Type 055 DDG Large Destroyer Thread

Discussion in 'Navy' started by FarkTypeSoldier, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. AndrewS

    AndrewS Captain
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    Oct 5, 2015
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    Yes, cost per missile launch is the right metric.

    On a tactical scale, for offensive antiship or land-attack missiles (which will have to use the battle network for offboard targeting anyway) the cost per launch is only dependent on being on the cheapest platform.

    And for defensive SAMs, yes, there is a fixed cost for radars and electronics on the ship, so it is better to have more VLS cells available.


    But from a strategic perspective, the stock of missiles is going to run out before all the launch platforms are destroyed.

    A stock of 300 missiles is going to be used up quickly anyway
    Say 2 reloads (2weeks) for a Type-55 and 4 reloads (4weeks) for a Type-52

    So on the strategic scale, a lower cost per missile launch comes from the smaller, cheaper Type-52D than the larger Type-55.

    A Battlecruiser would have a very small production run.
    The production learning cost curve is especially steep for the first 4 ships, but has settled down after 10 ships.
    We may only be looking at 4 Battlecruisers, which would be prime targets as capital ships.

    In comparison, for the combination of (1x Type 55 multi-role) + (1x Type-55 Arsenal Ship / ASW destroyer)

    1. The Type-55s would already have benefited from the production learning curve
    2. The Type-55 Arsenal Ship / ASW destroyer has much lower operating costs.
    a) Because that it has a much smaller crew and fewer systems to maintain
    b) It spends most of its time in port in peacetime, because it is simply a platform to launch missiles and helicopters.
    c) Labour costs aren't significant, especially with Chinese wages

    So I reckon a Battlecruiser would be more expensive.

    True, but after a hit, is it better on a single Battlecruiser hull or 2 smaller hulls?
    It would also be preferable for the cheaper and more expendable Arsenal Ship to be hit first.

    A number of points on the Russian Lidar Destroyer:

    In all likelihood, the Lidar is never going to be built. They're struggling to build new frigates, never mind anything larger.

    Plus the Lidar was designed around the following missions:
    1. Cutting the sea lanes between Europe and the USA. Those sea lanes are 5000km+ from Murmansk
    2. Long range missile strikes. But remember that missiles launched from Mother Russia can cover most of Europe anyway, which includes many ports.

    In comparison, all the core objectives for the Chinese Navy lie within the 1st Island Chain, which is within 1300km of mainland China.
    So they can just wait for ships and aircraft to approach a small number of fixed chokepoints (seaports/airports) then attack using land-based aircraft and missiles.

    Then there is nothing but empty ocean until the 2nd Island Chain (Guam) which is some 3000km from China.
    This is at the limits of land-based aircraft and missiles.
    But a Chinese fleet can sail for just 3 days under air cover, launch missiles, then head back to rearm.

    Then more empty ocean until the 3rd Island Chain (Hawaii), which is some 8000km from China.
    This is just too far for a Chinese power projection fleet to get to.
    Best to use submarines to sink convoys in the area.
    It's also too far for even B-2 bombers to operate against China without aerial refuelling.
    But even B-2 bombers will have to approach to 2000km of the Chinese coastline to be effective.

    So you can see that if the Chinese Navy wants to cut off the USA from Asia, it doesn't have to venture far from mainland China.
    That negates most of the argument for ships with long range.

    Is there any reason why a Type-52E couldn't be built to similar specifications as a Type-55?

    Remember sensor performance is irrelevant given the limitations of the radar horizon and offboard sensors from the battle network
    The radar performance of a Type-52D is more than sufficient for long-range SAMs.

    Plus there shouldn't be any difference in networking power between the Type-52D/E and Type-55.
    Most of the processing will be done locally, and only the final results would be shared in a datalink.

    And the options I presented were an example.

    You can rework for any mix of (Type-55 and Type-52E) versus a mix of (Type-55, Type-52E, Arsenal Ship)
    You still get the same result, because an Arsenal Ship has a lower cost per VLS launch.
    But this only works if you have large enough overall navy size and large enough SAGs - which lets you rebalance capabilities across a larger number of platforms.
    Only the US Navy and Chinese Navy are large enough to do this.

