Type 055 destroyer

The Type 055 destroyer (NATO/OSD Renhai-class cruiser[11]) is a class of guided missile destroyers being constructed for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force. It is a multi-mission design; the combination of sensors and weapons suggests a main role of area air defence, with anti-submarine warfare capabilities surpassing previous Chinese surface combatants.[12]

Artist impression of the Type 055 destroyer
Class overview
Operators: PLA Navy Surface Force
Cost: CN¥6 billion/unit (including R&D)[1]
Built: 2014–present[2]
In service: 2019 - present[3]
Planned: 8[4]
Building: 5[5][3]
Active: 1[3]
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile destroyer
Displacement: 12-13,000 tonnes (full load)[6]
Length: 180 m (590 ft)[6]
Beam: 20 m (66 ft)[6]
Draught: 6.6 m (22 ft)[2]
Installed power:
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)[2]
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km)[2]
Complement: 300+[4]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 × Changhe Z-18F ASW helicopters[10]
Aviation facilities:
  • Stern hangar for up to two medium-lift helicopters
  • Helicopter landing platform

The Type 055 is expected to undertake expeditionary missions[13] and form the primary escort for Chinese aircraft carriers.[12]

The United States classifies these ships as cruisers.[11] The United States Navy defines a cruiser as a large multi-mission surface combatant with flag facilities;[14] this suggests the U.S. expects the Type 055 to fulfil a similar role as the Ticonderoga-class cruiser.[12]


The People's Liberation Army Navy was interested in a large destroyer from at least the late-1960s. A development program, code-named "055", initiated in 1976 was cancelled in 1983 after encountering insurmountable technical obstacles from industrial underdevelopment; for example, the required gas turbine power plants could neither be produced domestically, nor imported at acceptable prices.[15]

In April 2014, an image emerged of a full-scale mock-up of the Type 055 superstructure - with enclosed integrated mast for radar and other electronics - at the Chinese naval electronic testing range in Wuhan.[9][16]

The first ship began construction in 2014 at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai,[2] and launched on 28 June 2017.[17] When launched, it was among the largest post-Second World War warships launched in East Asia,[18][19] and the largest surface combatant launched by China.

In March 2018, six Type 055s were under construction simultaneously.[20][4]

The first of class, Nanchang made its public debut during the PLAN's 70th anniversary parade[21] on 23 April 2019.[3] The ship was not yet commissioned.[21]



The Type 055 adopts a conventional flared hull with distinctive stealthy features including an enclosed bulbous bow that hides mooring points, anchor chains and other equipment. The bow and main deckhouse are configured similarly to previous Type 052C/D destroyers. A continuous structure amidship increases internal volume and reduces radar cross-section. The smoke stack design reduces both infrared signature and radar cross-section.[7] Chinese sources credit the design as being generally stealthy, with reduced radar, noise, infrared, and electromagnetic radiation signatures.[22]

Power plants

Propulsive power is generated by four 28 MW QC-280 gas turbines in combined gas and gas arrangement. Additional power may be provided by six 5 MW QD-50 gas turbines.[7]

The maximum speed is estimated to be 30 knots.[2]


The Type 055's battle management system may allow integration with carrier strike groups.[23]

The integrated mast may mount X band radar in four fixed active electronically scanned arrays (AESA). The deckhouse may mount four Type 346B AESA panels; the previous Type 346 was a dual S and C band radar, but the Type 346B may only be S band as a X band radar is included. The X band radar may be mounted higher as it is better suited for horizon search and low altitude object detection. The Type 346B arrays can be larger and have higher power when mounted on the deckhouse below the X band radar.[7]

Various electronic warfare support measures (ESM), electronic countermeasures (ECM), and electro-optic (EO) sensors and datalinks are mounted. They are likely more advanced than those deployed on previous ships.[7]

A deployment port exists for variable depth and towed array sonar. The large bulbous bow likely contains a bow sonar; the Type 055 may mount a larger bow sonar than previous Chinese surface combatants.[7]


