Type 051 destroyer

The Type 051 destroyer (NATO/OSD Luda-class destroyer) was a class of guided missile destroyers deployed by China. It was the first guided missile destroyer fielded by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and the first designed and built in China. The class was based on the Soviet destroyer Neustrashimy.[3] 17 were built from 1970 to 1990;[2] it was not until the 21st century that China would again build a class in such large numbers.[4]

Xi'an (106)
Class overview
Operators:  People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force
Preceded by: Anshan class
Succeeded by: Type 052
In service: December 1971
Completed: 17[2]
Active: 2[2]
Retired: 15[2]
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 3,670 tons
Length: 132 m (433 ft 1 in)
Beam: 12.8 m (42 ft 0 in)
Draught: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in)
  • 2 steam turbines
  • 72,000 shp (53,700 kW)
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h)
Range: 2,970 miles
Complement: 280
Aircraft carried: 1-2 helicopters: Harbin Z-9C ASW/SAR (Jinan (105) Luda II only)
Aviation facilities:
  • Hangar and flight deck
  • Landing assistance system

NATO/OSD broadly grouped variants from refits and newer construction under the Luda I,[5] Luda II,[6] Luda III,[7] and Luda IV classes.[5]


The PLAN began designing a warship armed with guided missiles in 1960 based on the Soviet Neustrashimy, with features from the Kotlin-class destroyer, but the Sino-Soviet split stopped work. Work resumed in 1965[3] with nine ships being ordered.[8][3] Construction started in 1968, with trials beginning in 1971. The ships nominally entered service in the early 1970s, but few were fully operational before 1985; workmanship was poor due to the Cultural Revolution.[3]

Construction of the second batch - the remaining ships - began in 1977,[9] with the last commissioning in 1991.[10] The second batch may have been ordered due to the Cultural Revolution disrupting development of a successor class.[3] These ships may be designated Type 051D.[9]

The PLAN initiated an abortive modernization program for the first batch in 1982. The ships would be reconstructed with British weapons and sensors acquired from British Aerospace. The Falklands War made the prospective upgrades less impressive and cost effective, and the project was cancelled in 1984. A 1986 upgrade project using American power plants, weapons, sensors, and computers was cancelled because of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.[3]

Jinan, the first of class, became a trials ship in 1987; a helicopter hangar and flight deck replaced the rear armament.[8] This configuration was referred to as Luda II.[11]

The last two ships, Zhanjiang and Zhuhai, were upgraded with foreign - mainly French - systems,[11] possibly being designated as Type 051G, and referred to as Luda III.[12] They became test beds and many of the systems were later employed on the Type 052 and Type 051B destroyers.[11]


Type 051

The Type 051 was the initial design using Soviet or Soviet-derived systems.

The anti-ship missiles were P-15 Termit derivatives (HY-1,[13] and possibly later HY-2) in two triple-launchers.[10] Guns were two twin 130 mm (5 in) gun mounts, and 37 mm (1.5 in) anti-aircraft guns.[13]

Anti-submarine equipment were Soviet hull-mounted Pegas 2 and Tamir-2 sonars, depth charges, and FQF-2500 rocket launchers (Soviet RBU-1200 derivatives).[14]

The Type 051 was part of the Luda I class.[9]

Type 051D

The Type 051D was from the second batch. It had changes to electronics[9] and was equipped for underway replenishment.[3]

The Type 051D was part of the Luda I class.[9]

Type 051DT

The Type 051DT was a modernized Type 051D. Kaifeng and Dalian were modernized to somewhat different designs.[10]

Kaifeng initially received the Thomson-CSF Tavitac combat data system, the Type 393 surface search radar, and HQ-7 (Crotale derivative) surface-to-air missiles (SAM); the missiles replaced "X" turret. In 1999, YJ-8 missiles replaced the HY-series, and electronic warfare systems were upgraded.[10]

Dalian received a similar modernization as Kaifeng. A notable difference was Dalian used the ZKJ-1 combat data system, which was also used on the Type 051Z.[10]

They were later equipped with YJ-83 anti-ship missiles.[2]

The Type 051DT was part of the Luda III class[10], and later the Luda IV class.[5]

Type 051Z

The Type 051Z was a command variant with the ZKJ-1 combat data system.[9] Anti-aircraft warfare capabilities were improved by replacing the 37 mm guns with Soviet 57 mm (2.2 in) guns[13], and fitting modern Type 381A 3-D radar.[9]

One Type 051D, Hefei, was converted to a Type 051Z.[9]

The Type 051Z was part of the Luda I class.[9]

Luda II

The Luda II was a helicopter destroyer. The gun turrets abaft the aft missile launcher was replaced by a hangar and flight deck for two Harbin Z-9C helicopters.[8]

One Type 051, Jinan, was converted into a Luda II[11] in 1987 for trials.[8]

Type 051G

The Type 051G was an improved variant that the last two ships, Zhanjiang and Zhuhai, were completed to.[12] They were equipped with Type 354 3-D air and surface search radar.[7][10] Four twin YJ-8 launchers replaced the HY-1/HY-2 launchers.[7] The Soviet sonar was replaced by French DUBV-23 search sonar and DUBV-43 variable depth sonar (VDS).[15]

