In just four years, the Chinese defence industry managed to build and launch ten advanced Type 055 missile cruisers. Each of these formidable ships boasts 112 anti-ship or anti-aircraft missiles, housed in vertical launch cells, reported

To put this into perspective, China launched its first Type 055 missile cruiser in January 2020. By April 2023, China had already launched the eighth ship of this project. That’s an impressive average of 2-3 missile cruisers per year.

What’s even more remarkable is that this rapid construction pace hasn’t slowed down the production of other ships. Take the Type 054 frigates, for example—these are being built simultaneously in two large shipyards located in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

missile cruisers, for the People’s Liberation Army Navy [PLAN]. It ranks among the largest and most advanced surface combatants in the world, reflecting China’s growing maritime capabilities and ambitions. Designers intended the Type 055 to perform a variety of roles, including air defense, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare, making it a versatile asset in the PLAN’s fleet.

The dimensions of the Type 055 are impressive, with a length of approximately 180 meters [590 feet], a beam of 20 meters [66 feet], and a draft of around 6.6 meters [22 feet]. These dimensions make the Type 055 significantly larger than many other contemporary destroyers and cruisers, providing ample space for advanced weaponry, sensors, and other systems.

The propulsion system of the Type 055 is based on a combined gas and gas [COGAG] configuration. This system includes four QC-280 gas turbines, each producing 28 megawatts of power, allowing the ship to reach speeds of up to 30 knots. The COGAG setup ensures a balance between speed, efficiency, and operational range, making the Type 055 a formidable presence on the high seas.

The Type 055 boasts a range of advanced technical characteristics. It features a modern, stealthy design with a smooth superstructure to reduce radar cross-section. The ship is equipped with an integrated mast that houses various sensors and communication systems, enhancing its situational awareness and electronic warfare capabilities. The vessel’s hull is designed for optimal hydrodynamic performance, contributing to its speed and maneuverability.

The electronic equipment on the Type 055 includes a sophisticated suite of sensors and systems. Key components include the Type 346B AESA radar for air and surface search. Type 055 alos includes the Type 518 L-band radar for long-range surveillance. The H/LJG-346A sonar system for anti-submarine warfare is part of equipment. The ship is also equipped with electronic warfare systems, including jammers and

The armament of the Type 055 is extensive and diverse. The ship is equipped with a 130mm H/PJ-38 main gun for surface engagements, and it has 112 vertical launch system [VLS] cells capable of firing a variety of missiles, including HHQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, YJ-18 anti-ship missiles, and CJ-10 land-attack cruise missiles. Additionally, the Type 055 is armed with torpedo launchers, close-in weapon systems [CIWS] for point defence, and anti-submarine rockets, making it a well-rounded combat platform.

(With Reporting by International Agency)