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Defence News 30/06/2017
China launches largest surface combatant to date

China's Jiangnan Shipyard has launched the country's first Type 055-class guided-missile destroyer on order for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

The 180 m ship, which will be largest-ever surface combatant to date once inducted into service, was launched on 28 June at the company's facilities near Shanghai. Work on the platform, which is expected to play a major escort role in China's carrier and amphibious task groups, began in 2014.

The Type 055 platform features an overall beam of 19 m, and a hull draught of 6.6 m. The ship is estimated to feature a top speed of 30 kt, and a standard range of 5,000 n miles at 12 kt.

Details on the platform's weapons are speculative but citing a China Central Television (CCTV) interview with a military analyst, Jane's reported in February 2015 that the destroyer will be equipped with 128 vertical launching system (VLS) cells arranged in two grids of 64, one each in the forward and aft sections.

The platform is also believed to be capable of firing the YJ-100 long-range anti-ship cruise missile, as well as anti-submarine and air-defence missiles. Other weapons onboard the ship includes a 130 mm naval gun, and a Type 1130 30 mm close-in weapon system.

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