    If we're talking about a Type-55 in a carrier escort role, remember that there is supposed to be a quad-packed MR-SAM in development, like the ESSM.
    So a Type-55 could end up with the following loadout:
    1. 96x LR-SAMs and 64 MR-SAMs
    2. 64x LR-SAMs and 192 MR-SAMs

    Remember that the Kirov BattleCruisers were supposed to operate alone at long distances with little resupply, against enemy shipping lanes.
    Even then, it was debateable whether they could survive if there was an aircraft carrier in the vicinity.
    Nowadays, in an era where there is almost constant optical satellite coverage over every point of the globe, it's impossible.

    So Chinese navy doesn't have a requirement for lone surface ships to cut off distant shipping lanes.

    #7151 AndrewS, Nov 15, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  2. AndrewS

    AndrewS Captain
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    Oct 5, 2015
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    Only the US Navy (today and in the past) and the Chinese Navy (today) and the USSR Navy (previously) were large enough to justify a specialised subclass of arsenal ships to complement their multi-role ships.

    I think Arsenal Ship is probably the wrong term to use, given the US proposal was for a monster with 500 VLS cells.

    Arsenal ships imply just the platform, but that only works in a low-risk environment and/or if it can be protected and used.

    For the USSR, I think it was the lack of electronics.
    Which affected the availability of cheap robust datalinks, sensors, guidance systems for missiles etc for a battle network for offboard targeting.

    As for the US Navy, they never needed to worry about naval supremacy for the past 30 years.
    And prior to that? I think part of it was the Carrier mafia which saw arsenal ships as a threat to the aircraft carrier.

    For the Chinese Navy, they've only just started building their fleet, so they don't have enough ships to justify another class yet.


    So the requirement is for a ship to sail quickly into a high-risk environment and launch missiles, then come back quickly to reload.
    So this ship needs to defend itself to a degree with low-cost short-range air-defence. Submarines are also one of the biggest threats.
    And this ship is the cheapest survivable platform for ASW helicopters to be located on, so it's logical to add this capability
    So instead of Arsenal Ship, I think ASW Destroyer is a better term for what I'm describing.

    Think the Spruance ASW destroyers (similar hull/size to the Ticonderoga cruiser) which could carry 69 anti-ship missiles in total, along with 2 ASW helicopters.

    But the primary role is as missile carrier in the centre of a formation, rather than independent ASW on the fringes of the formation.

    It has less electronics and weapons because it is expected to operate close to a multi-role destroyer, whilst the ASW helicopters have enough range/speed to cover the entire formation anyway, and can be directed by other ships.
    #7152 AndrewS, Nov 15, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
    Neutral Zone likes this.
  3. 2handedswordsman

    2handedswordsman New Member
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    May 10, 2017
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    Bit offtopic, but USSR did it quite well during it's times. 30 years later the modern Russian Navy can't afford to build a proper warship. Maybe because of the "westerners" sanctions LOL

    USSR made a long list of missiles much more capable of these of US Navy current inventory. They made Glonass, OTH radars, ABM systems, they launched the goddammit Sputnik lol.

    *edit I think they first put datalinks on their fighters also, if anyone knows anything please confirm or not

    Aircraft carriers proven "not enough" in a full scale engagement with a capable force ( Japan WW2, USA Korean War and Vietnam War ) . Against a proven nuclear force , carriers are just a lost cause with out any diplomatic significance ( USA DPRK nowdays )

    20 flat tops and 90 10.000 ton. ships are a massive unjustified overkill just to make any kind of trumps out there to make money :p PRC wisely is investing in railways and more reasonable ships like Type 055
  4. Tam

    Tam Captain
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    Nov 3, 2016
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    It would result in a greater cost of missile / per shipboard electronics. On the other hand, if you create a larger cruiser with the 055's radars and electronics, you get a lower cost of missile / ship electronics. All three ships will still have the same sensor performance.

    Maybe you didn't get what I said and in many of my previous posts.

    Additional and secondary search radars and ESM sensors can be placed on top of the mast which will extend the radar horizon.

    While every ship can put some sensor on the top, there is also a difference in the quality of these sensors that can determine quicker detection, reaction, and tracking quality against sea skimming threats. Generally on this side, I would prefer using AESA, like on the Type 055 with the small X-band AESA on its top mast, than using a mechanical radar, like on the Type 052C/D's Type 364 which is the spherical dome on top of the mast. Of course, this is not as cheap. Note that I am >NOT< referring to the Type 346A or 346B main AEGIS like radar panels on the 052D and 055.

