South Sea Fleet

The Southern Theater Command Navy (Chinese: 南部战区海军), or the South Sea Fleet (SSF; Chinese: 南海舰队) is one of the three fleets of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, operating in the South China Sea under the Southern Theater Command. It is headquartered in Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province. The flagship of the SSF is the AOR/AK Nanchang (953).

Southern Theater Command Navy
The People's Liberation Army Navy's jack and ensign
Country People's Republic of China
Allegiance Communist Party of China
Branch People's Liberation Army Navy
TypeNaval fleet
Garrison/HQYulin Naval Base, China
Wang Hai

Initially, the fleet's strength consisted mostly of former Kuomintang ships and personnel, which either defected or were captured by the People's Liberation Army. One of three fleets of the People's Liberation Army Navy, the SSF's duties were to protect the city of Guangzhou and the Pearl River regions, and support the PLA in capturing islands that were still in the hands of the Kuomintang forces. The fleet's development has been slow, because most of China's shipbuilding industry is located on the northern or eastern coasts. In the 1970s the fleet underwent a major buildup, due to conflict in the Paracel Islands and other reefs in the South China Sea. In 1974, the SSF took the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam, which resulted in the sinking of one South Vietnamese frigate while damaging another. The latest incident was in 1988, when a Chinese naval task force engaged Vietnamese naval forces, sinking one Vietnamese warship and damaging another.

Most of the fleet's surface ships are located at Zhanjiang naval base, while all of the fleet's submarines are at Yulin Naval Base, on Hainan Island. The SSF has many other bases included Guangzhou, Haikou, Shantou, Mawei, and Beihai, while naval air force bases are at Lingshui, Haikou, Sanya, Zhanjiang, and Guiping. The fleet's area of operations is divided into six zones.

Major Naval Bases in the Fleet

The fleet headquarters was, at first, at Guangzhou, but was later relocated to Zhanjiang.

Naval air force bases:

Ships in the fleet

Aircraft carrier



  • 8 Jiangkai-class II:
    • Huangshan (570)
    • Chaohu (568)
    • Yuncheng (571)
    • Yulin (569)
    • Hengshui (572)
    • Liuzhou (573)
    • Sanya (574)
    • Yueyang (575)
  • 3 Jiangwei II-class:
    • Yichang (564)
    • Huaihua (566)
    • Xiangyang (567)
  • 6 Jianghu V-class:
    • Beihai (558)
    • Kangding (559)
    • Dongguan (560)
    • Shantou (561)
    • Jiangmen (562)
    • Foshan (563)


  • 12 Jiangdao-class:
    • Meizhou (584)
    • Baise (585)
    • Jieyang (587)
    • Qingyuan (589)
    • Luzhou (592)
    • Zhuzhou (594)
    • Chaozhou (595)
    • Suqian (504)
    • Jingmen (506)
    • Tongren (507)
    • Qujing (508)
    • Liupanshui (514)

Diesel-Electric submarines:

Landing ships:

Replenishment ships:

  • 1 Fusu-class
    • Qinghaihu (885)
  • 3 Fuchi-class
    • Weishanhu (887)
    • Honghu (963)
    • Luomahu (964)
  • 5 Dayun-class
    • Jingpohu (884)
    • Dongtinghu (883)
    • Fuxianhu (888)
    • Junshanhu (961)
    • Luguhu (962)

Auxiliary ships:

  • 6 Qiongsha-class troop transport ships:
    • NY830
    • NY831
    • NY832
    • NY833
    • NY834
    • NY835
  • 1 hospital ship

See also


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