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China Launches Type 054B Warship Dubbed The “Super Frigate”

One of the primary tasks of the latest Type 054B "Super Frigate" in the Chinese Navy's service is to escort China's aircraft carrier, namely the Liaoning, Shandong, and Fujian, alongside destroyer-class warships like the Type 055 and Type 052D.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — China has confirmed it has launched its first Type 054B warship, dubbed the “Super Frigate” by local military analysts,  following a significant increase in its capabilities compared to the earlier variant, the “Type 054A” frigate.

One of the primary tasks of the latest Type 054B “Super Frigate” in the Chinese Navy’s service is to escort China’s aircraft carrier, namely the Liaoning, Shandong, and Fujian, alongside destroyer-class warships like the Type 055 and Type 052D.

By 2030, the Chinese Navy is expected to operate four aircraft carriers, second only to the United States, which currently operates 11 aircraft carriers.

These two new Chinese frigates were built by the Huangpu-Wenchong Shipyard, a subsidiary of the China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSC), one of the primary contractors for the Chinese Navy.

Recent images of the Type 054B frigates, which are still in the shipyard, have already circulated on Chinese social media.

Type 054B
Type 054B

 

The Chinese Navy is expected to commence sea trials for these Type 054B ships later this year, and if successful, more of these warships will be constructed.

So far, China has built 40 Type 054A frigates for its navy, and it’s time for them to introduce their latest Type 054B frigates.

These “Super Frigates” are characterized by international defense analysts as “larger and more capable” than their predecessors, the Type 054A.

The Pakistan Navy has also acquired four Type 054A frigates.

According to observers, the latest Chinese frigates are believed to have a length of approximately 147 meters and weigh around 6,000 tons, which is roughly 2,000 tons more than the previous Type 054A frigates.

At 6,000 tons, China’s Type 054B frigates are nearly the same weight as the US Arleigh-Burke destroyer.

Although information about their sensor and weapon systems is not yet known, it’s likely that the new Type 054B frigates will feature a Vertical Launch System (VLS) to launch guided anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as cruise missiles for engaging land and sea targets.

These frigates are also said to be equipped with an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

The Type 054B frigates will have two Z-20 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare missions, a 76mm main gun, a Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), and torpedoes.

According to Lu Li-shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy, based on the design of the Type 054B frigates, they can be seen as a miniaturized version of the Type 055 destroyer of the Chinese Navy, which weighs 12,000 tons.

“The latest Type 054B frigates will incorporate the latest technologies used on the Type 055 destroyers,” he said. “With its larger size compared to the Type 054A, China’s latest frigate is more capable and versatile.” — DSA

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