China commissions its biggest and ‘most powerful’ surface warship yet
China’s navy commissioned its biggest and most advanced surface warship yet, the Nanchang guided-missile destroyer, on Sunday morning in the port city of Qingdao, state media reported.
Observers say the commissioning of China’s first 10,000-ton-class Type 055 destroyer, which is expected to accompany aircraft carriers in battle groups, is a step forward as Beijing seeks to operate farther from its shores and punch farther into the western Pacific.
Launched in June 2017, its commissioning marks the navy’s leap from the third generation to the fourth generation of destroyers, the navy said in a statement.
Collin Koh, a research fellow and maritime security expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told The Japan Times that the warship is “by far the most powerful surface combatant” in China’s navy, outside of its aircraft carriers.
Having a displacement of more than 10,000 tons, the 180-meter-long, 20-meter-wide Type 055 has been referred to by the Pentagon not as a destroyer, but as a larger cruiser design. With more Type 055s planned, China is the only known country to be building such a warship.
The warship’s arsenal includes 112 vertical-launch missile cells capable of launching a combination of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, land-attack missiles and anti-submarine missiles, the state-run Global Times reported Sunday.
It is the first to enter into service in 2020, according to state-run China Central Television.
At a commissioning ceremony for the domestically developed warship, the captain of the Nanchang, Zhou Minghui, told CCTV that the vessel would now begin conducting training “in all systems and subjects in order to form combat capability and integrate into the PLA’s combat system.”
The commissioning showed that the navy “has now stepped into the era of fourth-generation destroyers,” CCTV said.
The Global …read more
Read more here:: Task & Purpose