    That's not enough. The 055 going all AESA is more than just about supporting long ranged SAMs. The AESAs, including secondary and tritiary radars for gunnery, navigation, sea search, are also meant to be frequency and modulation agile, which can make them difficult to detect from an enemy ESM. The signals might appear like stray noise and won't trigger an alert. Being agile these radars are also much more difficult to counter with ECM.

    As a whole, the 055 is much more survivable than the 052C/D in the context of a future highly electronic war scenario.

    Not enough. CEC means the ships are sharing sensor data in real time across a network. That means if you have six ships, your tactical display is showing the radar scanning of all six ships like as if they are one ship. If some ships are out of horizon from the other ships, the sensor output of Ship C would be passed to Ship B which is passed to Ship A and then vice versa. All this in real time and automated. In addition to these, all ships have multiple radars working on different spectrum, and plus you got aircraft and helicopters adding their sensors to the network. So bandwidth goes up fast.

    The CEC on the 052C/D is located just on top of the bridge, while on the 055 it is on the mast set even higher than the X-band AESA radars there. So the higher these are set, the longer the range of radio line of sight one ship has with another. That in the addition the 055's sets appear to use phase arrays.

    You cannot mathematically calculate the qualitative and synergistic advantages brought about by all the electronics on board the 055. It is on a completely different level over the 052C/D, and thus its better to refrain using a cost comparison which only makes sense if the ships are qualitatively on the same level.

    I keep telling you, that they are not. They are meant to escort carriers like the Kuznetsov and the Varyag (turned Liaoning). They are also meant to lead other battle groups that include Slavas, Sovremennyys and Udalois.

    That depends but these ships have an enormous mount of missiles in VLS. You are talking about the S-300 on the water. Both the Kirovs and the Slavas provide a long range air cover for all the other ships, much like 055/052C/D today, while the Sovs fill in the medium range, like Type 054A.
    ougoah likes this.
  5. Jura

    Jura General

    Jun 23, 2013
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    Andy so arsenal ships are being "procured" only by fanbois, right?
  6. Tam

    Tam Captain
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    Nov 3, 2016
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    The Type 055 is overbuilt to be a cheap Arsenal ship, with four gas turbines and six 5MW generators.

    Lets assume you reduce the generators to three each. The question next is whether you want to keep four GTs, or go with 2 GTs and 2 diesels, which will set the ship into a 052 instead. Lets say, keep the GTs so it can keep up with carrier groups.

    Reduce the cost of the radars. Change the four large S-band AESA panels to a dual backed S-band AESA that is rotating. Sort of like a successor to the Type 382 Top Plate, and similar to the radar used on the Type 075, except two sides having S-band. So more or less like a SAMPSON. You put this radar on top of tall mast, so you can extend the radar horizon. Even using this radar, your range still extends to 350km, based on the Type 075's new radar. Might sound counter intuitive to some, but ships like the Kirov and the Slava uses the Top Plate predecessors like Top Steer or Top Pair, and is upgraded to the MR710 Top Plate. Meaning, these large ships have a search radar that performs on the same level as the Type 382 Top Plate on the 054A. So this search radar is sufficient for a RIF-M (naval S-300) complex. The phase arrays that comes with the RIF-M is fire control, not search and acquisition.

    Below this rotating radar you put the CEC and ESM and immediately below that, a four faced X-band AESA for the fire control of guns and missiles which will still be in the integrated mast and set high above over the deckhouse. IFF bars are set on top of the bridge. The whole superstructure is lower because it no longer supports four large radar panels. Probably save like about 11 tons of weight? Weight decreases can be offset by adding more missiles, lets say from 112 to 128. Or go with a smaller missile load, and revert the power train to 2 GT and 2 diesels, so this becomes an extended 052. But the 052X is in number only, it won't have the large radars of the 052D.

    So basically applying what I think is the electronics for the 054B/057, over a larger ship that may have 128 VLS.

    Mechanical radars such as the 344, 364 and 366 will not be present.

    The Type 517 or any VHS array, just shuck it, replaced with VLS. On the 052D, you have two Type 366-2 globes which act as ESM to assist in anti-ship targeting, you don't remove that too, as they are under the Type 517M. So that space is cleared for VLS. The SATCOM is placed on the hanger, just use one instead of two since the SATCOM knows has a better view of both horizons where it sits and is not blocked by a radar.

