Type 051 (Luda) Class DDG, News, Pics, info

Discussion in 'Navy' started by planeman, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Captain
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    Fleet size shouldn't be a number to chase after. I hope this is not what the PLAN is doing. If a vessel sucks so bad that it could not survive a modern sea battle, it's time to stop putting money and manpower into it. IMO anything that still uses the HQ-7 should be exported or downgraded and transferred to the Coast Guard, while they still have useful hull life left in them. I'm thinking of the 053H3, 051, and 052. The 2 054s could probably be upgraded to 054A standards (including VLS) during their midlife overhauls.
     
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  2. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Lieutenant General

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    I agree that fleet size shouldn't be something that should be blindly sought at the expense of other things, however I think there is a case to be made that maintaining a given fleet size and continuing to operate some of the older ships (until newer ships become available to replace them) are a necessary compromise.

    Specifically, I think the importance of these older ships is that they allow newer ships to conduct more high priority and high intensity missions while the older ships can be relegated to less intensive, secondary duties such as patrol duties closer to China's coast. The number of available hulls are important for a Navy to conduct a modern sea battle even if some of those hulls cannot survive a modern sea battle.
    Also, having personnel who are still serving on the older ships will provide a larger pool of relatively experienced sailors (even if they were in older, less capable ships) to make the shift to a larger and more modern navy easier as they are gradually shifted over to bigger and more modern ships.


    Now, there obviously is a balance that should be sought between phasing out older ships for new ships with new capabilities, vs retaining older ships for sake of maintaining fleet size and sailors, because if you're keeping so many old ships that it's inhibiting you from bringing in new ships at a decent rate then that's not a very good way to go about modernizing a navy.
    But I also think simply phasing out all the ships below a certain level of technological capability isn't a good choice either. I assume that is not what you are suggesting, but rather a more gradual and systematic approach to modernization instead that will balance fleet size/availability/experienced personnel with having a fleet that is not so obsolete and bloated that will inhibit modernization.
     
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  3. Lethe
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    Lethe Senior Member

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    Yep, it's about managing crews, deployments, etc. Militaries do not turn on a dime, and the Chinese Navy not only needs to think about where it wants to be in fifteen years time, but how it plans to get there from one year to the next.

    What present numbers (27/28 destroyers, 48 frigates) do tell us is the minimum fleet size envisioned for the future. Undoubtedly actual numbers will be greater than this, though frigate numbers may remain relatively stable for some time.

    At the current rate of commissioning two frigates and two destroyers each year, with each unit having a thirty year lifespan, a fleet of 120 major surface combatants could be maintained. I don't think those numbers are unreasonable and see little reason why China would reduce beyond that rate excepting type transitions.
     
    #53 Lethe, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
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  4. duncanidaho
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    duncanidaho Junior Member

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    These old, upgraded vessels are still very usefull against the navy of the other claimant of the SCS islands, while for the JSMDF- and US-Navy the PLAN of course need their top tier vessels.
     
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  5. FORBIN
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    FORBIN Lieutenant General
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    Not retired but 134 from 6 th DDG Flotilla transfered to the 10 th NSF which have 4 Luda whose 2 modernised now ESF 0.
    SSF have 2 in her 2nd DDG Flotilla 2 modernised.
     
  6. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Captain
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    "Patrol duties" could be and now are easily handled by 056s. In fact aside from antiship missiles a 051 is inferior in every other aspect of combat compared to a 056 despite having almost triple the displacement. I suppose you could keep the Luda IVs around to serve as antishipping missile trucks, or 4 fighters could do the same job faster, with greater flexibility, and at lower cost.

    As for personnel experience, I think there is a usefulness to having a large pool of experienced sailors. On the other hand, the kind of experience that you gain on a 051 could only transfer in the most general ways to a more modern vessel, like basic seamanship, leadership skills, and what not.

    I am exactly suggesting to phase out all ships below a certain level of technological capability. By way of an example, the USN retired all five initial Ticos that used the Mk 26 twin-arm launchers instead of VLS because they were deemed unable to cope with a Soviet saturation attack, and this was before they reached their full useful hull lives. The Thomas S. Gates was only in service for 18 years before she was decommissioned.

    I forgot that the 053H3s have recently been refit with HHQ-10s, modern decoy launchers, and 2 730s (though with a single FCR). They are now essentially a larger 056 with hangar capability. Adding VDS/TAS would making them a pretty formidable ASW frigate. But seriously, the Ludas and the Luhus just have to go. IMO they are more a liability than an asset at this point.
     
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  7. Lethe
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    Lethe Senior Member

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    But they didn't do it at a time when the fleet was growing as a whole, which is what is happening with PLAN. If they retire ships and cut personnel now, that only makes the future ramp up even steeper, and big institutions are not that flexible. It is much better to grow the fleet steadily from 27 to ~35 destroyers over the next ten years than to shrink it to 21 and then grow to ~35.
     
    #57 Lethe, Jan 29, 2017
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  8. Bltizo
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    Bltizo Lieutenant General

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    I agree that the need for older destroyers for low intensity patrol duties is declining as more 056s enter service in large numbers. Though I think there is an argument that could be made that the larger size of some older destroyers despite their older capabilities will still allow them to remain at sea longer than 056s -- there are some specific, unique roles where that could suit them which an 056 may not.
    That said, I think the more primary reason for retaining them for a little longer is to maintain the fleet structure and experienced personnel that goes with them. As more 052Ds are commissioned in the next couple of years, keeping these last few 051s around will probably allow that transition to occur more smoothly.
    This year will see at least two, maybe three 052Ds commissioned, and next year we may see three or even for commissioned. Along with that I expect to see the last five or so 051s to be decommissioned by about the end of next year as well, by which point the oldest destroyers in the Chinese Navy will be the pair of original 052s.


    I think there is reason to ask whether the USN's retirement decisions for early Ticos (and indeed their Spruances as well) was a good decision in the long run.

    That said, I agree that in time the Chinese Navy should standardize so their assets are at or above a minimum level of technological capability. I just don't think it will be in the immediate future.


    The old 051 Ludas will definitely be gone by the end of the decade (probably within the next two years) and the two original 052s will probably be retired by mid 2020s. Until then, I think they, along with other older destroyers will still serve for personnel retainment and ease of organization, as well as operating as longer endurance low intensity patrol ships.

    I'm not sure what's going to happen with the two 052Bs and two 051Cs, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're refitted with the HHQ-16 weapons suite like the 051B and Sovs are... so by the mid 2020s I expect the Navy will standardize to an 054A level of minimum technological capability, at least for destroyers.
    For frigates, I expect many pre 054/A frigates will be modified where HHQ-7s are replaced with HHQ-10s and other minor modernizations will allow them to use for general patrol/ASW patrol role to supplement 056/As.
     
  9. Iron Man
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    Iron Man Captain
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    What I'm saying is that the ships themselves won't be missed. And at the rate they are building 056s, 054As, 052Ds, and 055s, I have absolutely no doubt the personnel will be reassigned with no problem at all.
     
  10. Lethe
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    Lethe Senior Member

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    You would be creating additional challenges in personnel management (above the already significant ones that are necessary) to address a problem that will, in any case, solve itself.

    The 051s and 053H1s will probably be gone by 2020, the 053H1Gs and 052s by 2025. Where the oldest combatants in the fleet today are 35 years old, by early 2020s they will be less than 30 years old, and by 2030 probably under 25 years old. There is no problem.
     
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