaysian hands and a much smaller threat in USN compared to F-35, SSN, HGVs (which the Americans are testing) and most importantly, the carriers that support the F-35s

What is your funnel question? That the smokestakes on the 055 are too closely spaced? If that's the question/concern, I will set your mind at ease. The designers of the 055 put capability in front of giving MERs huge separation. In order to achieve high VLS and overall offensive capability, the designers were left with less room for choice when it came to spacing the smokestakes. I suppose the Chinese just want superior sensor and firepower over a well separated smokestake and MERs.

Is this really a topic worth picking? Is that really a question worth asking? Do you realise how packed the ship is?
 

Tam

Colonel
Registered Member
Not if the missile uses optical guidance, like the NSM.

Old trick, that's been seen a long time ago. Ever since the first pair of Type 052B, the funnel has a reduced thermal signature. China also experimented with funnel less designs with the heat emanated directly behind the water, in the Type 022 and the Algerian C28 corvette. Most warships nowadays since the beginning of the 'stealth' era of modern warship design, feature reduced IR funnels. The 055 seems to take it to a new level; the actual funnels themselves are small relative to all the structure around it that is filled with vents and quite possibly, fans designed to vent the air in and cool the entire structure.

Optical guidance is a last ditch resort against radar jamming but by itself, its not something to be selected as the primary guidance system for many reasons. One is that its range is considerably short, often lessened by weather, clouds, fog and so on. It can be blinded by the sun, fooled by flares, blocked by chaff and smoke.
 

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
Optical guidance is a last ditch resort against radar jamming but by itself, its not something to be selected as the primary guidance system for many reasons. One is that its range is considerably short, often lessened by weather, clouds, fog and so on. It can be blinded by the sun, fooled by flares, blocked by chaff and smoke.
Last ditch resort? NSM does not even have a radar. It uses a combination of inertial, GPS and optical guidance. LRASM has all the guidance features of the NSM and adds a passive RF detector.

If optics are a last ditch resort, how do you explain then the fact that two of the newest anti-ship missiles in the US arsenal don't have active radar guidance?
 

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
Why would a ships propulsion stop if the smokestacks were destroyed...
The degradation would depend on the amount of damage inflicted. Less air into the engines => less performance. Gas turbines are more vulnerable as they require a lot of air and don't handle debris injection very well. An explosion in the funnel has a good chance of taking out the gas turbines.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
Not to be glib, but the funnels are about the least important thing incoming missiles can hit on a warship, not counting idling helicopters on deck. ;)

What are funnels but glorified holes/tunnels to allow air in and out of the engine room? Shooting more holes in that is akin to shooting holes in cheese graters. It won’t look pretty afterwards, but it won’t really stop it doing the job either (assuming there are adequate internal grills and filters to contain fod, which should be pretty standard on warships).

The funnels were almost certainly deliberately moved closer than the spacing of the power plants to minimise the amount of ‘dead’ deck space usage to allow for more efficient placement of VLS and other core systems.

But the bottom line is that modern warships are not like WWII cannon brawlers packed with armour, pretty much any AShM hit will at a minimum mission kill any warship other than maybe carriers if they are very lucky.

That is not to say that damage control isn’t still vitally important, but that the objective of battle damage is about saving the ship and minimising lives lost rather than expecting warships to be able to remain in station and continue to fight on effectively after taking direct AShMs hits.
 

silentlurker

Junior Member
Registered Member
The degradation would depend on the amount of damage inflicted. Less air into the engines => less performance. Gas turbines are more vulnerable as they require a lot of air and don't handle debris injection very well. An explosion in the funnel has a good chance of taking out the gas turbines.
A big hole in the superstructure somehow reduces the air intake, brilliant
 

Tam

Colonel
Registered Member
Last ditch resort? NSM does not even have a radar. It uses a combination of inertial, GPS and optical guidance. LRASM has all the guidance features of the NSM and adds a passive RF detector.

If optics are a last ditch resort, how do you explain then the fact that two of the newest anti-ship missiles in the US arsenal don't have active radar guidance?

Usage in littoral situations? Active radar guidance is troublesome in littoral environments due to reflections from rocks, beach, sea floor bottoms, islands, fish, etc,. All creating a natural decoy environment. Hence in littoral environments, even the use of ATGMs is considered, such as Hellfires on the LCS. This isn't new. Its old.

Do you even considered that back in 2006, China introduced YJ-7 or C-701, a small antiship missile that can be launched from small boats and helicopters, and that it has both an optical and a radar guided (mmwave seeker) version? You want to go back even earlier? There is the Penguin which does use optics and that goes back to 1972. Another early missile, back in the eighties, was the Japanese Type 80. It was infrared. So did the Type 93. Taiwan HFII has a combined active radar and infrared seeker. YJ-83 has added a variant that has a combination active radar and infrared seeker. Even the old P-15 Termit has an infrared version and by extension, some of the Chinese Silkworms had infrared.
 

nlalyst

Junior Member
Registered Member
Usage in littoral situations? Active radar guidance is troublesome in littoral environments due to reflections from rocks, beach, sea floor bottoms, islands, fish, etc,. All creating a natural decoy environment. Hence in littoral environments, even the use of ATGMs is considered, such as Hellfires on the LCS. This isn't new. Its old.

Do you even considered that back in 2006, China introduced YJ-7 or C-701, a small antiship missile that can be launched from small boats and helicopters, and that it has both an optical and a radar guided (mmwave seeker) version? You want to go back even earlier? There is the Penguin which does use optics and that goes back to 1972. Another early missile, back in the eighties, was the Japanese Type 80. It was infrared. So did the Type 93. Taiwan HFII has a combined active radar and infrared seeker. YJ-83 has added a variant that has a combination active radar and infrared seeker. Even the old P-15 Termit has an infrared version and by extension, some of the Chinese Silkworms had infrared.
Let's stick to the original point of contention. This is what you said:
An antiship missile will likely head where its return signal is at the strongest, and that's the part of the ship where it has the highest radar cross section. Clue, that isn't where the funnel is. Second clue, that's close to where the ECM is placed at. Third, that's why the ECM is placed there in the first place.
I pointed out how that doesn't apply to missiles with optical guidance. Whether and/or when optical or radio is better is besides the point. It's clear to everyone that the NSM/JSM/LRASM/Penguin/SLAM-ER(-ATA) will not aim for the highest RCS spot, nor the ECM. I think it should also be clear that they are capable and dangerous missiles.

NSM and LRASM can be programmed to impact pretty much any point on a ship, the funnel included. I wouldn't be surprised if SLAM-ER has a similar capability.

Even in the case of considering for anti-ship missiles, almost all modern and capable anti-ship missiles go for the waterline when they home in.

Except maybe for brahmos which still uses wide arc attack trajectories until home in and even then, it's sea skimming is of a much older generation compared to the already old C-802 era stuff.

Analyst, consider all this a free lesson in logic and military history.
What does "almost all" and "modern and capable" mean? How many exceptions am I allowed to find for that to still be true?

Here's a video of a NSM (a modern and capable missile?) test, where the missile impacts the superstructure:
 
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