    So this ship is how I see it if I will do your idea. This may still be an 055 even if downgraded, if you choose to retain the 4 gas turbines. Or it maybe called an 052X if you use two GT and 2 diesel CODAG configuration. On the latter, I will take the space over where the dual SATCOMs, Type 517M and two Type 366-2 ESM is, and turn that into VLS, raising it to 80 VLS. So this ship is an 80 VLS ship with the electronics and sensors of Type 054B (or 057 if this new frigate will have a gas turbine). Add two hangers for ASW. The 054B level electronics, radars and sensors will still be at a high level --- comparable to let's say, the Admiral Gorshkov which is currently Russia's leading edge right now, European frigates, or even a Type 45 destroyer as they have both a dual backed small S-band radar set on the high mast. In silhouette this might appear more like a highly modernized 052B with an integrated mast. I hesitate to call this an arsenal ship, this is more like a mid line or budget destroyer, and our cost won't be much higher than an advanced frigate like 054B.

    The ship can pass off control of launched HQ-9s to other ships like 055 and 052C/D, so this ship is firing missiles like it belongs to other ships.
  7. AndrewS

    AndrewS Captain
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    Oct 5, 2015
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    Yes, that is true at the level of the individual ship for a single engagement.
    A single set of expensive radars and electronics can be used over a greater number of missiles.

    But at a strategic level in a high-intensity campaign - both US Navy and Chinese Navy destroyers will run out of missiles very quickly.
    You can do a back-of-the-envelope calculation yourself.
    Then you end up with a large number of ships without enough missiles.

    So on a strategic level in a protracted campaign, you want to spend less on each Destroyer and reduce the number of VLS cells.
    That allows you to buy more missiles in total, although you can't launch as many at a single time.

    Yes, all your points about radars, ESM and horizons is correct, but also irrelevant.

    Think about how operations are going to be conducted around the 2nd Island Chain.
    Such fleets will be under complete EMCON silence, with all radars and electronics switched off.
    So it doesn't matter if the Type-55 has better electronics and radars than a Type-52D or an Arsenal Ship or Missile-Carrying Destroyer.
    Anti-ship missiles will be relying on offboard targeting.
    And land-attack missiles will be pre-programmed.

    So the only time when the superior radars of a Type-55 matters is when they have already been detected and are under attack.
    And bluntly speaking, you want a Type-52D to have a larger radar signature in such a scenario.
    Because it's better for a cheaper Type-52D to get hit instead of a Type-55.

    Despite what you think, bandwidth doesn't actually go up fast with CEC / datalinks.

    What is sharing sensor data in real time?

    Remember that a ship will be doing all radar processing locally.
    So they only need to share what are in effect tiny text messages with 3D locations and attributes.
    You already get this with the equivalent of Link-16.

    So what is CEC?

    Eventually it is the ability to co-ordinate the entire response to the sensor data eg.
    1. What is the optimum position and orientation for each platform in the defence/offensive network
    2. Which missiles/guns from which ship/aircraft should be assigned to each target
    3. Handing off control of the missiles from a launch platform to the targeting/control platform.

    Again, this barely uses any data throughput, because the sensor and data processing all happens locally.

    So the additional cost of adding CEC datalinks to a ship is marginal.
    The hardware comprises a few computer cabinets and a few AESA datalink receivers/transmitters.
    Most of the cost is comprised of software and algorithms.

    And again, a fleet wants to spend most of its time under EMCON, and never wants to use its radars or outbound CEC.

    I would agree that Kirov Battlecruisers had a secondary mission to protect carriers and lead battlegroups.
    But what is the point of putting in a nuclear reactor with unlimited range, if the other ships are conventionally powered?
    It doesn't make any sense, unless you plan on the Battlecruiser operating independently.

    The distance from Murmansk to the sea lanes between Europe and the USA is 5000km.

    The Slava and Sovremenny only have a range of 5000km-6000km at 18knots, so they are reliant on a slow underway replenishment ship.
    So why would you want a nuclear-powered Kirov, if it was going to be tethered to slower ships that need a replenishment ship anyway?

    The Kuznetsov carriers and Udaloys are longer-ranged (15000km at 18knots approx).
    So they could get to the NATO shipping lanes and back, although they probably would want a replenishment ship to accompany.
    Again, why would you want a nuclear-powered Kirov, if it was going to be tethered to slower ships which include a replenishment ship?