Zhuhai was modified in 1999. The Soviet 130 mm guns were replaced by 100 mm (4 in) guns,[10] derived from French Creusot-Loire Compact, with automated reloaders.[13] An HQ-7 SAM launcher replaced the "X" turret, as on the Type 051DT. Zhuhai was similarly modified.[10]

Zhanjiang and Zhuhai were equipped with the ZKG-4A and ZKG-4B combat data systems respectively.[10]

The Type 051G was also the first Chinese ship to deploy the YU-7 lightweight torpedo,[15] and the Italian 40 mm (1.6 in) anti-aircraft gun.[13]

The Type 051G was part of the Luda III class[10], and later the Luda IV class.[5]

Ships of class

The number is the order of completion.[8]

Number Hull no. Name Builder Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fleet Notes
Type 051
2[8] 160[8] 1973[16] South Sea Fleet[11] Suffered an explosion in 1978. May have been lost[11] or scrapped[9].
3[8] 106[8] 西安 / Xi'an[8] Luda[8] 1972[16] North Sea Fleet[8] Inactive.[2]
4[8] 161 [8] 长沙 / Changsha[8] Dalian[8] 1973[16] South Sea Fleet[8] Inactive.[2]
5[8] 107[8] 银川 / Yinchuan[8] Luda[8] 1972[16] North Sea Fleet[8] Inactive.[2]
6[8] 162[8] 南宁 / Nanning[8] Dalian[8] 1974[16] South Sea Fleet[8] Inactive.[2]
7[8] 131[8] 南京 / Nanjing[8] Zhonghua[8] 1973[16] East Sea Fleet[8] Inactive.[2]
Helicopter destroyer (Luda II)
1[8] 105[8] 济南 / Jinan[8] Luda[8] 31 December 1971[17] North Sea Fleet[8] Built as Type 051. Converted in 1987[8]. Inactive.[2]
Type 051D
8[8] 108[8] 西宁 / Xining[8] Luda[8] 1985[16] North Sea Fleet[8] Inactive.[2]
11[8] 163[8] 南昌 / Nanchang[8] Zhonghua[8] 1982[17] 8 September 2016[17] South Sea Fleet[8] Last active Type 051 to retire[18]. Preserved as military tourist attraction in Nanchang, Jiangxi.[17]
13[8] 133[8] 重庆 / Chongqing[8] Zhonghua[8] 1976[16] East Sea Fleet[8] Inactive.[2]
14[8] 134[8] 遵义 / Zunyi[8] Zhonghua[8] 1987[16] 16 May 2019[2] North Sea Fleet[2] Transferred from the East Sea Fleet.[8]
15[8] 164[8] 桂林 / Guilin[8] Dalian[8] 1991[16] 16 May 2019[2] North Sea Fleet[2] Transferred from the South Sea Fleet.[8]
Type 051DT
10[8] 109[8] 开封 / Kaifeng [8] Luda[8] 1986[16] 16 May 2019[2] North Sea Fleet[2] Built as Type 051D. Converted in 1999[10].
12[8] 110[8] 大连 / Dalian[8] Luda[8] 1988[16] 16 May 2019[2] North Sea Fleet[2] Built as Type 051D[10].
Type 051Z
9[8] 132[8] 合肥 / Hefei[8] Zhonghua[8] 1974[16] East Sea Fleet[8] Build as Type 051D.[8]. Inactive[2].
Type 051G
165[8] 湛江 / Zhanjiang[8] Dalian[8] 1990[10] 1991[10] South Sea Fleet[8] Active[2].
166[8] 珠海/ Zhuhai[8] Dalian[8] 1990[10] 1991[10] South Sea Fleet[8] Active[2].


  1. Bussert and Elleman: Chinese Naval Shipyards
  2. Tate, Andrew (17 May 2019). "PLAN decommissions four Type 051 destroyers". Jane's 360. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  3. Forecast International: page 4
  4. Cole: page 24
  5. United States Navy Office of Naval Intelligence (2018). PLA Navy Identification Guide (Report). Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  6. Jane's Warship Recognition Guide: page 74
  7. Jane's Warship Recognition Guide: page 76
  8. Jane's Fighting Ships 2004-2005: p. 127
  9. Jane's Fighting Ships 2009-2010: p. 139
  10. Jane's Fighting Ships 2009-2010: p. 140
  11. Bussert, James C. (August 2004). "China Builds Destroyers Around Imported Technology". SIGNAL Magazine. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  12. Jane's Fighting Ships 2004-2005: page 128
  13. Bussert and Elleman: The Luda's Gun and Missile Systems
  14. Bussert and Elleman: The Luda's Antisubmarine Warfare Capability
  15. "Undersea dragon: Chinese ASW capabilities advance" (PDF). Jane's. 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  16. Forecast International: page 1
  17. "Farewell to Nanchang: first-generation Chinese guided missile destroyer decommissioned". Ministry of Defense of the People's Republic of China. People's Daily Online. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  18. Dominguez, Gabriel (14 September 2016). "China's first-generation guided-missile destroyer decommissioned". Archived from the original on 21 November 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.


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