The primary armament are missiles carried in 112 universal vertical launch cells (VLS);[6] 64 cells forward and 48 cells aft. The same VLS model is used on the Type 052D destroyer,[7] which is believed to be an implementation of the GJB 5860-2006 standard.[24] The longest variant, with 9-metre cells, is likely used.[7] The Type 055 is expected to carry HHQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles, CJ-10 land-attack cruise missiles, and missile-launched anti-submarine torpedoes upon entering service.[6]

Future developments

It has been suggested that future variants may be armed with lasers or electromagnetic railguns.[7] Since the current design does not have integrated electric propulsion, installation of integrated electric propulsion will be required for the ship to meet power requirements in the future.[25]

The universal VLS makes it possible to carry future anti-ballistic missiles (ABM).[7]

Ships of class

#Pennant numberNameBuilderLaunchedCommissionedFleetStatus
1 101[3] 南昌 / Nanchang[3] Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co. Ltd.[5] 28 June 2017[17] Active[3]
2 Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co. Ltd.[5] 28 April 2018[26] Fitting out
3 Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company[5] 3 July 2018[6] Fitting out
4 Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company[5] 3 July 2018[6] Fitting out
5 Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co. Ltd. 12 September 2019[27] Fitting Out
6 Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company[4] Under construction

See also

Comparable ship class


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  2. Rahmat, Ridzwan (29 June 2017). "China launches largest surface combatant to date". Janes. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  3. Tate, Andrew (24 April 2019). "Chinese navy puts newest platforms on display". Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  4. "China Kicks off Work on 6th Type 055 Guided-Missile Destroyer". The Diplomat. 15 March 2018. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. Tate, Andrew; O'Connor, Sean (26 April 2017). "Construction of China's Type 055 destroyers forges ahead". Janes. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  6. Tate, Andrew (3 July 2018). "China launches two Type 055 destroyers simultaneously in Dalian". Janes. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  7. Joe, Rick (8 June 2018). "All You Need to Know About China's New Stealth Destroyer". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  8. Chinese Type 055-Analysis Archived 2017-07-15 at the Wayback Machine - Navyrecognition.com, 7 July 2017
  9. "China May Have Started Construction of Next Generation Destroyer Type 055 for the PLAN". Navyrecognition.com. 30 December 2014. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  10. "China Launches Next-Generation Guided-Missile Destroyer". The Diplomat. 30 June 2017. Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  11. United States Department of Defense (May 2017). Annual Report To Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2017 (PDF) (Report). p. 25. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  12. Rogoway, Tyler. "China's Type 055 Super Destroyer Is A Reality Check For The US And Its Allies". The Drive. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  13. Holmes, James R. (15 February 2018). "Fleet Design with Chinese Characteristics" (PDF). The Drive. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  14. "United States Navy Fact File: Cruisers - CG". 9 January 2017. Archived from the original on 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  15. "Summary of Historic facts (Part 3, Reviews of Large Size Destroyer Research)". Historical Data of Destroyers. Historical Data of Chinese Shipbuilding Industry (in Simplified Chinese). China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, Department of Equipment and Technology of People's Liberation Army Navy. pp. 10–11.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  16. Lin, Jeffrey; Singer, P.W. (9 April 2014). "The next new major Chinese warship arrives, on land". Popular Science. Archived from the original on 30 April 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  17. 陈国全; 尹航 (28 June 2017). 陈丽娜 (ed.). 我国新型万吨级驱逐舰首舰下水 (in Chinese). Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  18. Mizokami, Kyle (29 June 2017). "China launches Asia's biggest post-WWII warship". Popular Science. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  19. Lin, Jeffrey (28 June 2017). "China Launches Asia's Largest Surface Warship". Popular Mechanics. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
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  22. Lendon, Bard (28 June 2017). "China's newest destroyer seen as challenge to Asia rivals". CNN. Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  23. Lendon, Bard (13 July 2018). "China's new destroyers: 'Power, prestige and majesty'". CNN. Archived from the original on 14 July 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  24. Wang, Weixing, ed. (4 September 2012). "谜一样的战舰 从052D驱逐舰看中舰艇系统" [A Ship of Mystery: The Shipborne Systems of Type 052D] (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2012-10-11.
  25. Zhang, Tao, ed. (8 January 2015). "Expert: Don't overanalyze PLAN's type-055 destroyer". China Military Online. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
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