    In addition, you end up with a group mostly comprised of capital ships (Kuznetsov+Kirov) with only a few Udaloys as ASW escorts.
    And a Kirov Battlecruiser is definitely a high-priority target, because its sheer size and armament make it a Capital Ship.

    If the Soviet Navy really did plan on using Kirovs with non-nuclear ships - then the decision to make the Kirov nuclear-powered was a big mistake.

    So let's have another look at how a Chinese AEGIS destroyer would be used.

    1. Escorting another ship such as an aircraft carrier or amphibious warship.
    We'll leave this scenario aside in the context of an arsenal ship or missile-carrying destroyer

    2. Projecting power with VLS cells filled with antiship or land-attack missiles.
    Likely around the Second Island Chain which is a high-risk environment, so the VLS cells need protection.
    Call it 6 AEGIS air defence sets with xxx long-range SAMs as per your example.

    Your argument is to build a bigger Destroyer or Battlecruiser with more VLS cells on those 6 platforms.
    But if you do this, you either create a high-value Capital Ship in the middle of the formation, or you make the escort Destroyers (who now have more VLS cells) on the fringes a worthwhile target.
    Remember that the purpose of the AEGIS sets is to protect the offensive missile-carrying VLS cells.

    My argument is that it's better to put VLS-launched offensive missiles on additional cheaper platforms because:
    1. antiship or land-attack missiles don't derive any direct benefit from being located on the same platform as the AEGIS radar.
    2. you avoid concentrating more risk in existing ships, and make the fleet more distributed and survivable.
    3. there's no reason you can't have an Arsenal Ship or survivable Missile-Carrying Destroyer that stays deep inside the formation, literally next to a Type-55. It literally becomes an extension of that Type-55 due to datalinks/CEC.
    4. it should be cheaper to do this, even factoring in the cost of an additional hull.
  8. Biscuits

    Biscuits Junior Member
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    Oct 4, 2018
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    I think the conception of using just missiles for land attack role is a bit outdated.

    The current PLAN vessels are strictly focused towards defense, but the railgun program will be key towards China’s sustained land attack/invasion capability if it decides it needs one.

    A stealthy “mini zumwalt” as big as a frigate (054A) or a light destroyer (052D) can carry 24-32ish VLS dedicated to land attack on it’s flanks. It’s main armament would be a single railgun housed in a stealthy turret. For self defense, it would give up a few cruise missiles for a handful of MRSAMs, otherwise having only it’s stealth and HQ-10 launchers to defend.

    Such a ship would not be overly expensive due to small size, but it would carry a massive punch, bigger than any 112 VLS fleet destroyer.

    In low danger scenario, they can operate independently and muscle out any single foreign navy ship attempting to encroach China. If open war breaks out, they could sail under the protection of red AEGIS vessels and act as main land attack.
  9. AndrewS

    AndrewS Captain
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    Oct 5, 2015
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    I don't see missiles being outdated for land attack.

    With the advent of cheap precision strike and reconnaissance, any country can start putting together A2AD zones.
    So all militaries are having to increase the ranges of their weapons, which at the moment, means missile range.

    I agree that the railgun is really useful to the Chinese military, because of the Taiwan scenario.
    But railguns aren't ready yet, plus the projectiles have a much shorter range than anti-ship or land-attack missiles.
  10. AndrewS

    AndrewS Captain
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    Oct 5, 2015
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    A notional Chinese Navy arsenal ship (or missile-carrying destroyer) would have to sail into the same high-risk zones as the multi-role Type-55.
    So I struggle to see how a Type-55 hull can really be "overbuilt".
    Remember it is about stripping out unneeded systems. Mainly the long-range radars and SAM fire-control systems, but other systems as well.

    Speed matters in getting into range fast, and then getting out fast.
    Range is not an issue, because it's only 1day to cross the 1st Island Chain, and another 2 days to reach the 2nd Island Chain.
    So it makes sense to leave the propulsion as-is, so the entire SAG can operate at high-speed.

    And yes, six 5MW generators is a lot for a ship without long-range radars, lasers or railguns.
    But it is straightforward to remove unneeded generators.
    And it is also straightforward to install the generators later if they are needed.

    Remember that I'm using the Type-55 hull as an example, but it may be that the smaller Type-52 hull works out better as an arsenal ship / missile-carrying destroyer.

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